Wall Street and Silicon Valley are two of the most elusive and exclusive business capitals in the world. Teeming with uber wealthy businesspeople, landing a position in either of these locales may seem like the ultimate dream ... until you actually get there — and experience the fierce pressures that bring out the best (and often, the worst) in people.
This selection of books includes stories both true and fictitious sharing one common theme: They reveal exactly what happens behind the curtain at the companies that dominate the global financial and technology markets.
‘Snatch 2&20’ by Luke E. Fellows
Fellows has delved deep into his own career to create this satirical novel about Giles Goodenough, hedge fund manager. With a dash of humor, he offers an insider’s take on exactly what life is like behind the doors of multi-billion dollar companies. This book also breaks down the hype of working in tech and seeks to warn others about stepping into this bizarre industry. Fellows writes a cautionary tale of the thinly veiled true characters he spent his days surrounded by and how each helped him realize that his own life was becoming devoid of meaning outside of his work.
‘High Finance’ by Eli Lederman
After Jerry Klein is promoted from his robotlike routine as a minter to managing director of a major New York City bank, he quickly discovers a company culture characterized by violations of federal law and a massive insider trading scandal. From here, he is forced to confront the reality of his career choice and decide if it’s worth it to risk it all for a shot at reaping the rewards of a multi-million dollar scheme.
‘Nothing Personal: A Novel of Wall Street’ by Mike Offit
This novel documents protagonist Warren Hament’s entry into the world of corporate finance in the early 1980s. He experiences the glamorous life of the Wall Street elite and receives a promotion early on in his career. While this may sound like an ideal situation, his promotion comes with a major caveat — Warren is replacing his recently murdered mentor. Simultaneously, he takes on his new role and finds himself at the epicenter of a double murder investigation, seeking justice in the deaths of two Wall Street magnates.
‘The Circle’ by Dave Eggers
“The Circle” is the world’s premier internet company, boasting immense power and nearly impossible-to-land positions. When Mae Holland is offered a role in the company, her dream come true rapidly turns into a living nightmare. The story takes a tragic turn when Mae realizes that her entire life is far more public than she ever intended for it to become.
‘Uncanny Valley’ by Anna Wiener
Wiener’s extraordinary memoir about navigating Silicon Valley during the height of a cultural shift provides a glimpse behind the curtain of the companies that claim to be building the future. This book paints a portrait of the misogyny, disillusionment and quest for progress at any cost that live at the core of Silicon Valley.
‘Liquidated’ by Karen Ho
Karen Ho channels Isaac Newton in her Wall Street commentary, “Liquidated.” In this book, she seamlessly combines her knowledge of market systems with a sociological approach to the Wall Street workplace. If you have ever wanted to understand nearly everything there is to know about Wall Street, this is the read for you.
‘Flash Boys’ by Michael Lewis
“Flash Boys” is the ultimate Wall Street expose. This bestseller follows a squad of skeptics as they seek to reveal how market systems are rigged to benefit those involved most closely in their practices. They give up their high-paying jobs and luxurious lifestyles in order to launch a massive investigation into the strange, and oftentimes illegal, methods that Wall Street uses to generate billions of dollars for its most valued investors.
‘Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley’ by Antonio Garcia Martinez
Martinez uncovers some of the little-known mysteries about our favorite apps in his book, “Chaos Monkeys.” The author recounts his experiences as the CEO of his own company, working for Facebook’s advertising team and how he was forced out when monetization strategy disputes lead to a warlike office environment. After settling into a role at Twitter, Martinez recounts his experiences in this humorous narrative on social media, online marketing and how the tech industry is taking over our world.
‘Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup’ by John Carreyrou
Theranos has consistently made headlines over the past few years for its failed attempts at revolutionizing medical technology. The company was valued at $9 billion, quickly making its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, a billionaire. The issue arose, though, when multiple clinical trials revealed that the blood-testing system did not actually work. This Silicon Valley screw-up led to thousands of misdiagnoses and unnecessary treatments.“Bad Blood” tells the full tale of the entrepreneur’s inability to swallow her pride, putting droves of Americans in danger.
Looking for something new to read? Try these 6 paperbacks
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