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What’s in your book bag?

Posted On  July 11, 2013

‘Tis the season of travel, sun and fun…even for researchers. Diving into that stack of books you’ve been meaning to get to remains one of the most blissful parts of summer. So, we wondered what spines our colleagues were cracking open when they weren’t dissecting data. True to form, we conducted an informal survey. Several respondents volunteered, and the delightful and eclectic collection of titles below resulted.

Whether it’s your turn to take off or not, we hope you’ll be inspired to put your feet up, indulge in a different sort of text message and get away for a few hours.  If you don’t have a pile on your own nightstand, take a look at what LRW team members are reading in the summer of 2013.


  • Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
  • Crystallizing Public Opinion by Edward Bernays
  • The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don’t by Nate Silver
  • Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
  • Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins

Consumer Psychology/Psychology

  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become by Barbara Fredrickson
  • The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shaun Achor

Personal Development/Leadership

  • You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
  • The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt
  • The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane
  • Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
  • Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success by Phil Jackson and Hugh Delehanty 

Fiction (We’re not total nerds.)

  • Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  • New York by Edward Rutherford
  • The Hit by David Baldacci
  • The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
  • The Da Vinci Code, The Last Symbol, Inferno all by Dan Brown


  • Just Kids by Patti Smith
  • Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales
  • The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
  • Bossypants by Tina Fey
  • I’m Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy’s Golden Era by William Knoedelseder

Science (Headfake. We really are nerds.)

  • Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, M.D. and Kathryn Bowers
  • Infinite Reality: Avatars, Eternal Life, New Worlds, and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution by Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson 

What’s on your summer reading list?  Do tell!


Written by Joan Cassidy
Joan oversees a team responsible for developing LRW’s brand through a combination of digital, content, and event marketing. She is a catalyst for the company’s thought leadership initiatives, including her role as the editor of the LRW blog and producer for sponsored events such as the LRW Client Symposium. Joan also secures speaking opportunities, media coverage and awards for LRW thought leaders. Her expertise lies at the intersection of marketing, research and technology. Joan started her career at LRW working as a hands on researcher working with clients such as Disney, McKinsey. She went on to head up Global Research, then E-Commerce and Marketing for the U.S. division for Jafra Cosmetics International. She returned to LRW, where she led process improvement and software development and served as interim CIO. Joan has been key to the development on some of LRW’s biggest client relationships and engagements as an expert in branding, customer experience, tracking, and technology. She received her B.A. in economics from UCLA.


  1. I’m a big fan of the Susan Cain book “Quiet”. An older one I recently read that I enjoyed is Nassim Taleb’s “Fooled by Randomness”. And on the non-nerdy side, “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach.

  2. i actually think the more interesting question is, “what’s on your itunes list?”, as in what songs are you gonna be listening to on your beach trip or vacation. to that question, i’d answer, anything from!

  3. In the last half year, some new favorites:
    -Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures by Virginia Morell
    -A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman
    -A Calendar of Wisdom: Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul by Leo Tolstoy (insightful daily read – have been reading it all year)
    -The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
    -Just started reading: Food Rules by Michael Pollan; it’s good so far!

    In fiction:
    -The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
    -Home by Toni Morrison
    -Willful Creatures by Aimee Bender (great short stories)
    -Ender’s Game (looking forward to the movie)

  4. Great Gatsby is probably the greatest American book of the 20th century! Also, I just finished Good to Great and there is defintiely a good amount of advice on how to build a great business and on how to lead a successful life.

  5. Some books in my bag, in no special order.

    Non-Fiction (Politics):

    – Strong Societies and Weak States, by Joel S. Migdal
    – Tempting Faith, by David Kuo
    – The Prince and the Discourses, by Machiavelli
    – The Politics,by Aristotle

    Non-fiction (Running):

    – Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall


    – Veronika Decides to Die, by Paulo Coelho
    – The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
    – The Hunger Games (Trilogy), by Suzanne Collins
    – The Death of Ivan Ilyich, by Tolstoy
    – Crime and Punishment, by Dostoevsky
    – The Kite Runner, by Fhaled Housseini
    – World War Z, by Max Brooks


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