Books are Your Friends

By Jeffrey Bellant July 09, 2021 1694

We recently ran an article in the print edition of Used Car News on book recommendations from people in the industry. 

As an avid reader and book collector, it’s always one of my favorite articles. A great way to get to know someone is to find out what they have read, plus you get to discover books that you might not read otherwise.

This year’s selections were excellent as they always are, check them out here!

There are never enough recommendations or enough time to read them all.

My mom always told me “Books are your friends,” and they have been over the years. 

But I often worry my family will call the TV show “Hoarders” and send them to my home to shovel out my books.

I can’t help it.

I’ve tried the Kindle. Really, I love the idea of the Kindle. Books that are cheaper, with unlimited storage and no more tripping over books.

It’s just not the same. Holding a book, turning the pages and finding one in a used-book sale – a Kindle cannot beat that.

The other struggle for book lovers is when to give up on a book. Do you go 100 pages? Less?

I used to believe it was a failure to leave a book unfinished, but no more. There are too many great books available to trudge through one just to say you read it.

What helped me read more in recent years was a book-reading contest with the former editor we started doing back in 2013. We set parameters of minimum length for fiction and non-fiction and went at it.

The former editor got the idea from a Wall Street Journal article describing how President George W. Bush and his Chief of Staff Karl Rove used to have the same contest. These guys would read 70 to 100 books a year!

We never hit those numbers, but we also didn’t have all that free time in limousines and Air Force One to read!

(It’s one reason I always liked industry events in Las Vegas. The four-hour plane ride to Vegas from Detroit, and back again, offers the best guilt-free reading opportunity.)

Anyway, in our contest, we read only a few more than 20 each that first year. But it did help me read more books. I’m not a fast reader. (My best year I hit 39, but I think if I turned off the stinking television, I could read 50 easy.)

Still, I keep saying I want to be more intentional, not just read a lot of books for the sake of the number. Dip into some of the great literature I haven’t yet read. So right now, I’ve started Dante’s “The Divine Comedy.”

Hillsdale College here in the great state of Michigan where I live offers free online courses on some of the great books.

But anything that gets us reading is a good thing.

Anyway, I received some book recommendations after the print edition deadline, so I would like to share those here. 

NextGear Capital’s Scott Maybee selected “Trusted Leader: 8 Pillars That Drive Results,” by David Horsager. 

Keith Jezek, president of Cox Automotive Retail Solutions, offered recommendations that he gave to his team. “The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath (these authors always have good stuff) “Shoe Dog” by Nike Founder Phil Knight (I’ve heard rave reviews of that one); and “The Feather Thief” by Kirk W. Johnson, which is one I hadn’t heard about.

Jonathan Smoke, Cox Automotive’s chief economist, chose – big surprise – “Investing with Keynes: How the World's Greatest Economist Overturned Conventional Wisdom and Made a Fortune on the Stock Market” by Justyn Walsh. An economist picks a book about an economist! (I’m more of a Milton Friedman guy.)

Smoke also added that Cox leaders are reading “Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance” by Erica Dhawan. Seems like a perfect choice in this time we’re in. 

Cox’s Mark Schirmer, director of PR, said he’s reading “The Looming Tower:  Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11” by Lawrence Wright, a book he said is interesting and well-researched. I also read it and I agree. It was even made into a mini-series that was well done, though television or films can never match a book.

I once saw a teenage girl with a t-shirt that read, “Never Judge a Book by its Movie.”



Feel free to send any recommendations to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  I’m always interested. 

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Last modified on Thursday, 07 October 2021 04:19