2021 Summer Reading Picks

Get to know the Washington Nonprofits Board and Staff members by hearing what we’re reading this summer. Maybe your next favorite book is on this list!

From the Washington Nonprofits Board:

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

This book shows the true grit and determination of the human spirit. Through the power and beauty of sport, these nine men from all different walks of life overcame their challenges and differences to create a bond that goes past their team and is woven into their lives forever.

Meaghan Brooks, Richland

Simple Abundance: 365 Days to a Balanced and Joyful Life by Sarah Ban Breathnach

I decided this year to do more reading for pleasure and less related to my work. So this year I have been doing a day by day read of Simple Abundance. A perennial classic whose time has come again, Sarah’s work celebrates quiet joys, simple pleasures, and well-spent moments and reminds us how to find the beauty in the everyday.

Trudy Soucoup, Lacy

The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee

This book is full of information that is backed up by a significant amount of research (all in the book). It delves into issues that some may know peripherally or not at all, with the history of where it started. A great book club book for thoughtful discussions.

Terrie Ashby-Scott, Spokane

Killer of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Another book with a fair amount of research behind it about the murders that run deep in the Osage Tribe in the early 1900’s. Another book club book for discussion.

Terrie Ashby-Scott, Spokane


From the Washington Nonprofits Staff:

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Care Work is a mapping of access as radical love, a celebration of the work that sick and disabled queer/people of color are doing to find each other and to build power and community, and a tool kit for everyone who wants to build radically resilient, sustainable communities of liberation where no one is left behind.

Alex Panagotacos, Director of Community Engagement

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

I’ve been a fan of his books since the Martian (as per usual book was better than the movie) but his latest effort had me thinking about it for days afterward! Also highly recommend the audiobook for some of the fantastic plot essential use of sound. After that I can’t tell you anything about it! Don’t read a synopsis! Going in blind is the truest and best way to enjoy this book. But if you enjoy scifi with a capitalized SCI, fantastic book.

Daniel Parkhurst, Director of Policy and Communications

Letters to a Young Poet: With the Letters to Rilke from the ”Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke, Franz Xaver Kappus, and Damion Searls

I’ve read Letters to a Young Poet before (it’s one of those pieces that always shows you something new with each reading), and was very excited to see this new edition with the letters from the “young poet” in conversation with Rilke. Written at the turn of the century (1903), these letters deal with huge global changes, concepts of art and self, and finding your way to the present moment—all things that feel especially relevant in the current day.

Julia Hunter, Membership Manager

Learn Like a Pro: Science-Based Tools to Become Better at Anything by Barbara Oakley and Olav Schewe

Advertised as a “crash course to improve your ability to learn” this book is a very quick and productive read. As a lifelong learner who is currently feeling a bit of brain fog, I really appreciated the tools and tips, as well as learning about the science behind them.

Julia Hunter, Membership Manager

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

“A saga about four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan, exiled from their home.” Pachinko has been adapted into a television series. The limited series (eight episodes) will air on Apple TV+. The release date has not yet been announced.

Sondra Santos, Communications Manager


About Julia Hunter 45 Articles
Julia Hunter is the Membership Manager at Washington Nonprofits.