What they're reading now

Real estate pros share their picks for books on the “machine age,” veganism and the Met’s last World Series win
By Danielle Balbi | October 01, 2017 01:00PM

Arie Barendrecht
Founder and CEO, WiredScore

What are you reading right now, or what did you finish most recently? “The Second Machine Age” by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee.

What spurred you to read that book? My company lives at the intersection of the digital and physical worlds — WiredScore certifies commercial buildings, their infrastructure, connectivity and technological capacity — so the book was definitely in my wheelhouse.

Has anything you read in the book stuck with you? Other books dwell on the woes caused by technological displacement and unemployment. This one instead takes the “yes, and” approach of improvisational comedy. As humans, what we do with technology is in our hands.

Would you recommend it to others? Definitely, because the authors are so optimistic about the benefits of technology for humanity. The authors note that the challenge now is that
much of technology’s benefits are not captured in statistical data, like gross domestic product, because they are absolutely free.

Eric Margules
President and CEO, Margules Properties

What are you reading right now? “The Happy Vegan” by Russell Simmons.

What spurred you to read that book?  I recently became a vegan for health, humane and environmental reasons. My daughter had become one before me and turned me onto the idea. Since watching the documentary “What the Health,” I have become very aware of the impact that eating animals and animal products has on my body, mind and the world. 

Has anything you read in it stuck with you? I feel strongly that veganism drastically reduces the risk of certain cancers and effectively cures diabetes, heart disease and obesity. And I am against the mistreatment of animals that are raised as food, or used for milk, cheese and eggs. Lastly, I always try to reduce my carbon footprint. Farming animals has a devastating effect on our environment because of the vast resources used and the lasting pollution effects from runoff.

Matt Engel
President, Langsam Property Services; Community Housing Improvement Program

What are you reading now? “Game 7, 1986: Failure and Triumph in the Biggest Game of My Life” by Ron Darling and Daniel Paisner.

What spurred you to read it? As a lifelong Mets fan — and one who was fortunate enough to attend Game 7, 1986, as a nine-year-old — I jump at the chance to read anything about my larger-than-life childhood heroes.

Has anything stuck out to you? Darling reviews his incredible 1986 season, which culminated in his terrible performance in Game 7 of the World Series. He reflects on his preparation, lack of focus and how he allowed his opponents to get the mental edge on him. After his team wins the World Series, he comes to terms with his own disappointing final performance.

Would you recommend it to others? Mets fan or not, the lessons that Darling evaluates transcend sports and can be easily apply to how we approach our own careers and the deals we pursue.