15 Lawyers Recommend Their Top Summer Reads
Looking for a book to read this summer at the beach (or between billable hours)? We asked some of DC's top lawyers for their recommendations for the best summer reads.
Arnold & Porter senior counsel and former DC Attorney General Irv Nathan tells us he just finished up Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman, one of his favorite novelists. The book's about a local county prosecutor taking on a difficult murder case. He's now reading Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy, a memoir dealing with the wrongly condemned.
UDC Law associate dean and DC Bar president Annamaria Steward (left) is reading Daniel James Brown's The Boys in the Boat, which was recommended to her by Coffey Burlington partner Andy Marks. As a former college rower, she says she loves the book and the history it includes.
Karen Evans (center), The Cochran Firm partner and Washington Bar Association president, says this has been and continues to be a summer of reflection and contemplation. She just read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Mayer Brown global mobility & migration practice head Liz Stern says she loves historical fiction (such as Lisa See's China Dolls or Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl) and behavioral analysis (like Malcolm Gladwell's The Outliers or Blink and Deborah Tannen's You Just Don't Understand). This summer, she's reading Walter Isaacson's Kissinger biography, a fascinating read considering changing political tides.
Katten Muchin chairman Roger Furey reads often, sometimes listening to audio books while he commutes to work from Old Town Alexandria. He's in the midst of The Grind by Barry Svrluga, a brisk read about going through a baseball season, focused on the Nationals.
Like Annamaria, Roger recommends Daniel James Brown's The Boys in the Boat, which he says is one of the best books he's read in the last 10 years. It's about the University of Washington's crew team learning to row together before the Berlin Olympics, and drives home the lesson that no matter how strong you are, it's all about syncing up with the people around you.
Other recommendations: Larry McMurtry's Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove (about two rangers in 1800s Texas driving a herd of cattle to Montana), Anthony Doerr's Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See (a novel about a French girl and German boy surviving WWII) and Kevin Fedarko's Emerald Mile (a true story about the fastest boat ride down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, during the flood of 1983).
Children's Law Center executive director Judith Sandalow (left) recommends Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much by Eldar Shadir and Sendhil Mullainathan, a fascinating, accessible read with an underlying thesis that she believes should transform the government’s anti-poverty agenda and has already had a profound impact on how Children’s Law Center does business.
She also recommends Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a nuanced analysis of racism written in prose that reads like poetry (a book Justice Sotomayor also cited in her Strieff dissent about unlawful police stops).
Judicial Nomination Commission executive director and former DC Bar Foundation executive director Katia Garrett reads mysteries at the beach (she's working her way through Nicola Upson's creative Josephine Tey series set in 1930s London), and meaty reads on long plane rides (such as Rebecca Traister's All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation). On her must-read list for this summer: Emma Cline's The Girls.
Hogan Lovells partner and former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal suggests Abraham Verghese's novel Cutting for Stone, a saga about the lives of twins born to a British surgeon and an Indian nun in Ethiopia. For nonfiction, try Adam Grant's social science read about drivers of success, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success.
Ballard Spahr mixed-use development and condominiums team head and ACREL president-elect Roger Winston (second from left) recommends The Road to Character by David Brooks, about the values and priorities that can inform a successful life.
DLA Piper global real estate practice co-chair and ACREL VP Jay Epstien (center) tells us his favorite book for any season is Chris Crowley's Younger Next Year, an inspiring read about how to take care of yourself and live a long and healthy life.
Ullico SVP, GC and chief compliance officer Patrick McGlone, DC Bar president-elect, says the best non-fiction book he's recently read is Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy. It's about Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson's professional and personal experiences fighting for fairness in the criminal justice system, mostly in the Deep South. It’s compelling and deeply affecting, he says.
Legal Aid legal director Chinh Le (center) is swept up in the Hamilton craze and is making his way through the Ron Chernow biography of Alexander Hamilton while vacationing at the beach. He says Hamilton's life and impact on the early days of the American democracy are fascinating and profound.
For his favorite read, Jones Day partner Noel Francisco (second from left) stuck with a classic: Bleak House by Charles Dickens. Noel had his second and third Supreme Court arguments this term (his first was in Noel Canning v. NLRB), in Zubik v. Burwell and McDonnell v. United States, which was a unanimous win for Noel's client, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.
BuckleySandler chairman and executive partner Andy Sandler recently read David Nasaw's The Patriarch, a biography of Joseph P. Kennedy. He says it's a fascinating and well-written book about a complex self-made man who operated at the intersection of business and politics for many decades and executed on a clear plan to build a family dynasty.