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Summer Reading Recommendations

Summer reading 3Part III

Looking for things to read on your summer vacation? Here is the third and final installment of the AICPA summer reading recommendations. You can catch up if you missed Part I or Part II.

Valrie Chambers, CPA, MBA, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Taxation and Accounting, Stetson University, and regular AICPA Insights contributor recommends:

  • The Bell Tolls Again (2013)

Incessant (2015), both by Steven R. Kahler

The Bell Tolls Again is a modern-day thriller about the theft of historical artifacts in the same genre as the movie National Treasure.  Detective Bruce Jorgensen investigates an arson case that expands into homicide and theft with innocent lives in the balance.

Incessant, the sequel to The Bell Tolls Again, has Detective Bruce Jorgensen investigating a missing person, which turns into a thriller about human trafficking.

  • Immunity to Change (2009), by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskos Lahey

This book will help you reach those personal and professional goals that are most stubborn and resistant to change. The book also provides insights to the reasons why reaching those goals have been elusive, and what you can do to initiate change.

Nickola Francis, Production & Finance Coordinator, Communications, Media, News, and Professional Pathways recommends:

  • Inferno (2013) by Dan Brown

This is the fourth book in the Robert Langdon series, which includes Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol. This book is a non-stop mystery thriller. I just love being taken through this intense intellectual journeyThe author weaves a tapestry that moves through time with lessons in history, science and art. The story begins with the suicide or murder of a prominent scientist. By unraveling the mystery behind his death, Robert Langdon, a noted professor of religious iconology and symbolism gets caught up in an international conspiracy, leaving Langdon and the audience to question their own moral judgements.

Chrissy Jones, Manager, International Communications and Management Accounting recommends:

  • Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania (2015) by Erik Larsen

This book tells the story of the torpedoing and sinking of the Lusitania from both the perspective of the passengers and the crew of the German U-Boat. Using real historical documents, this nonfiction read humanizes an event far removed from our everyday lives.

  • The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America (2003) by Erik Larsen

This book intertwines two separate stories of 1890’s Chicago: The building of the World’s Fair and a gruesome serial killer who used the World’s Fair to source his victims.

Adam Junkroski, Lead Manager, Tax Communications recommends:

  • The Eyes of the Dragon (1984) by Stephen King

A departure from King’s usual horror writing, The Eyes of the Dragon was conceived as a fantasy story written for King’s young children. Appropriate for pre-teens, but certainly fun for adults, this is a short and easy read that fits nicely into a Game of Thrones-obsessed time. The story follows the political machinations of a kingdom’s magician, who seeks to take power for himself while imprisoning a young king and propping up the king’s younger, more easily manipulated brother in his place.

This is a fun story, with several tips of the hat to some of King’s other novels and characters that add an extra dimension for fans of King’s work. There are some thrills and scares, but nothing like King’s usual work, so don’t worry about nightmares.

Colette Krahenbuhl, Senior Manager, CGMA Communications and Public Relations recommends:

  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (1998)

An evangelical Baptist preacher moves his family from Georgia to the Belgian Congo in the 1960s. Told through the voice of his four daughters and his wife, this is the story of the tragic undoing of one family attempting to transform thousands of years of African heritage and culture.

James Schiavone, Senior Manager, Public Relations recommends:

  • A Confederacy of Dunces (1980) by John Kennedy Toole.

Every time I pass the Ignatius Reilly (the book’s protagonist) on Canal Street in New Orleans I’m reminded of how much I like this novel. It’s chock-full of zany, amusing scenes and the perspective of the main character is unlike any other I’ve ever come across – either in real life or the literary world. The book provides detailed and glorious descriptions of New Orleans and the city comes alive in the dialogue and the characters. Don’t take my word for it – the book won the author a Pulitzer.

Lauren Sternberg, Communications Manager recommends:

  • Nobody’s Fool (1993)

Everybody’s Fool (2016), both by Richard Russo

Donald “Sully” Sullivan is an aging freelance construction worker living in a down-on-it’s luck former resort town in Upstate New York. His knees are bad, his landlady’s son wants to evict him, and his ex-wife and lover are both blaming him for a number of problems. Russo’s novel is less about plot and more about the characters—Sully, his dimwitted best pal Rub, Officer Raymer, Carl Roebuck, owner of a local construction company, his longtime lover, Ruth and his landlady, Miss Beryl, a former English teacher. Russo’s ability to draw you into their lives and grow to love Sully, a deeply flawed but genuine guy, is remarkable.

Fast-forward ten or so years and Sully and the gang are all back. Things are ever the same in their sleepy town. Only this time the central character is Officer Raymer, now Chief of Police, who has fallen on his own string of bad luck. Both novels are beautiful depictions of human nature, relationships, and showcase Russo’s dry wit and dark humor.

Man reading on a boat courtesy of Shutterstock.

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