Book report: What we’re reading, Summer 2018

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Glasses rest on an open book next to a cup of tea

“Reading is an act of civilization; it’s one of the greatest acts of civilization because it takes the free raw material of the mind and builds castles of possibilities.” — Ben Okri

Books and reading matter to us at HWC, and we’re always swapping book recommendations with each other. We thought it would be fun to share a roundup of what we’re reading as an occasional feature here on our blog.

With no further ado, here’s what we’re reading during the summer of 2018.

Raven Rock by Garrett M. Graff.

The book details the evolution of emergency management and continuity of government in the United States from the Cold War to today. The deep level of detail is told through a fascinating narrative and gives me excellent context for the world of emergency management today. — Adam Tager

Drive by Daniel Pink.

The book details motivation. What drives us. And the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic sources of motivation. Pink discusses how intrinsic motivation – like joy and purpose in one’s work – leads to greater satisfaction and performance. As someone that always strives for this in myself and encourages those around me, I find it insightful with some practical applications on how to achieve. — Claudine Hughes

For All the Tea in China by Sarah Rose.

It’s about how the British East India Company (with the approval of the Crown) dispatched botanists to China to steal tea seedlings, seeds, and the methods for tea horticulture and manufacturing from China. Their goal was to be able to transplant tea production to the Himalayan foothills of India so that they would have a source of tea under their control. It was a really interesting look at the steps that the Company would go to in order to bring an essential resource under their control and the agronomy and gardening skills necessary to harvest these seedlings and actually produce drinkable tea. It also showcased some of the innovations that came out of this voyage that are still in use today. — George McAleese

Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson.

his biography about an artist who undoubtedly changed the landscape of art challenges individuals in today’s day and age to push their intellectual curiosity and scrutinize everything we see, just as he did. The meaning of the term “Renaissance Man” is brought to light by discussing the ways in which he was able to tie other disciplines such as math, science, and technology into his artistic works with great ease. Learning about the innovative ways in which Leonardo was able to teach himself such complicated concepts in such a technologically backwards time is really inspiring! — Bhargavi  Munukutla

A Most Elegant Equation: Euler’s Formula and the Beauty of Mathematics by David Stipp.

Very approachable read about one of the most profound, and oft underappreciated, pieces of math around. Stipp sprinkles in a good measure of history about Euler and the times he inhabited, ostensibly to keep the material a bit lighter … but that also can spawn lots of offshoot investigations by the interested reader … or at least it has for me. I pulled it because my son is taking Algebra II/Trig this summer, and I thought it would appeal to him.  So far, it has! — Greg Opas

What are you reading? Share your recommendations with us in a comment below!

Jon Darby Jon Darby is a designer and developer who works on marketing and client delivery at HWC. He has a Master of Arts in Advertising from the Savannah College of Art and Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Emory University. He delights in creating products and user experiences that are both meaningful and beautiful.