What's on Your Nightstand?


To all our fellow bookworms: we trust you’ll enjoy this list of memoirs, poetry, historical fiction, fantasy, and more, as much as we have.  

We hope you can make some time for reading over the holiday season!

“The Night Watchman” by Louise Erdich  

“I just finished ‘The Night Watchman,’ a novel based on author Louise Erdich’s grandfather’s real-life fight in the ’50s against a so-called emancipation bill that would’ve stripped his tribe of their rights on their reservation in North Dakota. It’d be interesting just as a nonfiction read, but the layers of story about characters young and old make it a really colorful and compelling. So many good details contrasting life on the reservation to life elsewhere, in towns and cities—lots of the younger characters are torn between the two.”  

- Anne Larkin, Senior Strategist  

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“The Lying Lives of Adults” by Elena Ferrante  

“Next up is ‘The Lying Lives of Adults,’ the newest Elena Ferrante book. I devoured the Neapolitan Novels and can’t wait to dig into this new book—Ferrante is such a magically gifted writer, and she writes about interior life in such a unique way. I’m saving it for the holiday break so I can read it all in one big go!”  

- Anne Larkin, Senior Strategist 

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“Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Dr. Joe Dispenza

“This book title intrigued me at first glance, because why wouldn’t you want to be yourself, right? It dives right in with a bit of science about the brain and how it functions, and then ultimately addresses the idea that we so often, form habits and repeat ideas about who we are, day in and day out, and that we are identifying with the outside or external world unconsciously. The environment around us can at times really hold us back from expanding our mind and may keep our thoughts from going to places they’ve never been. This book offers a fascinating medical and scientific way to look at the power of positive and negative thinking in conjunction with how our brain fires. It offers practical tools to help one better understand how to pay attention to the sacred in the everyday, discover what our passions are and examine what we truly desire.”

- Brandi Bergland, Designer

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“How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi   

“Understanding and advocating for social justice, equity, and inclusion is so important in this industry. We’re creating content that is consumed by so many people, and I would love to see the industry use this power to help reshape harmful narratives and create real change.”  

- Alyssa Grigg, Project Director     

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“Transcendent Kingdom” by Yaa Gyasi  

“I enjoyed this author’s first book, ‘Homegoing,’ and have been eating up her second novel. She is a Ghanaian-American author. Her stories feature Black immigrant characters and are written so beautifully.”  

- Alyssa Grigg, Project Director 

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“Wow, No Thank You” by Samantha Irby  

“I just finished this book, which is a series of hilarious short stories that made me laugh out loud. It was a great way to balance out some of the more serious books I’m reading.  

“I’ve always been an avid reader, and think reading is a great way to build empathy. Reading is important to me because I enjoy learning new things and immersing myself in stories with characters who are different from me.” 

- Alyssa Grigg, Project Director 

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“The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett  

“After reading so many academic reports for work, I needed a mini-escape from reality. This week, I started reading ‘The Vanishing Half,’ which covers everything from family to identity to race and perception, and I’m already hooked.”  

- Miesha Baker, Strategist  

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“A Suitable Boy,” by Vikram Seth

“This is an intimate look at post-partition India. The British have gone and the courts are in chaos, as are developments within the new government in Delhi. Seth frames the story around the search for a husband for the favorite daughter of a Hindu family. Family traditions both Muslim and Hindu form a strong part of this wise and witty book. Seth takes great pleasure in lavish descriptions of gardens, traditional poetry and music, and there is a spectacular Calcutta family at the center of this story. At 1,300-plus pages it’s well worth the read.” (Comments courtesy of Kathleen Quinlan)

- Mike Quinlan, VP Client Service, Sales, & Marketing

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“Red, White and Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston

“This is one of the best pool-side reads I’ve had in a long time. It has one of the most implausible plot scenarios imaginable: The first son of a female U.S. president and a young royal prince second in line to the British monarchy—both in their early twenties and the darlings of their respective media—journey from archrivals to falling in love, all amid a tumultuous and precarious presidential re-election campaign. It’s pure entertainment, but also a deftly written political drama, and a heartfelt and accessible portrayal of two young men struggling to make sense of falling in love. Amazon has already optioned it for a film, and the internet is rife with speculation about who will play the two leads.”

- Mike Quinlan, VP Client Service, Sales, & Marketing

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“InCryptid” 10-book series by Seanan McGuire

“I just finished a re-read of Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid series. It’s about a family of cryptozoologists. The books focus on the kids, ages 19-25ish, and every book is written from a new perspective. The main goal of the family is to learn everything they can about the local cryptid populations, and to preserve and protect them from normal people and a European organization called the Covenant of St. George that believes all cryptids are evil demons and need to be eliminated. These books are really well done, and I love the author.   

“I love fiction's ability to bring you into someone else’s experiences in a way that really helps you feel and understand what they’re going through, even though you might not otherwise have a lot in common (physical traits, gender, species, etc.).” 

 - Fey Harkness, Operations Manager  

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Conjure Women” by Afia Atakora  

“Historical fiction is my jam. Inserting myself into a very specific, very significant moment in history is about as close as I’ll ever get to true time travel (I think). It’s a way to peek into the thoughts, minds, and outfits of other human beings. Oh, the cultural nuance! I recently finished ‘Conjure Women,’ set on a pre- and post-Civil War plantation in the South. Our protagonist is a ‘healer’ named Rue who was born into slavery and has transitioned only recently to being a free woman. There’s midwifery, magic, hope, and a little ‘hoo-doo’ peppered in, for a powerful story centered around racial tensions, struggle, and the quest for community and survival.”  

- Erin Jonsson, Sales & Marketing Manager  

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“What You Become in Flight” by Ellen O’Connell Whittet  

“I will start by disclosing that I am not at all coordinated. Athletes actually kind of baffle me; the grace and precision of it all are unfathomable. ‘What You Become in Flight’ takes us through the writer's lifelong dream of becoming a ballerina that ultimately culminated in a career-ending injury. This powerful memoir explores ‘the damage we inflict in the pursuit of perfection, the pain of losing our dreams, and the power of letting go of both.’ Luckily, you don’t have to be a dancer or an athlete to appreciate the lessons of empowerment, wisdom, and wit this memoir holds.” 

- Erin Jonsson, Sales & Marketing Manager  

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“A Most Beautiful Thing” by Arshay Cooper  

“I saw the documentary and had to know the story of the first African American high school rowing team. An amazing story! I want to learn from other people’s lived experiences, particularly those experiences that are so different from mine. These young men are from beloved Chicago (city of last year’s Starbucks event), but the Chicago they grew up in wasn’t the Chicago I visited. I’m in awe of their families, their courage, and the friendships they built. It’s a hard and hopeful story of what is possible.” 

- Jennifer Steenstra, Director of Strategy 

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“The Poetry Pharmacy: Tried-and-True Prescriptions for the Heart, Mind and Soul” by William Sieghart 

“This is my self-care go-to (thanks, Mike Quinlan!). Words have such power to inspire, to heal, to make us laugh. A poem a day keeps me grounded. I also read poems because I can’t stay awake long enough to read long things. The red linen cover is a tactile bonus.”   

- Jennifer Steenstra, Director of Strategy 

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524 Second Ave. #200
Seattle, Washington 98104
United States

524 Second Ave. #200
Seattle, Washington 98104
United States

December 8, 2020

By the Touch Team