Michael Lewis—whose former life as a bond salesman for Salomon Brothers famously inspired him to publish his first book, Liar’s Poker—has said that he never imagined he’d be a writer. Yet he’s had a career most writers imagine but rarely achieve, from magazine journalism to best-selling books such as Moneyball, The Blind Side, and The Big Short.
Most recently, like the rest of the world, Lewis shifted his focus to the pandemic. Doing what he does best, he unearthed the compelling untold story of a group of medical visionaries who could have helped stop the pandemic’s ugly spread. The result, The Premonition, which releases in paperback next week, is as much nonfiction thriller as it is a cautionary tale. Though Lewis claims books will always be his true love, he has flexed his muscles in the podcasting sphere too; the third season of Against the Rules, also releasing next week, will focus on what he calls “America’s expert problem.”
Here, Lewis answers our Take Five questionnaire, sharing the movie he’s just finished watching, the book he’s loving, the podcast he’s listening to when not working on his own, and more. —Julia Vitale
The Movie He’s Seeing
Sing 2. Watched it this week with my son. I do not fully understand why anyone would have a harsh word to say about this movie. It is trying to do nothing but give pleasure. And it led to the first conversation I have ever had—with my 15-year-old son—about inter-species relationships. We both agreed that one of the great strengths of the movie was that it didn’t even pretend to care about character development.
The Book He’s Reading
The Yellow House. Just started, so I don’t have much to say yet except a) I love seeing my hometown of New Orleans from different points of view, and b) Sarah Broom can write.
The Series He’s Watching
I need a new one. The last one I binged was Ted Lasso. It was balm for my soul.
The Podcast He’s Listening To
The Just Enough Family. I admire Ariel Levy for talking her way into the Steinberg family, and I admire the Steinberg family for allowing her to talk her way into it. There are lots of life lessons in this, most of them between the lines. When historians a thousand years from now look back on our culture, they will be amazed by the many ways that we allowed our prosperity to create unhappiness.
The Thing He’s Trying to Kick
My dog. Not the dog himself. My attitude towards him. For years I have viewed him with gentle condescension. He’s clearly not bright, and basically untrainable. So far as I can tell he has never learned anything—after eight years he still treats every member of our family, each time we walk through the front door, as a burglar intent on violence. Roughly one million times he has been forced to apologize, in the way dogs do, after more or less attacking us when we enter our own home. But he has his virtues! I’m working very hard at thinking more highly of him. Because, for better or worse, he’s my dog.
Michael Lewis is the author of several books, including Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, The Blind Side, and The Big Short. His most recent book, The Premonition: A Pandemic Story, will publish in paperback on April 5, the same day that the third season of his podcast, Against the Rules, debuts