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October Leader 2021: Alia Manetta


Well, today's actually my birthday!!"

Alia and I met at a high school house party, running around, stealing shots of vodka. You know, the usual. Since it was late and we had the devils juice in our system, I said she was welcome to spend the night at my place since I lived close by. I will never, ever, ever forget this moment… We woke up all giddy and laughing about the night before. I said, “So what are you going to do today?” She replied with a cheshire-cat like smile, “Well, today’s actually my birthday!” I just lost it. Because it was so earnest. It was literally the first time I’ve ever met her. It’s probably one of those you-had-to-be-there moments to understand it’s humor. But it is an unforgettable Alia moment in my books. Pretty much, we’ve been attached at the hip ever since.


Artist, Scientist & Philanthropist, Alia Manetta

Alia graduated from UCLA with a bachelors in neuroscience and a master’s in biotech business administration from Keck Graduate Institute. So, already off the bat, impressive *wink, wink*

Her full time, actual person, 9-5 job is being a consultant at Accenture Strategy & Management Consulting. She works directly with the CEO of Pfizer (gulp, intense). Outside of her real person job, which is the reason why I’m just in awe of her life, she serves as a board member for the American Cancer Society (ACS) Los Angeles Central Coast, the Steering Committee for Accenture Ventures National Ambassador Program, and is an active volunteer for BrightEdge Ventures, Sundari Mohan Charitable Hospital, and US oncology policy efforts. She's also the CEO and Founder of AM Studio LLC, a global community of artists, luminaries, and friends who share a passion for art, culture, and giving back to underserved populations and patients.

Is she a wizard? Can she expand the concept of time in space? Because I know what you’re thinking… How does she fit all this in?


Episode Overview

We immediately dive into some amazing bookish questions. What’s so wonderful about the books that she reads is that they are a complete reflection of her character and who she is. She’s a wildly gifted creative, but such a die-hard scientist at heart. She also ends up asking me questions, which frankly, I die, because she’s such a gem. And when I said that she is engaging with the people she meets, the world around her and her community, now you get a sense of what I mean.

A quote I really loved that felt so special and insightful about the power of reading was around the middle of the episode:

“I do really like reading, not just because it provides audiences new answers but it leads us to ask new questions.”

Again, the true scientist at heart. The true beauty about books is that no matter how much you feel familiar with the genre, character or an author’s style, you will always come across something new that just sparks your soul. Episode show notes are below with time stamps and books mentioned in the podcast. Enjoy!


Episode Show Notes

Intro message, mission and introducing Alia Manetta, DogEared’s October Leader.

  • 6:12 What are you reading right now and how did you come across it?

  • 7:29 What is your earliest memory of reading?

  • 8:44 How has your reading grown or evolved, since you’ve grown up (in terms of taste, peeves, interests and habits)

  • 9:40 Do you have a favorite author or genre?

  • 10:25 Is that book, or are there any other books that have inspired you and your path that you are on today?

  • 12:45 Is there a book you think that we need to read right now as a society?

  • 15:28 What are some habits and quirks that you do when you read?

  • 17:23 What book evoked a visceral reaction or a very intense emotion from you, good ro bad?

  • 19:30 What about you, Bebe? What are the books that have impacted you?

  • 23:11 What really moves you in a work of literature?

  • 24:32 If you could have an author write about your life, who would it be?

  • 26:04 Who would write about your life, Bebe?

  • 29:07 Intermission!

  • 32:12 We’re back!

  • 33:00 What are some of your favorite books? (Alia to Bebe)

  • 36:40 How has reading been a part of your life?

  • 38:42 Are there any other books that are on your list to read?

  • 39:48 What makes you dog-ear, highlight or bookmark a page?

  • 43:53 Why do you read?

  • 44:58 If you could gift a book to someone, what would it be, who would it be to and why?

Books Mentioned in the Episode:

Originals: How Non-Conformists Change the World by Adam Grant

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Waking up by Sam Harris

The Patient Will See You Now by Eric Tople

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Wild by Jay Griffiths

How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

Bossy Pants by Tina Fey

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