With the help of four successful locals, we compiled a list of must-reads — their favorite books about business and their industries, as well as what they read when they aren’t thinking about work. Look to these books to influence your own business practices, to provide an escape and to expand your knowledge on everything from interiors, art and entertaining to fashion, beauty, food and beyond. Take a look and add these to your list!

Ridley Wills

Founder and owner of The Wills Company and Wills Handyman

Favorite Book About Business

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder and One Man’s Fight for Justice by Bill Browder
Why you would recommend this book: This book is even more relevant today than it was when it was written. If you have any interest in understanding how the Russian oligarchs got their wealth and how Putin, in turn, got his, read this book! It explains in layman’s terms and in a suspenseful way the quite complicated financial transactions that caused Putin to request Bill Browder to be sent to Moscow in Trump’s Helsinki summit. Fascinating.
Who recommended this book: Good friends, Perian and Sam Strang, gave me this book as they are friends of the ghostwriter.

Favorite Book Focusing on Your Industry

Decorating the Way I See It by Markham Roberts
Why you would recommend this book: Beautiful and elegant style in a relaxed manner is achieved by interior designer Markham Roberts. He has created glorious interiors for a few of our clients, and it is a pleasure to behold.
Who recommended this book: It was recommended to me by Markham and his extraordinary team.

Favorite Non-Work-Related Book

The All of It by Jeannette Haien
Why you would recommend this book: Simple, eloquent and moving to say the least. Two stories set in Ireland intertwined — one of a priest fly fishing for salmon, the other of a confession told while sitting wake over a dead man. It is a beautiful piece of art in prose. Don’t take my word for it, however. Ann Patchett writes the forward to it.
Who recommended this book: My dear friend and art lover (to say the least), Susan Edwards

Ridley Wills Found and Owner of The Wills Company and Wills Handyman

Ridley Wills, founder and owner of The Wills Company and Wills Handyman

Linda D. Roberts

Founder and President of Therapy Systems, Inc.

Favorite Book About Business

Accounting for Dummies
Why you would recommend this book: I no longer read books that focus on business principles — they often become outdated or redundant before they hit the paperback editions! If I suggested anything that might help, it would be Accounting for Dummies. I have determined that this is the one area where many entrepreneurs demonstrate weakness. Feel free to ask my comptroller if he agrees!

Favorite Book Focusing on Your Industry

The Art of Makeup by Kevin Aucoin
Why you would recommend this book: This is the original!

Favorite Non-Work-Related Book

There are too many to list: The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck, Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn, Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan, Listening to Your Life by Frederick Buechner … the list goes on and on.

RELATED: Everyone Makes Mistakes: Local Business Owners Share Their Early Career Errors

Linda D. Roberts Founder and President of Therapy Systems, Inc.

Linda D. Roberts, founder and president of Therapy Systems, Inc.

Jordan Soderholm

Fashion Director, ABLE

Favorite Book About Business

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Own Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind by Jocelyn K. Glei
Why you would recommend this book: Being in the creative industry (or just a bustling office) makes knowing how to shift your focus and get creative extremely important. This book has pointers from a long list of experienced creatives and reads really easily.
Who recommended this book to you: My dear friend and branding extraordinaire, Lauren Ledbetter

Favorite Book Focusing on Your Industry

Fashionpedia by Fashionary
Why you would recommend this book: Even the most experienced fashion industry workers need to jog their memory every now and then. I carry this with me everywhere — it’s an amazing reference book full of anything you need to know about your clothing, shoes or accessories. It helps me research silhouettes while I’m creating an assortment, and tweak with special finishes and details once the assortment samples come in.
Who recommended this book to you: One of our former tech designers, Stephanie Caporella, told me about the company who put the book together.

Favorite Non-Work-Related Book

East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Why you would recommend this book: It’s an incredible in-depth story with such beautiful character development if you’re just looking for a good read. But it also parallels with the book of Genesis and looks at the idea of sin and how to overcome it. I am still thinking about it and talking about it years after reading it!
Who recommended this book to you: My husband recommended it to me when we first started dating, and I tried to impress him by reading it but ended up loving it.

Jordan Soderholm, Fashion Director, Able | Image: Able

Jordan Soderholm, fashion director, ABLE | Image: ABLE

RELATED: Top 10 Beach Reads for Summer 2018

Tom Morales

Founder of TomKats Hospitality (Acme Feed & Seed, Fin & Pearl, The Southern Steak & Oyster and Southernaire Market)

Favorite Book About Business

Meditations for Men Who Do Too Much by Jonathan Lazear
Why would you recommend this book: Technically it’s not about business, but for me, the area of life I always seem to spend too much time in is business, so the book gives short reflections on life. I keep it near my desk as a reminder and dip into it for thoughts and wisdom. Today’s reflection was, “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of a cancer cell,” attributed to Edward Abbey.

Favorite Book Focusing on Your Industry

The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer
Why would you recommend this book: It’s eye-opening, especially as we routinely take our food process for granted. It’s a behind the scenes look at what happens on the journey from the farm to the plate.
Who recommended this book to you: Recommended by Jennifer Masley, EiO and the Hive

Favorite Non-Work-Related Book

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Why would you recommend this book: I have read this book three times since I was forced to pick a book from a list of American authors by Mrs. Eason during my junior year of high school. I love this book for its simple style and Hemingway’s ability to say so much with such few words. Plus, I relate to the story because I love fishing and the sea!

Tom Morales, Founder of the TomKats Hospitality

Tom Morales, founder of TomKats Hospitality (Acme Feed & Seed, Fin & Pearl, The Southern Steak & Oyster and Southernaire Market) | Image: TomKats

Happy reading!

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