Reading encourages self-education, self-improvement, success, and, of course, the use of imagination. So it’s no surprise that our city’s entrepreneurs and business leaders are also voracious readers. We talked with a handful of them about what they’re currently reading and the key points they’re applying to their work life. Take note of the titles here and visit a local bookstore or your local library for a copy.

book jacketDaryl Calfee, Penny Lane Properties
What I’m reading: Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson

Synopsis: Bestselling author Steven Johnson explores what type of environment breeds the best ideas. In Where Good Ideas Come From, Johnson identifies seven key patterns behind innovation and points out how those patterns are visible throughout history, from Darwin to Apple.

What I am taking away: “We inform the way spaces come to life, and in turn the spaces pay us back by the way they inform us.”

LaShonda Brown, Speaker, YouTuber & Tech Educator
What I’m Reading: The Art of Less Doing by Ari Meisel

Synopsis: At the height of his career, author Ari Meisel found himself overworked and exhausted and knew he needed to make a change. He spent years completely redesigning his life, including finding the formula to reduce his workload by 80 percent while still finding success. In his book, The Art of Less Doing, he shares that exact formula with readers.

What I am taking away: “My key takeaway is that research shows we should offload and delegate 70% of the tasks we perform year over year. We need to be constantly auditing our workload and make sure that it’s only full of essential tasks. For me, that’s a three-step process: eliminate, delegate, and automate. Adopting that practice after reading this book was key to helping me reduce my schedule to 20 hours a week while increasing my income.”

Anna Bentson, Assistant Director of Economic Development, Lynchburg Office of Economic Development & Tourism
What I’m Reading: The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

Synopsis: Chef, restaurateur, and author, Alice Waters, delivers an indispensable resource on what it means to stock your pantry, master kitchen fundamentals, and cook locally and seasonally all year long. Included are timeless, simple recipes that home cooks of any skill level can follow, as well as anecdotes and perspectives that only a life-long lover of food like Waters can share.