What are you reading this summer?

Today is National Book Lovers Day, a reminder that reading is a great way to relax and recharge. Reading is one of my favorite hobbies and I’m in good company at the CDC Foundation, where our hard-working team manages hundreds of CDC-led projects around the world, yet still makes time to unwind with books that inspire, motivate, challenge and transport us to different worlds. Here’s a sampling of what we’re reading this summer:

Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon, by Jeffery Kluger, looks back at the first mission to the moon. It’s fascinating because it captures the uncertainty, serendipity and human/political aspects often involved in great scientific achievements.—Brandon Talley, vice president for programs

But Now They Are Angels: Reflections On My Life in Service to Public Health, by Dr. Eugene Gangarosa and Dr. Raymond Gangarosa, is a fascinating autobiography of Gene Gangarosa’s life and transformational work in cholera. As a pioneer of the safe water movement, this book shows how early experiences in life can mold individuals and their passions—Dr. Gene Gangarosa’s being public health and philanthropy. As a first-generation American, he also truly exemplifies what it means to be a member of The Greatest Generation, by Tom Brokaw, another terrific read! —Chloe Tonney, chief innovation and strategy officer

Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese, focuses on patient-based medicine and the life of a medical doctor. It is a very engaging and interesting novel written from the perspective of a physician. —Rachna Chandora, team lead for programs

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are, by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, is an interesting look into how big and new data offers insights into human behavior because of the anonymity factor. It shakes up notions around the process of scientific inquiry, understanding bias in data and testing assumptions.—Brandon Talley, vice president for programs

Harriet Tubman: The Moses of Her People, by Sarah Bradford, is a classic biography about one of America’s most important women who was successful at liberating African-Americans from slavery. It’s not your typical leadership book, but it’s an excellent read for anyone interested in Tubman’s approach, her drive, her ambition experiences and the struggles she faced.—Monique Patrick, chief operating officer

House on Fire: The Fight to Eradicate Smallpox, by Dr. William Foege, is an inspiring story of courage and risk-taking in the work to eradicate smallpox, the only disease to have been eradicated.—Rachna Chandora, team lead for programs

Inside the Mind of a Bequest Donor, by Dr. Russell James III, offers a visual presentation of the neuroscience and psychology of effective planned giving communication.—Laura Angel, vice president for advancement

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World, by Tracy Kidder, traces the fascinating story of Paul Farmer and Ophelia Dahl and their building of Partners in Health.—Alison Thompson, associate vice president for advancement

New Power, by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms, is an excellent book on our hyper-connected world and how to spread ideas and start movements. —Judy Monroe, president and CEO

Quantum Leap Thinking: An Owner’s Guide to the Mind, by James Mapes, focuses on continuous learning, creative thinking and managing change.—Monique Patrick, chief operating officer

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain, has been a great source of thought for me around working in teams and how team members communicate. My grandmother used to read to me a lot and I feel her presence through this way of “listening” to a book on Audible.—Linda McGehee, team lead for programs

The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni, offers practical ideas about achieving organizational health, including stories, tips and anecdotes from some of the nation’s leading organizations.—Pierce Nelson, vice president for communications

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, by Gary Chapman and Paul White, helps effectively communicate appreciation and encouragement, resulting in higher levels of job satisfaction and healthier relationships between managers and employees.—Christine Bates, human resources manager

On a personal note, I love suspenseful fiction like The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins. I also frequently tune into The Moth, a podcast featuring true stories told live, to hear diverse stories that never fail to inspire me. 

What stories are you reading and listening to this summer? We hope these staff picks encourage you to escape with a great read before summer slips away! Add a comment about your favorite books. #nationalbookloversday


Lisa Splitlog is the director of CDC Value Communications for the CDC Foundation.