Reading offers more than conversation topics for the next cocktail party. From improved cognition to greater emotional intelligence and—according to a Yale study—even living longer, books are the key to great advances. Here are a few recommendations from industry readers to start in the new year.

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

“You can pick it up at any time and read something that you may have read previously, yet receive new meaning based on what is happening in your life in that moment.” —Linda McNairy, Global Vice President at American Express Meetings & Events

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

“They were the first books that captured my imagination and opened my eyes to the power and joy of reading.” —Paul Van Deventer, President and CEO of MPI

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

“It helps individuals and companies build a communication culture to deal with tough issues head-on. It’s based on constructive, honest and timely conversations from a place of caring.” —David Peckinpaugh, President of Maritz Global Events

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

“I love the story of humanity. It is a vivid reminder of how important it is to always do the right thing, even when that is the most difficult thing.” —Marin Bright, CEO/Founder of Smart Meetings

Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times by Donald T. Phillips

“This is old-school, but still so relevant. And everyone likes Lincoln.” —Mike Massari, Chief Sales Officer at Caesars Entertainment

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t by Jim Collins

“It’s an excellent guide for maximizing the talent on your team, and, most importantly, strategically aligning your initiatives to produce sustainable results.” —Julie Coker Graham, President and CEO of Philadelphia CVB

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

“It grips you from the first page, and while it’s a story of great suffering, it’s also a tale about love and friendship over the decades.” —Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group