Reading is an amazing hobby that provides knowledge and also stretches the reader’s imagination. As New York Times Bestselling author Kristin Harmel wrote, “If you give a person a book, you give him the world.” Since reading has been one of my favorite hobbies for as long as I can remember, I love to learn about new authors and share my faves with others.
To quote Caroline Derlatka, “For you unlock magic that is hidden within, and opening the cover is how you begin. Oh, all the worlds and the places you'll see; when you hold a book, you hold the key.”
This leads to my announcement of this year’s “Fall Back to Reading Series,” which will feature two dozen leadership and marketing experts, most have previously appeared here on my blog. I have asked these experts the five questions below, and since I’ve asked them, I decided to provide my answers to kick off the series. I hope this series will introduce you to some authors and books you may not know as well as provide the impetus to read more. Enjoy!
QUESTION: Which three business books have made the biggest impact on your career?
DEBBIE LASKEY: It’s hard to choose three, but here they are:
 BUILT TO LAST by Jim Collins
 MANAGING BRAND EQUITY by David A. Aaker
 IN SEARCH OF EXCELLENCE by Thomas J. Peters
These were the three stand-out books during my years in grad school when I developed my passion for brand marketing.
QUESTION: Who is your favorite author, and why?
DEBBIE LASKEY: There are too many to mention, so instead, I’m going to share my five fave books plus genre:
 MR MISTOFFELEES by T.S. Eliot (the poetry that inspired CATS the musical)
 THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO by Alexandre Dumas (an epic tale of courage, survival, and revenge)
 SARAH’S KEY by Tatiana de Rosnay (an unforgettable story of hope in a hopeless time of war combined with a modern-day twist)
 THE WEDDING by Nicholas Sparks (a timeless tale of love lost, rediscovered, and renewed)
 THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING by Kristin Harmel (a gripping tale of family memories that merge the past with the present)
 And because my first career was in law and I always enjoy legal thrillers, anything by John Grisham!
QUESTION: What book did you read in high school or college that, to this day, you still remember vividly, and why?
DEBBIE LASKEY: I read AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE by Henrik Ibsen in high school and then had a unique opportunity to take a Scandinavian Literature course at the University of California at Berkeley and read the play again. The play has stayed with me over the years because its political story and ramifications are applicable just as much in today’s modern era as they were when the play was written in 1882. Not only is the play a critique of democracy, but it also tells the story of one man’s courage to stand up against those who disagree with the truth.
QUESTION: Do you intersperse fiction with your business reading? If yes, what was the last work of fiction that you read, and what caught your attention about it?
DEBBIE LASKEY: Absolutely! While I used to only read legal thrillers and mysteries, I’ve branched out to thrillers of all types. And I especially enjoy books with female protagonists by female authors. The last work of fiction I read was WARD D by Frieda McFadden. McFadden is one of those authors whose latest book is always on my TO READ list. I don’t have to read the synopsis; I simply see her name and HAVE to read the book! Fans of Steven King will really enjoy this book, and while it was a bit darker than I normally read, I will not soon forget the story – or the unexpected twist at the end!
QUESTION: If you created a nonprofit organization to promote reading to children and young adults, what would you name it, and why?
DEBBIE LASKEY: Indulge me as I return to Kristin Harmel’s latest historical novel entitled THE PARIS DAUGHTER. She wrote early in the story about a bookstore; and this was the bookstore’s owner speaking, “We’ve even put in a children’s section because children need to fall in love with words, don’t they? If you give a person a book, you give them the world. And children deserve the world, don’t you think?”
This passage provided the most wonderful idea for a name for a nonprofit that promotes reading to children and young adults: FALL IN LOVE WITH WORDS. The marketing opportunities would be endless – starting with a logo with a heart and an endless supply of reading-themed words.
Tune in next week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to kick off the series (and then, every Monday and Friday during October, November, and December – ending on December 18). I promise you'll be introduced to a myriad of inspiring leadership and marketing experts, authors, and books. On December 21, the first day of winter, I will share a post that will feature my reading recommendations for winter and early 2024. Happy reading!
SHARE THIS: If you give a person a book, you give him the world. ~@KristinHarmel #TheParisDaughter #reading #DebbieLaskeysBlog
Image Credit: Debbie Laskey’s Library.
Note to readers: If you’d like to read some previous “Fall Back to Reading” posts on my blog, check out the following:
Fall Back to Reading with 9 Thought-Provoking Books
September 22, 2022
Fall Back to Reading with 12 Thought-Provoking Business Books
October 11, 2019
Fall Reading: Leadership, Branding, and Voice of the Customer Marketing
October 12, 2018