By glancing at our site, it’s easy to tell that we’re such ardent book lovers at Knock Knock. There’s the Personal Library Kit, Bookmark Pads, and Reading Rumpus, for starters. We’re happy dive into and devour pages like no other. So, we’re excited to celebrate National Reading Month this year and share the titles we’re reading now and why we’re certified bibliophiles.
1. Sara, e-commerce manager
Currently reading: Just finished The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It is excellent!
Why do you enjoy reading? Mostly, I enjoy reading because it’s meditative. My favorite time to read is first thing in the morning, with a cup of coffee in my hand. It’s calming and puts me in a mindful, composed, and appreciative mood for the day.
2. Kelly, sales analyst
Currently reading: The Kept by James Scott.
Why do you enjoy reading? I enjoy reading because it elevates me from the daily grind and impels me to see the beauty in our complexity. It’s also an excuse to drink with my fellow book club members.
3. Jen, head honcho
Currently reading: I’ve been catching up lately on books by friends. The first is by Knock Knock’s brilliant collaborator on Plumb, our new line of notebooks created by artists. Tucker Nichols wrote and illustrated the children’s book Crabtree with his brother, Jon, about a man named Alfred Crabtree who has to organize his belongings in order to find his false teeth. Published by McSweeney’s, Crabtree is a great tale of combining like objects and cleaning up the clutter, but with wonderfully whimsical belongings, densely illustrated, with a great sense of humor. And the cover is a foldout poster! I can see kids pointing to items and identifying them—and learning to pick up their rooms.
The second is An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything, by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, whose video performance of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” recorded on the International Space Station, went viral. I’m good friends with Chris’s wife and business partner, Helene, and have had the honor of getting to know Chris a bit, too. A more worthy, interesting, insightful astronaut you’ll never find (you know, compared to all the other astronauts I’ve met). His book delivers on all the juicy stuff you want to know about travel and life in space while transcending the topic to impart wisdom on management, self-awareness, overcoming fear, and goal accomplishment. I just got back from the TED Conference where Chris gave one of the most popular talks. Listen to the song. Watch the talk. Read the book. Go to space. Except for the space part. I just bought the book for everybody at Knock Knock and I’m looking forward to having it as a common reference point in the office.
Why do you enjoy reading? I’ve been an avid, almost compulsive reader since I was a kid. I love losing myself in a great story. I love the human psychology of good fiction, the empathy it invokes in me. I also love the quiet. And I love learning things.
4. Erin, manufacturing coordinator
Currently reading: I am in the midst of finishing issue eleven of Kinfolk magazine. The essays and photos are incredibly inspiring, always capturing the common theme of creating and community.
Why do you enjoy reading? I enjoy reading because it’s a great way to learn from others’ experiences.
5. Jamie, editor at large
Currently reading: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Also, just finished The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.
Why do you enjoy reading? I crave that out-of-body experience—one day I’m thrust into the middle of an intergalactic space battle and the fate of our hero and the earth hangs in the balance; and the next day I’m there with a frightened young boy who survives a terrorist attack and steals a painting from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “There is no frigate like a book,” right?
6. Katie, assistant to the publisher
Currently reading: I have a bit of a commute, so I like to listen to audiobooks. Even though my Master’s degree is in English literature, I haven’t read a lot of the classics, so right now I’m listening to Jane Eyre. Jane is an early example of a strong female character, which is why I like the book! She fucking kicks ass and is true to herself.
Why do you enjoy reading? I love books because they connect me to worlds I might never be a part of and the good ones explore every side of humanity.
7. Mia, design director
Currently reading: Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown. I bought this for my teen daughter at Powell’s in Portland, but I’m enjoying reading it, too—it’s engaging and surprisingly informative, no matter how old or mature you are.
The Flavor Thesaurus: A Compendium of Pairings, Recipes and Ideas for the Creative Cook by Niki Segnit. This is a terrific read for sparking a creative cook’s imagination. I especially like the breakdown of food flavors, as well as the author’s suggestions for unusual pairings.
Why do you enjoy reading? Besides the tactile nature of picking up a bound book versus reading on a tablet, I love “hearing” someone else’s voice, another point of view. I also love being unplugged!
8. Lindsey, senior designer
Currently reading: Just My Type by Simon Garfield. It’s such a funny book about typography and graphic design. It’s a great read if you love type!
Why do you enjoy reading? I enjoy reading different people’s perspectives on a subject I find really interesting.
9. Janet, marketing designer
Currently reading: This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz. In this collection of new (and old) short stories about relationships, Diaz uses his signature Dominican-Spanglish barrio voice (tempered with a healthy dose of sci-fi nerd references) to suss things out. It’s a fascinating point of view I could never have imagined on my own.
Dissident Gardens by Jonathan Lethem. Along the same lines, Lethem writes about these worlds that are all-too unfamiliar to me (race relations in pre-hipster Brooklyn and Tourette Syndrome, anyone?) in a really meaty writing style to boot. This new one of his is semi-autobiographical about his upbringing in a commune, and about reconciling hippie politics with Jewish traditions. I also love quirky, strong female characters.
Cat Sense by John Bradshaw. An anthrozoological look at the evolution of cats (which is so different from dogs, by the way) and how the disruption of natural selection is working against them. It makes me want to be a less selfish cat mom and has weakened the desire for cat hoarding—all for the good of giving my one kitty the best life he can possibly have.
Why do you enjoy reading? I enjoy reading because I stare at a screen all day and overload my senses every which way, and sometimes reading is just a way to slow down and take the world in, word by word.
10. Yamil, customer service representative
Currently reading: I just finished A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (the fifth book in the Song of Fire and Ice series that the TV Show, “Game of Thrones” is based on). I had to finish it via audiobook because I didn’t have a lot of free time to read. However, for the previous four books, I bought and read the actual book.
I got into the Song of Fire and Ice series after marathoning the first season of “Game of Thrones” on HBO in one weekend. I was so intrigued by this world full of secrets, mysteries, and possible supernatural events and characters. I’m a huge fan of fantasy books and games, so this series was an instant hit for me. Since I have finished the most recent book in the series, I have been left wanting more. Now I just sit and wait until George R. R. Martin decides to finish the next book, The Winds of Winter so I can immerse myself in this world once again! I’m also really excited for the new season of the TV show and can’t wait to see some of my favorite characters be introduced this season!
Why do you enjoy reading? I love reading because it’s a very immersive way to live out a story in your mind. You recreate in your mind the scene that you’re reading as opposed to watching it on a screen.
11. Mel, marketing and digital coordinator
Currently reading: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. The first time I read it was in seventh grade and I fell in love with Edmund Dantes’s genius scheming to attain his ultimate revenge. I’m re-reading it to reaffirm my adoration for how Dumas unfolds each piece of the plot!
Why do you enjoy reading? I love reading, mostly for the escapism (not that I can’t handle reality). But I do enjoy immersing into different worlds and stories—it’s a mental trip. Plus, as a writer, I love dissecting writers’ intricate mechanics to inspire and shape my own words.
Why do you love to read? Tell us in a comment!