Ask The Panel: Must-Read Books

For last week’s edition of Ask the Panel, we learned about our panelists’ favorite movies. Some were foreign films hailing from places as far as Hong Kong, while others were set in the heart of Alabama. While some were classic coming-of-age flicks like The Breakfast Club and 10 Things I Hate About You, others focused on blowing stuff up or the really, really, ridiculously good looking.

This week, we want to know what books our panelists curl up to on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Without further ado, we’ll continue the series with the following question:

Which books would you recommend to all of your friends?

Jessica Althoff
Founder of Future:Standard, an online ethical clothing boutique

The best book I have ever read is A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. It is exactly that. Plus really, really funny in parts.

Doreen Bloch
CEO and founder of Poshly, an innovative digital media company working to better connect beauty brands to stylish consumers

I am an avid reader of business books. Of course, I recommend my own book The Coolest Startups in America to all my friends! It’s the first mainstream book on startups and I wrote it before launching Poshly and after having worked on Wall Street with private company stock trading. The Coolest Startups in America is a fun read and you’ll learn so much about the next cool companies to know. Second, I’m a proponent of young people learning as much as possible about personal finance. In that genre, I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi is a must. Finally, I love philosophical literature. Flatland, a math-oriented philosophy book, or The Black Swan (not the ballet – this book is written by Nassim Taleb), a philosophy-finance book, both made a deep impression on me.

Phyliss Ha Siler (read our interview with Phyliss)
Founder of Rue 7, a couture event and photography company

Lolita, Plato’s The Symposium, and Mildred Pierce.

Michael Reckstin
Music writer for Twenty Two

Jesus Land and anything by Haruki Murakami.

Jill Aiko Yee (read our interview with Jill)
Women’s wear designer

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran (we read lots of excerpts at my wedding), the Tao Te Ching (classic Chinese philosophy), Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, and The Artist’s Way (I did this exercise book years ago, and it was an eye-opener for creative productivity).

Anisa Young
Blogger for Young and Seamless

A fan of the classics, I absolutely loved The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s an amazing book that will leave you pondering your own life goals and aspirations as well as the deterioration of the great “American Dream.” Also, just for fun, you should always have a horoscopes book handy for those awkward conversation lulls and, truth be told, I might even believe in them… maybe just a little. My friends and I love The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need by Joanna Martine Woolfolk because it literally covers every aspect of astrology. We’ve spent hours upon hours going through each and every detail of the book. It’s definitely a bonding activity!

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