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Book Recommendations

These books have been recommended by our NWone Board of Directors. It's a fun tradition to kick off our meetings, and if you buy a book through these links, NWone gets an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Get a great read and benefit NWone at the same time!

Nancee Hofmeister read Educated by Tara Westover, a memoir. It is a book of her life up to 31 years old, being raised in her family (“homeschooled” but not really schooled) and so she goes into the school system and ends up getting her PhD. They live in Utah. Very entertaining. Quick read. Her struggles being exposed to the internet and reality after being sheltered.

Mady Murrey also recommended Educated.

Nancee also loved Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. It was gifted to her right around the same time her dad went into hospice and she couldn’t read it in that situation so time passed and she picked it up again. Now her mother-in-law who is very independent has recently decided to move into a senior living community. Reading the book and learning how the author adjusted gave her a new perspective.

Cindi Warburton is reading The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker. A look at how you should put a construct around gathering people whether a meeting or a family dinner. She has many examples of why and how she has brought people together to do work on different subjects. One big takeway so far is don’t be the chill host – this might allow one guest to monopolize another – you have to actively facilitate and create an experience for the people you are gathering.

Marcy Holmes recommends The Course of Love by Alain de Botton. It’s a narrative with philosophy interspersed on the way love is/can be over the course of a marriage as opposed to just the meet-cute at the very beginning of a relationship which is over-represented. She especially loved a comparison of the way we love our children and the way we love our spouses and how if we brought them closer together we’d be happier with our spouses.

Jennifer Packer recommends The Fourth Turning by Neil Howe and William Strauss. It’s taking a long time because it’s very scholarly and it’s about history. History is not a linear series of events as we’re taught, but it happens in cycles. It was written/published in 2007/2008 and talks about how we are getting ready to enter the fourth cycle of this turning which is chaos. It references historical periods of chaos. Since it’s so heavy she’s had to take breaks to read fun books but she’s enjoying it.

Jane Hutcheson just finished Meet Me At the Museum by Anne Youngston, an epistolary novel (letters back and forth between two people). One of them is an archaeologist in Denmark at this museum. He curates Tollund Man (someone who was buried in a peat bog thousands of years ago). The other person is a housewife in England. Jane really enjoyed it, was surprised at the amount of plot in an exchange of letters.

Jane also recommends The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. Starts in the ‘60s Ireland and the opening scene is Mass where the priest goes up to do the homily and starts accusing a young girl who is sitting in the pew with her six brothers and her parents and the girl is cast out for being pregnant. By whom? is part of the story. The characterizations are great you could imagine having the characters over for dinner. The story is super well written, and Jane loved it.

Kelly Espinoza hasn’t finished it but recommends Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan. Peg also loved it. A true story about a young Italian man who began working for the Nazi leadership and was instrumental in helping save people from them. Kelly was drawn to read this book learning about how the author was incredibly depressed and had a horrible experience with his prior book but somehow heard this man speak and decided to meet him and go to Italy and spent a couple years learning about the young man’s experience before turning it into a book.

Peg Currie was asked at a meeting which historical person she would want to meet and she wanted to meet Lewis & Clark and this summer she read The Essential Lewis & Clark which was their journal entries on their way to the Columbia. Great to read in their own words. You also get an understanding of the various Indian tribes they met along the way and who is accommodating and open to new ideas and who is more hostile. She’s going to start Undaunted Courage next.

Julie Ostrom is in the middle of many books. Drop by Drop by Morgan Llywelyn is a contemporary fiction on technology and the use of petroleum in products and somehow all the petroleum starts melting. Society has to go through this grieving process. She picked this up at the library not knowing much about it in advance. Just finished re-reading When Breath Becomes Air. They have a new hospital president so he started book clubbing with the medical staff. A few of the nursing leaders have started reading along with them so if they have an opportunity to participate they are able to.

Susan Stacey just finished a couple books that are dramatically different. One is Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig, which is the story of a 14 year old autistic girl who is removed from her birth parents and after a series of foster homes ends up with her forever parents who then get pregnant. The book reads through Ginny’s eyes and parts are in the first person so it’s very interesting to read and she has her fixations including a baby doll that she forgot at her birth mother’s home when she left and how she deals with it can look very inappropriate to outside viewers but in her head makes sense. It was much easier to listen to than to read since her thoughts are not presented in the typical way. The author fostered an autistic girl with his wife so that’s where his perspective comes from.

She also read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. About the justice system particularly in the south where race and income level drive what kind of justice you get. It’s not unique to the south but it’s very profound there. Examines how we are one of the only countries in the world that sentence juveniles to death. And we have the highest rates of incarceration. Made for an interesting discussion at the lake vacation with her sister and brother-in-law who both work in the justice system. There’s a related TED talk and an NPR podcast episode.

Elizabeth Fiegel recommends a book she read last year and re-read recently. Liz Wiseman’s Multipliers. She spent a lot of time and flagged some pages and developed some objectives from the concepts in the book. It’s about leadership. Liz was a leadership executive at Oracle and now she’s a consultant at many large organizations like Nike and Apple. Leading is not about giving all the answers, sometimes you have to take people on the journey to answer the question themselves. Also about having fun and enjoying the work and creating intention.

