Happy National Book Lovers Day!
Is it a real holiday? We’re not the arbiters of real holidays here at FortyFour. We just build great websites and read great books. Here are some books beloved by the folks who work here building those aforementioned great websites.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
I first played the text-based game when I was 14, and instantly fell in love with the quirky British humor and space escapades. Finding out that it was a book series, BBC radio and TV series was a pleasant surprise!
-Adam Darby, Developer
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
It encompasses the use of how language can be used to paint pictures of very specific actions vividly, while also making light of incredibly serious topics. That, and the fact that the entire story is a jigsaw puzzle that needs to be read entirely to come close to understanding it as a whole.
-Bret Ausura, Project Manager
Where We Want to Live by Ryan Gravel
Because what kind of Atlantan are you, really, if you haven’t read this?
-Ryan Anderson, Director of Marketing
Tenth of December by George Saunders
I love reading Saunders for his zaniness, humor, and ear for internal dialogue, but in this collection you can tell his writing has become much more humane. It’s great.
-Brian “Bryan” Zirbes, Business Analyst
Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver
Really amazing to read *while* in the western states. I read this during a backpacking trip in Utah and I felt like I was right there with the main character (the book is based in Arizona). #BestSummerReadEver
-Kelsey O’Manion, Project Manager
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
This was the first novel I read with strong latina characters! This novel follows 3 generations of Chilean women through their trials and triumphs after WWI. It has magical realism elements as well and is a beautifully written novel!
-Karla Fleming, Business Analyst
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
I love how it encapsulates the practice of architecture in the 1920s and 30s. Howard Roark is a polarizing protagonist who stirs healthy debate about the ethics of design, the role of individual ego, and deviation from collective design values. I also just really appreciate Rand’s command of language.
-Paul Landon, UX Designer
Dune by Frank Herbert
Who knew west vs middle east politics and the world’s utter dependence on oil could be so entertaining when rewritten as the best science fiction novel ever?! Frank Herbert, that’s who.
-Hadi Seyfi, Designer
The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend by Bob Drury
I first read it a few years ago, but it has stuck with me–especially since I recently went to the Powder River Valley in Wyoming and saw some of the battle sites. The way we teach US history glosses over Native American history and culture, so it was an eye-opening read; I learned a ton. I don’t usually love histories but the writing in this book was really engaging.
-Liz Simms, Copywriter
A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava
A Naked Singularity broke every rule regarding a first novel: It was long, dense, and weird. That’s why it was originally relegated to being self-published. But over time its genius shined through, and it’s now regarded as a classic of early 21st century literature because of its piercing look at the harsh realities of the New York City criminal justice system, its hyper-literate but playful style, and its unexpected use of pulp and noir elements.
-Graydon Gordian, Director of Content
Bluets by Maggie Nelson
It feels a bit odd to call a book of poems my favorite, but there’s no book I’ve returned to as many times in my life as many times as I’ve picked “Bluets” back up, like an old friend. Besides, I’m not even sure I think of it as poetry to begin with so much as I think of it as… a meditation. Nelson begins with, “Suppose I were to begin by saying that I had fallen in love with a color.” From there, “Bluets” falls into a pool of itself, lyrically exploring themes of love and grief and the volatile ways the two coexist in our lives. Nelson’s writing feels like a revelation every time I return to it.
-Rachel Perkins, Copywriter