I left Congress to write books, but while there I spent as much time as possible reading.

Most of what I needed to know as a national leader I learned not from newspapers or television, but from books. 

I asked some local leaders about what books they are reading for insight, knowledge and plain old entertainment in the new year. The answers were as varied as the people I questioned.

Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas: The Boys in the Boat – Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. It’s a true story about the resilience of the human spirit.

Nelson DeMille, bestselling author: I’m reading two advance reading copies. The first is Chicago, a novel by Broadway playwright David Mamet. The other is Big Guns, a political parody by a guy named Steve Israel.

Brookville Mayor Dan Serota: Pat Buchanan’s The Greatest Comeback, the story of Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign. I like the story of an underdog and at that time, Nixon was an underdog.

Long Island University President Kimberly Cline: Nelson DeMille’s The Cuban Affair. He has been one of my favorite authors for over 20 years. The plots are complex, with unexpected twists.

Laurie Segal Scheinman, owner of wit & whim in Port Washington: Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air, and just finished re-reading Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage. Both reads are to ground me as to what’s important.

SterlingRisk Insurance CEO David Sterling: How Language Began by Daniel Everett, because understanding how we began to speak will aid understanding how to communicate better.

Chartwell Hotels CEO George Tsunis: The Emperor’s Handbook by Marcus Aurelius, which is a translation of meditations, because it speaks to a more high-minded time of national leaders.

North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth: I just completed Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf. This was our North Hempstead’s Project Independence Book Club selection for this month.

New York State Assemb. Chuck Lavine: I’m reading two books: Shattered by Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen and A Single Spy by William Christie. I also recommend anything by Alan Furst.

Old Brookville Mayor Bernie Ryba: I would like to make time to read Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit by Chris Matthews. Besides his ability to inspire, I feel he accomplished so much in a relatively short period of time.

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky: FDR: A Political Life. I like reading about real leadership in Washington since I see so little of it today.

Huntington Councilman Mark Cuthbertson: The Political Brain by Drew Westen. It explores something I think many politicians take for granted, which is the role that emotions play in voter decision-making.

Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Henry Schein, Inc.:
I like to use this time to catch up on publications such as the Economist and Foreign Policy Magazine, as well as bipartisan opinion pieces from various internet sites and publications. In this world of information overload, it’s increasingly challenging to keep current, so I welcome some time to catch up.

Chintu Patel, Co-CEO, Co-Chairman, and Co-Founder of Amneal Pharmaceuticals: I’m Reading new tax bill and its impact going forward personally and business. Also introspection of 2017 and learning of it going in to 2018.  

Christopher Hahn, Host of The Christopher Hahn Show on LI News Radio: FiveThirtyEight.com.  If you dig deep enough into the data you can usually figure out where things are headed. Nate Silver still offers the best unbiased statistical analysis on what’s going on in politics and sports.   

Bert Brodsky, Founder and Chairman of Sandata Technologies: The last book I read was Boys in the Bronx and I was disappointed I wasn’t in it.

Marc Beige, CEO of Rubies Costume Company: After the Fall by Mary Clark Great book about the Fall of the twin towers and the years that followed it. This book adds new information and perspectives to an watershed event that is a defining moment in our history.

And my list? Ron Chernow’s excellent biography of Ulysses Grant, which portrays the essential human qualities of a complex and largely misunderstood historic figure.

Steve Israel’s next novel, Big Guns, can be pre-ordered at repsteveisrael.com.

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