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!


Mady also recommends Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson which has been recommended many times in this group. She found it very eye-opening.


Jane recommends The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce. She listened to it on Audible. It's not very long. She found it funny and also very poignant and she loved it.


Susan recommends The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell. It's about secrets. After an event that fractured and separated the family, the kids come back to the house and process the event as adults and have to reconcile their memories and experiences with what really happened.


Bonnie has been trying to learn more about implicit bias and collusion and has read this fascinating article about Nursing Colonialism in America. A little heavy but a great read.


Cindi recommends Mindwise: Why We Misunderstand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want by Nicholas Epley. He has a psychology background so it’s a dive into some of the research behind how we look at the world. Cindi feels she’s a very empathetic person but has been challenged by the book to re-examine how she’s viewing and judging people without knowing it. Also the book emphasizes how important it Is to the human condition to connect with others.


Cindi also recommends Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann. It's about the Osage Indians who were some of the wealthiest people in the world at the time and as a result, they were targeted, horribly taken advantage of, and murdered. In parallel, J. Edgar Hoover was forming the FBI and conducting the first undercover investigations and working to find out who was behind the murders.


Desi and her daughter are reading Red Queen. The world is divided into people with silver blood who have powers and people who have red blood are commoners. It's a Young Adult novel so there's teenage love and romance.


Elizabeth recommends The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sun. About how to be mindful in a fast-paced world. It has been in the top books for a long time. About being more mindful, slowing down, and allowing your brain to rest.


Jennifer recommends The Secret Orphan by Glynis Peters; a historical fiction novel set at the beginning of WWII.


Jennifer also recommends True Places by Sonja Yoerg.


Julie recommends another book by the same author as The Woman in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware. Julie was looking for more books read by her favorite narrator - Imogen Church - and found The Lying Game by Ware.


With her teenage son, Julie is reading Behind Rebel Lines; the Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy about a woman who dressed up as a man in order to enlist in the Union Army and participate in the Civil War.


Kelly recommends Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. A beautifully written story about a little town in North Carolina and a family that lives in the swamp and a young girl's recollection after her mother leaves and how she survives and thrives alone in the swamp with no support.


Pam recommends journaling. She went on vacation in Mexico and she did do a little reading but she journaled almost every single day and got a lot of benefit out of it - well more than the time put in.


Paula Meyer had a power outage during the snow storm and decided to read Life of Pi. Now she can’t put it down. So well written. Love when you can get into a book and actually picture what is going on. The author is Yann Martel and Paula is going to look up more of his works.


Marcy recommends Vicious by V.E. Schwab. It is about people who have powers after near-death experiences, the characters are complex, not good guys and bad guys. Everyone has their own reasons for their behaviors. The two main characters start out as best friends. There is a sequel and possibly a third book on the way.


Jane recommends Midwinter Break by an Irish Author Bernard MacLaverty about a retired couple who fly from their home in Scotland to Amsterdam for a weekend break and to take stock of their lives and usually their relationship is easy but over the course of 4 days they discover the uncertainties within. And it was very poignant and hard to say goodbye at the end.


Jane also recommends Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver who has written so many wonderful novels, about a world on the brink of collapse, collapse of our bodies, of logic, about a family where the husband has been moving all over the countries trying to get tenure and it never happens and the wife is a columnist and an article writer. Then an elderly relative comes to live with them and it’s difficult as it always is and there’s not enough money and the current college is falling apart around their ears. And it’s about the expectations they had and how they don’t know what went wrong. Very enjoyable, highly recommended.


Katie is currently re-reading The Alchemist, by Paolo Coelho. It was published in the 80s, in Portugese, by a Brazilian author. It's an allegorical novel following an Andalusian shepherd on his journey to the pyramids of Egypt. He has a reoccurring dream about finding treasure there. He meets a lot of amazing characters along his trip. The fortune teller tells him that you can accomplish whatever you want to. He discovers that it’s all the wonderful people that are the treasure after all.


Kelly got Becoming from her husband from Christmas and she’s savoring it an enjoying it very much. She likes how relatable Michelle Obama is and it’s a very nice story about her humble beginnings and when she first met Barack and what she thought of him – it’s funny because she was not impressed in the beginning. Good insights into her and them as a couple.


Jennifer recommends In Shock by Dr Rana Awdish. The author becomes critically ill as she’s finishing her residency, with HELP syndrome during pregnancy, and then she ends up getting an opioid addiction. The focus on how you connect with patients and how differently you see it when you are a patient. It drives her to teach very differently in her teaching hospital as an attending. And her very first patient back is a woman in the ICU with HELP syndrome.


