Toad Fall Book Club

It’s back to the books! September 6th is National Read a Book Day so we’re checking in on the Toad Book Club. And by “Book Club” we mean “everyone read your own book of choice and then tell us about it.” So it’s more like show and tell, but for books… let’s not read into it. Here’s what we’ve got bookmarked for fall.

Quakeland by Kathryn Miles

“It’s a book about the history of major earthquakes in the US and understanding what is to come in our future! It is not super technical and can be read by anyone interested in earthquakes. It’s a page turner and told in story format. Great for anyone interested in geology but not necessarily wanting a science book.” – Sarah, HR

Navajos Wear Nikes by Jim Kristofic

“I just read Navajos Wear Nikes, it’s a memoir of sorts about a guy of non-Native American descent who grew up on a Navajo reservation in Arizona. Super interesting!” – Helena, Design

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

“I went to Paris in the spring so I’ve been on a Paris kick lately, but this simple memoir about Hemingway’s life in 1920s Paris takes the cake. He’s so good at capturing a place and a spirit. Definitely inspires me to really be in the moment.” – Daisy, Branding

Coyote America by Dan Flores

“A history of coyotes in North America that weaves in both scientific and Native American perspectives. It’s a really eye-opening book; you don’t realize how much coyotes are part of our nation’s history. They’re really smart, adaptable creatures!” – Thomas, Fit Model

All for a Few Perfect Waves by David Rensin

“This book is sick because it tells the story of Miki ‘da cat’ Dora and his travels. I am reading it because he spends a lot of time in Biarritz and Biadot, France, and I am headed there in a few weeks.” – Dr. Drew, Customer Service

 

Toad Book Club

Reading is not a lost art. Here are our Toad picks for best books on sustainable living, new perspectives, and some good ol’ fashioned fun. 

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert M. Pirsig (1974)  
Father and son hit the road on a shared motorcycled headed westward from Minnesota to San Francisco. It’s a time-capsule of what “on the road” looked like before Waze and podcasts. And yes, there’s some semi-practical motorcycle maintenance sprinkled in.

How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan (2018) 
The full title of the book is about as concise a synopsis as you can get: How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. ​If you’re into why humans act and feel they way they do, this one’s for you.

The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America, by Timothy Egan (2009)
This came as a recommendation from our friends at the Conservation Alliance and it’s pretty stellar. This book recounts the 1910 wildfire that ripped through 3 states and eventually led to the pioneering notion of conservation and public lands. A must read for lovers of “America’s best idea.”

Out of My Mind, by Sharon M. Draper (2010) 
Melody is a total genius, but no one knows it. But that changes when a piece of technology allows her to speak up. A thick book in matters of the heart, this novel about a child with cerebral palsy just goes to show you should never judge a book by it’s cover. (Seriously, don’t judge this book by its cover…).

Barbarian Days, By William Finnegan (2016) 
You don’t have to like surfing, you just have to like passion. Gorgeously written, Barbarian Days is a look at the addiction of nature and how a lifetime can be shaped by obsession. Adventurous, inspiring, and a great reminder of what it means to live, not just exist.

Just Kids, by Patti Smith (2010) 
There’s no question that Patti Smith is a rock legend. So it’s no surprise that she’s parlayed her storytelling and penchant for poetic mischief into a great book about growing older (but not up) in 1960’s New York. A love letter to adolescence and a good reminder that even now, we’re all just kids in many respects.

Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins (1990) 
Time is relative, words are meant to be played with, and plot lines are just suggestions. The closest thing to an acid trip that you can get while you’re sitting quietly reading. That’s either really compelling or the worst book review ever. Hard to pin down, so you might as well pick it up.

Drawdown, by Paul Hawken (2017)
We’ve read a lot of depressing books about global warming, but Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Roll Back Global Warming is not one of them. This book explores the bold and realistic solutions that a cross-functional team of international researchers, scientists and policymakers are putting forth. In short: Climate change is a big challenge, but there are many, many practical solutions. You’ll finish this book feeling optimistic and empowered.

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Toad Book Report: Where Men Win Glory

Book Name and Author
Where Men Win Glory by John Krakauer

Fiction or Nonfiction?
Nonfiction

Read By
Drew Brooker, Customer Service Lead

Premise of Book
Krakauer highlights Pat Tillman’s life in parallel with the conflict in the Middle East. Tillman’s sacrifice, free thinking spirit and overall valor are depicted throughout the entire book. The author sheds light on the protagonist’s death, the attempted cover up by military officials, and his family’s efforts to uncover the truth.

Your biggest Takeaway from the book?
I found this alternative side to the war, rather than what is covered in the news, fascinating. I knew quite a bit about Tillman prior to this read, however after reading this book I was left with the utmost admiration and respect for the man he was. He sacrificed, money, western comforts and love for his country.

Memorable Quote:
“But the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude….”