The Real Deal New York

What they're reading now

Real estate pros share their picks for books on the Trump administration, surmounting Everest, and more…
March 01, 2018 10:00AM

Michael Shapot
Licensed real estate broker, Keller Williams NYC

What are you currently reading or what did you finish most recently? I’m currently reading “Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House” by Michael Wolff.

What spurred you to read it? Oh, to be a fly on the wall inside the dysfunctional Trump White House. Everyone is talking about the book, and I thought it would be a quick and easy read. It is!

Has anything in the book stayed with you? The details are shocking — the different factions, personalities, egos, arrogance and the stories behind the stories. Even if only 25 percent of the vignettes are true — and I personally believe that it is closer to 80 percent — we are in trouble as a country. One thing I found especially interesting is that the president takes many “working holidays” where he plays golf and dines with colleagues and associates. Clearly, President Trump understands that significant business gets done in these situations. Yet, the new tax law no longer permits the cost of these expenses to be deductible as business expenses. 

Andrea Saturno-Sanjana
Licensed associate real estate broker, Citi Habitats

What are you reading now? “Reputation: What It Is and Why It Matters” by Gloria Origgi (translated by Stephen Holmes and Noga Arikha).

What spurred you to read it? A favorite client of mine gave the book to me as a gift, so I had to read it right away.

Has anything stayed with you? Origgi’s book talks about how our reputation becomes a part of our personality, and how the growth of the internet can now make or break a reputation at lightning speed. While the internet has a large quantity of information, we cannot possibly read everything ourselves. So, we need to trust other people to rank that information for us. For Origgi, the internet is a “reputational device” because the mere ranking of a thing as higher than something else can enhance its reputation.

Would you recommend it to others? Absolutely. Origgi uses exam- ples from literature, economics and psy- chology to bring this book of philosophy into the real world. One fascinating example of the power of reputation at work is attorney Robert Parker, who became known as the world’s “most powerful wine critic.” Origgi provides fascinating insight on how his opinion came to be considered more valuable than those of wine experts with years of formal training.

Andrew Cohen
Director, BRP Development

What are you reading now? “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer.

What spurred you to read it? I stumbled upon the 2015 movie “Everest” on Netflix, and [then] I discovered it was [the same expedition as the one in] Krakauer’s book, which is a true story about a particularly devastating Everest climbing season. My wife and I recently purchased a house near state parks. We’ve been trying to get our family into hiking, which spurred an interest in the book.

Has anything in the book stayed with you? People put their heart and soul into summiting Everest, but their efforts don’t necessarily determine success. The climbers are relying on both their teammates and competing expeditions in order to succeed. They spend years training and months acclimating, but ultimately, making it to the summit is relatively out of their control. The window for summiting is so small that bad weather, or mistakes by other climbers, can literally kill you.

Would you recommend it? Totally. It’s a page-turner.