The prolonged “Stay at Home” orders have left many of us with extra time on our hands. Reading is a great way to pass the time, to escape to another world, or to learn. It’s also a great break from the monotony of studying for actuarial exams!
One of the great things about books is that you don’t actually have to read them! Audiobooks, if read by decent narrators, help make books accessible to all and are easy to transport. One of our committee members, Nate Williams, listens to audiobooks checked out from the library while he walks in the evenings.
We asked the CLC what they are reading to learn more about our committee members and get some book suggestions. Most blurbs were written by the person who recommended the book. Recommendations are loosely organized by genre, though some apply to more than one. Let us know what you’re reading in the comments!
The Now Habit by Neil Fiore (Holley Rouse, HR)
This book teaches you how to overcome procrastination and enjoy “guilt-free” play. Very helpful for perfectionists!
Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer (Nate Williams, NW)
A journalist goes from reporting on the American memory championships to competing in them in a year. Learn the basics of the art and science of remembering everything.
Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins (Leisha Cavallaro, LC)
A book about the life of a now retired NAVY Seal who had a tough upbringing but transformed his life with his mindset and overcame obstacles some would never dare take on.
How to Be Fine by Jolenta Greenberg & Kristen Meinzer (Sarah Manuel)
The authors have a podcast called “By the Book” where they live by a new self-help book every two weeks, and this book pulls together what worked, what didn’t work, and what they wish was included more in their first 50 books. It was, appropriately, fine.
Deep Work by Cal Newport (LC)
This book focuses on the distraction filled world we live in and our ability to shift or focus towards a task without distractions. Newport provides the rationale behind our tendency towards distraction and gives direction on how to combat those in your work.
The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor (HR)
World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor writes about radical self-love, body shame, and dismantling systems of oppression. If you have a body, this book is for you!
Love Lives Here by Amanda Jette Knox (HR)
A memoir of a woman learning to accept and embrace two trans family members and their journey as a family.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (Laura Hemmer)
Trevor Noah’s autobiography about his life, beginning with his birth in apartheid South Africa. Laura gave it two thumbs up!
A Promised Land by Barack Obama (Menghan Wu, MW)
The first volume of former President Barack Obama’s presidential memoirs.
Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin (NW)
President Abraham Lincoln’s rise to political greatness. Also, the basis for the movie, “Lincoln.”
The Great Influenza by John M. Barry (NW)
An examination of the 1918 “Spanish” flu pandemic.
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez (HR)
A shocking exposé regarding the dominant use of men as the “default” in data. She also has an excellent newsletter, “Invisible Women,” that is incredibly informative on current studies and headlines.
Magic is Dead by Ian Frisch (NW)
A journalist joins (and exposes) a “secret” society of the newest generation of the world’s best magicians.
Brief Answers to Big Questions by Stephen Hawking (LC)
Book published posthumously that covers 10 major topics answered by Dr. Hawking with the rationale behind his beliefs and answers.
Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil (NW)
A former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on the mathematical models that pervade modern life and threaten to rip apart our social fabric.
Kindred by Octavia Butler (HR)
A gripping, time traveling novel about a modern black woman’s experiences with the horrors of slavery when she abruptly time travels to the antebellum South.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman (NW)
Old gods that came with immigrants to America clash with new gods born of American culture, also the basis of the TV series.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman (NW)
A darker version of Harry Potter, also the basis for the TV show.
The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar (HR)
An amazing novel following three generations of Syrian Americans through a mystery of birds and self-discovery. Winner of the ALA Stonewall Book Award – Barbara Gittings Literature Award
What You Did by Claire McGowan (LC)
A psychological thriller about university friends and secrets uncovered at a reunion 20 years after their “golden era.”
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (MW)
A novel tracing the intersection of a “picture-perfect” family and a single mother and her daughter.