Archive for the 'Book Lists' topic

Find Out What Books POGO Staffers Are Reading This Summer

July 23rd, 2012

Photography, surfing, and playing poker are some hobbies of the POGO team, but one pastime that many of us share is reading! In contrast to the more serious and issues-focused summer reading list, some of POGO’s team members were able to sit down with the water cooler and discuss their summer literary adventures.

Abby Evans (POGO Donor Relations Manager) is reading A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Abby’s rating: 4/5 stars

Why did you read this book?
I decided to read Confederacy of Dunces because it’s a well-known book that has been on my to-read list since I was in high school. The book was published posthumously, and was published because the author’s mother believed enough in the work to make it happen. When the book was finally published, 11 years after the author’s death, it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1981. I find the story behind the publication of the actual book incredibly compelling.

What was your favorite part about the book?
The characters were written very well, but I can’t answer that question because I haven’t finished the book yet.

Many films are based off of books, who could you see as the lead role of A Confederacy of Dunces?
A younger John C. Reiley as the main character and Kathy Bates as the mother

——

Andrea Acosta (POGO Intern) read the Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Andrea’s rating: 5/5 stars

Why did you read this book?
It was suggested by an English professor.

What was your favorite about the book?
The combination of cynical, sarcastic, and humorous voice along with the book’s emotional depth.

Many films are based off of books, who could you see as the lead roles of the Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao?
Eva Mendes
as the mother, Belita Moreno as the grandmother, and an older Rico Rodriguez as Oscar Wao.

——

Dana Liebelson (POGO’s Beth Daley Impact Fellow) read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Dana’s rating: 4/5 stars

Why did you read this book?
We work really close to Barnes & Noble, and I scour the bookshelves after work.

What was your favorite part of the book?
I really like her writing style; it’s ornate without being pretentious.

What is your least favorite book?
The Red Pony by John Steinbeck, it should have ended when the pony died.

——

Mary Peng (POGO Intern) read Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

Mary’s rating: 4/5 stars

Why did you read this book?
A friend recommended it and I needed a book to read on my airplane trip.

What was your favorite part about the book?
The book used different anecdotes and gave readers a unique perspective on how success is achieved.

——

Chris Pabon (POGO Director of Development) is reading Bond Girl by Erin Duffy

Chris’ rating: 4/5 stars

Why did you read this book?
Because I read a positive review about it in Entertainment Weekly.

What was your favorite part of the book?
During one part of the book, the main character was not eligible for a Christmas bonus from her company. Her team members pull money together and give her a bonus for the holidays.

Many films are based off of books, who could you see as the lead role of Bond Girl?
It would be either Anne Hathaway or Emma Stone.

——

Neil Gordon (POGO Investigator) read The Great Santini by Pat Conroy

Neil’s rating: 4/5 stars (But I give the movie 4.5/5 stars)

Why did you read this book?
Because I saw the movie and wanted to see how the book compared.

What was your favorite part of the book?
Since I already saw the movie, the entire time I was reading the book I was picturing Robert Duvall as the main character.

Photography, surfing, and playing poker are some hobbies of the POGO team, but one pastime that many of us share is reading! In contrast to the more serious and issues-focused summer reading list, some of POGO’s team members were able to sit down with the water cooler and discuss their summer literary adventures.

Abby Evans (POGO Development Associate) is reading A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Abby’s rating: 4/5 stars

Why did you read this book?

I decided to read Confederacy of Dunces because it’s a well-known book that has been on my to-read list since I was in high school. The book was published posthumously, and was published because the author’s mother believed enough in the work to make it happen. This is the only book written John Kennedy Toole because he committed suicide at the age of 31. When the book was finally published, 11 years after the author’s death, it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1981. I find the story behind the publication of the actual book incredibly compelling.

What was your favorite part about the book?

The Characters were written very well but I can’t answer that question because I haven’t finished the book yet.

Many films are based off of books, who could you see as the lead role of A Confederacy of Dunces?

A younger John C. Reiley as the main character and Kathy Bates as the mother

——

Andrea Acosta (POGO Intern) read the Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Andrea’s rating: 5/5 stars

Why did you read this book?

