Becker Franklin Rovang 2021 Reading List

Happy World Book Day! To celebrate our love of books and reading, the attorneys and staff at Becker Franklin Rovang are sharing some titles we’re currently reading or recently finished! Our list includes fiction and non-fiction, old and new, so you’ll be sure to find something that speaks to you.

Attorney Steve Franklin read Pachinko, a historical fiction novel by Korean-American author Min Jin Lee. Pachinko follows a family as they navigate love, loss, politics, and culture while finding their place as Korean immigrants in Japan. The book gets its name from a mechanical game that is often used for low-stakes gambling; Korean immigrants were barred out of many industries in post-war Japan, and some found their niche running pachinko parlors. Pachinko addresses racism and discrimination, community, politics, and identity. Read Pachinko if you enjoyed Memoirs of a Geisha and Hillbilly Elegy, or if you like books by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Khaled Hosseini (author of The Kite Runner).

Paralegal Destiny is reading Life Beyond #MeToo, a nonfiction cultural awareness book by Seattle-based author Christine T. Rose. Life Beyond #MeToo walks through our society’s history with violence and discrimination against women and girls, ending with a gleam of hope for change in the world. The book is detailed and raw, using personal stories and questions to encourage the reader to reflect on accountability in homes and workplaces alike. Read Life Beyond #MeToo if you enjoyed watching Unbelievable on Netflix or reading The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates.

Paralegal Terri is reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, which follows two intertwining storylines: the life of a young woman growing up in mid-century North Carolina and the murder of a local North Carolina celebrity Chase Andrews. Where the Crawdads Sing has spent 124 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers List. It is a poetically written coming-of-age novel that touches on subjects like poverty, family, loneliness, and hope. Read Where the Crawdads Sing if you liked Becoming by Michelle Obama and Little Fires Everywhere.

Attorney David Rovang read How Democracies Die by political scientists Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. How Democracies Die is a research-based analysis of the gradual breakdown of democracies across the world, focusing primarily on Donald Trump and the United States. The book challenges readers to rethink how we view our most important, long-standing institutions. Read How Democracies Die if you enjoyed Fear by Bob Woodward, Between the World and Me, or Why Nations Fail.

Linnea, our legal assistant, read Outlander, an award-winning fantasy-historical novel by Diana Gabaldon. Outlander is set in 18th century Scotland, but its main character is a time-travelling World War II nurse. It is the first of an ongoing series with 8 books so far; the Outlander series has sold over 25 million copies and is one of the best-selling book series of all time. Read Outlander if you liked watching Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, and Doctor Who, or if you like books by Jane Austen.

Attorney John Kauffman read 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, a best-selling philosophical self-help book by Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson. Peterson uses biblical principles, pithy sayings, and biological evidence to illustrate his blunt and sometimes controversial suggestions about how one should think, act, and live. Read 12 Rules for Life if you like Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman­­­, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, or the works of Daniel Goleman (author of the Emotional Intelligence books).

Office intern Sarah read Better by Atul Gawande, an American endocrine surgeon and public health researcher. Taking the reader from battlefield surgery to polio vaccines and everywhere in between, Better is a compassionate collection of eleven true stories illustrating the many ethical, logical, and emotional dilemmas faced in the world of medicine. Read Better if you enjoyed Just Mercy and Freakonomics, or if you like books by Bill Bryson and Malcolm Gladwell.

Attorney Ian De Verna read If Beale Street Could Talk, a 1974 novel by James Baldwin. If Beale Street Could Talk is a story of love and relationships in Black American life, following the story of a young man and woman in 1970s Harlem. It is moving, profound, and relevant, focusing on themes of racism and injustice in the American prison system. Read If Beale Street Could Talk if you liked The Shawshank Redemption and the movie Moonlight, or if you enjoy books by Toni Morrison and Virginia Woolf.

Our bookkeeper Sirena is reading The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Gary Chapman & Paul White. Chapman, who also wrote a New York Times Best Seller on his now-famous theory of the 5 love languages, applies this concept to communication in the workplace. This book invites readers to examine their own ways of expressing appreciation while teaching them how to better understand and encourage their colleagues and team members. Read The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace if you enjoyed Lean In, Good to Great, or Lead from the Outside by Stacey Abrams.

Office assistant Zoe is reading Two by Two by #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks. Two by Two is a bittersweet novel about the breakdown of love and marriage and the challenges and joys of single fatherhood. Sparks weaves in sadness, anger, fear, and love, and this book is sure to inspire your emotions. Read Two by Two if you enjoyed Me Before You and Firefly Lane or if you like books by Jodi Picoult.

Attorney Chris Lund read Landscape Photography: On Location with Thomas Heaton, an inspiring personal story of the author’s experiences with photography. The book touches on composition theory like leading lines and rules of thirds, but reads just as well for beginners as it does for experienced photographers. Between technical advice and travel anecdotes lie the real stars of the book: Heaton’s breathtaking photographs from around the world. Read Landscape Photography if you liked reading Wild or of you enjoy the work of Glenn Randall or Ross Hoddinott.

Paralegal Diana just re-read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird is a Pulitzer Prize winning classic set in 1930’s Alabama and told from the point of view of Scout, the daughter of widowed lawyer Atticus Finch. It is at once a coming-of-age story and a raw look at racial injustice, gender roles, social class, and law. Read To Kill a Mockingbird if you liked A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Giver, or I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Saving the best for last: attorney Andy Becker is a published author! Andy’s first book is Spiritual Gardener, a reflective collection of practical gardening tips and wisdom from his Jewish roots. Humor, spiritual insights, and personal stories make this book relatable for anyone who digs the earth. His most recent book is a memoir of Andy’s childhood called Cracking an Egg. Heartwarming and nostalgic, the vignettes from boyhood in the 1950s and 60s will resonate with readers of all ages. Find these books on Andy’s website!