NK Summer Reads

NK Summer Reads

Summer is a great time of year to catch up on the reading you've been dreaming about. Whether you’re lying on the beach, swinging in a hammock or hunkering inside on a lazy rainy day, NK has recommendations to keep you reading all summer long.

We’ve covered topics from marketing skills, memoirs and suspenseful murder mysteries to imaginative science fiction novels and epic comic books. There is something for everyone. So learn, laugh, cry or step into an adventure by checking out our list below:

Books

1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

It's a fun Modern Fantasy that will keep you engrossed – and if you’re interested in the TV series you definitely should read the book first. – Rich Swenor

2. The Magicians by Lev Grossman

My favorite book. It's the first part of a modern-day adult fantasy trilogy that works out to be Harry Potter meets The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It has been adapted into a TV series on SyFy, but I much prefer the book and can’t recommend it enough. – Rich Swenor

3. The Inside Story of a Hockey Mastermind by Herb Brooks

This provides an inside look at how the head coach (Herb Brooks) of the 1980 USA Gold Medal Men’s Hockey team pulled off what is considered a “miracle” by beating the heavily favored and dominant Soviet Union Red Army hockey team to advance to the Gold Medal game against Finland which they eventually won. It’s a good read that offers management and motivational techniques that can be applied in current day-to-day business situations. – David Winclechter

4. Small Great Things: A Novel by Jodi Picoult

This is an eye-opening book that covers deep issues like racism, ethics … with many twists and turns. And there’s a surprise ending! – Sue Sobeck

5. But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman

It’s a book talking about society as we know it today, and how things we’ve previously thought to be true beyond a reasonable doubt have been proven to be different later on (for example, he talks a lot about the theory of gravity and the changes that went through). It has a great section about the history of rock and roll music and whether or not it is dead, or if it can even die. Great book so far! – Stephany Bagnall

6. Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage. by Rob Delaney

This great comedian talks about his rise to fame thanks to Twitter, his childhood and college years and his recovery from alcoholism. He is a hilarious writer; even in the very sad parts about his struggle with alcohol abuse, he still somehow manages to make you laugh. If you’ve ever followed him on Twitter, you'll have an idea of what to expect in the book, as well with his comedy special on Netflix, “Rob Delaney Live at the Bowery Room.” – Stephany Bagnall

7. To the Bright Edge of the World: A Novel by Eowyn Ivey

Enjoy a summer escape into the chillingly magnificent landscape of 1885 Alaska. Eowyn Ivey packs plenty of mythical surprises along the way plus a love story that interweaves everything that matters most. Suspend your beliefs with some magical realism of the North! – Karen Williams

8. The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice by Todd Henry

Looking to step up your creative game this summer? The Accidental Creative is a practical book that looks at effective practices that will help you not only generate better creative ideas, but also sustain your creative output over the long term. The Accidental Creative is your guide to staying fresh and doing your best work each day.

An excerpt:
“You go to work each day tasked with (1) inventing brilliant solutions that (2) meet specific objectives by (3) defined deadlines. If you do this successfully you get to keep your job. If you don’t, you get to work on your resume. The moment you exchange your creative efforts for money, you enter a world where you will have to be brilliant at a moment’s notice. (no pressure, right?)” – Nathan Richards

9. A Primate’s Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons by Robert Sapolsky

A Primate’s Memoir is one of my favorite books. Robert Sapolsky recounts his twenty-one-year study of a troop of baboons in Kenya. The tales range from laugh-out-loud hilarious to heartbreakingly somber as they explore the challenges and pleasures of living in the wilds of the Serengeti – for both the baboons and himself. Reading between the lines, you can’t help but be affected by the parallels between the ebb and flow of the baboon troop and that of the human condition. While Sapolsky’s stories are captivating on the surface, there is a lot to be learned with a deeper dive. – Nathan Richards

10. The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens 

When a writing assignment turns into a life-changing event! – Sandy Klein

11. Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer

This 2012 book explores Thomas Edison’s idea that “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Using research and stories of innovation from the likes of Procter & Gamble, 3M, and Pixar, Lehrer illustrates the science behind the AHA! moment. It’s a thought-provoking look at how top performing businesses set their teams up for creative success through science. – Tyler Smith

12. The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen

I was kind of creeped out throughout the entire book and the ending really surprised me. – Melissa Lindsey

13. Oxygen: A Novel by Carol Cassella

Surgery is scary. – Melissa Lindsey

Comic Books

So you’re thinking about reading a comic book … Do it. For starters, they expose you to things you don’t typically read. Comics can present social commentary in a unique format, and their use of color and illustration constantly blows me away in a world where everything has already been done. I love how comic book artists take a format with set parameters, like three frames, and redefine the rules. It's great inspiration for grid and layout. – Rich Swenor

Black Science by Rick Remender (art by Matteo Scalera & Dean White)

Low by Rick Remender (art by Greg Tocchini & Dave McCaig)

  • Posted in: Thoughts
  • Tuesday, July 25, 2017.

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