It was suggested by an English Professor

What was your favorite about the book?

The combination of cynical, sarcastic, and humorous voice along with the book’s emotional depth

Many films are based off of books, who could you see as the lead roles of the Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao?

Eva Mendes as the mother, Belita Moreno (The actress who played the grandmother in George Lopez) as the grandmother, and an older Rico Rodriguez (The actor who plays Manny on Modern Family) as Oscar Wao.

——

Dana Liebelson (POGO’s Beth Daley Impact Fellow) read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Dana’s rating: 4/5 stars

Why did you read this book?

We work really close to Barnes and Noble and I scour the bookshelves after work.

What was your favorite part of the book?

I really like her writing style; it’s ornate without being pretentious.

What is your least favorite book?

The Red Pony by John Steinbeck, it should have ended when the pony died

——

Mary Peng (POGO Intern) read Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

Mary’s rating: 4/5 stars

Why did you read this book?

A friend recommended it and I needed a book to read on my airplane trip.

What was your favorite part about the book?

The book used different anecdotes and gave readers a unique perspective on how success is achieved

——

Chris Pabon (POGO Director of Development) is reading Bond Girl by Erin Duffy

Chris’ rating: 4/5 stars

Why did you read this book?

Because I read a positive review about it in Entertainment Weekly

What was your favorite part of the book?

During one part of the book, the main character was not eligible for a Christmas bonus from her company. Her team members pull money together and give her a bonus for the holidays.

Many films are based off of books, who could you see as the lead role of Bond Girl?

It would be either Anne Hathaway or Emma Stone

——

Neil Gordon (POGO Investigator) read The Great Santini by Pat Conroy

Neil’s rating: 4/5 stars (But I give the movie 4.5/5 stars)

Why did you read this book?

Because I saw the movie and wanted to see how the book compared

What was your favorite part of the book?

Since I already saw the movie, the entire time I was reading the book I was picturing Robert Duvall as the main character.

POGO’s Blog Roll

November 3rd, 2011

By ANDRE FRANCISCO

We hope you faithful Watercooler readers have finished all our Spring Reading recommendations, because we’ve got another round of suggestions. This time it’s the blogs that feed the daily curiosity of the POGO staff.

They range from wonky to hobby-focused to purely eye candy, but we hope you find them all interesting. And please let us know what your favorite blogs are, besides POGO’s of course, in the comments.

Dana Liebelson, Beth Daley Impact Fellow
Foreign Policy Passport
101 Cookbooks
Pitchfork

Jake Wiens, Investigator
Danger Room
BoingBoing
NFC East Blog

Continue Reading »

POGO Summer Reading List

August 3rd, 2010

Looking for some reading material to accompany you on an August vacation? Why not consider some of the titles on the POGO summer reading list?

Believe it or not, POGO-nauts occasionally find time for literature outside the usual IG and GAO reports.  Here’s a look at what certain POGO staffers are reading (along with a description of the book in staffers’ own words):

Danni Downing, Editor:
Lindbergh, by A. Scott Berg
An in-depth biography of Charles Lindbergh. It’s a long book, but is fascinating and well-written.

Mandy Smithberger, Investigator:
Finally trucking through the Sonora Review. There’s a short story about a woman dealing with a guy who wants to live in a suitcase.

Adam Zagorin, Journalist in Residence:
The Girl Who Played with Fire / Flickan som lekte med elden, by Stieg Larson
Translated from Swedish—free-ranging crime saga set in Scandinavia.

Chris Pabon, Director of Development:
Currently reading the New Krypton Series by Geoff Johns — a story of what happens when a man of two worlds is forced to choose one, and do what he can to prevent instigators from both sides hell bent on harming each other.

Neil Gordon, Investigator:
The Humbling, by Philip Roth
A short novel (150 pages) about an aging actor who is going through a personal crisis because he has lost his chops. Roth’s recent books all deal with the ugly side of getting old. It’s kind of depressing, but they’re all great reads nonetheless.

