Our team took a brief breather from our book club to catch up with all of the books that we’ve been adding to our personal reading lists lately.
See what books we’ve been reading (or trying to get through in between Netflix marathons).
88 reader: Erin Bury, Managing Director
The book: Startup by Doree Shafrir
The TL;DR version: Startup is a look at the inside world of tech startups written by a tech and culture journalist. It reads like a ripped-from-the-headlines take on an Uber-style startup with a CEO of questionable morals, and outlines what happens when his private life collides with his work life. It’s a behind-the-scenes take on what startups can really be like – and while fiction, you can imagine there are startups exactly like this all over Silicon Valley.
Thoughts: This was a fun, breezy read. It was entertaining and as someone who has worked in the startup space for a decade, the inside jokes and references made me smile. It also gives a glimpse into how companies like Tilt crash and burn – the focus on culture at the expense of business model, and obsession with being “cool.” The plot also seemed really prescient thanks to Travis Kalanick’s behaviour as of late.
Would you recommend it? Yes, definitely. Whether or not you’re into startup culture, it’s a fun read.
88 reader: Andrea Pace, Digital Marketing Coordinator
The book: Double Teenage by Joni Murphy (tbh I haven’t finished it yet…my nighttime Netflix habit is winning over my nighttime reading habit)
The TL;DR version: This book chronicles two bff’s lives as they grow up. From crushing beers in the desert to performing spoken word at college.
Thoughts: I originally bought this book for my brother as a birthday gift, but he had bought it for himself two days earlier. The guy at Type was super impressed by my purchase (I confessed it wasn’t for me) and my brother raved about it, so I decided to keep it for myself. I really, really like what I’ve read so far (I swear, I’m almost done). It’s this hazy, dreamy, honest story of female friendship and figuring out who you are (omg that sounds so cheesy. it also touches on some heavy societal topics and no, there are no pillow fights) – super relatable and really clean storytelling.
Would you recommend it? I would definitely recommend it. It’s not (totally) a bummer like my last recommendation. In fact, it’s kinda beautiful.
88 reader: Gabriella Rackoff, Creative Director
The book: The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
The TL;DR version: This book chronicles the long line of thinkers and scientists who, bit by bit, worked to discover how heredity works and what makes us who we are. This epic story begins with the oldest known writings on the subject and takes the reader through theories from the Greek philosophers, Mendel and his pea plants (you may remember him from grade 10 biology), the discovery of evolution, evolution theory being hijacked by the Nazis, the discovery of DNA, and the ethics of genetic cloning. Obviously there’s a ton that I left out there, and I’m still only 25% into the book!
Thoughts: I read The Emperor of All Maladies by the same author, which looks at cancer in a similar way; start from the very beginning and follow the story to the most recent developments. Overall, I found Emperor of All Maladies a bit more engaging. There are chunks of The Gene that I had to skip over due to extreme dryness and excessive technical detail. That said, how could you not be interested in the story of life? This book is about human culture, nature, science, and technology — so basically everything, and all topics that have always affected people and always will.
Would you recommend it? 100% yes. Even if you only read a few of the chapters that interest you the most, it’s definitely worth picking up.
88 reader: Brittany Giles, Digital Marketing Executive
The book: The Girls by Emma Cline
The TL;DR version: This book takes place in the late 1960s in California and deals with a girl who becomes enthralled with a cult and its members, but one member in particular. There are obvious parallels between the fictional characters in this book and the Manson family. Evie, the main character is only 14 and she spends much of her summer going back and forth between her dull family life and hanging out with the cult at their camp as her obsession with them grows.
Thoughts: It’s interesting having a book about cults that doesn’t revolve around the actual cult leader himself. In this, you really get a chance to get in the head of the cult members, the girls, and how they all became involved. I was expecting something more of a thriller/mystery vibe to it, but it really becomes a look into the circumstances and psyche of what attracts people to cults. It gets heavy, dark, and hard to read in places – it can be kind of like watching a train wreck as you see the choices Evie makes throughout the book and the way the narrative switches between her 14 year old self and her reflecting on things as an adult.
Would you recommend it? Absolutely, yes. It’s not a super cerebral read, but there’s lots of action to push you along.
88 reader: Marwa Hassan, Marketing Intern
The book: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The TL;DR version: The story’s about a magical traveling circus and two magicians who have been training for this ultimate duel against one another since they were very young. The struggle begins when ~feelings~ start to develop. Every character is enigmatic in their own way and it’s easy to care about them. It’s very well-written, very, very, very descriptive and very hard to put down.
Thoughts: The feels are strong with this one. I was at a random bookstore when I laid eyes on the book’s sleek, whimsical cover and automatically snatched it to read the synopsis. I fell for the fantasy, the traveling circus angle, the fact that it was set in Victorian London, and the obvious romantic struggle.
I read it in two sittings and was pretty upset when I was done because I knew I wouldn’t be able to find anything as good as it again. And I still haven’t! It was just very angsty and cute, and I’m a sucker for YA.
Would you recommend it? Hundo p would recommend if you’re into very descriptive YA novels and sappy angst in general.
Tell us about what books you’ve been devouring lately or what you’ve got on your own reading list. And stay tuned, we’ll have another book club pick coming up.