7 BEACH READS WITH ZERO GUILT

Prominent readers on important books to bring you through the end of summer.

By Arianne Cohen

PHOTOGRAPH BY 731

MATTHIAS KURWIG

Chief executive officer, Enervee

“I was 22 when I found Neuromancer at a book store in Palo Alto. It’s still one of the best sources for understanding what the Web, mobile, and social media mean for society and mankind. It described to me the world that will eventually become our reality.”

JENNIFER OLSEN

Chief marketing officer, Crate & Barrel

“My daily commute from Chicago to our headquarters in Northbrook, Ill., is my time to recharge. Listening to a book like The Alchemist inspires me: Its powerful narrative is a reminder to follow your dreams and learn from every experience. The narration by Jeremy Irons makes it even more magical.”

WENDELL LANSFORD

CEO and co-founder, Offerpop

“The disruptions we see happening in so many industries today are a direct result of the principles laid out in this book. It’s a good general interest read because as consumers, we increasingly live and breathe technology. The lessons in this book impact our broader culture.”

CHERYL STRAYED

Author of Wild

“I heard, rather than read, this memoir the summer I was 14, eagerly awaiting the daily installment of Dick Estell’s show, The Radio Reader, and then listening to Heat-Moon’s story. Blue Highways is a book full of everything one should be full of: beauty, humor, intelligence, humility, and heart.”

AMI DAR

Founder and executive director, Idealist.org

“The book is nominally about how crowds and mobs form and operate, but it’s really a distillation of 20 years of thinking and writing about human nature by a truly brilliant mind. I read it in 1985, and decades later I still remember entire sections. It’s one of the few books that will make you a better person.”

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN

Author of Too Big to Fail and New York Times financial columnist

“This book could easily pass for a narrative of the current machinations on Wall Street. Its brilliance is that Stewart puts you inside the room to see the fascinating investigation into Ivan Boesky, the arbitrageur, and the legendary Michael Milken. It would make great fiction, but it’s all true.”

CRAIG WALKER

Founder and CEO, UberConference

“Roosevelt’s words apply to the business world today: ‘The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.’ It’s been inspiring to better understand how Roosevelt, a sickly child, faced life’s difficulties and overcame them.”

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