July 18, 2019
Whether under an umbrella at a lake or next to the ocean, sitting on the back porch or the downtown mall—summer calls to the outdoor reader in all of us. You will find a host of nonprofit-focused reading lists online such as this one that npENGAGE created to help you set up your strategy for later in the year.

At CNE, in addition to professional reads, we’re also making a point to set aside time for personal reads as well. Here are a few of our favorites:

Kadi Davis, Membership Manager
Less by Andrew Sean Greer
Less won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, and Greer stated: “There’s a gap on my bookshelf for a story about two men in love that isn’t about trauma and despair and I wanted to write that book.” The book follows protagonist Arthur Less, a struggling novelist, as he travels around the world to avoid an ex-boyfriend’s wedding. It’s funny, compassionate, and wonderful. I burst into tears towards the end because it was ending, and somewhat alarmed my cat.

Campbell Farina, Intern
If This Isn’t Nice, What Is? by Kurt Vonnegut
It’s a collection of his graduation speeches and short essays and really just serves as a reminder to slow down, laugh at yourself, and appreciate the little things. Definitely a refreshing, much needed perspective when life gets crazy!

Ryan Jacoby, Deputy Director of Operations and Advancement
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
This is by no means a light summer read, but instead a profoundly critical and human look at our broken justice system with a call for compassion for those most vulnerable (people of color, the poor, the wrongly-condemned, women, and children). His story of founding the Equal Justice Initiative, coupled with painful individual stories of injustice and resilience, will serve as an important piece of my continued personal growth and understanding around this issue.

Mary Davis Hamlin, Senior Consultant
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Crawdads is a rare combination of a mystery, a coming of age story, and a celebration of the beauty and love of the natural world.

Paige Hildebrand, Intern
Becoming by Michelle Obama
This book is on my list because the words can only be described as funny, lighthearted, and an absolute inspiration. Becoming follows Michelle through her entire life, from when she was a child to when her life as first lady ended. It shows what a hardworking and compassionate woman she is and how she navigated life as the wife of the president of the United States.

Andrew Robinson, Program Manager

The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
My partner and I are reading Lord of the Rings with our daughter right now. A mythical land full of enchanted forests and magical beings is a great place to spend the summer whether you are seven or thirty seven. But, be warned, it gets pretty scary!

Once your out-of-office email message has expired, come see us and check out the newly-updated Lending Library for titles such as:

As you read your way through life-long learning, please consider us part of your favorite book club and be sure to share your favorites with us!