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Yashar Ali's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Yashar Ali recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Yashar Ali's favorite book recommendations of all time.


Like Fire & Fury, the gossipy real-life soap opera behind a serious show.

When Barbara Walters launched The View, network executives told her that hosting it would tarnish her reputation. Instead, within ten years, she’d revolutionized morning TV and made household names of her co-hosts: Joy Behar, Star Jones, Meredith Vieira and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. But the daily chatfest didn’t just comment on the news. It became the news. And the headlines barely scratched the surface.

Based on stunning interviews with nearly every host and unprecedented...

Recommended by Yashar Ali, and 1 others.

Yashar AliRead @RaminSetoodeh's amazing book to learn more!! Order Here: (Source)

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Open Book

Jessica reveals for the first time her inner monologue and most intimate struggles. Guided by the journals she's kept since age fifteen, and brimming with her unique humor and down-to-earth humanity, Open Book is as inspiring as it is entertaining.

This was supposed to be a very different book. Five years ago, Jessica Simpson was approached to write a motivational guide to living your best life. She walked away from the offer, and nobody understood why. The truth is that she didn’t want to lie.

Jessica couldn’t be authentic with her readers if she wasn’t...
Recommended by Yashar Ali, and 1 others.

Yashar AliI love @JessicaSimpson and I love her new book It’s an honest and earnest memoir Lots of juicy tidbits of course, but she’s also heartbreakingly honest about the impact alcohol had on her life See the screenshot for my favorite part 🐘 (Source)

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Like a Love Story

It's 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing.

Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He's terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he's gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media's images of men dying of AIDS.

Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance...until she falls...
Recommended by Yashar Ali, Mary Burkey, and 2 others.

Yashar Ali2. This blurb about “Like A Love Story” is so perfect. Trust me when I say you’ll love this book. It’s so wonderful. @Abdaddy I’m so, so proud of you. (Source)

Mary Burkeyset in 1980s New York and is about a teenage boy from Iran who is grappling with being gay in the midst of the HIV/AIDS crisis. (Source)

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“Thursday morning. One hundred pounds overweight, no man in sight, and rounding the bend to 57 years old—a full-blown catastrophe.”

What happens when you realize you’ve had the career of your dreams, but you don’t have the life of your dreams? This was the stark reality facing Sheri Salata when she left her twenty-year stint at The Oprah Winfrey Show, Harpo Studios and the OWN network. She had dedicated decades to her dream job, and loved (almost) every minute of it, but had left the rest of her life gathering dust on the shelf.

After years of...

Deepak ChopraSheri Salata’s journey to a life of extraordinary success ultimately triggered a transformation to wholeness and healing. We can all learn from her riveting story that joy, love and self compassion are the true goals of human existence. Read this book, The Beautiful No, and be inspired to embark on your own journey of emotional and spiritual fulfillment. (Source)

Elizabeth GilbertFor years, Sheri Salata used her magical powers, work ethic, and generous spirit to make other people’s lives better. But finally she had to learn how to turn that magic inward, in order to master the ultimate challenge of improving, rescuing and loving herself. Being the generous soul she is, she took notes along the way. THE BEAUTIFUL NO is a road map for transformation — an honest, funny, and... (Source)

Yashar Ali3. @SheriSalata's wonderful book is out this week and I just finished it. It's the story of what happens when you have the job of your dreams but abandon the rest of your life. A cautionary yet inspiring story! Order Here: (Source)

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Taylor Lorenz On VacationBuy this amazing duo’s book!!! @swin24 @lachlan (Source)

Yashar AliThe two best looking men at The Daily Beast have a book coming out and you should absolutely pre-order it...I did! (Source)

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What It Takes

The Way to the White House

Ezra KleinEverybody should read it. (Source)

Steven Sinofsky@pkedrosky I *love* this book especially as one of those kids shipped from university in Mass to New Hampshire for the primary. Dixville Notch, 1988. I was there! (Source)

Michael Berry"Fightin Joey Biden" as Esquire's late, great Richard Ben-Cramer called him in his FANTASTIC book about the 88 race, What It Takes, with his former form saying Bernie "seems to have more inspiration in the Soviets, Sandinistas, Chavistas and Castro than in America." (Source)

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The story of a young woman from Montana who joined the CIA and worked her way up through the ranks to the frontline of the fight against Islamic extremists.

In 1999, 30-year-old Nada Bakos moved from her lifelong home in Montana to Washington, DC, to join the CIA. Quickly realizing her affinity for intelligence work, Nada was determined to rise through the ranks of the agency first as an analyst and then as a Targeting Officer, eventually finding herself on the frontline of America's War against Islamic extremists. In this role, Nada was charged with finding the godfather of...

