reads

Our Monthly Reads - July 2013

What have you been reading this month?

Here are our July reads, with a new addition - a paws rating!

What would you rate our reads, if you've read them? What would you suggest to us for next month? Let us know with a comment!


  Kate Mcilvain, Director of Program Operations

  The Wisdom of Insecurity  by Alan Watts

"As a yoga teacher and student living here in Chicago, I am always looking for ways to incorporate eastern philosophy into my teaching for the western student. British lecturer and writer Alan Watts is best known for interpreting eastern philosophy for the western audience, travelling the world on the lecture circuit, writing books and essays, and hosting the Eastern Wisdom, Modern Life television series, and his writings always inspire my yoga classes and practice.  In The Wisdom of Insecurity, Watts explores the ways in which humans come to terms with the unknown and search for spiritual and intellectual clarity in uncertain times.  The Wisdom of Insecurity dives into this seemingly heady topic with a conversational ease that is accessible for even the casual student of eastern philosophy."


  Liz Burgess, Executive Director

  The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg

"This was a good story and a quick, easy summer read.  It was, however, somewhat predictable. I didn't figure out "who dunnit" until the end so I was engaged and interested until the end.  I'm looking forward to reading the next Läckberg novel and see how she evolves as an author.  She has some stiff competition from her Scandinavian peers such as Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson.!"


Alicia Boemi,Director of External Relations

Work Motivation in Organizational Behavior  by Craig Pinder

"I am reading this book as part of my Psychology of Motivation class for graduate school and have so far found it very interesting. This book gives a critical analysis on the many theories that lay the foundation for human behavior and motivation in the workplace.  Pinder gives a very in depth look into what satisfies and dissatisfies us at work - what motivates us - and why negativity can ensue in the workplace. He also gives examples of how to change negative work environments and how managers can play an important role in changing the organization and its employees from an unsatisfactory work environment into one where achievement and positive impacts are part of every role in the organization."


  Melissa McBride,Volunteer Coordinator

  Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's   by John Elder Robinson

"I worked very closely with a boy who had Asperger's while I was a Special Education Aide in a Chicago high school. I was very interested in reading Robinson's retrospective account of growing up with the disorder before it was something that people could be diagnosed with. So far, the book is really interesting and I have been endeared to Robinson as he details his experiences with family and friends, and how he tries to fit in."


  Victoria Luisi,External Relations Intern

  Little Bee   by Chris Cleave

"I picked up this book at the thrift store a while ago, because I'm a cover-judger, and I'm in love with it. I sat at the beach for hours reading it, not being able to put it down - and I have the sunburn to prove it! I think the quote on the back cover sums it up nicely, "Once you have read it, you'll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens. The magic is in how the story unfolds." Cleave's way of storytelling is beautiful, and the way you are immersed in the two characters' lives through their thoughts of their present and past, and their introspective narratives, is poetic. I recommend this book for everyone - just remember to appropriately apply sunscreen every thirty minutes as you read it in the sand."

Our Monthly Reads - June

Hello everyone! To kick off our summer, we decided to share with you some of our current June reads from all of us at the office! If you need suggestions for some future beach reads on those sunny days off, here's what we're diving into!

Has anyone read any of these? Have any suggestions for us? Let us know with a comment!


Bone in the Throat

Bone in the Throat

Kate Mcilvain, Director of Program Relations

Bone in the Throat by Anthony Bourdain

  "[Bourdain] is a fantastic travel/food writer - and who doesn't love his show No Reservations?  When it came time to find something new to read, I thought that a foray into fiction writing by Anthony Bourdain would prove a good choice, and it has!  All the fun, honesty, and sarcasm you love from Bourdain on No Reservations abounds in this gangster-kitchen-murder-mystery-romp-campy-drama."


Princess Elizabeth's Spy

Princess Elizabeth's Spy

  Liz Burgess, Executive Director

  Princess Elizabeth'sSpy  by Susan Elia Macneal

  "This book is the second in a new series featuring Maggie Hope, who is a terrific character in this World War II historical fiction mystery.  I really liked the main character Maggie; her brains, determination and good intentions coexist with human emotions and flaws in judgment.  So she's no superhero, allowing for great twists and turns in the story.  I highly recommend this series and they make for great summer reading!"


Oscar Wao

Oscar Wao

  Alicia Boemi,Director of External Relations

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao  by Junot Diaz

  "I am about halfway through the book and so far it has been an intriguing story that keeps you turning the page. The main characters are very heartfelt and your ability to feel for them is why I think I like this book so much. I would recommend it to others so far and am looking forward to finishing it!"


The Torch of Decency

The Torch of Decency

Melissa McBride,Volunteer Coordinator

The Torch of Decency   by Jahmal Cole

  "It is a non-fiction work about the history and modern-day state of Chatam, IL. As a Chicago native I'm always interested in local issues. Specifically, I like that Cole makes some connections and suggestions about the way we think about our involvement with local government. He had the table next to us at the Printer's Row Lit Fest, too!"


When You Are Engulfed In Flames

When You Are Engulfed In Flames

Victoria Luisi,External Relations Intern

When You Are Engulfed in Flames   by David Sedaris

  "David Sedaris never disappoints with his witty and sarcastic storytelling, and this book is no exception! Great short stories about snippets of his life, told through a very sarcastically funny lens. If you want a good laugh and need a quick read for the plane or for the beach, I highly suggest picking this one up from the library!"