Celebrity Picks: Michael Ovitz's Favorite Reads of 2018

Jon Foro on January 02, 2019

225Ovitz.jpgHere are some things you could say about Michael Ovitz: He talked his way into the mailroom of the William Morris Agency without any connections, then worked his way up the ranks in record time. He left a safe job to launch Creative Artists Agency, growing it from five guys in a rundown office to the most powerful agency in the world. He’s a friend and confidant to stars such as Steven Spielberg, David Letterman, and Bill Murray. To his detractors he’s a world-class jerk and a ruthless manipulator who double-crossed his friends.

That's all true, and you still don't know much about Michael Ovitz. So who is he? Ovitz tells his whole side of the story with Who Is Michael Ovitz, a candid, wildly entertaining, and juicy tale about what really goes on in Hollywood.

You can imagine that Ovitz is busy. So what has he taken the time to read (and now write about) this year? See his picks and why he chose them below, and look here for the latest celebrity favorites. For even more recommendations, learn more about the Amazon Books Editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year.

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Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

I have always been fascinated by the concept of creativity. How does an idea turn into something we can read, see or hear?

And who better to learn about so many creative endeavors than from the master himself Leonardo da Vinci. Considered a universal genius he could paint and design technology way ahead of its time, all while making discoveries in optics, geology, anatomy and weapons and painting simultaneously.

Walter Isaacson captures all of this genius in an entertaining, yet scientific and artistic way. His book kept me turning every page and hoping that it would never end.

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Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else) by Ken Auletta

I never miss anything written by Ken Auletta. He has an extraordinary gift to take a reader into a forbidden zone and pierce the shield with a unique perspective that sheds information, understanding and clarity in the most complex corners of companies and people.

He has done it once again with Frenemies where, through real and imaginary people, doing real things, he has taken us on a journey through the inner workings, politics and practices of an area that influences all of us more than we care to admit: advertising.

In this book he uses a good friend and advertising industry expert, Michael Kassan to guide us through a changing industry landscape and touches on all parts of the industry.

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Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side by Howard Marks

When Howard Marks speaks, I listen. He has been writing papers on all things touching markets and economy for 25 years and I have yet to miss one. With Mastering the Market Cycle, we get so much more depth about an area that tends to elude all investors. I love how he makes the most complicated issues understandable for all of us amateurs.

Brilliantly written and thought out, this is a handbook for anyone who plays the markets.

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