Summer Reading

What We’re Reading

Whether you’re escaping your zip code or basking in a staycation, there is nothing like a good read to enhance the adventure. The A+R team recommends the following books, new and old, mature and pre-tween, to get you and yours reading:

Conor Ford, Senior Design Advisor


Paris, Berlin, Morocco and Japan are only part of the itinerary on the year-long journey around the globe that Arthur Less takes in “Less,” prompted by serious hiccups in his personal and professional lives. Author Andrew Sean Greer took the Pulitzer Prize in 2017 for this witty, cathartic and enjoyable novel of a writer in search of something he—or you—can’t quite put a finger on. 

Andy Griffith, Co-Founder


Believe the hype: Sally Rooney’s sophomore novel, “Normal People,” released last fall, deserves the accolades and prizes, dealing with the masculine and feminine in a very modern, highly captivating way, as it follows the intimate, intense, fucked up relationship between a couple in contemporary Dublin. I couldn’t put it down. It’s so well written, so believable, so good.

Autumn Foster, Design Advisor


Celeste Ng’s 2014 debut novel “Everything I Never Told You” is a fictional mystery set in the 1970s and portrait of a mixed race family whose daughter is found drowned in a lake. Not as somber as it may sound, but thrilling, nonetheless. 

I also recommend Orion Catloto’s 2017 book of verse “Flux.” This is a nostalgia-inducing book of poetry, where the writer clings to the romanticism of heartbreak and delivers a raw take on the theme. 

Michael Selva, Digital Guru


“The Things They Carried” is Tim O’Brien’s great 1990 novel, emphasizing storytelling and individual truths and perspectives based on Tim’s own experience in the Vietnam War. It’s not about politics, but human capacity, as relayed through the individual stories. The book was a finalist for a Pulitzer and won other awards, and sparked a film, songs, a play and exhibitions.

Felipe Navarro, Design Advisor


Most good TV and films start with a book, and Netflix’s recent hit “Special” began with the show’s star, writer and producer Ryan O’Connell and his 2015 memoir "I'm Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves.” The book is a darkly witty and relatable take on growing up and navigating daily life as a millennial.

Louise Lund, Senior Design Advisor


I’m right now reading “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life,” I’ve already learned so much from this book. Jen Sincero was in the music industry before becoming a life coach, and her series of self-help books provide meaningful ways in manifesting things in your life. I love how she relays her guidance and explains it.

Nina Griffith, Junior Design Enthusiast


Not even a month into summer, and the youngest member of the A+R family, 8-year-old Nina Griffith is deep into book 8, the final of the “Warriors” collection. “I would tell other boys and girls to read these books because they are full of adventures, battles and friendships. You feel like you’re there. I can’t stop reading these books!”

Thankfully, there are 2 dozen more books featuring tales of the 4 featured cat clans. This wildly popular and ongoing fictional series, launched in 2003, is written collectively by 4 authors under the pseudonym Erin Hunter. (The first film in what will invariably be a juggernaut franchise remains under works.)

Rose Apodaca, Co-Founder

I love a read that puts you in the thick of it, and even if you weren’t there, “More Fun In the New World: The Unmaking and Legacy of LA Punk” makes you believe otherwise. I was, albeit a hell of a lot younger than many of the legendary contributors, who were redefining what it meant to rock and dress and party and live during the years of 1982-1987 (when I was in high school and dedicated to the live music scene). The first half of the title is also the name of the 4th studio album by the seminal punk band X, and its singer and bassist John Doe again teams up with veteran A&R exec Tom DeSavia to edit this follow-up to their lauded 2016 oral history “Under the Big Black Sun,” which covered the scene from 1977-1982 (and also happens to be the name of X’s third album from 1982). Must reading for any history buff of Los Angeles, music, and pop culture, and its structure (albeit imperfect) makes for an entertaining read under the big black sun.