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5 Earnest Clients Share Their Best Books for the Beach

We’re all about reading great stuff—preferably in a hammock, beach chair or comfy sofa. We asked Earnest clients for their best book recommendations and here’s what they told us.


Greg Derevianko

Works as: EHS Manager, Comcast
Graduated: MS, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, UCLA, 2008; BS, Applied Physics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2007

Greg’s book pick: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr 

His review:  “It is an excellent read with a strong focus on character development. While it’s about World War II, it is not the story of battles or the glory of war, but the effects of the war on two children, a blind girl in France and an orphan in Germany. It had special meaning to me, as my father was born in France a year before the German occupation, and it put many of the stories he told me about survival into perspective. Even still, I think anyone reading the book will feel a connection with the characters. I highly recommend the book!”


Ashlee Kirkwood

Works as: Biologist II (Head of Plant Toxicology), at Smithers Viscient
Graduated: MS, Environmental Science Management, University of Rhode Island, 2010; BS, Earth Science, Bridgewater State University, 2006

Ashlee’s book picks: Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon; Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

Her review: Right now I’m reading the first book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. The show on Starz based on the books is also great, so it’s nice to read and watch at the same time. And I always go back to The Valley of the Dolls. I’ve read it about half a dozen times. I like it because it is an interesting social commentary on sexism in the mid-20th century, but also because it doesn’t have a happy ending – just a real one. I highly recommend it.”

earnest_summer_reading_kurtKurt Bomya

Works as: Information Technology Engineer II, COUNTRY Financial
Graduated: BS, Computer Systems Technology, Illinois State University, 2012

Kurt’s book pick: Mere Christianity by CS Lewis 

His review: “The talks that were broadcast on public radio while listeners had bombshells dropped repeatedly from above in England in the 1940s.”


earnest_summer_reading_client_jillianJillian Raymond

Works as: Forecasting & Marketing Analytics Lead, Stitch Fix
Graduated: BSBA Finance & Marketing, Georgetown University, 2009

Jillian’s book picks: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul KalanithiThe Martian by Andy WeirIn Defense of Food by Michael PollanThe Red Rising series by Pierce Brown

Jo-El Hartman 

Works as: Director of Internal Systemwide Staffing for Scripps Health Organization
Graduated: MA, Leadership and Management, Walden University, 2014

Jo-El’s book pick: The Belief in Angels by J. Dylan Yates

Her review:This book by J. Dylan Yates about a young girl growing up in a crazy, hippie household in the 70s!”

Enjoy this list? Help us compile more Earnest community-driven content! We’d love to know which online video courses you love, whether that’s a free class on coding or a DIY YouTube video about how to cook. Email us [email protected].

Disclaimer: This blog post provides personal finance educational information, and it is not intended to provide legal, financial, or tax advice.