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Hyperquake’s Summer Reads

By Emily Zalla

Summer’s here—the season for lounging by the pool, in a hammock, or with your toes in some sand. Know what goes great with a summer breeze? A good read. Whether your idea of relaxation is a fiction bestseller, an anthropological treatise, or even an hour soaking up sun while your kid’s distracted with a chapter book, there’s someone at Hyperquake with the same idea. Looking for a recommendation for what book to curl up with next? Read on.


A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, by Daniel Pink
A “Right-Brain Revolution! [How] Artists will rule the universe!” This book is a really interesting read that provides insight as to why a creative education/mindset will not only help you in the business world, but also provide a stronger basis for long-term success.
recommended by Sam Hartz, Senior Project Leader

Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity, by David Lynch
This collection of short stories revolves around how the creative genius captures his ideas instead of chasing them. Creative mastermind David Lynch explains how new experiences that take you out of your comfort zone allow you to catch big ideas (fish) instead of little ones. Experiences from meditation, to painting with no subject, to walking with no specific destination can help you discover a big idea that might not have occurred without that deeper, uncomfortable experience.
recommended by Adriane Broili Borden, Senior Strategist

Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, Feel, & Behave, by Adam Alter
This book is a very interesting read about how our visual environment effects our unconscious mind and the decisions we make as a society.
recommended by Sarah Faulkner, Designer

Think Like a Freak, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
Another good one from the Freakonomics bros. They will stop at nothing to get to the root of a problem, even if it means jumping into a time machine.
recommended by Dustin Blankenship, Senior Designer

This is Your Brain On Music, by Daniel Levitin
If you love music but do not know why, then this book should shed some light.
recommended by Dustin Blankenship, Senior Designer

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni
I still have a lot to learn—especially when I’ve already “learned it before.” I’ve read this twice now, and no matter where I am in my professional and personal life, I can always learn something again from this Lencioni’s take on leadership, trust, conflict, and accountability. A quick read, it’s a great reminder for anyone who cares to understand what really matters to people and why we come in here day after day to do much more than collect a paycheck—and how we do it together as a team.
recommended by Dan Barczak, Creative Director

Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainer Maria Rilke (English translation by Stephen Mitchell)
This is the only book I read once a year. In a collection of ten letters written from Bohemian-Austrian poet Rilke in his twenties and thirties to the younger aspiring poet Franz Xaver Kappus, Rilke examines the uncertainty of making a fulfilling creative life in an industrialized world. It’s at once difficult and encouraging: “Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Live in the question.” You can make it through this book in an afternoon, but you’ll keep thinking about it for months.
recommended by Emily Zalla, Designer



The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion
A really fun and charming read! The story follows Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. He designs a scientific survey to find his partner and after unsuccessfully ruling out almost all women, he winds up befriending Rosie who is the opposite of himself, and together they begin a quest to find her biological father.
recommended by Sam Hartz, Senior Project Leader

Me Before You, by JoJo Moyes
I recently read this book on vacation—actually, this was somewhat of an accident, as my best friend who was with me pretty much forced me to read once she completed it. I really enjoyed the way the book was creatively composed. Within our field, storytelling is very important. The way that this story was crafted was very holistic and fluid. As a reader, I was able to understand the feelings of all of the major characters, which is sometimes a challenge. Due to the severity of the events in the book, I was able to finish the book with a different outlook on life and thankful for things that many of us take for granted each day.
recommended by Ryan Bedinghaus, Senior Project Leader

Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
This book is a classic, and it’s over 1000 pages, so make sure you have lots of downtime when you pick it up. Even though it was written in the 1950’s, it is so relevant today. It is a fictional commentary on the struggle between industrialists and capitalism versus government coercion. As I write that, I realize that it doesn’t sound like a good beach read, but believe me, it is! I recommended to my 27-year-old son, and it is now his all time favorite book also—go figure.
recommended by Jeanne Bruce, Chief Financial Officer

The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
The Girl on the Train is a mystery thriller that I finished within a week—it’s a real page-turner! A majority of the book takes place during Rachel Watson’s train ride to and from work in New York (hence the name of the book). Rachel is struggling with some personal issues, and one day on the train ride to work sees something she was not supposed to witness, and that’s all I can say! A feature film adaptation will be in theaters on October, 7th 2016—I recommended reading it in the next couple of months before seeing the movie!
recommended by Rachel Robbins, Project Leader

The Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling
I can’t stop coming back to this series. I was completely enthralled when I was younger and they were first being published. I didn’t come back to these books until recently, and re-reading when you’re post-25 is a pretty great experience. You find yourself avoiding technology to just focus and get a couple (or 10) chapters further before bed. Most importantly, you find yourself reminded of the necessity of fun and magic in everyday life. Perfect for the summer…or fall…or winter….
recommended by Sam Hartz, Senior Project Leader