New York, by Edward Rutherfurd
A massive novel (800 pages) that traces the history of several New York families from the 1600s to today. Lots of real history is interwoven throughout the story.

Abby Evans, Development Associate:
Vanishing Point: Not A Memoir, by Ander Monson
A collection of essays that serve as a meditation and exploration of the self that question and play with the definition of memoir.

Pam Rutter, Web Manager:
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
Just started so still too early to tell what’s going on!

Angela Canterbury, Director of Public Policy:
Just picked up Little Bee (Chris Cleave), but don’t expect to read it until I hit the beach after recess.

Danielle Brian, Executive Director:
Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
I’m only in the beginning so can’t tell you what it’s about yet. But it’s the first selection in my new book club of Alex, Emma and me. On a fun note—there was a passing reference to the women “looking like Smith women”—wondering what he meant by that!

Bryan Rahija, Blog Editor:
How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer
A fun survey of the science behind human decision-making.

See also:  Read ‘em and Weep

Image by Flickr user Horia Varlan , used under Creative Commons License

Read ‘em and Weep

September 23rd, 2009

We’ve seen the people of POGO demonstrate their athletic prowess — now it’s time for them to share their scholarly leanings.  Each staffer was asked to provide the book they are currently reading, or the last book they read, along with a short review.  The result was an eclectic list of biographies, novels, histories, science fiction tales, and yes, even a book on contracting in the 1970s.  Without further ado, the POGO September reading list:

Abby Evans, Development Associate
How Proust Can Change Your Life
by Alain de Botton
Self-help, philosophy, literary criticism, biography, and history all wrapped up into one deliciously witty, quick read.

Danni Downing, Program Editor
The C-5A Scandal: An Inside Story of the Military-Industrial Complex, by Berkeley Rice
A narrative of how the defense procurement system actually worked–or didn’t work–in the 1970s. The major points of this thirty-year-old story still sadly hold true today.

Ingrid Drake, Investigator, Director of the Congressional Oversight Training Series (COTS)
Pulitizer: A Life, by Denis Brian (father of our Executive Director)
When the Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina
by W. Lance Bennett, Regina G. Lawrence, Steven Livingston
People of the
Book, by Geraldine Brooks

Pamela Rutter, Web Manager
Of Mice and Men
, by John Steinbeck
American Classic.  I’m revisiting 9th grade American literature! ;)
My Life in France
, by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme
The Watercooler post about the Julia & Julie movie inspired me to read!  Maybe I’ll learn a couple tricks about cooking too!

Neil Gordon, Investigator
Isaac’s Storm
, by Erik Larson
The story of the 1900 Galveston hurricane and Isaac Cline, a meteorologist with the U.S. Weather Service who bears some responsibility for the massive loss of life.

Marthena Cowart, Director of Communications
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
First published in 2007, it has become a international best-seller. This a very French novel: tender and satirical in its overall tone, yet most absorbing because of its reflections on the nature of beauty and art, the meaning of life and death.

Chris A. Pabon, Director of Development
The Surrogates
, by Brett Weldale.
In the near future, people interact with each other through cybernetic surrogates. Movie with Bruce Willis and Radha Mitchell comes out this fall.

Danielle Brian, Executive Director
Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time
, by David Oliver Relin and Greg Mortenson

Mandy Smithberger, National Security Investigator
Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women who Created Her, by Melanie Rehak
I never even really read Nancy Drew growing up, but as Supreme Court nominees, etc, keep dropping her name as an inspiration, it seemed like a fun read. It’s kind of the lower culture, abbreviated companion to Elaine Showalter’s A Jury of Her Peers.

Ned Feder, Staff Scientist
So Damn Much Money: The Triumph of Lobbying and the Corrosion of American Government, by Robert G. Kaiser.
The way the lobbyists triumphed — not just because of their own cleverness and their payouts, but because Congress is poorly equipped to resist. Fascinating story.

Bryan Rahija, Blog Editor

The Savage Detectives, by Roberto Bolaño
From the Chilean Jack Kerouac, a eulogy for founders of a punk rock poetry movement.

Feel free to chime in with other recommendations in the comments!

— Bryan Rahija