You could say that Associate Management Professor Matt Bloom has a dream job: He conducts research in the area of the improvement of the human condition at work, with a focus on intrinsic motivation, happiness and meaning and innovation. At the Mendoza College of Business, Bloom teaches undergraduate, graduate, and executive courses in innovation and workforce related topics, while also conducting research to find out what makes work a meaningful, positive life-enriching experience that fosters the highest levels of human exellence.
So it's no surprise that when it comes to his personal reading habits, he tends to focus on books that offer a positive experience.
The Rally: With your busy schedule, when do you find time to do some personal reading?
Matt Bloom: I read an hour each night before I go to bed almost every night. Reading feeds my soul, lifts my spirits, and is the wellspring of my creativity.
The Rally: What are you reading now, and what have you read recently that has left a lasting impact on you?
Matt Bloom: I’m always reading at least one non-fiction and one novel. For non-fiction I’m reading Doris Kerns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals about Lincoln and his cabinet and Atul Gwanda’s Being Mortal. For fiction, I’m reading Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman and Dear Life by Alice Munro.
The Rally: What are your favorite types of things to read, for example: magazines, online newspapers and blogs, Twitter, hard-copy books, electronic books?
Matt Bloom: I prefer books because of the richness and detail that can only come through a book-length read.
The Rally: What is your favorite book of all time and why?
Matt Bloom: Like all avid readers, there are too many for me to select one, but among my favorite novels are 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, Gilead by Marilynn Robinson, Independence Day (and the entire Frank Bascombe series) by Richard Ford, and any of Alice Munro’s short story collections.
The Rally: What book do you think every Mendoza student should read in some point in his/her life?
Matt Bloom: Read at least one of the great works of literature. I would recommend The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky or Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, but just read something from the classics.