Summer Reading with ADG

Here at ADG, we’re all a little nerdy in our own way. If you wandered the halls, you’d probably overhear our developers talk about the latest and greatest tech trends, our designers geeking out over Adobe Creative Cloud updates, and our strategists and PMs dishing out advice on the best project management tool to use. So as the temperature rises and vacation plans are on the horizon, we decided to use our collective nerdiness for good and compile some of our best book recommendations to share with you. Check it out:

Early Bird

by Rodney Rothman

Recommended by Jon Barnes, Director of Communications

What do you do when you write for Letterman, peak in your career, burn out, and then decide to retire at 28? Everyone says they would like to retire early, but Rodney Rothman actually did it—forty years early. Burnt out, he decides at the age of 28 to get an early start on his golden years. He travels to Boca Raton, Florida, where he moves in with an elderly piano teacher at Century Village, a retirement community that is home to thousands of senior citizens. For everyone who wonders what it would be like to live in a retirement village in your 20s, this book is for you. Tons of laughs, the occasional witty insight, and an all-around great book that’s just the right length.


Master the Day

by Alexander Heyne

Recommended by Kristin Ballou, Executive Administrative Assistant

I ran across some YouTube clips of the author, Alexander Heyne ( &, and decided to give his book, Master the Day, a listen. It’s an easy read (I actually can’t vouch for how it reads, I listened to it on Audible), somewhat elementary, and to be honest, he says a lot of the same things twice – but I liked the recaps at the end of each chapter. It starts out as a health and weight loss book, but the basic principles of incorporating, tracking, and mastering tiny habits were transformative for me beyond the scale. This is a great follow up listen to The Miracle Morning.


Devil in the White City

by Erik Larson

Recommended by Linda Rochelle, Creative Director

The Devil in the White City is a beautifully written historical fiction with intricate detail. It depicts the architectural and design history of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and a murder mystery that coincided. There’s lots of name dropping as well as insight into the beginnings of industry standards. Drama and creative discovery galore!



Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

by Elizabeth Gilbert

Recommended by Tara Love, Associate Strategist

I really enjoyed reading this book because I could see how it would apply to many different aspects of life: home, work, etc. It’s about generating as much creativity as you can and gives advice on how to inject creativity into parts of your life where you feel stuck. It’s inspiring and really encourages the reader to open themselves up to the idea of being curious and doing whatever you’ve been dreaming of doing.


The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

Recommended by Melissa Parker, Content Strategist

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak is in my top five all-time favorite books. It’s beautifully and poetically written but with an absolutely riveting story. Narrated by Death, it tells the story of an orphan girl in Germany during WWII, the family that adopted her, and the Jewish boxer they hid in their basement. So many good themes – moral dilemmas, family, love, war….and just a really good read.



The Power of Habit

by Charles Duhigg

Recommended by Matt Eckenrode, Associate Systems Administrator

For marketing/business professionals, a must-read is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It’s about why we do the things we do in our personal and professional lives. It explores the science behind habit formation and reformation. It gives excellent examples of how companies that struggle to change overcome boundaries and how people reform bad habits and form good habits in their personal lives. I recommend it because of its practicality for companies as a whole and the individuals within them.


The Girl Before

by JP Delaney

This psychological murder mystery tells the stories of Jane and Emma, two women who, at different times, have lived in the house at One Fulgate Street. The house is stark and minimalist, and is completely controlled by the architect. Jane moves in and discovers that Emma, the previous tenant, died mysteriously in the house and she sets out to discover what happened. The book is along the lines of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl, where just when you think you know what is going on, there is a surprising twist you may not have seen coming. This made for enthralling commuter-listening!

So there you have it – from murder mysteries to must-reads for business professionals, these are a few of the best books read by ADGers from all walks of life. Have a book you’d like to add to the list of recommendations? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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About ADG

ADG Creative is a strategic communications firm specializing in branding, interactive, learning and gaming, and software development. We combine process, experience and extraordinary creative talent to tell our customers' stories in unique, memorable and usually unexpected ways, leveraging both conventional and new media platforms.