Mark S. ZaidNice @CIA book review of our client @nadabakos' book. Would be awesome if we didn't have to litigate these things! (Source)

Mark HertlingIf you served in Iraq anytime between 2003-2014, this is a must read book by @nadabakos The described Intel collection provides insight to what the military was doing on the ground. Excellent behind-the-scenes history. (Source)

Ryan GoodmanGreat book by @nadabakos hits shelves June 4—"The Targeter: My Life in the CIA, Hunting Terrorists and Challenging the White House" Bakos, @djrothkopf and I discussed what book says about intel on Iran, Russia attack, women in intelligence sector, more... (Source)

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Trick Mirror is an enlightening, unforgettable trip through the river of self-delusion that surges just beneath the surface of our lives. This is a book about the incentives that shape us, and about how hard it is to see ourselves clearly in a culture that revolves around the self. In each essay, Jia writes about the cultural prisms that have shaped her: the rise of the nightmare social internet; the American scammer as millennial hero; the literary heroine’s journey from brave to blank to bitter; the mandate that everything, including our bodies, should always be getting more... more

Lydia PolgreenThis book is amazing and you should read it. (Source)

Maryanne Hobbs⁦@jiatolentino⁩ hello Jia :) finding your perspectives in the new book fascinating and so resonant.. thank you 🌹 m/a..x (Source)

Yashar Ali. @jiatolentino’s fabulous book is one of President Obama’s favorite books of 2019 (Source)

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Politico Magazine’s chief political correspondent provides a rollicking insider’s look at the making of the modern Republican Party—how a decade of cultural upheaval, populist outrage, and ideological warfare made the GOP vulnerable to a hostile takeover from the unlikeliest of insurgents: Donald J. Trump.

The 2016 election was a watershed for the United States. But, as Tim Alberta explains in American Carnage, to understand Trump’s victory is to view him not as the creator of this era of polarization and bruising partisanship, but rather as its...

Tony SchwartzAmerican Carnage was written by a journalist who identifies as conservative and who had great access to people who I don’t think would’ve spoken so openly to mainstream reporters. The book helps you understand, from the inside, how Trump took over the Republican Party. It’s weird and it’s fascinating. And it’s a perspective that I haven’t seen represented anywhere else. (Source)

Keith UrbahnGlowing @nytimes review for @TimAlberta: “American Carnage isn’t just another drop in the deluge of Trump books; in fact, it isn’t really a Trump book at all. Instead it’s a fascinating look at...the degrading story of the ultimate devil’s bargain.” (Source)

Susan CooperThe great “Trump is a Christian” con continues, even though ... After 2016 Bible Slip, Trump Lashed Out at ‘So-Called Christians,’ Book Says (Source)

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The inside story of the battle to control Congress and the unsparing fight for advantage in the 2018 midterm elections

With control of both the House and Senate up for grabs in 2018 and the direction of the nation resting on the outcome, never has a more savage, unrelenting fight been waged in the raptor cage that is the U.S. congress. From the torrid struggle between the conservative Freedom Caucus and Speaker Paul Ryan for control of the House, to the sexual assault accusations against Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh that threw the Senate into turmoil, to the...

Jim VandeheiDigging to great book by @JakeSherman and @apalmerdc - great reporting, great insight - worthy of your time — The Hill to Die On: The Battle for Congress and the Future of Trump's America... via @amazon (Source)

Rob BlueyGreat interview! The book is a fantastic read about Trump's first two years in Washington from the perspective of Capitol Hill. Highly recommend it. (Source)

Yashar AliInteresting exchange between The Trumps & Paul Ryan featured in @JakeSherman @apalmerdc’s book “The Hill To Die On” Trump: “You’re also kind of religious, aren’t you?” Melania: “You’re like Mike on that, aren’t you?” Book is out tomorrow Order here: (Source)

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“Her highly personal and reflective memoir . . . is a must-read for anyone who cares about our role in a changing world.”—President Barack Obama

Hamdi Ulukaya.@SamanthaJPower rare moment when I’ve put your book down !! always learning from your integrity, brilliance, leadership & unwavering focus on human dignity. this is one book everyone must get.. (Source)

Mia FarrowObama thinks we should read this book & I wholeheartedly agree. Buy it, read it, share it with those you care about - it is an inspiring, riveting read. (Source)

Piper PeraboReading @SamanthaJPower amazing new book, The Education of An Idealist, and learning all kinds of inspiring things: @CarnegieEndow you are one of those inspiring things. Get inspired. Know your rights. And find ways to stand up and defend those rights, so we don’t loose them. (Source)

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Hair Love

When mommy is away, it’s up to daddy to do his daughter’s hair in this ode to self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters from former NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry and New York Times bestseller Vashti Harrison.

Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When mommy does Zuri’s hair, she feels like a superhero. But when mommy is away, it’s up to daddy to step in! And even though daddy has a lot to learn, he LOVES his Zuri. And he’ll do anything to make her—and her hair—happy.


Simran Jeet Singhand if you don't have it already, #hairlove is a beautiful book written by @MatthewACherry, illustrated by @VashtiHarrison, and published by @KokilaBooks. my daughtes and i read it together often. i highly recommend it. (Source)

Erika HaroldAs someone who was often told as a child that my natural hair was "bad hair," I love this new book celebrating natural curls! And as the Auntie of a niece who proudly rocks her natural curls, I love that "good hair" is now whatever hair you have. #HairLove 🙌🏽👩🏾‍🦱 @MatthewACherry (Source)

Mari Copeny@MatthewACherry @ScholasticEd That would be amazing. The kids LOVE that book. (Source)

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In June 2017, Travis Kalanick, the hard-charging CEO of Uber, was ousted in a boardroom coup that capped a brutal year for the transportation giant. Uber had catapulted to the top of the tech world, yet for many came to symbolize everything wrong with Silicon Valley.

