Recommended Reading

Industry members share a few of their favorite books.

Bedding Industry Book Picks: Industry members share a few of their favorite books.

Avid readers know nothing beats a good book in the summer. Whether it’s paging through a novel by the pool, listening to an audiobook while driving or reading on your Kindle before bed, books open up new worlds and new ways of thinking. 

With that in mind, the BedTimes editors thought it would be fun to see what some people in the bedding industry picked as their favorite reads. We asked a few to name at least one favorite and tell us why they enjoyed that book. Whether you’re interested in books that make you think or gravitate toward page-turners, these industry leaders have recommendations for you. So, before you head to the beach one last time or prepare for a long car trip, peruse these titles and see if one might be right for you. (Spoiler alert: See if you can spot the book that showed up in two different lists. The editors think this is a sign it should be added to our must-read lists.)

Chris Bradley, executive vice president for NCFI Polyurethanes/BedInABox

Bedding Industry Book Picks: Chris Bradley
Chris Bradley

“When Pride Still Mattered” by David Maraniss

“It’s a biography of the legendary football coach Vince Lombardi. The book details his American Dream life, from growing up with immigrant parents in New York through his Hall of Fame coaching career. It is a great look into the leadership qualities of his career while pointing out the human frailties and challenges that we all face. It’s a look behind the legend and really emphasizes the human aspect of what one sacrifices when being truly driven by one’s profession. It’s a great balance of history, sports and American culture.”

Julia Rosien, vice president of marketing for Restonic

Bedding Industry Book Picks: Julia Rosien
Julia Rosien

“All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr

“A poetically beautiful narrative on our innate need to connect with each other, ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ is as emotionally charged as it is a stark account of our complex, bittersweet and beautiful humanity. The book begins in 1944 in war-torn Germany, following the life of a brilliant blind girl — told at the pace of a suspense thriller. While deeply rooted in the horrors of Nazi Germany, it’s not a history book but rather a story of people living in a monumentally historic period. Be forewarned: It’s addictive and might even be worth reading twice.”

“When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing” by Daniel H. Pink

“I’m a big fan of Daniel Pink but this is my favorite of all his books. If you’ve ever wondered why you can perform some activities better at certain times of the day, this book will give you the data you need to make changes to your life. His writing is narrative-rich, while the data and research are fascinating — the perfect combo.” 

The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

“I began reading Diana Gabaldon’s books 20 years ago, and I admit to intense frustration that it takes so long for her to write the next book. But when she does, I inhale them. A scientist by trade, she wrote her first book on a dare — needless to say she won the bet. The books are epic (more than 1,000 pages each) and written with such extreme attention to detail that I often feel I’ve actually lived through what I’ve just read. And yes, the Netflix characters are exactly what I imagined — especially Jamie.”

“Life Is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age” by Bruce Feiler

“I read this book at the beginning of the pandemic as did Ron Passaglia (retired industry veteran) — we spent a lot of time talking through different parts of the book. Those early pandemic days were hard on all of us, and the lessons in this book helped me work through my fear of the unknown future. Change is true for everyone, whether it’s a death, illness, career move or a pandemic. Knowing others have gone through similar challenges can help us build our own roadmaps through the storms of life.” 

Shaun Pennington, CEO of Diamond Mattress

Bedding Industry Book Picks: Shaun Pennington
Shaun Pennington

“The Power of TED (The Empowerment Dynamic)” by David Emerald

“This is about the dreaded drama triangle and the way out. In this book, you learn how we all cycle through the roles of victim, persecutor and rescuer, which causes ongoing drama both in our minds and relationships. It then lays out a path towards shifting our focus to become a creator, challenger and coach in a positive and empowering way. This is a great book that is a fable blending psychology, relationships and tactical how-tos so you can see patterns in your life and shift to a new way of being.”

“The Possibility Principle: How Quantum Physics Can Improve the Way You Think, Live and Love” by Mel Schwartz

In this book, we find “the quantum world shows us we are not fixed beings but have infinite possibilities and the ability to break through self-limiting beliefs. It’s an engaging way to explain how we can learn to loosen up our self-limiting beliefs and overcome them.”

