The Real Deal New York

What they're reading now

Real estate pros share their picks for books on the Russian Revolution, journalists in war zones, and more…
By Dennis Lynch | February 01, 2018 11:00AM

Danielle Garofalo
Chief Strategy Officer, Stribling & Associates

What are you reading right now or what did you finish most recently? “A House in the Sky” by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett. The book is about Lindhout’s life, and details the 15 months [the journalist] was held captive in Somalia.

What spurred you to read that book? I love memoirs and read mostly non-fiction. A friend of mine gave it to me for Christmas and said, “This is one of the most inspiring stories you’ll ever read.” How could I not start it immediately after that recommendation?

 Has anything in the book stayed with you? The level of honesty and detail that Lindhout was able to share about her 15 months of horror is not easy to read. She is very open about her mistakes and what they cost her, but it is her reflections on love, empathy, friendship and forgiveness that have stayed with me.

Would you recommend it to others? Absolutely. I’ve gone through a range of emotions reading this book, and even though her ordeal is difficult at times to read, I couldn’t put it down.

Eric Eckardt
U.S. CEO, Purplebricks

What are you reading now? “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek.

What spurred you to read it? I first learned of Simon after watching his TED Talk a few years ago. I recently I became aware that he is going to be the keynote speaker at a conference I’m participating in, so I wanted to have a more comprehensive understanding of his approach.  

Has anything stayed with you? I thoroughly enjoyed the read and discovered commonalities across inspiring figures, as well as the parallels made with great organizations that all started with “why.” It dives beyond what your product or organization does and offers ways to discover the “why” in your organization. “Why” is the purpose of your company [that comes even] before the how and what.

Would you recommend it to others? Yes. This book can be applied across any industry and examines the purpose and mission of your company.

Emily Beare
Licensed associate real estate broker, CORE

What are you reading right now? I just read “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles.

What spurred you to read that book? I read another book by the author called “Rules of Civility” and fell in love with the writing style. With this novel, Towles manages to write a beautiful story with humor and wit that juxtaposes a time associated with ugliness and oppression. It’s historical fiction about a former aristocrat, Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, who was relegated to a non-person by the Bolsheviks due to a prank that went awry at the beginning of the Russian Revolution. He ultimately was sentenced to a life of house arrest at a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. The irony is that it’s actually a very light and optimistic story! 

Has anything in the novel stuck with you? Even in the face of adversity — when the Count was reduced to a life far away from what was once filled with opulence and glamour — he was able to still embody the genteel elegance of who he was. One quote in particular that stuck with me was, “By the smallest of one’s actions one can restore some sense of order to the world.”

Would you recommend it to others? For those who love learning about history with a twist of fascinating fictional characters, it’s an amazing story about an admirable man who maintains his character amidst a heavy point in history.