Res Ipsa's Summer Reading Recommendations | RES IPSA - RES IPSA

Res Ipsa's Summer Reading Recommendations | RES IPSA

Res Ipsa's Summer Reading Recommendations

These book recommendations offer a blend of entrepreneurial insights, cultural insights, and inspirational stories. We have a deep personal connection to these titles, and we hope that you'll reach for one of these books when you're looking for that perfect book to read on your flight or in your beach chair.

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
This is the forever recommendation. If you read one book this year, make it Shoe Dog. A memoir by the co-founder of Nike, this book delves into the entrepreneurial journey, innovation, and perseverance—values resonating with Res Ipsa's similar journey to create a meaningful brand and refusing to quit. Most celebrity memoirs are heavy on the historical gloss and light on the introspection. In hindsight, you could say it was inevitable that Nike would be a success. The truth is that over and over again the company almost didn't make it (originally named Blue Ribbon Sports, it wasn't even christened Nike until years later). Last year's excellent movie Air was drawn from merely a part of a chapter in this amazing reads-like-fiction tale. Every chapter is worthy of its own movie. The last chapter (don't cheat yourself by skipping to the end) is more valuable than any MBA. Shoe Dog resonates with us for so many reasons, including the fact that it was inspired by Phil Knight's trip to Japan in the 1960s, eventually becoming a reseller for Onitsuka Tiger. The rest is history. 

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
This powerful novel is a compelling story with strong female characters that intertwines the lives of Sarah Grimké, an abolitionist, and Hetty “Handful” Grimké, a slave, to explore themes of freedom and empowerment. The novel provides a deep dive into the history of slavery and the abolitionist movement in the United States, based on the real-life Grimké sisters. At its core, it is a story about doing the right thing with themes of love, freedom, resilience, and the fight for equality. An engaging and thought-provoking book, the Grimké sisters' story resonate with Res Ipsa’s core belief that you get back what you put out. 

Breath by James Nestor
This is the book that you'll skip over on the list because, really, how interesting could a book about breathing possibly be? It amazed me that many cultures on multiple continents have touted the importance of nose-breathing, yet this wisdom is practically unknown in Western cultures. Practices from ancient cultures, such as diaphragmatic breathing and breath-focused meditation, help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing stress and promoting relaxation. Modern adaptations of ancient practices like Tummo breathing (from Tibetan monks) and the Wim Hof method can improve oxygen efficiency and endurance in athletes. After reading about its benefits in this book, I committed to mindfully breathing through my nose during the day and at night. I have experienced more restful sleep, increased exercise endurance, and more relaxation.  

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A powerful story about identity, love, and migration, this novel’s global perspective and cultural depth reflect Res Ipsa's appreciation for diversity and global perspectives. The novel offers a profound exploration of race and identity, particularly the experience of being black in the United States and the United Kingdom, and how these experiences differ from being black in Nigeria. The protagonist, Ifemelu, uses her blog to candidly discuss race and societal issues, giving a powerful voice to often overlooked perspectives and offers sharp, insightful social commentary that highlights racial dynamics in the US. The characters are fully alive and you care for them like dear friends. If you haven't read anything by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, you are missing out. 

Through the Impossible by Matthew Ames
Like A Happy Marriage, but with a happy ending. This is the most personal recommendation on the list. The author, Matt, and his wife, Liz, are dear friends from Atlanta. Matt and Josh worked in the same law firm, and the Ames family has been supporting Res Ipsa before we even had a website. When Liz was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive cancer, their lives were turned upside down. Matt writes about their harrowing cancer battle--tests, surgeries, waiting, and truly living--from the perspective of the caregiver. The book is an inspiration for handling life's most challenging moments, and a beautiful story of the power of resilience. Finding joy in every situation is a skill worth honing.


Wild by Cheryl Strayed
A memoir of adventure and self-discovery, Cheryl Strayed recounts her solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, highlighting themes of personal transformation, resilience, and the healing power of nature. Cheryl Strayed’s memoir chronicles her journey of self-discovery and healing after personal tragedies, resonating deeply with readers seeking inspiration. We love stories about the redemptive power of human nature--and if you haven't noticed from the other recommendations--a strong female lead. This books resonates with our core belief that travel opens hearts and opens minds, and that everyone should travel as widely as you can as often as you can. 

Happy reading!

Warm regards,
Josh & Odini

Back to blog