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Basil's Picks


What makes this one of the best business books I’ve ever read is the humor, honesty, and humility in Phil Knight’s voice as he chronicles the birth and growth of one of the greatest American brands. He started from nothing and had no experience, yet somehow figured it out. It’s applicable to any professional or personal goal.


Admission: I discovered this book series after I watched the first season of the Netflix show. I know that’s blasphemy but I had no idea it was based on a hugely successful German franchise. I’ve read the subsequent books and am now obsessed with Detective Rath as he leads me through the madness of pre-war and pre-Nazi Berlin, when it was one of the most exotic, sexy, and morally corrupt places on earth. People have called Volker Kutscher the German James Ellroy; it’s an apt comparison.


When you have one of the funniest people alive in Judd Apatow interview comedy legends, you know you will be laughing on every page. And trust me: this book is hugely entertaining. But you also get underneath the hood with these legends, and get a sense of not only the craft and science of comedy, but also how it often stems from insecurity, pain, loss, but ultimate hopefulness.


When you think about what NYC was like 30 years ago, and compare it today, the question is “how did that happen?”. A sweeping, epic tale of the greatest city on earth answers that question, starting with the Koch administration and ending with DeBlasio. We experience NYC on nearly every level: culturally, politically, socially, socioeconomically, and criminally. How neighborhoods that were once crime-infested have now become some of the wealthiest addresses in America. The writing is lively!


Wow. What a book. One of the toughest, most emotional, and surprising thrillers I’ve read in years. Our two leads are unlikely, flawed, and at times brutal men who would be the villains in most other stories. But these two men bond over the death of their sons, sons who loved each other in a way that their fathers disowned them. Now, we follow their journey for revenge, redemption, sorrow, and enlightenment. I love stories that dare you to love their characters, and pull it off.


Before all the arguments about Covid vaccines and masks and shut-downs, there were the doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers who served on the front lines in those chaotic and confusing early days of the pandemic. This book is a first person account of the unimaginable sacrifices these men and women went through. They simply cannot achieve what their life’s purpose is: beating this mysterious monster and save lives. They’re are heroic as any hero in any book in this store


I’ve never surfed in my life and know absolutely nothing about it. So why do I love this book so much? I connected to the boy-to-man journey to find true enchantment in his life, taking us all over the world in both blissful and dangerous spots. It’s about adventure, deep friendships, and finding your way. It’s not surprising that the book won the Pulitzer Prize.


Confession: I hate the Yankees. I’m a diehard Mets fan. When I first saw this book, I thought there was no way I’d ever read it. But, after seeing CC interviewed on a morning show, and realizing that this book isn’t a “look how great I am” tale, but rather a deeply human story about a flawed hero on one of the biggest stages, trying and often failing to be the best version of himself both on and off the field, I jumped in. I’m so glad I did.


When I first met Kate, our manager, I asked what the best book she’s read in the past year. She didn’t hesitate in recommending this book. What a story. It has everything that one loves about a story - family, love, crime, redemption, surprise, humor. It’s a truly epic book. Thanks Kate!


Oliver Stone is a polarizing director, no question. He’s also not known for his sense of humor. So, to read this introspective, brutally self-deprecating, emotional, and incredibly charming book was a revelation. It’s about a lost boy, who became a man while at war, then finding his place in the wild years of the 70s on his way to become one of our great filmmakers.


David Benioff and Dan Weiss, the duo behind Game of Thrones, are adapting and producing this for Netflix. It will be one of the great TV series of the next decade. Take a read and see why this is one of the most anticipated projects right now in Hollywood.


Put this in the “how the heck did I not already know this story?” section. The drama, setting, and characters scream out for a big movie adaptation and development…which is currently underway.


Karl Marlantes is a decorated Marine who started writing this book the week after he returned from Vietnam. It took him 30 years to write it. Put simply, it’s a masterpiece. While it is the definitive story about the Vietnam experience, it also dives deep into the hearts, mind, and souls of men that’s universal to all soldiers in combat.


Critics have compared Wallace Stroby to the NJ version of Raymond Chandler and this, his latest book, cements that claim. Set along the Jersey Shore, he sketches an unforgettable female anti-heroine as she mistakenly drifts into a world of tough guys and murder. After you read this book you will dive into the rest of Stroby's catalogue and thank us for it.


This is the memoir of Patti Boyd, who was the serious girlfriend of George Harrison during his successful post-Beatles days. The only problem? George’s closest friend and collaborator, Eric Clapton, was also in love with her. Eric wrote Layla as a secret appeal to her love. A beautiful, rock-and-roll romance and how love can be messy no matter who you are. It’s also a portrait of friends, so when George died, he and Eric remained best friends.

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