Books of Interest Part 5: 2021 Spring Reading Recommendations

For the past few years, we have curated a list of our employees’ favorite reads. We are back again with Part Five of our Books of Interest. So if you are looking to be captivated by a story or have already binged your way through your streaming watch list, here is a list of seven books that our employees found interesting to share with you. To check out even more book recommendations, here are parts 1-4 of our Books of Interest blog posts: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four.

The Todd Ingram Book Series by John J. Gobell 

A series of 6 novels by John J. Gobell tracks the Naval career of Todd Ingram, a young Lieutenant on Bataan at the start of World War II (The Last Lieutenant) through his time as an admiral during the Vietnam War (Dead Man Launch). Gobell blends the historical facts with the action of a novel into a very interesting read for any fan of historical fiction.   Each book has a map so that you can follow the location of the events in the novels. Gobell a former Navy Lieutenant who served as a weapons officer on a destroyer writes about what he knows.  As a son of a World War II Naval Officer who served in the South Pacific, I could not help but think of my father and the times he faced during the most challenging time in American history that brought us the greatest generation.

–  Recommended by: Pat O. 



Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey 

I do love to read a good autobiography.  But this book is so much more than that.  And I didn’t even read this book!  I bought the Audible version – and listened as Matthew McConaughey read to me his take on his 50 years of “livin” so far.  This book is a collection of Matthew’s journal entries. It’s a collection of poems written by him. It’s a collection of post-it notes. It’s a collection of stories from the movies he’s made, stories of the life he’s lived, and stories of the “greenlights” he’s caught along the way. What’s a greenlight? An affirmation, or the gut feeling, that our life is on the right path. Greenlights are approval and praise and support and attaboys (or attagirls). Sometimes a green light is simply being aware of the red lights. Sometimes it is about timing. Sometimes it’s about being in the right place at the right time. It’s the art of livin, according to Matthew.

“It’s a matter of how we see the challenge in front of us and how we engage with it.  Persist, pivot, or concede.  It’s up to us, our choice every time.”

As for me, I enjoyed it so much, that I can’t wait to buy the hardcover. Greenlight.  (Note: not suitable for young readers )

–  Recommended by: Rebecca K. 


The Pioneers by David McCullough 

McCullough is a multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American History. This book tells the adventures of the first group of people to leave the original 13 colonies and colonize the newly acquired Northwest Territory. The group must face famine, disease, war, and treason while attempting to civilize the western lands in what would become Marietta, Ohio. A great read for anyone who enjoys history.

–  Recommended by: Chris L.






The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, Alicia lives in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening, her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot and Alicia shoots him in the face and then falls silent. Alicia’s refusal to talk or give any kind of explanation turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander – a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations―a search for the truth that threatens to consume him.

As a debut novel, Michaelides does an incredible job making this story a slow burn for the reader. Marketed as a psychological thriller, the pacing of this novel differs from most of its kind. This book is methodical, allowing the reader to be introduced to each character slowly – layer by layer- over the course of the 336 pages. I felt The SIlent Patient was less about solving the crime that was committed but exploring the mind of the criminal in question. I highly recommend this novel for anyone that is looking for a suspense story that draws you in an unexpected way.

–  Recommended by: Jennifer W.

The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger 

As an unabashed fan of the Walt Disney Company, this book was a must-read for me.  I have admired not just the creativity and story-telling capability of the company, which is unparalleled, but even more so their commitment to telling these stories and “creating experiences” for their customers.  Robert Iger, as the Disney CEO from 2005 to 2020, tells his story through the ranks of the company in a candid and easy to read manner.  I breezed through this book.

From his days at ABC sports to negotiating with Steve Jobs to buy Pixar, there are a lot of good business lessons without being over-bearing or preachy.  The conversations around buying LucasFilm and Marvel were each fascinating for different reasons.  My favorite quote from the book “…my goal for Disney is to be the most admired company in the world, by our consumers, and our shareholders, and by our employees.  That last part is key.  We’ll never get the admiration of the public unless we get it from our own people first.”  Anyone who has visited a Disney Park has seen first-hand the buy-in from their people.  You can see that this is a conscious effort at the highest levels of the company.

–  Recommended by: Keith A.


Manhunting by Jennifer Crusie 

These days we could use a little humor in our lives. A touch of romance would not hurt, either. Manhunting by Jennifer Cruise has a lot of humor about a woman searching for romance.

Kate Svenson is a businesswoman about to give up on love (after 3 failed engagements) when her best friend talks her into trying to find Mr. Right one more time. This time, though, Kate is going to do what works best for her: make a business plan. So, Kate makes a list of what she is looking for in a partner – um husband – and heads to a golf resort in Kentucky. What ensues are disastrous dates that will leave you laughing and cheering for our heroine, Kate.

–  Recommended by: Liz J. 


You Are Awesome by Neil Pasricha

“You Are Awesome” is a timely and helpful book that centers on nine key factors the author calls “secrets” with the main theme centering around resilience. The book addresses a developing crisis of personal insecurity, interpersonal relationship upheaval in the time of social media and constant distractions, and provides helpful and actionable advice in each chapter. The author blends an intimate personal and family biography, with research, practical how-to applications, breezy humor, and clever turns of phrase (“Resilience is being able to see that tiny little sliver of light between the door and the frame just after you hear the latch click”). It’s an entertaining and inspiring read to help you bounce back and keep growing – especially during tough times. You Are Awesome brings alive the axiom that tough times don’t last, but tough people do.

–  Recommended by: Cassie B.