Ah, July. You are not Frantic June, filled with closing out, processing, and putting to bed the school year, nor are you Anticipatory August with its all-out back-to-school bonanza. You are instead a treasured sweet spot, nestled between the ending of one year and the beginning of the next. Loosely tethered to the year before but not yet fully attached to the year to come, this month is a time when we can afford the small luxury of time spent with a good book, allowing our minds to wander outside the confines of emails, compliance timelines, and meetings, meetings, meetings. It is one of life’s little miracles that time spent exploring the world through the pages of a book can bring clarity and inspiration to our own world.

With that idea in mind, I asked our sales team to recommend a few books that have inspired them professionally. Here’s what they had to say . . . 

Sharon Soliday’s Book Recommendations

Exhalation by Ted Chiang – Short stories in the realm of science fiction. NPR reports it as “Jammed with Brilliant, Mind-Exploding Ideas” and it doesn’t disappoint!

Becoming by Michelle Obama –  “Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there’s more growing to be done.” Honest. Real. Refreshing in these days of alternate facts. It’s been out for a bit now but if you haven’t gotten to it yet, it’s an insightful read. 

The Comeback Kid by John Mulaney – Not a book but laugh out loud stand-up comedy that will make the whole family laughing out loud.  I promise you’ll find yourself reflecting on past road trips with your parents . . . or glad that you didn’t take any.

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover – This is summer reading I just ordered for myself. Lots of awards but it took only one summary line to add it to my list: An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. If you live in the Northwest, there’s a perpetual curiosity about survivalist families and the life stories of their kids. Add education to the mix and it makes the summer reading list. Perhaps we could have our own book club online if you decide to read it also.

Chris Carleton’s Book Recommendations

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown – A great book! It’s set in the pacific northwest during the rise of Hitler. These local college men are training for the 1936 Berlin Olympics to win gold in rowing. It’s a great tale of unity, teamwork, and perseverance. Read about the takeaways for school staff that our own Kira Wright had after reading this book a few years ago. 

Eagle Blue by Michael D’Orso – One of my all-time favorites. This is set in a small village in Alaska. It follows a local native Alaskan villager boys basketball team through an unforgettable season. It’s a heartwarming, sad, historical and funny read! You learn not only about native Alaskan’s passion for basketball but a great deal of history and the realities of everyday life in small villages across Alaska.

The Actor’s Life, A Survival Guide by Jenna Fischer – I really enjoyed this book written by The Office’s Jenna Fischer. It’s a fascinating book that’s part memoir, part how-to guide that follows Jenna’s journey from the midwest to success in Hollywood. Very funny and entertaining. 

Heat – If you have any interest in cooking this is a must read! It’s an autobiography about a very successful editor for the New Yorker who decides to leave his job to become a chef. It’s a remarkable tale that brings you behind of a fine dining restaurant and craziness that is the NY restaurant scene. 

May this month find you with plenty of time to settle in with one of these books or any other that tickles your fancy. Bonus points if there’s a hammock involved 🙂