What We’re Reading: January 2017
New year, new start. We’re kicking things off by chipping away at our ever-growing reading lists. From design to memoir and everything in between, here are a few of the books our team recommends for 2017.
The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate
by Peter Wohlleben
A cool book that I’m reading right now is The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate by Peter Wohlleben. It’s really fascinating because it reveals aspects of trees that most people are not aware of, like how they have a capacity to learn, and that in some forest communities, they actually support each other and share food among their roots.
/ Brian Blosser, Web Developer
Parting It Out
by Ian Lynam
I like designers who think about design as much as they make design. Ian Lynam is one of those designers. He speaks primarily to contemporary design culture, but doesn’t limit himself to a purely Western viewpoint. I’ve learned more about design in the Eastern hemisphere in the last 100 pages than I did in two years of design school. To boot: it’s a pleasure to look at.
/ Kelcey Towell, Designer
Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
A bold look at race, class, and culture in America through one of its most respected writers and commentators. But really, a look at myself, my privilege, and the reality that my children will face and I will not.
/ Rob Hutti, Senior Interactive Designer
Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future
by Martin Ford
I enjoy futurist nonfiction more than anything and this in-depth look into how artificial intelligence might reshape our world was my top read of 2016. Ford uses many modern-day examples of A.I. to explain how our future might unfold and solutions for the problems that will come with it.
/ Daniel Korte, Senior Web Developer
Based on a True Story
by Norm MacDonald
Norm MacDonald’s memoir is bullshit — and it’s all the better for it. The funniest book I’ve read in years chronicles Norm’s rise through the comedy ranks, his reign on Weekend Update, his million dollar gambling losses, his suicide, and his murder. Worth reading for the old-timey phrases alone, like “he looked drunk as a boiled owl” or “I’d been on the road for a pickler’s fortnight.” Norm proves himself to be a storyteller nonpareil.
/ Ashford Stamper, Designer
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
by Sheryl Sandberg
This seemed a bit overhyped when it first came out (2013), but I think it’s a must-read for both sexes — and a great kick in the ass for any woman to just GO for it. Her TED Talk on the leadership gap between women and men is a good primer for the book.
/ Laura McCarthy, Account Manager
by Mary Karr
After hearing Mary Karr’s southern-accented, self-deprecating stories on Fresh Air and On Being, I felt obligated to make my way through her memoirs — after all, she wrote the book on them. Her first, Liar’s Club, recaps a not-so-perfect childhood in a tiny Texas town with a mother who wields a butcher knife and torches the family’s belongings during a psychotic break. In Lit, a separate memoir, Karr covers her life as a young writer, mother, and alcoholic in Boston, where she meets the one and only David Foster Wallace in AA. It’s a hilarious, insightful look at a writer’s struggles (and successes).
/ Katherine Leonard, Content Strategist
The Primal Blueprint
by Mark Sisson
This book explores the many misconceptions and fallacies of the modern-day diet that has helped pave the way for many of the obesity issues we’re facing today. Mark’s points are based upon deep amounts of research, scientific data, and common sense that helps make this an easy, trustworthy read, which may very well help change your mind the next time you look at that big pile of carbs on your plate!
/ Alec Gleason, Director of New Business Development