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Friday Favorites: What We're Reading Right Now

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With all the extra time we’ve got on our hands right now, we’ve found ourselves opening some new reading material to help pass the time. So we thought it would be fun to poll some of KMers to see what they’re reading right now during quarantine and share it with you all! Check out below for their recommendations.

When Mo Gawdat, the Chief Business Officer at Google’s [X] team, came to a crossroads in his life, he decided to tackle his happiness the same way he would a business problem, by creating an algorithm. In the book, which highlights Mo’s algorithm being put to the ultimate after the sudden passing of his son. Throughout the story, the book explores the common themes about how to face our current circumstances with optimism about the future.

“I just pulled off my shelf a book I must have ordered a while back. It is a personal story written by Mo Gawdat – the chief business officer of Google: Solve for Happy, Engineer Your Path to Joy. I just started reading it so I’m always a little sensitive to recommend a book before I’ve finished it in its entirety…..BUT the title really jumped out at me….and the premise is intriguing…….he has created an algorithm to overcome the brain’s blind spots and embrace five ultimate truths to find joy 😊 So far I’m loving it….” -Cassandra Sanford, Co-Founder and CEO

This one is for all the Plant Parents out there, if you want to have a more “intentional” relationship with your plants, this one is for you. Oakes has managed to grow 1,000 houseplants in her apartment in Brooklyn and they’re thriving! So whether you’re just starting out or are looking to give your plants a little extra TLC check out this great read.

“Great quarantine book because it helps you learn about plants and how to take care of them or to help you start a new hobby while we’re stuck inside. Just started reading this one but I love it and quarantine is perfect timing to read it!” -Amber Connors, Business Operations Coordinator

From the New York Times bestseller Outliers author and host of the podcast Revisionist History, Malcolm Gladwell, his latest book examines our interactions with those we don’t know. He explores the lies of Bernie Madoff and the trial of Amanda Knox to teach us about how the way we talk to strangers might invite conflict and misunderstanding. A MUST read (or listen, the audiobook includes reenactments of court transcripts).

“I just finished Malcom Gladwell’s new book ‘Talking to Strangers”. I love everything Malcolm writes and he doesn’t miss the mark on helping understand how we engage with each other and the lessons we can learn when we try to assimilate processes based solely on results and not taking into account the bigger ecosystem involved. -Ryan Haggart, Managing Director

Pulled from the many journals she’s been writing since 15, the very anticipated autobiography for pop star Jessica Simpson is definitely worth the read. In her book, she gives you an unabashedly candid look into every facet of her life to reveal the real Jessica beyond what we saw on her reality show.

“In an effort to balance out all the technical reading that happens throughout the day, I dove into Jessica Simpson’s Autobiography, “Open Book.” It’s not my normal go-to, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t read it in a single night. So, so entertaining!” -Gina Chisholm, Vice President, Marketing + Technology

This twisty thriller reminiscent of Hitchock is about a recluse New York City woman who’s essentially homebound and the family whose life she unexpectedly gets wrapped up in, all from the view from her window. So what happened? Or did it even really happen? These questions and more will keep on the edge of your seat to the very end.

“I am currently reading The Woman in the Window. I chose this book because I love a good thriller! This book is similar to one of my top-rated books-Gone Girl, which is another reason I chose to read it. Fun fact- the movie, starring Amy Adams and Julianne Moore, is actually being released today!” -Emily Luecke, Human Resources Specialist

Beyond the story of perhaps the most incredible racehorse ever, Secretariat, is that of those who cared for and raised him. Scanlan’s book specifically focuses on his relationship with his groom, Eddie “Shorty” Sweat. Through many interviews with those who knew the horse and Eddie best, Scanlan creates a rich narrative about life on and off the track for them both.

My husband and I have a group of friends who go to the races at Keeneland and the Kentucky Derby every year so when the races were canceled this year, I was looking for a great read to fill that void.

This book is written in such an illustrative manner, so for even those who aren’t well-versed in the racing industry, this book is a great entry into it. What has made this book even more fun was that they did a virtually simulated Kentucky Derby this year featuring all the Triple Crown winners, which included Secretariat. Secretariat won and likely because of my ‘inside knowledge’, I won a little bet my husband, which reminds me, he owes me a Starbucks when all this is over. -Katie Zimmerman, Senior Marketing + Communications Lead

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