Reading List

A group of close advisors to the Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate has helped assemble a mix of books covering important topics, written by good authors that are easy and fun to read, and for the most part were recently published (as so much has happened over the last decade in financial services, technology, etc. that older books might be classics but not as relevant in today's world). 

The list covers five (5) categories that are relevant to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students seeking internships and full-time jobs in real estate.

Note: hardcopy and e-book versions are available where noted. Students can contact the Mahaffey Business Library at with any questions.

A summary PDF listing of the books can be downloaded here.


  • The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions . . . and Created Plenty of Controversy

    Leigh Gallagher

    This is the remarkable behind-the-scenes story of the creation and growth of Airbnb, the online lodging platform that is now the largest provider of accommodations in the world. At first just the wacky idea of cofounders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb has become indispensable to millions of hosts and travelers around the world. Fortune editor Leigh Gallagher presents a nuanced, in-depth look at the Airbnb phenomenon—the successes and controversies alike—and takes us behind the scenes as the company’s CEO steers into increasingly uncharted waters.

  • Am I Being Too Subtle? Straight Talk from a Business Rebel

    Sam Zell

    The traits that make Sam Zell one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs also make him one of the most surprising, enigmatic, and entertaining mavericks in American business.

  • Autonomy: The Quest to Build the Driverless Car—And How It Will Reshape Our World

    Lawrence D. Burns with Christopher Shulgan

    An automotive and tech world insider investigates the quest to develop and perfect the driverless car—an innovation that promises to be the most disruptive change to our way of life since the smartphone.

  • Better Places, Better Lives: A Biography of James Rouse

    Joshua Olsen

    The life and achievements of a revolutionary urban planner and visionary developer. A visionary developer and master planner, James Rouse was a key figure in the story of how and why the United States was built the way it was during the last half century. This engaging biography touches upon all aspects of Rouse's life.

  • The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine

    Michael Lewis

    The author examines the causes of the U.S. stock market crash of 2008 and its relation to overpriced real estate, bad mortgages, shareholder demand for excessive profits, and the growth of toxic derivatives.

  • Bloomberg by Bloomberg, Revised and Updated

    Michael R. Bloomberg

    Bloomberg by Bloomberg offers an intimate look at the creative mind and driven personality behind the Bloomberg brand. He describes in vivid detail his early Wall Street career, both the victories and frustrations, including a personal account of what it was like to be fired and given $10 million on the same day. He combines personal stories with penetrating insights into business and technology, while also offering lessons from his unique approach to management. There is no one in business or politics quite like him—or who has had more success in both areas.

  • Bubble or Revolution: The Present and Future of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

    Neel Mehta, Adi Agashe, and Parth Detroja

    Some experts say that cryptocurrencies and blockchains are just a scam; others say they're "the most important invention since the internet." It's hard to tell who's right. Authored by Product Managers from Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, Bubble or Revolution cuts through the hype to offer a balanced, comprehensive, and accessible analysis of blockchains and cryptocurrencies.

  • Charter of the New Urbanism, Second Edition

    Congress for the New Urbanism and Emily Talen

    The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is the leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities, and healthier living conditions. Thoroughly updated to cover the latest environmental, economic, and social implications of urban design, Charter of the New Urbanism, Second Edition, offers insightful writing on its principles from 62 authors on how to restore urban centers, reconfigure sprawling suburbs, conserve environmental assets, and preserve our built legacy. This practical, up-to-date resource is invaluable for design professionals, developers, planners, elected officials, and citizen activists.

  • Crash of the Titans: Greed, Hubris, the Fall of Merrill Lynch and the Near-Collapse of Bank of America

    Greg Farrell

    The intimate, fly-on-the wall tale of the decline and fall of an America icon: Merrill Lynch

  • The Death and Life of Great American Cities

    Jane Jacobs

    The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as “perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning. . . .” Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. In Death and Life, she writes about what makes streets safe or unsafe; about what constitutes a neighborhood and what function it serves within the larger organism of the city; about why some neighborhoods remain impoverished while others regenerate themselves; and the dangers of too much development money and too little diversity.

  • Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

    Ashlee Vance

    In the spirit of Steve Jobs and Moneyball, Elon Musk is both an illuminating and authorized look at the extraordinary life of one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting, unpredictable, and ambitious entrepreneurs—a real-life Tony Stark—and a fascinating exploration of the renewal of American invention and its new “makers.”

  • The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

    Brad Stone

    The definitive story of, one of the most successful companies in the world, and of its driven, brilliant founder, Jeff Bezos.

  • Firefighting: The Financial Crisis and its Lessons

    Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner, and Henry Paulson, Jr   

    From the three primary architects of the American policy response to the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression, a magnificent big-picture synthesis–from why it happened to where we are now.

