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Nitros’ Top 10 Books in 2022

Welcome to our annual round-up of the favorite books of the year among Nitrogen employees! We surveyed our company and asked everyone to share the titles that have impacted their work and lives this year. From beach reads to historical memoirs to industry-specific literature, these recommendations offer inspiration for your next day off and valuable insights for anyone working in the financial sector. If you’re looking for a great recommendation, these books are sure to provide food for thought and fuel for success.

Let’s dive in!

Here are some of Nitrogen’s favorite books that we read in 2022, in no particular order:

1. Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman

“An encouraging read to live a more aware, intentional life in the moment, and to focus on giving to all around you.”

– Dan Bolton, VP of Corporate Marketing

This book is a must-read for those wanting to learn more about effective time management. Written with a humorous and lighthearted tone, Burkeman provides an accessible guide on how to become better at managing one’s day-to-day life. Through practical advice and real-world examples, this book encourages readers to make minor changes that can lead to better time management. Burkeman explores how technology and modern lifestyles have changed the way we manage our time, and offers ideas on how to use these changes for good.

2. Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps by Nicole Forsgren PhD, Jez Humble, Gene Kim

“Fantastic evidence-based look at how to foster more successful engineering teams.”

– Jesse Rosato, VP of Engineering

Accelerate is an essential read for any business leader looking to maximize the speed and quality of their work. Written by three industry experts, Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble and Gene Kim, this book dives into the science behind DevOps practices and how such practices have been proven to help organizations achieve higher levels of performance.

3. The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

“It was an incredibly powerful story about haenyeo, Korean women divers. The fact that the story is rooted in history is a huge plus.”

– Brenda Xing, Account Services Specialist

The Island of Sea Women is a mesmerizing and captivating novel from the best-selling author Lisa See. Set against the backdrop of Jeju Island, South Korea, this breathtaking story explores the lives of two generations of women in search of freedom, independence, and survival. With its vivid descriptions and unforgettable characters, The Island of Sea Women follows the unique relationship between Mi-ja and Young-sook. Mi-ja and Young-sook have been friends since childhood, bound together by a shared love of the sea and their haenyeo heritage.

4. Work: A Deep History, from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots by James Suzman

“Suzman makes you think about what we expend energy on and why. Humans have been ‘working’ forever, and it’s only very recently that we would say a painter is ‘working,’ but someone who enjoys painting is ‘doing it for fun.’”

– Jesse Krieger, Senior Product Manager

This book is a thought-provoking exploration of the history and evolution of work. Suzman traces work from its earliest origins in primate and hunter-gatherer societies to the contemporary world. He looks at how changes in technology, economics, morals, politics, and culture have shaped the way we work, and how our attitudes toward labor have changed over time. He examines the role of work in creating identity and status, providing meaning and purpose, constructing social bonds, and determining our sense of self-worth. By exploring the history of work, Suzman offers readers a unique insight into our present and future—and how we can shape them both.

5. Where the Crawdads Sing: A Novel by Delia Owens

“This book makes you feel like you are with the protagonist. It’s beautiful, sad, honest, heartbreaking, and heartwarming all at the same time.”

– Lauren Tull, PeopleOps Business Partner

This exquisite and heartbreaking novel follows the story of Kya, an abandoned girl who has been living in the marshlands of North Carolina since she was six. The book begins with two tragedies – the mysterious disappearance of Chase Andrews and the death of Kya’s father. In the early chapters, we learn of Kya’s experiences in the marshlands and her relationship with locals who both rely on her and ostracize her. Despite facing numerous hardships, including poverty, loneliness, and mistrust from the community, Kya is determined to survive by any means necessary.

6. Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

“I raised my newborn daughter at the same time I read this book. It brought a whole new perspective to fatherhood, the future, and space travel. It also spurred me to rewatch the Star Trek Voyager series this year.”

– Jonathan Brassington, Customer Care Representative 

This book is a captivating, suspense-filled story about two strangers and the secrets that bind them together. Set in the not-so-distant future when life on Earth is all but destroyed, Sea of Tranquility follows the lives of Nairee and Jonathan as they struggle to survive while also learning the truth of their connection. As Nairee and Jonathan unravel the secrets of their pasts, they soon realize that their present is inextricably linked to a future they must build together. They must face their fears and find the courage to survive the harsh conditions of space while also confronting the mysterious forces that have brought them together.

7. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

“This book is not only about Corrie Ten Boom’s experience in a concentration camp, but it’s about the faithfulness of God through such horrible conditions. The main theme of the book is JOY. Truly incredible and inspiring.”

– Sarah Jones, Executive Assistant to the CEO

This book is an inspiring, life-changing memoir that tells the story of a Dutch woman’s courage and compassion during World War II. Corrie and her family risked their lives to help hide Jewish people from the Nazis, and her account of their incredible bravery in the face of great danger has made The Hiding Place a classic. Corrie’s faith and strength of character is inspiring as she shares her story of survival in the midst of great tragedy and suffering. It is a must-read for anyone looking for an example of how to remain strong in the face of adversity and have faith even when everything around you seems hopeless.

8. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

“This book opened my mind and caused me to think differently about how I process information. It is a must-read.”

– Grace Bryan, Content Marketing Manager

This book offers a comprehensive overview of Nobel Prize-winning psychologist and economist, Daniel Kahneman’s pioneering research into cognitive biases and decision-making. It presents Kahneman’s renowned dual-system approach to understanding the human mind, where System 1 consists of fast, intuitive thinking, while System 2 requires more effortful, analytical thought. Through numerous examples, Kahneman reveals how cognitive biases can lead to poor decision-making and irrational behavior. The book is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in understanding the human mind and avoiding common decision-making pitfalls.

9. The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

“Given that Morgan Housel was a headliner at the Fearless Investing Summit this year, I had to read this book. I highly recommend it to anyone in financial services and beyond.”

– Max Rothley, Sales Engineer 

In Morgan Housel’s book, The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed and Happiness, he dives into the great complexities of our relationship with money. He explores the idea that it is less to do with financial facts and figures and more to do with understanding how we think, feel and act when it comes to money. He also highlights the idea that our financial decisions are rarely rational, and are instead influenced by fear, greed, and ignorance. Housel provides his readers with a range of tangible advice on how to best approach their finances. He discusses everything from understanding the power of compounding returns to developing your own investment philosophy.

10. Atomic Habits by James Clear

“James Clear can help anyone looking for the most out of life. This was a must-buy and must-read.”

– Alex Wiens, Managing Director, Western Territory 

Atomic Habits is a self-improvement book that teaches readers how to make small, incremental changes in their daily habits in order to achieve their goals and create lasting success in their personal and professional lives. The book argues that it is not one’s goals or circumstances that determine success, but rather the habits that one practices on a daily basis. Through practical tips and strategies, Clear shows readers how to break bad habits and build good ones, using a four-step process called the “habit loop.”

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