Summer recommendations from the Dot Org team
After a rough year in 2020 and a busy beginning to 2021, I think all of us are ready for a (mostly) normal, low-key summer. Most of our staff has either already gone on a vacation or planned one, which means we are looking to dive into some summer reads. I’m a big reader all year, but I load up my Kindle before a beach vacation with ridiculous romances, at least one biography and one “I want to learn something” book. Here are our staff’s recommendations for what they are reading and/or listening to this summer. Hopefully, you will find something interesting that you want to add to your summer entertainment list.
Sara Lundenberger, director of nonprofit consulting
Better in business: Here at Dot Org, we are big fans of “Traction” by Gino Wickman. We follow many of the principles he talks about throughout the book, including creating core values and setting quarterly rocks. He also has some suggestions on how to be a good manager that he and René Boer dive into a little deeper in “How to Be a Great Boss.” This short read focuses on things like making the best use of your time, the quarterly conversation and how to choose what to delegate.
I just like to read: I am an avid reader and am even a member of an awesome book club group, the Chick-lits. While we try to read actual literary books in book club, my new favorite throw-away series is the In Death Series by J. D. Robb (also known as Nora Roberts). This series follows a no-nonsense cop in future New York City named Eve Dallas. There are more than 50 books and I have flown through them. They are easy to read, provide a little mystery, a little romance and a lot of fun characters.
Kayleigh Stauffenger, marketing and PR services manager
All things parenting: As a new mom, friends’ favorite parenting books have started piling up on my nightstand. Right now, I’m reading “Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting.”
Unlike other parenting books I’ve read, this one isn’t preachy and has actually made me laugh a couple of times. The author seems more realistic but promises her tips may lead to helping your child be a better sleeper and gourmet eater. We’ll see if my daughter Cecilia agrees.
Mood lifter: I can’t stop listening to the podcast “SmartLess” from Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes. I’m fascinated by their friendship with each other and several of their guests, and the banter is great. Every episode makes me laugh and just puts me in a good mood. If you’re a fan of them as actors, it makes the podcast even better. I highly recommend it!
Morgan Anglin, junior copywriter
Daily updates: If you don’t already subscribe to The Skimm, you should. It shows up every morning in my inbox and gives updates about hot topics around the globe written in easy-to-understand language.
Fulfilled in faith: Two podcasts I enjoy are “Java with Juli” and “Chasing the Beauty with Mike Donehey.” “Java with Juli” is a deep-dive discussion on questions Christians might be afraid to ask that is intended for a “deeper look at the good, the hard, the healing and the holy in God’s design for sexuality” with clinical psychologist and Christian author Dr. Juli Slattery. “Chasing the Beauty with Mike Donehey” is hosted by a founding member of the band “Tenth Avenue North,” Mike Donehey. He and his guests discuss their pursuit to find God and joy amidst life’s toughest and most uncomfortable trials.
Meredith Beesing, marketing assistant
Summer read: “The Last Flight” by Julie Clark is my favorite type of summer read – an action-packed, exciting page-turner that I couldn’t put down. The story is about two women, Eva and Claire, who are trying to escape their lives. They inexplicably meet at an airport and decide to switch tickets. When Eva’s flight crashes and Claire is pronounced dead, Claire must assume Eva’s identity, sending her into an unexpected world of crime.
Good for the soul: “Love Does” by Bob Goff is a collection of short, true stories from the author’s life that illustrate the power of love in action, persistence and positive thinking. It’s an easy read filled with humor and incredible life experiences. It’s the perfect book to leave on your bedside table to read a chapter or two when you need a pick-me-up.
Easy listening: “Nateland,” hosted by three standup comedians, Nate Bargatze, Aaron Weber and Brian Bates, is self-described as the podcast about nothing. The three hosts complement each other beautifully and offer a weekly dose of humor, unverified facts and ridiculous topics that range from the Renaissance to theme parks.
Must watch TV: In a time when the world feels dark, cold and lonely, “Ted Lasso” is a warm hug and a cozy blanket. While you’ve probably already heard the buzz around this show, trust me when I say that it lives up to the hype and I’m literally counting the days until season two (July 23!). (This one also gets a thumbs-up from Amy.)
Amy Wong, president
Just for fun: I love all novels by Jodi Picoult and “Small Great Things” doesn’t disappoint. Even though it is a fiction book, the realistic storyline about the impact of white supremacy on innocent people is both enlightening and frightening at the same time. Piccoult always writes with such emotion and realism you feel like her characters are sitting next to you sipping a lemonade.
Listen to learn: In excited anticipation of our family vacation to Mexico this winter, I’ve been listening to “Learn Spanish Mastery” by Paul Sanchez. I’m in the car so often, I figured it was a great time to brush up on my Spanish and converse with the locals!
A little bit of everything: I’m an avid reader and Audible addict. A few others I’ve recently finished are “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks and “Fix This Next” by Mike Michalowicz. Both are great reads for business owners or organizational leaders. “Wolfpack” by Abby Wambach and “More Myself” by Alicia Keys were written and narrated by these amazing women. There is just something about listening to someone read their book in their own voice that makes the story that much more memorable.
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