Books of Interest Part 2: 2019 Summer Reading Recommendations

It is officially summer and we are back with part two of our summer reading recommendations! We believe there is nothing quite like curling up on a couch or relaxing poolside with a good book in hand. For those that look forward to being captivated by a story (or two), here is a list of eight books that our employees found interesting! To check out part one of this blog from 2018, click here!

Gridiron Genius by Michael Lombardi

Year after year the New England Patriots are in contention for the Super Bowl while some teams continue to struggle. Using the knowledge of his 30-year career that included working with Bill Belichick, Bill Walsh, and Al Davis, Michael Lombardi shares the blueprint for how teams such as the Patriots are able to separate themselves from other organizations. This book provides great insight into the thought process (or lack thereof) that goes into NFL personnel moves, team building, and game planning. A great read for not only football fans but for anyone who is interested in team building, culture, and leadership.

–  Recommended by:  Zach P. 




Social: Why Our Brians Are Wired To Connect by Matthew Liberman

This book is a great read for people who are fascinated by human interaction. There are so many interesting insights that have application across all walks of life and professions. It explains why our social networks are so important, why people who have lost control of facial muscles (usually due to stroke) struggle with empathy, and the hard-wired tribalism that runs deep in our biology. The author does a good job of breaking down this incredibly complex topic into terms that the layperson can easily understand (which I would place myself in that category). One of the most interesting findings is summed up in the following quote from the book – “We intuitively believe social and physical pain are radically different kinds of experiences, yet the way our brains treat them suggests that they are more similar than we imagine.”

–  Recommended by: Keith A. 




All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

Naperville native Emily Giffin’s newest novel, released in 2018, is centered around the fallout that occurs when cellphone exploitation occurs at a high school party. This emotionally charged page-turner is told in the voices of three realistic and relatable characters: a 16-year female (and the victim of the cellphone exploitation), her single and protective father, and the mother of the alleged perpetrator whose life of privilege has gotten out of control. With Giffin’s brilliant and conversational writing, you will be hard pressed not to root for each of the narrators in this novel as they begin to understand the world from diverse perspectives.

–  Recommended by: Jennifer W. 




Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan

Do you enjoy food? Do you like to laugh? Jim Gaffigan does, and this book is his homage to eating and all that goes with it plus a dash of humor. From the start, Mr. Gaffigan says that he is not a foodie; he is an “eatie.” He does not know much about food, but he knows what he likes to eat. There is something for everyone in this book. You will always laugh with him. Everyone should read this book!

–  Recommended by: Liz J. 






My Lucky Life In And Out Of Show Business: A Memoir by Dick Van Dyke

My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business: A Memoir by Dick Van Dyke was published in 2011. He turned 86 that December and today, he is 93 and continues to be active. Raised in Danville, Illinois, Van Dyke takes his readers back to his childhood and early career telling stories of the people and experiences that shaped him into an entertainer beloved by millions of people. Candid in sharing the good and the bad, he keeps you turning pages as you laugh with him along the way

–  Recommended by: David B. 





Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Based on tragic true events, this story follows a family torn apart by illegitimate adoptions. Told from multiple points of view in the past and present day, Wingate creates an intricate story of family history and secrets. The book is a quick read with a few surprises along the way.

–  Recommended by:  Emily B. 






Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

Tuesdays with Morrie is based on the life Morrie Schwarts, an American Professor of Sociology at Brandeis University. Morrie teaches us how to live in the moment and how to treasure each other. This compelling story has impacted that lives of many since its publication in 1997.

–  Recommended by:  Kathy L. 







Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Selected as one of the 10 best books in 2018 by the New York Times Book Review. A memoir of a young girl growing up in a survivalist family in hills of southeastern Idaho and her desire to continue her education beyond the “homeschooled” beliefs of her anti-government parents. If you liked Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance, the story of a young man growing up in a dysfunctional family in Appalachia, this memoir by Tara Westover will rock you to your core and you will wonder how she ever made her escape!

–  Recommended by:  Pat O.