It’s time for the annual summer must-read lists Summer Reading 3 (2) that will pop up in most media outlets. While the major publishers will have their recommendations, here’s what some of our staff find intriguing, unsettling, informative, character-building, provocative, mesmerizing and just plain good.

Recently read by Allison Kluh is Allegiant, by Veronica Roth, the last book in the Divergent trilogy, a dark view of a society partitioned into five factions based on the character traits of its citizens, and the inevitable rail against forced conformity.

It’s the second go-around for Lisa Miller with Game of Thrones: Dance with Dragons, by George R.R. Martin. The world’s been waiting since 2011 for book 6 in the series, so a re-read is the only way she can get her fix of Westoros, Tyrion and The House of Black and White.

The erudite Judy Whittlesey is keeping up her artistic sensibilities reading Whistler: A Biography, by Stanley Weintraub, about the life of the influential yet eccentric American artist, James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

Dead Wake, by Eric Larson, awakens Tom Davis’ history passion; the author takes the reader on board the Lusitania for its final voyage across the Atlantic.

Aliza Bran just cracked open JoJo Moyes’ One Plus One, and the crack’s so fresh she’s not yet sure what it’s about. However, she was also left gurgling in the “Dead Wake” by Eric Larson and got her gumshoes on reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins about a woman who is trying to put together the pieces of a mystery murder.

Nicole Tieman is nurturing her professional skills with Measure What Matters, by Katie Helahaye Paine, an instructional about measuring online engagement and social media to improve how your brand or client relates online. That follows All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr (“It was AMAZING”)a story about a blind French girl and a young German orphan who was talented at fixing and operating radio equipment, and their journeys through WWII.

Brain buff Cassady Burns is excited to get her nose back into My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor—a neuroanatomist recollects her catastrophic left hemispheric stroke and the illuminative lessons learned on the road to recovery.

Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, keeps Jayne Davis up at night. Abandon everything you know and take a flying leap into the wild unknown of the Pacific Coast Trail with one shoe on and a hole in your heart.

Dan Gregory is taken with Becoming Richard Pryor by Scott Saul, an extensive look into the personal and cultural events that shaped the comedic legend’s professional genius and prosperity alongside his devastating fatal flaws.

According to Austin Courtney, 20-something women seeking belly-aching laughs should look no further than actress and writer Lena Dunham’s brutally honest pseudo-memoir, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned.

Although we think Susan Davis is secretly reading When Women Rule the World, author unknown (but suspected), her pick is Road to Character, by David Brooks, which explores how thought leaders and inspiring historical figures developed inner character and personal morality. Whew.


By Jayne Davis, SDI

June 19, 2015