October is National Book Month and we have quite a few avid readers here at APG&E, including yours truly. As the daughter of an elementary school librarian my love of reading started early. Many nights were spent huddled by flashlight reading about the adventures of The Boxcar Children and Ramona Quimby, while the rest of the house was fast asleep.
When I put out the call for what our team was reading, I was surprised by the diversity and the number of book selfies I received. The responses weren’t just your typical stodgy business books, though I admit those have their time and place. I hope you find these recommendations as interesting as I did, and maybe even get inspired to check out one or two.
Dune - Frank Herbert
Dune is a science fiction classic that can be reread time and time again and you would still find something new. It is set in a world where “spice” is valued more than anything and you will find yourself addicted until the last page is turned.
Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton
Dinosaurs. Science. You pretty much know the rest – but oh so much better than any of the movies.
East of Eden – John Steinbeck
Steinbeck, one of America’s celebrated writers, whom you either love or hate (perhaps because of all those essays in high school?). Kyle, one of our IT developers, gives East of Eden 5 gold stars and insists it is worth rediscovering Steinbeck!
The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
An epic tale of suffering and retribution. Edmond Dantes is imprisoned for a crime he did not commit but learns of a treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo.
The Warrior Elite – Dick Couch
A glimpse into the elite world of Navy SEALs and their training
The Boys in the Boat – Daniel James Brown
The story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their quest for gold at the Berlin Olympics. A story of hope.
Agincourt – Bernard Cornwell
Our CEO, Jay, is a fan of historical fiction books as they take you to a place in time much removed from the issues of the current day and help educate you on historical events. Jay is currently reading Agincourt and said that the author Bernard Cornwell does a great job of researching his topics and keeping as close to history as he can. Agincourt is one of the most famous battles in history when an undermanned English force defeated a much larger French army that outnumbered them six to one. The English relied heavily on the longbow and their skilled archers to defeat the French. The book does take you back in time to see how the entire English culture supported creating and training archers for the longbow and how that served them well for centuries.
The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea – Jack E. Davis
An extensive history of the Gulf which has been well research by Jack E Davis of The University of Florida at Gainesville.
For the Kids:
How to Train Your Dragon Book Series – Cressida Cowell
Bryce, our Director of IT, is currently reading this series with his kids and they are on book 8 of 10. They started out by watching the three movies and then jumped right into the books. Interestingly enough, even though the characters are named the same, the movies and books have very different plots. Bryce highly recommends the series for those with young children that love to read.
On the Business Side:
SCRUM: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time - Jeff Sutherland & JJ Sutherland
Our COO, Jonathan, runs almost his entire life based on the teachings of this book. To the humor of the entire office, he has a ranked backlog (read the book to learn what this is) for his home improvement projects.
Radical Candor – Kim Scott
From a very young age we were taught, "if you can’t say anything nice don’t say it at all." Well, this book throws that idea on its head. We are doing more harm by not speaking up. You don’t have to be a jerk, but you do need to speak up.
Good to Great – Jim Collins
An oldie but goodie, this one made the list of Jake, from our Sales Team.