  • Form Follows Finance: Skyscrapers and Skylines of New York and Chicago

    Carol Willis

    Willis shows how market formulas produced characteristic forms in each city—"vernaculars of capitalism"—that resulted from local land-use patterns, municipal codes, and zoning. Refuting some common cliches of skyscraper history such as the equation of big buildings with big business and the idea of a "corporate skyline," Willis emphasizes the importance of speculative development and the impact of real-estate cycles on the forms of buildings and on their spatial distribution. Form Follows Finance cautions that the city must be understood as a complex commercial environment where buildings are themselves businesses, space is a commodity, and location and image have value.

  • The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google

    Scott Galloway

    In the same irreverent style that has made him one of the world’s most celebrated business professors, Galloway deconstructs the strategies of the Four—Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google—that lurk beneath their shiny veneers. He shows how they manipulate the fundamental emotional needs that have driven us since our ancestors lived in caves, at a speed and scope others can’t match. And he reveals how you can apply the lessons of their ascent to your own business or career.

  • Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity

    Joseph G. Allen and John D. Macomber

    The Director of Harvard’s Healthy Buildings Program and Harvard Business School’s leading expert on urban resilience reveal what you can do to harness the power of your offices and homes to protect your health―and boost every aspect of your performance and well-being. Grounded in exposure and risk science and relevant to anyone newly concerned about how their surroundings impact their health, Healthy Buildings can help you evaluate the impact of small, easily controllable environmental fluctuations on your immediate well-being and long-term reproductive and lung health. It shows how our indoor environment can have a dramatic impact on a whole host of higher order cognitive functions―including things like concentration, strategic thinking, troubleshooting, and decision-making.

  • How Google Works

    Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg

    Seasoned Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg provide an insider’s guide to Google, from its business history and disruptive corporate strategy to developing a new management philosophy and creating a corporate culture where innovation and creativity thrive.

  • The Inside Track to Careers in Real Estate

    Stan Ross with James Carberry

    Essential reading on high-paying, professional opportunities in the commercial real estate industry. Addressing the lucrative real estate industry, this book helps determine whether a career in real estate is the right choice and reveals how to get started in the field.

  • The Intelligent REIT Investor: How to Build Wealth with Real Estate Investment Trusts

    Stephanie Krewson-Kelly and R. Brad Thomas

    The Intelligent REIT Investor is the definitive guide to real estate investment trusts, providing a clear, concise resource for individual investors, financial planners, and analysts—anyone who prioritizes dividend income and risk management as major components to wealth-building.

  • Last Harvest: From Cornfield to New Town: Real Estate Development from George Washington to the Builders of the Twenty-First Century, and Why We Live in Houses Anyway

    Witold Rybczynski

    When Witold Rybczynski first heard about New Daleville, it was only a developer's idea, attached to ninety acres of cornfield an hour and a half west of Philadelphia. Over the course of five years, Rybczynski met and talked to everyone involved in the building of this residential subdivision -- from the developers to the township leaders, whose approval they needed, to the home builders and engineers and, ultimately, the first families who moved in.

  • The Liar's Ball: The Extraordinary Saga of How One Building Broke the World's Toughest Tycoons

    Vicky Ward

    Vanity Fair contributing editor Vicky Ward skillfully paints the often scandalous picture of the giants who owned the New York skyline until their empires came crumbling down in the 2008 financial crisis. Based on more than 200 interviews with real estate moguls like Donald Trump, William Zeckendorf, Mort Zuckerman, and David Simon, Liar's Ball is the never-before-told story of the egomaniacal elites of New York City.

  • A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market

    Edward O. Thorp

    The incredible true story of the card-counting mathematics professor who taught the world how to beat the dealer and, as the first of the great quantitative investors, ushered in a revolution on Wall Street.

  • The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simmons Launched the Quant Revolution

    Gregory Zuckerman

    The unbelievable story of a secretive mathematician—Jim Simons—who pioneered the era of the algorithm–and made $23 billion doing it. Drawing on unprecedented access to Simons and dozens of current and former employees, Zuckerman, a veteran Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, tells the gripping story of how a world-class mathematician and former code breaker mastered the market.

  • Other People’s Money: Inside the Demise of the Greatest Real Estate Deal Ever Made

    Charles Bagli

    A veteran New York Times reporter dissects the most spectacular failure in real estate history. Real estate giant Tishman Speyer and its partner, BlackRock, lost billions of dollars when their much-vaunted purchase of Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village in New York City failed to deliver the expected profits. But how did Tishman Speyer walk away from the deal unscathed, while others took the financial hit—and MetLife scored a $3 billion profit?

