"The Liar's Ball" by Vicky Ward

Brian Gongol

One-paragraph review: A surprisingly entertaining book about the "life" of the General Motors Building, a large office tower just off Central Park in New York City. The building has a complex history of ownership, including periods in the hands of real-estate cowboys and promoters like Donald Trump. The book takes its title from the name of an annual event celebrating the real-estate titans of New York City, and a reading of the book offers a very good idea why the name is so appropriate.

Verdict: You won't emerge with a better opinion of high-flying real-estate developers, but it's a great look into their world.