Award-winning New York Times technology correspondent Mike Isaac’s Super Pumped presents the dramatic rise and fall of Uber, set against an era of rapid upheaval in Silicon Valley. Backed by billions in venture capital dollars and led by a brash and ambitious founder, Uber promised to...

John CarreyrouThe tale of Uber, the queen of the so-called ‘unicorns,’ is a parable about power―and the lengths to which some startup founders will go to amass it and hold onto it. Aside from being a delicious read, Mike Isaac’s account is also teeming with new revelations that will shock and outrage you. (Source)

Cz Binance@gautamchhugani Great book, recommended to all of our team. (Source)

Morgan HouselReading Super Pumped, the Uber book. I’ve heard this story many times but it’s still amazing: (Source)

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Now a Netflix series WINNER OF THE FORTNUM & MASON BEST DEBUT FOOD BOOK 2018 Sunday Times Food Book of the Year and New York Times bestseller While cooking at Chez Panisse at the start of her career, Samin Nosrat noticed that amid the chaos of the kitchen there were four key principles that her fellow chefs would always fall back on to make their food better: Salt, Fat, Acid and Heat. By mastering these four variables, Samin found the confidence to trust her instincts in the kitchen and cook delicious meals with any ingredients. And with her simple but revolutionary method, she has taught... more

Ben SilbermannI enjoy cooking, and this book taught me a lot of the basics of flavor and cooking technique. (Source)

Cameron Strang@bobgoff Cohen read non-stop and finished the book in 4 days. He said Love Does for Kids is his favorite book ever! We’ve talked about so many of the stories and lessons. Now his teacher asked if she could borrow it to read the book to the class. He’s SO proud. Bob, for real, thank you!! (Source)

Yashar AliSomething incredible happened last week As Iran was silencing an entire nation by shutting off the internet, a great book by an Iranian author @CiaoSamin went to #1 on the NYT bestsellers list for the 1st time Her book was published nearly 3 years ago! (Source)

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In a dramatic account of violence and espionage, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Ronan Farrow exposes serial abusers and a cabal of powerful interests hell-bent on covering up the truth, at any cost.

In 2017, a routine network television investigation led Ronan Farrow to a story only whispered about: one of Hollywood's most powerful producers was a predator, protected by fear, wealth, and a conspiracy of silence. As Farrow drew closer to the truth, shadowy operatives, from high-priced lawyers to elite war-hardened spies, mounted a secret...


Reese WitherspoonCongrats @RonanFarrow on your incredible book #CatchandKill. Amazing investigative reporting and A real thrill ride of a read. 📚 (Source)

Julie K. BrownThe parallels to the Jeffrey Epstein case are amazing in ⁦@RonanFarrow⁩’s new book. Imagine this same predatory behavior and coverup among powerful men — not at a TV-media network — but at the highest levels of our government. #perversionofjustice ⁦ (Source)

Bastian ObermayerI know I’m very late to this party, but: „Catch And Kill“ from the unrelenting @RonanFarrow is a hell of a read!! Need inspiration for how to hold the powerful accountable - or only looking for great entertainment? Get this book. (Source)

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A searing exposé of the most scandalous bank in the world, including its shadowy ties to Donald Trump’s business empire

On a rainy Sunday in 2014, a senior executive at Deutsche Bank was found hanging in his London apartment. Bill Broeksmit had helped build the 150-year-old financial institution into a global colossus, and his sudden death was a mystery, made more so by the bank’s efforts to deter investigation. Broeksmit, it turned out, was a man who knew too much.

In Dark Towers, award-winning journalist David Enrich reveals the truth about Deutsche Bank...

Aunt Crabby Calls BullshitEvery Trump financial thread pulled results in scandal The @maddow Show last night was GREAT!! I pre-ordered the book on Trump and Deutsche Bank immediately! (Source)

Charles P. PierceI’m reading the Deutsche Bank book that @maddow is talking about now. It’s an amazing saga. (Source)

Yashar Ali2. "Dark Towers," is a deeply reported book and reveals a lot about the criminality at Deutsche. The pacing and writing are excellent and I found myself pouring through the book and never getting bored. A must-read! Kudos to @davidenrich (Source)

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Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all...
Recommended by Angela Kinsey, Yashar Ali, and 2 others.

Angela Kinsey.@mindykaling I am rereading your book and cracking up. I appreciate your chapter on The Office so much more now. But all of it is fantastic. Thanks for starting my day with laughter. You know I loves ya. ❤️ (Source)

Yashar AliReminds me of one of my favorite lines from @mindykaling's book (even though I'm an early riser): “There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it.” (Source)

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Don't have time to read Yashar Ali's favorite books? Read Shortform summaries.

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

  • Being comprehensive: you learn the most important points in the book
  • Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
  • Interactive exercises: apply the book's ideas to your own life with our educators' guidance.