We asked several Milwaukee movers and shakers what they were reading. Here are their recommendations.
Artistic Director, Milwaukee Ballet ➞ Bolshoi Confidential by Simon Morrison ➞ “For anyone who is not familiar with the development of the performing arts in Russia, this book will be educational. You can read it in installments, since each chapter deals with a specific period of the Bolshoi Theatre.”
Milwaukee writer and historian ➞ Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie ➞ “Rushdie is a virtuosic storyteller and articulate writer, kind of an Indian John Updike, but, like Updike, he can seem verbose at times.
President, Marquette University ➞ How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen, James Allworth, Karen Dillon ➞ “Excellent book that offers guidelines for finding meaning and happiness in life. But it’s not an easy read.”
Artist-in-residence, Pfister Hotel ➞ Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal ➞ “This is a true foodie book…It’s the story of a girl who is raised by her father to become an amazing chef and told from the narrative of the people around her.”
President, Milwaukee Common Council; District 1 Alderman ➞ The Good Food Revolution by Will Allen ➞ “We are going through agricultural growth in the city. Diet-related illness is a major problem in the black community, and this speaks to that.”
President and CEO, Harley-Davidson ➞ The Rise and Fall of American Growth by Robert J. Gordon ➞ “If you love history and are interested in big picture economics, business and innovation, this is a great read.”
Artistic Director, Milwaukee Repertory Theater ➞ Evicted by Matthew Desmond ➞ “I may be a little late to the game in discovering Matthew Desmond’s seminal treatise on extreme poverty in Milwaukee, but nevertheless it has been an important education and erudite insight for me.”
President, CEO and Chairman, Badger Meter; Co-Chair, The Water Council ➞ History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon ➞ “It’s a bit of a heavy read, but I decided to delve into it because of the many parallels to the current situation in the United States.”
President, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce ➞ Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan ➞ “A global travelogue on the early days of surfing from two self-proclaimed surf bums. Well written; a great escape.”
Artistic Director, Danceworks Performance Company ➞ The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami ➞ “Regardless of my start-and-stop reading habit, I pick up where I left off, piecing together vivid details of an ordinary man encountering a series of bizarre characters and mysterious events. I don’t know what it’s adding up to, but I know I’ll get there.”
Book of the year? Mayor Tom Barrett, MATC President Vicki Martin, Mark Clements and Tim Sheehy all recommended Matthew Desmond’s alarming story, Evicted. Martin says it raises an issue “that must be addressed and improved so that our entire community can prosper.”