  • The Plaza: The Secret Life of America’s Most Famous Hotel

    Julie Satow

    Journalist Julie Satow's thrilling, unforgettable history of how one illustrious hotel has defined our understanding of money and glamour, from the Gilded Age to the Go-Go Eighties to today's Billionaire Row.

  • Principles: Life and Work

    Ray Dalio

    In Principles, Dalio shares what he’s learned over the course of his remarkable career. He argues that life, management, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules and understood like machines. The book’s hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency,” include Dalio laying out the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams.
  • Raising the Bar: Life and Work of Gerald D. Hines

    Mark Seal 

    Gerald D. Hines stands at the top of the international real estate investment and development world. Raising the Bar: The Life and Work of Gerald D. Hines tracks one man’s incredible rise, from building small office/warehouses to manifesting Houston icons like The Galleria, One Shell Plaza, and Pennzoil Place to cultivating the national and then global expansion of his company.
  • Real Estate Titans: 7 Key Lessons from the World’s Top Real Estate Investors

    Erez Cohen

    In Real Estate Titans, Erez Cohen shares the advice and learnings of the world's leading real estate experts to create a guide for becoming a savvier real estate player. Real Estate Titans contains the 7 key lessons distilled from interviews with several of the world’s greatest real estate investors and offers compelling stories and lessons show why real estate is such a wonderful and important business, and it also offers a roadmap for becoming a world class real estate player.
  • The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

    Robert Iger    

    A memoir of leadership and success: The executive chairman of Disney, Time’s 2019 businessperson of the year, shares the ideas and values he embraced during his fifteen years as CEO while reinventing one of the world’s most beloved companies and inspiring the people who bring the magic to life.

  • S&L Hell: The People and the Politics Behind the $1 Trillion Savings and Loan Scandal

    Kathleen Day

    A Washington Post correspondent's detailed account of the 1980s and 1990s Savings and Loans (S&L) mortgage loan crisis with "damningly documented perspectives" of the players involved (from deregulation, speculation, corruption, fraud, and politics) that cost taxpayers between $130-160 billion.

  • Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crisis

    Timothy F. Geithner

    From the former Treasury Secretary, the definitive account of the unprecedented effort to save the U.S. economy from collapse in the wake of the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression.

  • Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream

    Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck

    For a decade, Suburban Nation has given voice to a growing movement in North America to put an end to suburban sprawl and replace the last century's automobile-based settlement patterns with a return to more traditional planning. Founders of the Congress for the New Urbanism, Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk are at the forefront of the movement, and even their critics, such as Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard, recognized that "Suburban Nation is likely to become this movement's bible." A lively lament about the failures of postwar planning, this is also that rare book that offers solutions.

  • That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea

    Marc Randolph

    In the tradition of Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog comes the incredible untold story of how Netflix went from concept to company-all revealed by co-founder and first CEO Marc Randolph.

  • Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System and Themselves

    Andrew Ross Sorkin

    Presents a moment-by-moment account of the recent financial collapse that documents state efforts to prevent an economic disaster, offering insight into the pivotal consequences of decisions made throughout the past decade.

  • Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier

    Edward Glaeser

    In this revelatory book, Edward Glaeser, a leading urban economist, declares that cities are actually the healthiest, greenest, and richest (in both cultural and economic terms) places to live. He travels through history and around the globe to reveal the hidden workings of cities and how they bring out the best in humankind.

  • The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World

    Brad Stone

    The Upstarts is the definitive story of two new titans of business and a dawning age of tenacity, conflict and wealth. In Brad Stone’s riveting account of the most radical companies of the new Silicon Valley, we discover how it all happened and what it took to change the world.

  • What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence

    Steven A. Schwarzman 

    From Blackstone chairman, CEO, and co-founder Stephen A. Schwarzman, a long-awaited book that uses impactful episodes from Schwarzman's life to show readers how to build, transform, and lead thriving organizations. Whether you are a student, entrepreneur, philanthropist, executive, or simply someone looking for ways to maximize your potential, the same lessons apply.

  • Why Wall Street Matters

    William D. Cohan

    A timely, counterintuitive defense of Wall Street and the big banks as the invisible—albeit flawed—engines that power our ideas, and should be made to work better for all of us

  • Zeckendorf: The autobiograpy of the man who played a real-life game of Monopoly and won the largest real estate empire in history

    William Zeckendorf

    What made Mr. Zeckendorf special was his love of making blockbuster development deals such as the site acquisition for the United Nations, Roosevelt Field Mall, virtually all of Wall Street, Place Ville Marie, Century City, Society Hill to name a few. Bill Zeckendorf was truly a pioneer in real estate finance. His innovation and understanding of complex capital structure enabled him to make deals that others could not (e.g. The Hawaiian Technique). He also knew that great design sells itself. Why else have I.M. Pei and Harry Cobb, two of the world’s most talented architects, on staff?