A Real Life: Rediscovering the Roots of our Happiness, by Ferenc Mate
How did life turn into 50+ hour work weeks full of fast food and long commutes? What happened to taking the time to grow our own food, going on long walks with our families and enjoying the company of good friends? This book explores how we can actually get back to the root of human happiness while still making a living. It inspired me to not forget the concept of slow living and to reset my priorities in this hectic, get-ahead society.
recommended by Adriane Broili Borden, Senior Strategist

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain
I actually got this book on tape and listened in the car on the way back and forth to work….It took a while, but it was worth it. If this is a thing, I’m part extrovert and introvert. I need to have quiet moments to recharge but also being in a busy group can recharge me as well. This book helped me understand a bit more about me but most importantly introverts in my life—why they should be celebrated, and why we need to let them have a voice when they are comfortable. It helped me understand my friends, kids and people I work with.
recommended by Holly Shoemaker, Design Director

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now, by Dr. Meg Jay
The Defining Decade discusses real-life examples behind a twentysomething’s behavior and thought process. It discusses your twenties being “the defining decade” of your life—this is the time to ensure you’re heading in the direction of the future you want. Since this is a time that post-grads can feel confused and inadequate, this book is a reminder that you’ll gain confidence as you age and gather experience.
recommended by Andria Mierzwak, Design Intern

How Music Got Free, by Stephen Witt
The unlimited access to music we have is amazing. What is even more amazing are all of the things that had to occur for that to even be possible.
recommended by Dustin Blankenship, Senior Designer

The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do,by Clotaire Rapaille
This book discusses the various “codes” we develop over time in various cultures. These codes shape how we make decisions and behave on a daily basis, even when we are unaware why we are doing things the way we do them.
recommended by Sarah Faulkner, Designer

The Southerner’s Handbook: A Guide to Living The Good Life, from the Editors of Garden & Gun
This is actually a book my team gave me a few years ago. I absolutely love it. As I get older, I come back to my roots more and more. If you’ve ever wanted to know why things just are the way they are in the south, from how to “raise a glass with confidence” and “three odes to bourbon,” to “the hard truth about cowboy boots” and “how to tell a great story”—this book is both beautiful in design, and even more impressive on character and simple moments I may otherwise take for granted.
recommended by Dan Barczak, Creative Director



The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, by Julie Andrews Edwards
If you’ve got a child with an imagination (someone who enjoys stories like the Wrinkle in Time series or Alice in Wonderland series), this should be the next book on your list. Written by Julie Andrews—yes, that Julie Andrews, of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music fame—this is the tale of a group of children and a mysterious Professor venturing into a world of creatures who’ve retreated from the human world in favor of a land of imagination. Outwitting traps and meeting folks like the High Behind Splintercat, the Sidewinders, and the Oinck, the kids make their way to meet the last Whangdoodle and help him solve a serious problem: finding his queen. It’s essentially Dr. Seuss, but in chapter book form.
recommended by Emily Zalla, Designer

The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt
This book is full of letters from different crayon colors to their owner, Drew. The crayons are each personified with their own spectrum of feelings and attitudes, to help kids engage in empathy with respect to how they feel when he uses them for specific illustrations.
recommended by Adriane Broili Borden, Senior Strategist

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name, by Sally Lloyd-Jones
I was given this storybook Bible when my 7-month-old son Zion was dedicated a couple months ago. We like to read to him sometimes at night even though he doesn’t quite understand yet. This book made its way into the rotation right after we received it, and even though my son couldn’t appreciate it yet, it brought tears to my eyes. The point of the book is to highlight how Jesus is the scarlet thread that is intricately woven throughout the entire Bible, old testament and new. It goes through a lot of the major Bible stories in a simple way with beautiful illustrations and shows how each story is pointing directly to Jesus. It is a great reminder that our finite minds may not always know what God’s plan is in this life, but the one thing is certain is that he has a plan. While this is technically a book geared towards children, don’t let it fool you—I’m you’ll surely benefit from reading this one too…probably more than your kids.
recommended by Nathan Schwecke, Designer

The BFG, by Roald Dahl
Beginning with a lonely girl in an orphanage—like any good children’s book must—this chapter book chronicles the meeting and adventures of Sophie and the Big Friendly Giant, a kind, vegetarian giant who subsists on snozzcumbers and catches dreams to blow into the bedrooms of children. They outwit mean giants, travel to Dreamland and hold a roundtable with the Queen of England before finding the requisite happy ending of a neighboring castle and cottage. A Steven Spielberg-directed film adaptation is scheduled for theatrical release on July 1, so buy this book soon (or dig out your childhood copy)! And as an extra upside: Roald Dahl has an extensive catalog of insanely imaginative children’s books, so if your kid gets hooked on this one, you may not see that kid for the rest of the summer.
recommended by Emily Zalla, Designer

Got any books you think we should read? Tweet ’em at us—we’re always ready to add to the Hyperquake library!

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