Our Favorite Books from 2016

Its that time of year, where you start seeing “the best of ____,” or “the worst of _____,” or “the Ten Greatest _____;” well, here at Standard Beagle we are no better.  This time around we share our favorite books!

Cindy recommends…

smartfasterbetterSmarter Faster Better

I read most of this book on the way back from a business trip, and I loved it. It’s extremely well written — the author is a New York Times journalist. He weaves together his examples in a story-telling nature that makes the light bulb go off in your head. A lot of times I read productivity or entrepreneurship books and the writing is terrible and repetitive. This one is actually a good read.

tippingpointThe Tipping Point

The Tipping Point is another excellent example of good writing. I loved how Gladwell makes his argument and presents his evidence in a story-telling manner. I had a hard time putting this book down as well. I wish all non-fiction books were as fun to read. I can’t wait to read one of his others next.

ducksDucks Don’t Wear Socks

I bought this years ago for my kids, and it’s still fun to read. Their favorite part is when Duck yells “Pants on the line!”

Make sure you read it with the right voice.

Andy recommends…

coachinghabitThe Coaching Habit

Great way to learn how to talk to people you manage.  Cindy actually got to hear the author speak, and has even used these tactics on people at Standard Beagle.  What was the main takeaway? Your advice sucks, so here is how to guide people on your team without giving them bad advice.

shadowThe Shadow of the Torturer

Considered one of the top Science Fantasy books, this one top’s Andy’s list of non-work reads.  Written in 1980, and later adapted to a graphic novel series, this book follows the lift journey of Severian, from his expulsion from the guild to his journey out of this home city.

Sally recommends…

lowerbacktattooThe Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

Admittedly, I really didn’t care for Amy Schumer’s comedy before I read this book.  However, as someone with their own back tattoo (it was a thing in the 90s) I honestly felt as if I had met my new best friend.  Amy’s raw honesty about her life (her dad’s MS, her mom’s affair, her own sexual assault) is not only endearing but thought provoking and gives you a sense of appreciation for the hustle she has shown.

undergroundUnderground Airlines

Imagine the US had the Civil War never occurred.  This book explores a parallel US where the assassination of Abraham Lincoln saved the nation from war, however allowed slavery to continue in the Southern States.   An ex-slave is used by the US Marshall’s office to help track down runaway slaves and bring them back to their owners, however this recent case blows open the entire system.  So so so good (yes, that’s my review).

Chris recommends…

zenZen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Originally published in 1974, this book is about a father and his son taking a motorcycle trip together. It goes between this and talking about the beauty of an owner’s manual. I took away that there is poetry in things that aren’t poetic. It basically had me understand why I liked putting things together and taking them apart. It helped me down the road realize how much I enjoyed problem-solving and specifically programming.