Literary break with Nicole Gorfer (English only)

In this literary break, Nicole Gorfer, Head Public & Employee Communications, Roche Group, proposes her reading suggestions for the summer break. Will one of these books also find its way into your luggage?


1) THE AUCTIONEER, Adventures in the Art Trade
by Simon de Pury

I just read this memoir again before Art Basel this year – with a big smile on my face: Big art egos meet big society egos, spiced up with a bit of behind-the-scene voyeurism … Simon De Pury, renowned curator/founder/art-trepreneur, is a skillful storyteller and humored navigator in the art world – and you constantly wonder: How could this guy pull it all off so well? My takeaways: Art is a relationship business, Saudi Arabian collectors must own some of Europe’s most eclectic art, and yes indeed, money can’t buy everything.

2) FACTFULNESS – Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think
by Hans Rosling

Have you ever wondered why the world’s still turning given all those bad news and dreadful developments? We have an “overdramatized view on the world”, as Rosling puts it, can’t interpret facts properly and, as a result, too often think that corrective action doesn’t make any difference because nothing changes anyway. Fact is: There has been a great deal of positive development in this world, from education to access to health care. With the right tools at hand (which Rosling provides in this book), true-to-fact communication is easy.
This is a should-read for fact lovers and truthtellers. Hans Rosling wants us to see the world how it really is, to forget about spin and bias … Perspective-changing and eye-opening side effects guaranteed. Ah, and the book even made it on Bill Gates’ favorites list!

3) LUNCH WITH THE FT – 52 Classic Interviews
Edited by Lionel Barber

My favorite pastime is reading FT’s “Life and Arts” section on Saturday mornings. Starting off the weekend with a witty read of the “Interview with the FT” series is pure bliss – so I was over the moon to find out they published a book with a collection of interviews, from P.Diddy to Angela Merkel to Paul Krugman. Basic principle: Journalist meets politician/artist/gamekeeper/sportsman/foodist over lunch for an interview with the FT. Weird, brilliant, virtuous at the same time. You laugh and wonder … yes, also about how lunch bills can differ: from Ryanair’s HQ café with Michael O’Leary to having oysters with Ronnie Wood at a Dublin restaurant. 

by Samantha Schweblin

I am a huge fan of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ magical realism, so when I found out young (and acclaimed!) Samantha Schweblin, born in Buenos Aires, living in Berlin follows his school of writing, I was hooked. So I tried her “Mouthful of Birds” – and oh boy, her short stories are addictive! Samantha’s mesmerizing writing tricks your mind and you feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland. What starts like a realistic story turns into a little “movie noir” pretty quickly – only minus the heavy, sometimes complicated language you find elsewhere in this genre. And you soon wonder where exactly you missed those lines where reality and fiction started to blur … A fabulous and easy read that allows you a well-deserved mini-escape from the here and now.


About Nicole Gorfer


Nicole Gorfer is Head of Group Public & Employee Communications for Roche. With around 50 bn CHF in Group sales, the Basel-(CH-)headquartered company counts over 94,000 employees worldwide and is a leader in research-focused health care with combined strengths in Pharma and Diagnostics. Gorfer joined Roche in 2007 as Head of Communications with Roche Austria and in 2012 took over as VP Communications and Public Affairs for Roche Pharma in Germany. She moved into her headquarter role in September 2015.

Prior to Roche, she directed Communications for pharmaceutical companies Hexal and Sandoz in Austria and was also active in the Austrian Generics Association. She started her career working for public relations agencies. Nicole Gorfer has a university degree in International Business and an advanced studies master’s degree in Public Relations. She is a Board member of the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD), Brussels.