 Jane recommends By Celeste Ng. Easy to find in paperback from a local bookstore. The author is from Shaker Heights area (teacher). She has another well-acclaimed book, All the Things I Never Told You. Little Fires Everywhere talks about this family in a perfectly-planned town of Shaker Heights, Ohio – street widths are planned, alleys for trash pick-up to prevent garbage cans on the street, etc, but one day the mother of four wakes up and the houses are on fire – someone has set a fire on the bed of each person…

Also recommended by Jane: If anyone has read any Anna Quindlen novels, she is a wonderful writer, and she has a new one coming out called Alternate Side about a road-rage related act of violence that happens to a family in a privileged area and the resulting fallout. Jane was recently there and saw the issue of not being able to get anywhere by car and can fully imagine the road rage.

Kelly recommends Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander – a beautiful, intriguing book by an acclaimed neurosurgeon out of Harvard and he had a near-death experience and was in a coma for 7 days (e coli bacterial meningitis likely due to a trip to Israel) and this knowledgeable man describes his near-death experience. A wonderful book and a very quick read. She also read on of our previous recommendations, Origin, and loved it.

Marcy recommends The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie which follows a sewing machine that was built during a historic strike at the Singer factory in 1911 and then follows the generations of users of the sewing machine who supported themselves by sewing

Marcy also recommends When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalinithi who is also a neurosurgeon (like Eben Alexander) - he has a very lyrical writing style that isn’t for everyone but the book is very thoughtful and beautiful. His wife wrote the afterword and she is also a great writer.

Nancee recommends Life is Good by Bert and John Jacobs, about the power of Optimism. The brothers are the founders of the Life is Good brand. Relates the 10 values they base their company on and take each one as a chapter and go through how that works in their company. One of her favorite parts is when they shut off their email, which who knows how that works. All in all, very reaffirming.

Mady recommends How Luck Happens by Janice Kaplan who wrote the gratitude diaries. About how there is not really a lot behind luck, but really we prepare for opportunities to arise. A good book for people who like daily gratitude.

Katie is a history buff and loves Carnegie’s Maid, by Marie Benedict who wrote The Other Einstein, and this story is about a real person Clara Kelly, a little bit fictionalized, who it is postulated had a big influence on Carnegie. Carnegie’s wife was not a warm, nice person and Clara Kelly was a poor Irish immigrant daughter of a farmer and was his right-hand person after many years in the household and spent most of her time tending to him and his children, including traveling with them. It’s felt she softened him and turned him into the philanthropist he became.

Katie also recommends Ron Chernow’s exploration of Grant, called Grant, and he talks about Grant in a way Katie really enjoyed. He was a war hero but not loved as a president, emotionally unavailable, politically savvy, and he truly did change the republican party when he was in office.

Katie also recommends a leadership book she purchased for all of her leaders: Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team – a companion/how-to book to Simon’s Book. Easy read with a lot of practical tips, scripting, etc.

Julie is working through Jane’s recommendations as well as the others on our website. She’s also listening to a book called West Cork - part of a program Amazon has to promote new books on Audible before releasing them. Written by a kid right out of high school. Fun irish accent too.

Cindi is reading The Darkest Child by Delores Philips, which provides a perspective on what it was like to be a young black person in the 1950s grappling with segregation and desegregation. The main character is one of 10 children by 10 dads and her mother is also abusive. The writing makes you feel like you’re sitting in their front room.

Cindi is also listening to Brene Brown’s Braving the Wilderness which is so timely with everything going on in the world and gives her skills to invite real conversation with people who have differing opinions versus just exchanging opinions. Definitely applicable to working with patients as well, but very helpful with family.

Paula Meyer got a book for Mother’s Day – she plans to get it for all of the nurses in her family: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse by Lee Gutkind.

Elizabeth recommends Execution by Larry Bossidy – about how to get things done.

Peg recommends Find Your Whistle. “Four-Time International Whistling Champion Christopher Ullman presents Find Your Whistle, the heartwarming, hilarious, and outrageous journey of a Washington and Wall Street insider who uses his simple gift to touch hearts and change lives. In this sweet and authentic memoir, world whistling champion Christopher Chris Ullman a managing director at one of the world’s most powerful private equity firms tells readers how he found, developed, and shares his whistle with big-wig politicians, special needs children, Wall Street billionaires, and more than 400 people on their birthdays every year. Chris inspires readers to find their simple gift – their whistle – and make the world a better place.“

Susan Stacey recommends about the social aspects of plagues. The book is witty and fun despite the gruesome topic.

Jane Hutcheson recommends about the people who worked to save the artwork during the siege of WWII - story told in the past and present via a worker who is now suffering from Alzheimers and trying to tell her family.

Jane Hutcheson also recommends - will really appeal to people from a small town. Follow-up to Nobody's Fool but stands alone as well.

Peg Currie recommends. She was surprised to learn how long women have been tying flies. A fun read on the topic.

Julie Ostrom recommends as a collection of short stories of inspiration and strength.

Cindi Warburton recommends. It’s nerdy but really good. A perspective on how finance has such a deep influence on relationships – for example, the best insurance is a good relationship with your family, because who is going to take care of you when you’re in need. Contains math, history, and everything else.

Cindi is also listening to this.

Peg is listening to this and enjoying it.

Kelly Espinoza recommends. Set in 18th century. Fun, easy read of historical fiction. Story of one woman’s extremely humble beginnings and the steps in her life from living on the street to becoming a courtesan.

Kelly also recommends - another cute, fun, fast read on how Chip and Joanna Gaines began.

Jennifer Packer recommends. A true story about a character named Laura who met a young boy on the streets of New York City and what followed - they became friends and he grew up and became a father.

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