Bonnie is reading If Disney Ran Your Hospital by Fred Lee. Seattle Children's recently had a former Disney executive in who was very inspiring. It's a quick easy read.


Desi is currently reading the 'Lake Oswego Reads' book, The Book of the Unknown Americans about a family who came to America because their child is very ill and they can't get the healthcare resources they need in Mexico. It's about that and about their struggles reconciling the way they came to America.


Elizabeth Fiegel is now re-reading the book Execution, the Discipline of Getting Things Done, by Larry Bossidy, a former well-known CEO at Honeywell and Ram Charan and that she is absorbing different things from by putting parts into a workbook and creating her own study guide.


Pam re-reading The Language of Kindness about the kindness and helpfulness that really make nurses the heart of healthcare. Often the best thing you can do is be present. She gave several copies away for Christmas.


Julie is reading Until the End of the World by Sarah Lyons Fleming, an Oregon author, so she can participate in conversations in the car with her son's buddies who have formed a mini book club. It's a YA series so an easy read and entertaining. The sequels are And After and All the Stars in the Sky.


Susan recommends a book she liked so much she is doing a book club with her directors even though she didn’t used to like this when she was a director. It’s called No Ego by Cy Wakeman. She spoke at the magnet conference if any of you were there. Price of book was worth it for one line: circumstances are not the reasons we can’t succeed, they are the environment in which we must. It’s about reducing drama in the workplace and how much energy we spend on things outside our control. Only 9 chapters.


For a fun book she recommends Chris Boljhian who writes interesting books around social issues with often an interesting twist at the end. Before You Know Kindness. Centers on gun control controversy. There’s an unfortunate accident that bifurcates a community and you look at the heartache that comes after. He doesn’t make a statement for or against but shines a light on the controversy. Books always end up in a place very different from where they start.

Jane Hutcheson recommends The Jane Austen Project by NY Times Author Kathleen Flynn about a team from the future who can time travel. An extremely rich person with money to burn has assembled a team that can go back in time because there were hints in letters of another novel by Jane Austen, so they go back in time with assumed identities to try to find the novel and bring it back to the future. Short, very fun.

Jane also recommends Transcription by Kate Atkinson. She both read and listened to it. Very great like Kate Atkinson's other books (Life After Life, etc). The actress who narrated it did a very good job including all the different accents.

Marcy recommends Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson. Short, easy read with a lot of good tips to improve the quality of your sleep, even if your sleep situation is not ideal (small children, shift work, etc).

Desi McCue is reading Make Your Bed by Admiral William McRaven. Her favorite quote: A shepherd should smell like his sheep. Meaning you should be in the trenches with your team and understand their lives to be a good leader.

Jen Packer is reading Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. She's not finished yet but can't imagine it will turn out bad. 

Kelly Espinoza downloaded the audible app and started Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman which Jane previously recommended but hasn't gotten further than a few minutes. Yet. She will.

Pam is currently reading The Safety Playbook by John Byrnes and Susan Teman. It was given to her by her Safety Director and it's actually pretty good.

Katie Beam is reading Go Together by Shola Richards. She read through the whole thing once and is re-reading more slowly. She just saw the author speak at their leaderhsip conferences as a motivational speaker on beign postiive, open, intentional,a nd happy togehter as a team. Loved when he said "Think before you speak, and if you have nothing good to say, don't say anything." The entire nursing leadership team at Emmanuel has decided to embrace a lot of his topics. They have not only purchased the book for their entire team, but also are trying to have him come back and speak again, hopefully for nurses week. He's passionate and also funny.

Susan Stacey recently read You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie, a native American gentleman from the Spokane area. Tells his mother's history of alcoholism and then the story starts at the time of her death when her son comes to see her at Sacred Heart. Includes how you find out family secrets and how you deal with them. Easy writing.

Jennifer Gentry is finishing up a Robin Hobb's series, Fool's Errand. There's a big alternate reality you can escape to. This is the fourth trilogy set in the same universe.

Julie Ostrom has developed a habit of 3 books going at any one time.  Recently picked out an audiobook based on who narrated it. She loves the narrator Imogen Church, so she listened to The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware to hear her narration. Fun, light, easy read/listen. Has a British accent but does all the others too including a "yank" from New York which is fun to hear. Also just started Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng which has been recommended by this group before.

Cindi has read Remember It! by Nelson Dellis. It's written in a light-hearted manner including fun illustrations. The author is a 4 time USA memory champion and he talks about his techniques for memorizing anything. He had a family member who died of Alzheimer's and it made him decide to not lose his memory so he did some research and joined clubs and within 2 years became a memory champion.

Peg Currie recently read a really good leadership book about public speaking called Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo.

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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