What We Are Reading: Summer 2016

July 5, 2016

Are you looking for a summer book recommendation? Check out what we at IEA are currently enjoying!

On The Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks

What We Are Reading

“I have the New York-based podcast, Radiolab, to thank for my fascination and love of the late neurologist and author, Oliver Sacks. In On The Move, Sacks continues to draw in the reader with his unique marriage of narrative and neuroscience, story-telling and scientific oddities. Under the microscope this time: retrospectives from his own life and tales of his ongoing obsession with the complexities of human life and the brain. Sacks is a great read for the humanities-based learner who finds science curious but often hard to comprehend.” – Brianna Safe, Resource Coordinator

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

What We Are Reading

“This memoir is a powerful and beautiful meditation on grief and mourning. Written after the severe sickness of her daughter and subsequent sudden loss of her husband, Didion shares her personal story of learning to adjust to life as a widow and reflects on both the good and bad times in her marriage. I love its rawness and honesty about the harsh realities of life and loss.” – Nicole LaChance, Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Love in a Dish by M.F.K. Fisher

What We Are Reading

“A collection of articles from the gourmet food writer about life and food and how it connects with the heart.” – Zadra Rose Ibañez, Director of Operations

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom


“I picked up this book just before Yunasa West. It’s a short book, but the stories are filled with wisdom and love. A dying professor teaches his student how to live and be mindful of the present. The lessons and reflections in the book send an important yet blissful message to us all.” – Qiao Li, Coordinator

The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

What We Are Reading

“It is an extremely moving story about a Dominican boy and his family in living New Jersey. So far, reading this story has felt like a warm and brutally honest encounter with American culture, Latin ethos and the human experience.  The writing is dynamic and just downright wonderful. I would highly recommend it.” – Morgan Carrion, Assistant to the President

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell


“In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks. Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago. I heartily recommend this book for students and parents within our IEA community, as Gladwell’s research is impeccable, and this subject has tremendous resonance and bandwidth for the people we work with.” – Bonnie Raskin, Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship Manager

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

What We Are Reading

“I just finished listening to all seven Harry Potter books on Audible. It has been seven or eight years since I finished reading the series, and listening to them was entirely pleasurable.” – Jennifer de la Haye, Program Coordinator

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

What We Are Reading

“I love biographies! This true story of a young Pakistani girl who fought for women’s right to education when it was taken away by the Taliban is truly inspiring. Malala Yousafzai survived being shot in the head on her way to school and turned this horrific incident into a rallying cry for the plight of women in the region and the fundamental right for everyone to have an education.  Malala is a not only a role model for young girls, but for all of us—demonstrating that one person can make a difference.” – Kelly Gray, Administrative Assistant

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

What We Are Reading

“An old favorite that seems lighthearted at first glance (a man displaced in time amazes the locals with his knowledge of future technology), but uses its premise to explore some of the most disturbing societal problems of Mark Twain’s day. This novel is a vastly entertaining read (with a clearly gifted protagonist, no less) and an ending that encourages each of us to reflect on how we shape history.” –Ellen Gruber, Development Coordinator

Moloka’i by Alan Brennert

What We Are Reading

“Historical fiction that is both informative and engaging. Brennert uses the fictional story of Rachel, a young Hawaiian girl suddenly struck by leprosy, to explore the very real world of a turn-of-the-century Hawaiian leprosy colony, where patients are sent to live out the rest of their days in isolation from their families and the rest of society. The story was captivating and motivated me to learn more about this little-known part of history.” – Nicole LaChance, Marketing & Communication Coordinator

End of Watch by Steven King

What We Are Reading

“This is the final volume in a trilogy focusing on Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more badly injured, who has been in a prison clinic for five years in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room. Having met Mr. King and worked on several Steven King novels that were made into television miniseries in my former career—It, TheStand and Storm of the Century—I am an unabashed fan of Steven King’s brilliance as a storyteller and a plot wizard. Not for young readers.” – Bonnie Raskin, Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship Manager

Dracula by Bram Stoker

What We Are Reading

“I’m listening via Audible, as performed by Alan Cummings, Tim Curry, et al. It’s interesting to hear the original story, as told through letters and diary entries from all the characters.” – Zadra Rose Ibañez, Director of Operations

What is your favorite summer book?

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