Books & Podcasts

Some of the AW team decided to put together a few book and podcast recommendations! We've found that reading and listening have been a comfort and much needed distraction to us so we decided to share a few of our favorites. Scribd has graciously decided to make their library available to anyone for 30 days with unlimited access to their online reading material. Below are a few suggestions to get you started!

emily's picks 


1. The Daily, NYT with Michael Barbaro

I listen to this podcast every morning during my commute into Boston. The host, Michael Barbaro, is more storyteller than reporter and insightfully sheds light on everything he and his team tackle. It’s an easy and enjoyable way to get a good handle on the most important story of the day in 20 minutes. I’m addicted!

If you are an entrepreneur or just love a good true story, I promise you will love this podcast. The host, Guy Raz, interviews some of the most influential names in business - all of whom started with just an idea - and walks the listener through some gut-wrenching rollercoaster stories that ultimately lead to success (or in some cases failure). What all the stories have in common, though, is some combination of grit, passion and luck.


This wise coming of age novel centers around a college baseball team at a small, idyllic lakeside college in Wisconsin. As the story unfolds, it’s less about baseball and more about ambition, friendship, self doubt and identity. If you love college sports but also appreciate a beautifully written and thoughtful story with great characters - you will love this book! 

This is a book that stayed with me for a very long time and is among my all-time favorite novels. Set in Moscow during the 1920’s, it transports you to a different time and place. And you will quickly fall in love with the main character - a dashing and incredibly charming Count who has been banished to house arrest in one of Moscow’s finest hotels. The story is also about doing the very best with what you have, finding joy in small pleasures and showing grace and kindness under pressure. It’s a perfect book for today! 

laura's picks


    This is a really great podcast with in-depth and interesting interviews with CEOs and other influential leaders. The host, David Novak, is a good family friend and was the former Chairman and CEO of Yum! brands (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut). Recent interview guests include Tom Brady, David Solomon, Jack Niklaus, and Henry Kravis. I highly recommend it!

    2. This American Life 

    Can't go wrong this this classic podcast that brings snippets from American culture and history to life. The stories are fascinating and very thoughtfully executed. The most recent podcast covers very real and raw moments from those directly impacted by the Coronavirus. It's intense but it reinforces the need for social distancing and the importance of doing our part to flatten the curve during this critical time. 


    1. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris 

    I love reading World War II literature and this novel did not disappoint. Based on a true story, it recounts the unimaginable journey of Slovakian Jews, Lale and Gita Sokolov, through the unbearable conditions in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. The book weaves an unforgettable tale of love, hope, fate, and survival and keeps you enthralled from start to finish. 

    You can't help but root for the charming and witty character that is Eleanor Oliphant in this thought-provoking and humorous novel. An unexpected moment of heroism gives life to a quirky and amusing friendship that takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster complete with moments of laughter and sadness. It's a page turner with a surprising twist at the end!


    maddie's picks 


    1. Serial with Sarah Koenig 

    There are three seasons to this podcast - I am currently listening to season one and it's fascinating. Sarah Koenig takes you on her journey of investigating the disappearance of a high school senior named Hae Min Lee in 1999. At the time, it was believed that her boyfriend strangled her and buried her body with the help of his friend. Koenig begins to uncover inconsistencies and an entirely new story than what was originally thought. It's an extremely intricate case and Koenig's storytelling ability makes it seem as though we are there with her. 

    2. Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel 

    A friend of mine recently recommended this podcast to me. I will guide you that it is a very raw and real podcast, but if you find psychology and human relationships a puzzle, you should give it a shot! Esther Perel is a therapist who anonymously records some of her sessions with her clients and the hardships they are facing. Her most recent episode delves into a couple on lockdown in Sicily, Italy. Although it can be heavy at times, I think it lends a dynamic perspective on therapy and relationships. Perel's ability to deliver creative advice and understanding on struggles that are faced by a wide audience is quite insightful.  


    1. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware 

    Continuing with the theme of mysteries, Lo Blacklock is a journalist who writes for a travel magazine. She receives a new assignment, which entails a week on a luxury cruise with a limited number of cabins. When she begins her journey, things quickly go awry and she keeps having this terrifying nightmare that seems so real. If you like fast-pace, 'keep you on the edge of your seat' plots, I highly recommend this one. It will be a quick read!

    2. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult 

    This novel carries such an important message and is so well-written. It follows the life of an African American labor delivery nurse, Ruth. She faces white supremacist parents who prohibit her from touching their newborn child. The hospital reassigns Ruth, but the baby goes into cardiac arrest and Ruth has to decide if she will act or not. Jodi Picoult discusses the writing of this novel in a podcast with NHPR - the inspiration behind writing it and the struggles she faces when writing it. 

    Leave a comment

    All comments are moderated before being published