Industry bookworms share their favorite reads


Looking for a good read over the holiday break? We polled industry executives to see what was on their nightstands. Here’s what they shared:

“I just finished Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain and started The House of Gucci by Sara Gay Forden,” said Paul Thompson, who works in product development and design for key accounts at Global Views. “People and their influences on pop culture always interest me.”

Michelle Gee, president of Napa Home & Garden, is in between a few books: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. “Both are fun books that have nothing to do with business or home decor! Basically, I’m always about six months behind my book clubs…”

“Right now I’m enjoying Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty,” said Lauren Brekke, vice president of merchandise, Mud Pie. “I just started it but am already very invested in the dysfunctional family premise! It’s a really juicy read.”

“My nightstand is currently stacked with new (to me) reading material: Renegades Born in the USA (Obama and Springsteen), The President’s Daughter (Clinton and Paterson), In the Garden of Beasts (Erik Larson),” said Alan Buff, marketing and sales executive for Pampa Bay.

Pamela Cain, president of Chelsea House, said she usually has two books going at once. “I normally read a fiction and non-fiction book at the same time so I can switch back and forth depending on my mood,” she said. “Right now it’s The Personal Librarian and rereading Atomic Habits.”

“The three books on my bedside table right now are: A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin, A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris and Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior by Judith Martin,” said Steffan Craig, director of sales and marketing for Pendalux.

Angela Schmook, vice president of sales and marketing, RoadRunners LLC, is reading Take it Back by Kia Abdullah. “It’s an intense courtroom drama that explores racial and gender conflicts, family and duty. The reader is on the jury to decide who to believe — the victim or the defendants.”

Green Lights by Matthew McConaughey is a great read during this time,” said Dôme Deco U.S. CEO Sangeeta Gupta. “It is a fun book where he shares experiences through the analogy of green light/red light. How every difficult situation turns into a green light eventually. A highly relevant message for me as it so happened that my launch of Dôme Deco in the U.S. was followed shortly thereafter with the arrival of COVID. Which was one heck of a red light, but it is now green light all of the way.”


And here are some other suggestions:

On Mental Toughness/ Harvard Business Review (David Pamer, CEO, Elk Home)

Paul McCartney’s Lyrics (David Zrike, President, The Zrike Company)

Making Music by Ableton (David Lee, director of business development, Crestview Collection)

Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci (Pamela Burke, global sales director, Blue Pheasant)

Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (Paula Sansone, Rolf Glass)

How to Win Friends & Influence People (Vinamra Laddha, owner and chief operating officer, LR Home)


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