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Ad Age

May 25, 2020

By Ad Age Staff

We asked 21 industry heavyweights what books are on their lists

Val DiFebo, CEO, Deutsch New York

On my summer reads list is Michael Pollan’s “A Place of My Own.” Who can’t relate to the romance of building something on your own, built to your specific whims and delights? As a fan of Pollan and a DIY-er at heart, the idea of building something tangible really beckons to me. 

Anders Wahlquist, CEO, B-Reel

I’ll be reading “The Razor’s Edge” by Maugham, like I do every summer. 

Sasha Martens, industry recruiter and president, Sasha the Mensch

I can’t be alone in starting and stopping many books during quarantine. Each time I’ve found it difficult to concentrate, but for the time being I’m reading Upton Sinclair’s “The Brass Check.”

Alanna Lynch, CEO, Fake Love

Ever since The New Yorker published its 2018 piece on Ottessa Moshfegh, I’ve been dying to read “My Year of Rest and Relaxation.” The New Yorker described Moshfeg as “easily the most interesting contemporary American writer on the subject of being alive when being alive feels terrible.” 

Adam Wohl, executive creative director, Sterling-Rice Group 

I’ve been reading Chris Pavone—“The Expats,” “The Accident,” “The Travelers” and “The Paris Diversion.” Fun, James Bond- or Jack Ryan-like action and intrigue in European locales I love, and not such sophisticated writing that it’s accessible for an idiot like me.

Chad Issaq, exec VP business development  and partnerships, Superfly

“The Jordan Rules” by Sam Smith—can’t get enough after watching “The Last Dance” documentary.

Craig Dubitsky, CEO, hello Products (acquired earlier this year by Colgate-Palmolive Co.)

My summer book list consists of: “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss (next to me at my desk, at the ready as always); “Logo Modernism” by Jens Muller and Julius Wiedermann; “It’s All in Your Head” by Keith Blanchard; “Orbiting the Giant Hairball” by Gordon MacKenzie; and my old Moleskins, just to see what the heck I was thinking all those years ago.

Jaime Robinson, co-founder and chief creative officer, Joan

I’m a reader of trash novels. Trashy trash trash. I’ll re-read the “Interview With a Vampire” novels. And I’m going to write as much as I can.

Elijah Schneider, CEO, Modifly

“Return on Courage” by Ryan Berman and “The Soulful Art of Persuasion” by Jason Harris.

Ruth Bernstein, CEO and co-founder, Yard NYC

“Becoming Supernatural” by Dr. Joe Dispenza. If we can’t actually go surfing, you might as well learn how to astral surf. 

Chris Breen, chief creative officer, Chemistry

I plan to read Barack Obama’s memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” with the hopes of finishing it before his new memoir is released in the fall.  

John Caruso, co-founder, partner and chief creative officer,  MCD Partners

I’ve started “Grown-Up Anger: The Connected Mysteries of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and the Calumet Massacre of 1913.”  I learned about it by asking Little Stevie on Twitter what he was reading, but haven’t gotten to the connected part yet; I am too busy fixing the WiFi connection for my kids. 

Sarah Pine, director, account services, Glow

I’m currently reading “Pieces of Her” by Karin Slaughter. It’s a fast read thriller and is keeping me entertained in quarantine. 

Rafael Rizuto, chief creative officer, BBH New York

I am obsessed with biographies. Most recently I’ve read “Acid for the Children,” a beautiful memoir by the Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea. I am planning to finish Howard Stern’s autobiography “Howard Stern Comes Again” and the three remaining books from Bernard Cornwell’s “Saxon Tales 13” books saga. 

Hermeti Balarin, partner, Mother London

“Kafka on the Shore” by Haruki Murakami. The book is about a 15-year-old running away from home to start afresh somewhere new.
Perfect escapism when we find ourselves locked in our homes.

Jim Misener, principal and president, 50,000feet 

I’ve been reading nonstop since March, and I hope that the habit will continue. There are so many books on my list and in my stack that I have been working my way through. “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng burns especially bright.

Evan Slater, chief creative, Caveat

At the moment I’m cruising through Tim Maleeny’s “Boxing the Octopus.” He’s an old friend, and the president of Havas. A lot of people don’t know that he is also a best-selling mystery novelist.

Pancho Cassis, Global chief creative officer, David

I hope I’ll read Robert Iger’s “The Ride of a Lifetime” and a compilation of John Cheever’s best stories.

Brian Salzman, founder & CEO, RQ

“Herd: How to Change Mass Behaviour by Harnessing Our True Nature” by Mark Earls.

Stephanie Nadi Olson, founder, We Are Rosie

I’m looking forward to digging into “Untamed,” by Glennon Doyle Melton.

Susan Vobejda, chief marketing officer, The Trade Desk

I’ve been re-reading “Shoe Dog” by Nike co-founder Phil Knight to remind myself of the power of a brand and what marketing can do to help brands grow. It also goes perfectly with watching ‘The Last Dance.’”