Most of us at Hammock Inc. read voraciously. Recently some of us talked about our favorite books.
Editor Megan Pacella is spending the summer with the classics:

…. I’m working on books that most people had to read in high school or college, but I never did. Right now I’m working my way through 1984. After that it’s Catch-22, and then Walden.

IT Guy Patrick Ragsdale is undecided about summer reading, but he knows his favorite of all time, Isaac Asimov:

I haven’t decided what to read during my summer vacation this year. Since I won’t be vacation until September I still have some time to decide. I may choose something based on what people say here.
My favorite all time books go way, way back to The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov. Not exactly Pulitzer Prize stock, but at age 12 this stuff really got me going. I’ve read the series several times since then. Actually led me to name my son Isaac. More recently I’d say that I’m prone to more technical reading. Books on system administration are pretty exciting. They’re just like Guy Noir Private Eye pulp fiction.

Megan Goodchild, our web editor, says:

  1. I’m looking forward to reading No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July, which I recently ordered from Amazon. Also, I still have Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth borrowed from Barbara Mathieson, so I guess I’d better get on that one.
  2. My favorite book of all time is My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki. I didn’t eat meat for about two years after reading this. Overall, my favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut. I like his sense of humor.

Editor Emily McMackin readily knows her favorite:

This summer I’ll be reading the Prince of Frogtown by Rick Bragg. The author of this book also happens to be one of my favorite authors of all time. Rick Bragg is a storyteller at heart. He knows how to weave the most interesting tales from the mundane stuff of real life and make you care about people and places you normally wouldn’t think twice about. His attention to intricate details make his characters and settings leap off the page, and the words and phrases he uses are lyrical. I could spend all day buried in one of his books—and I probably will!

Barbara Logan, marketing director, continues to show our diverse reading interests:

My favorite book so far this year has to be See You in a Hundred Years: Four Seasons in Forgotten America by Logan Ward. It’s about a freelance writer who moves to Virginia with his wife and two year old son to live like it’s 1900.
Inspired by my CSA I’m about to start How to Pick a Peach: The Search for Flavor from Farm to Table by Russ Parsons.

Barbara likes CSAs and has several of us buying from them this summer. Personally, I’ve eaten more greens from my CSA this summer than I’ve eaten my entire life.
Editorial director Jamie Roberts is taking on Chesil Beach because

I would read a textbook if Ian McEwen wrote it. (Ed Note: She would also watch Johnny Depp read a textbook whether or not Ian McEwen wrote it.) I’m also reading The Jungle for my book club, but I wouldn’t really recommend it as the best happy-go-lucky beach read.

Bill Hudgins, editorial director who is recovering from surgery, offers these

Books I could happily re-read during the summer or any other time:

  • Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole – the characters, the sights, sounds, smells and feel of New Orleans (oddly, a city I dislike), the plotting and situations and the language.
  • The Memory of Running by Ron McClarty – again, plot, character and langauge
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  • The Lord of the Rings by Tolkein
  • Blood-sucking Fiends: A Love Story by Christopher Moore


  • Classic Sci-fi writers: Robert Heinlein, Larry Niven, Isaac Asimov, Roger Zelazny.
  • Detective novels: Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Robert Parker.
  • Thrillers: Lee Child (Jack Reacher series).
  • Non-fiction: Tracy Kidder, Michael Perry.
  • Poetry: e.e. cummings, Philip Levine.

And me, Barbara Mathieson. Here are my favorites:

Like Megan P, I read classics that I have missed. Since I had never read Fahrenheit 451, I read it recently and was blown away by it. I made my husband read it immediately.
I have always been fascinated by animals and journeys, thus my favorite book of all time is Watership Down, which I’m reading again. My favorite book as a child was The Velveteen Rabbit.
Other favorite journey books include the classic Huckleberry Finn, Lord of the Rings and more recently, The Dark Materials. Plus, I’ll read any book about climbing Everest, the ultimate journey.