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  • Emily Goldfischer

Three Books Perfect for "Herteliers" this Holiday Season

Looking for an inspiring book to give to the hoteliers in your life this holiday season? Well, we've got you covered with three books ranging from a reissue of a vintage hotel tome to important teachings for business leaders (or aspiring leaders) and finally a delicious and immersive food memoir.

Hotel Splendide Ludwig Bemelmans

For hotel lovers or anyone with nostalgia for old New York: Hotel Splendide by Ludwig Bemelmans

You may already know Ludwig Bemelmans as the author of the beloved “Madeline” book series. Before he found fame as an author and illustrator, he worked as a waiter in the Ritz Hotel in 1920s New York City, barely camouflaged as the “Hotel Splendide” in this funny memoir originally published in 1941. With equal parts affection and barbed wit, he records the everyday chaos that reigns behind the smooth facades of the gilded dining room and banquet halls. In hilarious detail, Bemelmans sketches the hierarchy of hotel life and its strange and fascinating inhabitants: from the ruthlessly authoritarian maître d'hôtel Monsieur Victor to the kindly waiter Mespoulets to Frizl the homesick busboy. You may note the lack of women working in hotels in those days! I laughed out loud and loved the original drawings of hotel life.

Julia Boorstin When Women Lead

For curious and aspiring business leaders: When Women Lead: What They Achieve, Why They Succeed, and How We Can Learn from Them by Julia Boorstin

You may have seen me recommend this groundbreaking, deeply reported work from CNBC’s Julia Boorstin in the Sunday Round-Up. With engaging storytelling, Boorstin weaves together interviews with over sixty female CEOs and leaders, and dozens of new gender-based studies. Her combination of narrative and research reveals how once-underestimated characteristics, from vulnerability and gratitude to divergent thinking, can be vital superpowers—and that anyone can work these approaches to their advantage. I loved it so much that after reading it on my Kindle I bought a hard copy to use as a reference—truly an essential resource for anyone in the workplace!!

Takeaway book Angela Hui

For the foodie that loves a story: Takeaway: Stories from a Childhood Behind the Counter by Angela Hui

Are you a fan of the genre of food memoirs that delight in sharing recipes among the memories? Takeaway delivers! In this eye-opening memoir revealing stories behind living in and running a Chinese takeaway in rural Wales, author Angela Hui reveals how she was made aware at a very young age of just how different she and her family were seen by her local community. From attacks on the restaurant (also their home) to verbal abuse from customers, and confrontations that ended with her Dad wielding the meat cleaver; life growing up in a takeaway was far from peaceful. Alongside the strife, there was also beauty and joy in the rhythm of life in the takeaway––family dinners before service, prep with her brothers––and in being surrounded by the food of her home culture. Angela, who is also the food and drinks editor for Time Out London, shares her family recipes for dumplings, spare ribs, and other mouthwatering dishes along the way. I have given this book as a gift to several foodie friends, and all have loved it!

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