Beacon Summer Reading List

The summer season is finally here, and for many that presents an opportunity to slow down. If you’re like us at Beacon, you might plan to use some of your extra downtime reading a good book. We all have a long list of books that we’re excited to read, and since “what are you reading these days?” is such a good question, we thought it would be fun to share with you some of the books that the members of your Beacon team are excited to dig into in the coming weeks. Maybe our answers to that question will pique your interest or even help you learn something about us!

Ryan’s Picks: There are two books I look forward to tackling this summer, though I’d be lying if I told you I have a lot of time to read outside of work. You are welcome to keep me accountable to finishing both before Jack and Gwen return to school!

The first is purely for enjoyment and is called Alone at Dawn and it tells the story of Special Ops Combat Controller John Chapman. Both his story and the role of Combat Controllers were unknown to me until Amazon suggested the book, and though I’m only a quarter of the way through it, it has not disappointed.

The second book is called The Orchid and the Dandelion: Why Some Children Struggle and How All Can Thrive. It’s one I’ve started and stopped a few times, though not for lack of interest. The book “explores the ‘dandelion’ child (hardy, resilient, healthy), able to survive and flourish under most circumstances, and the ‘orchid’ child (sensitive, susceptible, fragile), who, given the right support, can thrive as much as, if not more than, other children.” My interest in this book isn’t out of a specific concern for Jack or Gwen, but rather with an understanding that they are very different from each other and thus need to be parented uniquely.

Geoff’s Pick: I’m looking forward to reading Outlive by Peter Attia. Dr. Attia is a former engineer, McKinsey consultant, and endurance athlete turned physician. His area of focus  passion is on understanding and improving human lifespan (longer life) and healthspan (quality of life). His new book is a very readable and accessible guide to understanding, and acting on, his years of research and practice in the areas of longevity and health. Dr. Attia’s work has already impacted the way I think about how I eat, sleep, exercise and approach my own healthcare. A few weeks ago, I wrote in a Friday Brief about my goals of being able to backpack with my kids and continue mountain biking into my late seventies. I’m excited to continue my journey towards living a longer, healthier life by reading his new book.

Daniel’s Pick: East of Eden by John Steinbeck is one of my favorite books and one I plan to reread this summer. It is a book that is easy to get lost in with its detailed scenery and intricate characters. It is an epic tale set in California’s Salinas Valley in the early 1900s. It is a family saga and one I would recommend to anyone that enjoys novels with strong themes.




Jared’s Picks: The advent of e-readers has been a real boon to people like me who have a book “problem” (it’s not a problem), because no one else has to know how many books I’ve purchased… At any rate, two of the undisclosed number of books I have lined up for this summer are How To Build A Car, by long-time Formula 1 engineer Adrian Newey, and Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevksy.

How To Build A Car is a first-time read, and the beginning 20% or so has been a phenomenal look at the life of one of the most important figures in the sport of Formula 1 (unfortunately he’s putting his talents to work for Red Bull Racing…). I love reading about people at the top of their craft, because it’s amazing to see the incredible array of gifts and abilities in the world, and also because it makes me want to get better at my craft.

I’ve read Crime and Punishment several times, but I am finally getting around to the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation, and let me tell you…I am pumped. Cormac McCarthy passed away this week and Daniel has given Steinbeck some run in this blog already, but for me, Dostoevsky is–as the kids say–that dude.

Ellen’s picks: These two books are on my “Want to Read” list, which tends to grow at a much faster pace than my “Read” list. One perk of using a Kindle is that it allows me to keep reading when I’m trying to extend one of Baker’s naps to last a little bit longer! It also means that most of my reading right now takes place in our nursery glider, so the books on my list have to be engaging fiction to keep me awake, too.

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. This won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, so I bet I’m not alone in having this book on my reading list for the summer! Inspired by Dickens’ David Copperfield, this book takes place in the southern Appalachian mountains in Virginia and tells the journey of a boy born in poverty. I loved this author’s book The Poisonwood Bible and look forward to reading this one set in my home state.

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano. This author wrote Dear Edward, which was also just released as a series on Apple TV. Hello Beautiful comes so highly rated by a few friends that I didn’t even read a synopsis of it before adding it to my “Want to Read” list! Apparently, it echoes themes of Little Women, so my recommendations both are homages to other great literature. This novel explores family loyalty and “what is possible when we choose to love someone not in spite of who they are, but because of it.” I have a feeling I’ll end up staying up way too late one night reading this heartwarming tearjerker.

Geoff here – Let us know what book you’re excited to read this summer? If you end up picking up one of our suggestions, we hope you enjoy it and we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Geoff Hall, CFP®
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My wife, Crystal, and I have been married for 11 years and have two kids, Cooper (10) and Rhodes (8.) When I’m not spending time with them you might find me downtown serving at our church, pushing my limits during a mountain bike ride or having coffee with a friend in the Five Points area. I've been a financial advisor for 29 years and I'm thankful for the privilege of shepherding my family of clients through the ups and down of the markets, and of life for that matter.