FCB Book Club: What’s On Your Nightstand?

Ever wonder what people in the network are reading? Or are you looking for suggestions on what to read? Well we’ve got you covered—check out what our team members across the U.S. have on their nightstands and their thoughts on the titles:


Art Objects by Jeanette Winterson

Reviewed by Dominic Whittles, CEO of FCB West

“It’s a series of essays on art which, for me, remind me to stay fresh and open to the amazing possibilities all around  me and not to ‘shut down’ the stuff I encounter because it doesn’t fit with my mental paradigm (i.e., ‘If I don’t get it, it can’t be right.’). I have learned many things from the essays. One of my favorite thoughts from the book is the reminder, I paraphrase, to not try and create remarkable stuff using old rules. Old rules generally enforce the status quo. Rules enslave and won’t do us much good if we are going to be in the business of change.”

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Reviewed by Jill Rossi, account supervisor at FCB Health

“This book is a summer escape, fiction novel for entertainment that I chose with my book club. The story is told through the point of view of about four characters in Australia. What is most interesting is the self-reflection that takes place in these characters’ minds and how it comes out in their relationships with others, as well as the similarities and differences in how others see them. I’ve learned that you may think you know someone, but there are still deep secrets that can go undiscovered.”

Blood-Drenched Beard by Daniel Galera

Reviewed by Gustavo Dorietto, VP, creative director at FCB Chicago

“The story is about a guy that, after his father’s death, moves to a sleepy town in the south of Brazil known for fishing and surfing. What I find most fascinating about the book is how the protagonist is deeply introspective and tries to rethink his attitude towards life. It’s a highly atmospheric and contemplative story, which I like. Coincidentally, in the book, his father used to be a copywriter. Before his death, he has a conversation with his son where he comes to the conclusion that persuasion is a perverse thing, and that nobody should try to convince people of anything, which is precisely what he did his whole life as a copywriter. From that idea standpoint, I think it’s interesting to question everything we do.”

The Gospel Singer by Harry Crews 

Reviewed by Kevin Speirs, copywriter at FCB Health

“The book has a very dark, humorous, and grotesque portrayal of southern, one-stoplight towns. It takes place in the mid-20th century and handles issues of race, gender, religion, and the modernizing world with a ton of weird flavor. A lot of what happens in the book is surprisingly relevant to today.

The book points out how accepting certain ways of thinking could cloud one’s judgment and when multiple groups of people fall victim to these similar ways of thinking, those problems become exacerbated. It’s important to always be thinking and not just falling in line to certain things because that’s the way they are.”

Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World by Jane Hirshfield

Reviewed by John Claxton, EVP, group creative director at FCB Chicago

“This book has been fascinating from the very first paragraph, which begins with the thought that the word ‘creative’ shares its etymology with the word ‘creature’. Hirshfield hooked me early and reeled me in with an approach rooted in the humanities; she was deftly able to explain what happens at the intersection of poetry and people’s everyday lives. She posits the theory that poetry has the power to move and change us—and routinely does. It’s not necessary to be a fan of poetry to be a fan of this book, but chances are you will be by the time you finish reading it.”

The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide by Leah Buley

Reviewed by Jason Pagan, senior digital producer at FCB Health

“While the book provides many planning, research, design, and testing methods, what I found most interesting about this book are the methods to encourage the larger team to participate in the user experience process. It gives ideas on how to insert UX in projects in a non-threatening way that shows value and allows for changing processes in an already established usability culture. I’ve learned that I can have a greater impact on the success of a project when I can convey to the team the value of employing proven project management processes, user experience techniques, and design/development standards.”

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

Reviewed by Chris Newman, VP, associate creative director at FCB Health

“It’s a collection of short essays. It’s a perfect summer read for traveling and lying on the beach with too many funny moments to choose from. It ties back to the work I do because I realize that we all tell stories for a living. It’s always great to see how others set up a story, bring in humor, and connect ideas with a common thread.”

Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

Reviewed by Kerry Hill, SVP, director of broadcast operations at FCB Chicago

“Stories about perseverance interest me and that’s what Brain on Fire was about. What I’ve learned is that people who appear off may really be ill. In this story, a perfectly healthy 24-year-old young woman gets a devastating illness that everyone mistakes for a mental illness. Things aren’t always as they appear.”