Celebrating the people and projects of TU's Division of Administration and Finance

5 great books to read this summer

It doesn’t get much better than reading outside on a cool summer evening. Below, five A&F employees share recommendations on books they love to read, plus offer a few tips on where to find new titles and how to keep your book list organized.

Kelly Crispo submission

Kelly Crispo, Executive Administrative Assistant: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Each time I read this I find something I previously missed, and sometimes I see things from a new light as my own life experiences change. I’ve loved it from the first time I read it in high school and have shared it with my family. After my husband read it for the first time, he decided if we were to ever have a son, he would want him to be like Atticus Finch: confident and strong enough to stand up for his beliefs. A few years later, our son Atticus was born.



Donna Auvil, University Budget Coordinator: In Death series by J.D. Robb.

While I was going through chemotherapy treatments a few years ago, I had a lot of time to read.  But I needed books that I didn’t have to think too hard about—just something to put me in another place.  So I began reading the “In Death” series by J.D. Robb, which is about a homicide cop who solves murder mysteries in 2060. I needed a way to escape for five hours a day, and I’ve always loved to read, so the books were a natural fit.  I believe there are at least 40 books in the series now, and I’m only eight books behind!


Carol Wettersten submission

Carol Wettersten, Assistant to the Vice President: Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux

I’ve always loved traveling and seeing new places, so I love the descriptions of faraway places in Paul Theroux’s books. Dark Star Safari gives a vivid account of a journey from North Africa to South Africa, and the book makes you feel like you’re traveling the continent with him. He vividly describes places I’ll likely never experience firsthand—like a leaky boat in Lake Victoria. His writing is so fresh that it puts you in another world, if only for 500 pages.



Deanna Martinez, PeopleSoft Specialist: Wised Up by Charlie Wilhelm

Wised Up details the life of a 1970s Baltimore mobster who rats out 20 of his fellow drug dealers and murderers. The settings include familiar spots in Hampden and around Baltimore, and the characters include TUPD officer Joe Herring, then a Baltimore County Policeman investigating Charlie. The story is raw and gripping, and it hits close to home, especially for me: my grandmother’s nephew wrote it.


smarter faster better

Dr. Kim Schatzel, TU President: Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhigg

This book discusses the type of leadership style that empowers a team. True effectiveness comes from a great team, not the individual or a micromanaging leader. I spend a lot of time on this because I believe that my number one job is to build the best performing team in higher education. When we achieve that, everything else works.


If you’re looking for other book recommendations, check out GoodReads (it’s like Facebook for readers!), or visit Ukazoo books in Towson, where staff can find rare or out-of-print books for you. You can also find a roundup of book reviews on The Book Thing of Baltimore’s website.


Reading anything good right now? What’s your favorite book of all time? Share in the comments below!

Top image by Kelly Crispo; J.D. Robb book image courtesy of “The In Death Series” by Books4EverySeason.com; city image by Carol Wettersten; Wised Up image courtesy of  Bill Barry; Smarter, Faster, Better image courtesy of “Inbox/outbox: January 29, 2016” by bookriot.com.

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