First Monday: New in business TV, DVDs, magazines and books

Only the photos do it justice. May's National Geographic magazine gives readers an aerial view of the greening of the "urban roofscape." Pictures of "living roofs" atop buildings in various cities around the world highlight the potential of landscape architects to increase energy efficiency and add habitat to a metallic city center.

By Gary Rawlins

WHAT I READ: Mitchell Gold, CEO of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams:

In 1989, Mitchell Gold and his business partner, Bob Williams, created a furniture company that now includes a factory and chain of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Signature stores. He plays a major role in the dialogue on gay rights and established Faith in America, a non-profit group dedicated to ending what it calls the use of religion-based bigotry to justify discrimination against gays. That led to his book, Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain & Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America.

His three favorite books

Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple: A Journey of Adventure, Ideas, and the Future by John Sculley. "This book put into words so many of my thoughts about running a business." Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust: Genocide and Moral Obligation by David P. Gushee, an evangelical minister and professor of ethics. "Reading this book was a watershed for me, giving me the tools and the framework of how to combat anti-gay bigotry." Bodyguard of Lies by Anthony Cave Brown. "This book by one of England's master spies during World War II was just one of the most suspenseful and best-written books I've ever read. It's one of the reasons I hesitate to read books during the workweek. It was over 900 pages, and I couldn't put it down."

A favorite genre

History, biographies, non-fiction. "I like to learn and be inspired by the success and failures of others. I also love children's books. When I'm having a really stressful day, I like to go to our on-site day care center and read books to the kids."

Books that helped him in his career

Like No Other Store: The Bloomingdale's Legend and the Revolution in American Marketing by Marvin Traub and Tom Teicholz. "I started my career at Bloomingdale's and worked under Marvin Traub, so I knew his brilliance firsthand. His book taught me so much about smart marketing and how to run a fashion business. A book I had my whole sales team read and buy copies to give to their customers was Jack Mitchell's Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales & Achieve Astounding Results."

What's in his briefcase

"Right now, Kenneth Cole's Awearness: Inspiring Stories about How to Make a Difference. Kenneth's philosophy is so in line with my true belief that businesses have a social responsibility and can both make a lot of money and do a lot of good. I read USA TODAY regularly. I also carry The Wall Street Journal and magazines that cover our industry."

Must-reads in his business

Furniture Today and Advertising Age. "But the news in general — from all parts of life — is what helps in my business and life."

When he reads

"I read news all the time. If I can't be on my computer when the plane is taking off, I'm reading."

By Patrice Gaines


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