“Leading the Lean Enterprise Transformation” by George Koenigsaecker

“This book is about the lean manufacturing journey and what it takes to commit to lean and have a successful lean implementation. It’s written for leaders who want to take their company through a transformation that will stick. I’m enjoying its practical advice to start and plan on it being a five-year process with ups and downs.”

“Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself” by Kristin Neff

“This offers practical tools and practices to help you have compassion for yourself and more love for yourself so that you can have more compassion and love for others. This book blends psychological and Buddhist principles as it explores (the idea) that through self-compassion we can truly ‘love our neighbors as we love ourselves’ in a practical and positive way.”

“We Are Legion (We Are Bob)” by Dennis F. Taylor

“A fun sci-fi, this (takes place) hundreds of years in the future when a human that was cryogenically frozen gets digitized into an AI that powers a self-replicating spaceship. When the Earth destroys itself and only 15 million people are left, ‘Bob’ comes back to save them while exploring the galaxy against other AI that are out there. This was mind-expanding, fun, light-hearted and made me think differently.”

Susan Mathes, vice president of brand relations for Therapedic International

Bedding Industry Book Picks: Susan Mathes
Susan Mathes

“All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr

“Far from a light summer read, this story is told through the eyes and lives of two completely different characters — a young, blind French girl and a young, German boy who becomes a soldier during WWII. The author finds a way through historical fiction to weave the story of the Battle for Saint-Malo with the characters’ stories and lives amid a tragic background and scary time period. 

“The WWII time period is interesting to me. As the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, I’ve read a lot of books about that aspect of the war. This novel educated me about a different aspect of the war — the fight for Saint Malo, France — a coastal area that could be used to land supplies for Allied forces. All the while, I also followed the development of these characters and how their lives were impacted during the war, as well as the ways in which the actions of each unknowingly were intertwined. “

“Before We Were Yours: A Novel” by Lisa Wingate

“Based on the true story of a woman, Georgia Tann, who ran an adoption center called the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in Memphis back from the 1920s to 1950. The children in her care had been kidnapped poor children who were then sold to wealthy families. It’s heart-wrenching to read what went on, and although I found it disheartening, I also found it fascinating to learn from this true story of which I was unaware.”

Helen Sullivan, in-house communications counsel for the CertiPUR-US foam certification program

Helen Sullivan
Helen Sullivan

“Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” by Gabrielle Zevin

“ ‘Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow’ by Gabrielle Zevin will hook you on so many levels. (There are 52,000 4.5-star reviews on Amazon so I am not alone here.) And it’s likely to become a book you, too, recommend to others. You don’t have to be a gamer (I’m not) to be absorbed into this artfully written story about chance encounters, the creative chops and persistence needed to develop a successful game, and all that transpires during the journey. Zevin is a gifted writer, and you will come to know and care deeply about her characters Sam and Sadie and their circle of friends. I hesitate to say it’s a love story because it’s not like any other. I am a voracious reader, and this is one of my all-time favorites. You will be transported. P.S. I read this book because I loved Zevin’s “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” — also fabulous.”

“The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams” by Stacy Schiff

“That Samuel Adams beer you might be enjoying at the beach or pool this summer was brewed by the kin (of Samuel Adams, subject) of ‘The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams,’ by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Stacy Schiff. Adams had very little to do with the family business and early on in life was quite unexceptional. But he evolved into the under-acknowledged primary architect of the American Revolution (even Thomas Jefferson thought so). Call me biased, but as a marketing and public relations pro, I was also blown away by how Adams was adept at rallying supporters to his cause through grassroots campaigns and the media outlets available in his time. Did you know back then it was customary to publish articles and opinion pieces under scores of different pseudonyms? Aside from being a really riveting read, this book opened my eyes to how extraordinary it is that we became an independent nation and, while you might not have learned this in school, without Samuel Adams the great experiment of democracy would likely not have occurred.”

Geri Frank, senior product manager of sales and marketing for Corsicana

Gerri Frank
Gerri Frank

“The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt

“This book is about love, loss, art, tragedy and holding onto something that you think is going to keep you closer to the person you lost. … What I take away most from this book is that sometimes you must let go of what or who you love to maintain your own mental health. Holding onto something or someone so hard can be suffocating.”

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