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Not Business Books – What Small Business Owners Are Reading

  • Posted by: Alice Bampton
  • Posted Date: August 8, 2017
  • Filed Under: Library News

Person reading in hammock

It’s still summer although Villanova’s classes will start before Labor Day. Summer reading is usually chosen for its entertainment value rather than to educate us. In early July, Joyce M.  Rosenberg, an Associated Press writer, asked eight small business owners for their recommendations for vacation reading. If you think that Rosenberg’s list is filled with dull, business-related books, you are in for a surprise.

Handmaid's Tale book coverAlthough The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) written by Margaret Atwood is now a popular TV series, it seems an unlikely choice for a small business owner. However, Serafina Palandech, co-owner of Hip Chicks Farms, a manufacturer of organic poultry products, found it beneficial because it provides a powerful feminist message.


Harry Potter resizeAnother surprising choice is the Harry Potter series series by J.K. Rowling, recommended by Paul Finch and Rayan Jawad, co-owners of the Growth Studio, a London based company. Finch says, “The three friends get taken through some pretty nasty things, but they overcome the obstacles because they’re together – when you’ve got a partnership or other people working with you, there’s a lot more strength, a lot more success.” (“Harry Potter, Abe Lincoln books on owners’ reading lists”)


The Martian bookcoverThe Martian (2011) by Andy Weir, the story of an astronaut stranded on Mars, was recommended by Vernon Tirey, CEO of LeaseQ (equipment leasing and financing), who discovered useful business advice: “Watney [the stranded astronaut] took help wherever he could find it…” (Ibid)



Fight Club book coverFight Club (1996), a novel by Chuck Palahniuk, is Zach Holmquist’s choice. Holmquist is co-owner of Teem, a company which creates administrative software. He selected Fight Club because it “makes you think about the words you choose – are they empowering or subtly disempowering?” (Ibid) Falvey also has the DVD of Fight Club.




Perhaps less surprising are the non-fiction choices: Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany by Donald L. Miller, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. These were recommended by Byran Mattimore, co-owner of The Growth Engine; Tobias Glienke, co-owner of Munk Pack; Corey Nelson, owner of 4C Global Logistics LLC; and Christine King, owner of YourBestFit. What would you recommend for summer reading?


Bookcovers from Falvey and Amazon. Photograph from

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Last Modified: August 8, 2017

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