The Real Deal New York

What they're reading now

Real estate pros share picks for books on automobiles, essentialism and the Paris Peace Conference
By Angely Mercado | May 01, 2017 11:00AM

Dennis Cusack
Downtown sales manager, Stribling & Associates

What are you reading right now, or what did you finish most recently? Ralph Nader’s book “Unsafe at Any Speed,” from 1965.

What spurred you to read that book? I love old cars and wanted to [find a car to restore] from the year I was born. So I recently bought a 1963 Chevrolet Corvair convertible. My dad was a big Chevy guy and I remember him telling me that Ralph Nader took on General Motors and killed the Corvair. Turns out, Chapter 1 is the only part of the book about the Corvair. The chapter, which is aptly titled “The Sporty Corvair — The One-Car Accident,” details the car’s inherent design flaw: The rear wheels can come off the ground on sharp turns, causing the car to flip. By the time Nader’s book came out, GM redesigned the suspension, fixing the issue, but the damage done by the book killed sales and they ceased production of the Corvair in 1965. 

Has anything you read in it stuck with you? The more things change, the more they stay the same. Cars are far more technologically advanced, but the manufacturers continue to overlook flaws to save money. Oh, and don’t go fast into turns in a Corvair.

Would you recommend it to others? Not unless they are complete car freaks, own a Corvair or are members of the Green Party.

Douglas Heddings
Executive vice president of sales, CORE

What are you reading right now, or what did you finish most recently? I just returned from a family vacation where I read Greg McKeown’s “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.”

What spurred you to read it? Shaun Osher, our founder and chief executive officer, recently read the book and recommended it. As the director of sales, I’m often pulled in so many directions that at the end of a day I lack any real sense of accomplishment. The “doing less but better” mantra in this book appealed to me.

Has anything you read in it stuck with you? The book lays out a roadmap of how to eliminate the noise from your life, both business and personal, in an effort to have a more meaningful and mindful existence.

Would you recommend it to others? I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who has felt stretched too thinly. I have already begun to implement strategies from the book that have helped me focus on the task at hand, whether it’s a project that needs my attention at the office or a meaningful father-daughter conversation during an evening ride to soccer practice.

Trish Martin
Brooklyn managing director of sales, Halstead Property

What are you reading right now, or what did you finish most recently? I recently finished Margaret MacMillan’s “Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World.”

What spurred you to read it? This book resonated with me on many levels. I’ve always had a voracious appetite for political history.

Has anything you read in it stuck with you? Indeed. It amazes me that such a small group of men could so easily rework the map of the world in order to create new nations and change the footprint for others and, more so, have the citizens comply. I find it fascinating that these new nations and borders are still relevant to today’s world.

Would you recommend it to others? Absolutely. This is an excellent read.