Winter Reading 2021

We feel like it’s pretty safe to say that if you’re a LYON client in 2021, you don’t have a lot of free time, so it may be months before you think about the URL on your hopefully handy year at a glance calendar, but we still like to pretend we’re going to curl up on a warm beach with a good book, so we wanted to give you some ideas. Mostly, we wanted to say thank you. Stuffing our winter envelopes and mailing them all is a working meditation on how incredibly fortunate we are to have so many wonderful clients and vendors. From the baggage handlers at our favorite airlines to the CEOs we interview, we feel amazingly lucky to know you have our back, and to be trusted with your stories, to have your back when you need it. And so many of you are making a huge difference in mitigating COVID-19 that these last two years have been among the most fulfilling of our 31 years in business. Thank you all.

And back to the Hustle part of our tagline—we figure you don’t need our own paragraph long review, so we’ll keep it short and let you link over to professional reviews.

American Christmas Stories
Edited by Connie Willis

Borg Review

The Library of America is a non-profit that publishes beautiful editions of writing that captures the American experiment. There collections are a terrific gift for the prolific reader, who will happen upon favorite writers or make new friends. This one ranges from Jack London’s Klondike Christmas to Joan Didion’s The Big Rock Candy Figgy Pudding Pitfall, but if you don’t want any more Christmas, check out The Peanuts Papers. And for the less willing reader, it’s all top notch, but very short, so they can move on without a major commitment—and maybe they will get excited about something or someone in the anthology.

Several People Are Typing
By Calvin Kasulke

Tech Crunch review

Even if you’re not a Slack user, and even if you love every aspect of your job, the dark humor of this short novel is bound to make you laugh. And if you’re feeling a little burned out and bitter—well, this is probably going to read like a documentary and push you to shake up your life to make some changes.

No One Is Talking About This
By Patricia Lockwood

NPR review

This books starts with the shallow, staccato rhythm of a dive into the internet (the portal), with a few mysterious backstory clues, and winds up somewhere scarily real and riveting. Twenty pages in you are laughing and wondering if this is a good use of time, and by the end your heart has been ripped out. It’s actually terrific in an era where everyone knows the answers, to find out that maybe no one does.

Night Boat to Tangier
By Kevin Barry

NY Times review

A fast, riveting read, two old gangsters sitting in the ferry terminal reflecting as they wait for a woman who may not show up. Perfect for fans who loved the moral underpinnings of HBO’s Deadwood.

The Vanishing Half
Brit Bennett

Washington Post review

While the overarching plot is about a Black woman who choses to abandon her family to pass as white, the the entire novel is chock full of characters passing as something they aren’t or haven’t become yet, or just don’t realize they are. If you know what imposter syndrome is, you’ll find someone in here you relate to. And isn’t is a joy to read a book where what shines through is the gorgeous humanity of so many different kinds of people?

The Startup Wife
Tahmina Anam

The Guardian review

It seems there’s a whole special genre of fiction focused on how totally bizarre modern work life is whether it’s tech or media companies but this book adds in a delightful new take on social media, which lets the dead continue to post. It’s all so horribly wrong, it’s a delight to see the wreckage unfold in slow motion.

All’s Well
Mona Awad

The Washington Post review

A novel about inexplicable, undiagnosable pain, Shakespeare’s least loved play, academic politics, and a witch’s spell. Perfect for a stormy couple of nights indoors where it might all feel a little too real.

The Every
Dave Eggers

The Washington Post review

Not Eggers’s best work, a follow up to The Circle, but, if you like those tech company train wreck books, it’s a delight. Full of laugh out loud descriptions. if your taste run to recognizing people are weird, and you ever use the phrase “tragedy of the commons,” this novel is for you.

The Council of Animals
Nick McDonell

NPR review

After The Calamity, the animals hold their own vote. For fans of Animal Farm and The Plague Dogs.

The Shakespeare Requirement
Julie Schumacher

The New Yorker review

Maybe you feel defensive about tech company foibles, but still enjoy a good work environment satire. This one is for you.

Michael Christie

The Washington Post review

If you love Succession and/or Yellowstone, this novel tells you the backstory, the mogul story, and what happens when all those billionaires use up the earth. A rich, fast-paced story, perfect for fans of News of the World (book or movie).