The Real Deal New York

What they’re reading now

Real estate pros share picks for books on the Holocaust, love and duty and the world of longshoremen
January 01, 2016 12:00PM

booksAaron Jungreis
President, Rosewood Realty Group

What are you reading right now?

I am currently reading “Hitler’s Willing Executioners” by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.

What spurred you to read that book?

I am a student of the Holocaust and have read more than a dozen books on the topic, which hits very close to home for me.  My father’s parents and siblings all survived the Holocaust and made it out of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. My mother’s parents are also survivors, and my grandmother, Rose, survived by hiding in a chimney when the German soldiers came for them. My company, Rosewood Realty, is named after her.

Has anything you read in it stuck with you? Would you recommend it to others?

The book shows how ordinary human beings get caught up in mass anti-Semitism and are complicit in the Holocaust by turning a blind eye. I’m recommending it because sadly I see the same thing going on today. There is mass anti-Semitism masquerading itself as anti-Israel and anti-Zionist sentiments and there has to be more awareness of what is truly going on. Also, there is a tremendous amount of anti-Christian activity in the Middle East, from church burnings and forced conversion to the slaughtering of Christians. No one is speaking up on their behalf.

Royce Pinkwater
CEO, Pinkwater Select

What are you reading right now?

I am currently reading “Washington Square,” written by Henry James in 1880. Love and heartbreak weave throughout the book.

What spurred you to read that book?

I love reading historical novels, as you learn what happened long ago through the eyes of the characters, sometimes with far more detail and accuracy than a history book. New York takes on a key role in the story, as the characters live in the affluent society of our city at the time. The grand homes are an important backdrop. The fascinating thing is that the most coveted property in New York in 1880 is still the most sought-after now.

Has anything you read in it stuck with you? Would you recommend it to others?

For those who love great writing, you cannot do better than Henry James. What sticks with me is the vividness of the descriptions; you feel you are right there with the characters, walking in their homes, driving their carriages. The other is that the issues of life do not change. Fathers and daughters, love and emotional conflicts are the same today as then.

Gregg Winter
Managing Partner, W Financial

What are you reading right now?

I am currently reading Arthur Miller’s brilliant play “A View From the Bridge,”  a tale about corruption and betrayal.  The bridge is the Brooklyn Bridge, and the setting is the world of longshoremen in Red Hook.

What spurred you to read that book?

Seeing the excellent production of Arthur Miller’s second play, “All My Sons,” with a great cast this summer at Guild Hall in East Hampton reminded me of why Miller is considered by many to be America’s greatest playwright. I also recently saw the mind-blowing Broadway production of “A View From the Bridge” directed by Ivo van Hove. I wanted to savor Miller’s language at a slower pace and bought a copy of the script.

Has anything you read in it stuck with you? Would you recommend it to others?

It sticks with you the same way Macbeth sticks with you: You want to stop the inevitable train wreck unfolding in front of you, but you can’t. It’s a great, short read  with a lifetime’s worth of intense emotion and conflict. I would suggest reading it before going to see the play. Go soon because it’s a short run!