What is VYFS Reading This Summer?

Ah summer! Time to relax and enjoy random bouts of sunshine. If you are like many here at VYFS, you love to add summer reading to your (very limited) summer to-do list. We thought you might enjoy book recommendations from VYFS. It turns out our diverse staff celebrates reading of everything from children's adventure tales to escapist mysteries to serious social and health issues. Here is what we are reading. Enjoy!

Barbara Garrett, Clinical Director: The Normal One: Life with a Difficult or Damaged Sibling, by Jeanne Safer.

 Charlotte Tiencken, Administrative Assistant, Grant Writer: Welcome to Braggsville, by T. Geronimo Jones. It is being turned into a play by Book-It Repertory Theatre (where she used to work). It is a wonderful novel about race, how we perceive ourselves and stereotypes about race and gender.

Deborah Rieschl, Case Manager: Pippi on the Run, by Astrid Lindgren. I always have a Pippi book nearby to read. I’m also reading Oppose and Purpose; Lessons from the Movement for a New Society by Andrew Cornell, Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, Emma Goldman; Revolution as a way of Life by Vivian Gornick, and Living in Liberation by Cristien Strom.

Greg Thompson, Counselor-Case Manager: The Adventures of Augie March, by Saul Bellow, a classic from the 50’s about some folks kicking around in poverty, using artful, creative ways to exist (some not so great), during the Great Depression.

Julia Akoury-Thiel, Counselor-Case Manager:  Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande, a wonderful book on how medicine can, and should, not only improve health, but also improve the process of living and dying at the end of a person’s life. Really worth a read.

Julia Akoury-Thiel and Barbara Garrett: Are both reading “escapist fiction,” mystery novels by: Charles Todd (historical mystery novels, well-researched, engaging and unpredictable) and Victoria Thompson (Gaslight series).

Katherine Steen, Counselor-Case Manager: The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel van der Kolk.

Kathleen Barry Johnson, Executive Director: On Tyranny: 20 Lessons from the 20th Century, by Timothy Snyder and Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson. I listen to books on tape constantly so I always have two or more books in the works. 

Karen Lomax, Accounting Administrative Assistant: Sister’s Choice, by Emilie Richards, about a woman who is being a surrogate for her sister who can’t have children.  The author is trained as a family development therapist and does a great job discussing difficult topics and creating characters with a lot of depth.

Kim Newall, Counselor-Case Manager: The Day the Crayons Quit, by Daywalt and Jeffers; since it takes about 10 minutes to read I have moved on to The Day the Crayons Came home (Kim recommends coloring while reading, but not in the book).

Laura Rollins, Fundraising Administrative AssistantRattle, a contemporary bi-monthly poetry journal featuring contemporary poetry and essays across all genres, and The Flight of Gemma Hardy, by Margo Livesey, a light summer read set in Scotland and Iceland.

Lisa Fraser, Counselor-Case Manager: Maud: A Novel, by Melanie J. Fishbane, “a fictional portrait of the teenage years of Anne of Green Gables author L.M. Montgomery.” It stayed true to Montgomery’s journal account of that time period.  A poignant read.

Roderick McClain, Human Resources Administrative Assistant: We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I can’t recommend We Should All Be Feminists highly enough- it’s a quick, insightful look into this author’s experiences growing up in Nigeria and later living and working in the US.

Susan Day, Finance and Human Resources Manager: Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, about grass-roots, do-able solutions for climate change. I appreciate having options that might give us hope.