Top Reads of 2019

The Pride shares favorite books, podcasts and articles

Last Updated: December 31, 2019 7:25PM

Lions from around the globe shared the stories that stuck with them this year. From blogs to podcasts, from child-rearing to SEO, see what made our team roar this year.


by Liz Wiseman

A lot of advice and scenarios in this book resonate with me and how Lionbridge is growing as I strive to be a better leader and build the leadership team beneath me. A few key quotes illustrate this. Regarding “talent magnets,” Wiseman says: “they 1) look for talent everywhere; 2) find people’s native genius; 3) utilize people at their fullest and 4) remove the blockers”. The second edition includes an insight that is directly in line with our work: “The biggest barriers are contextual and cultural.”

—Stephen Scully, VP of Operations, EMEA


“How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of  Character”
by Paul Tough

Most of the time, especially in my generation, we over-emphasize the importance of IQ and development of cognitive skill. We focus on a strict definition of learning, which leads us to top colleges that will get us to success. However, tons of studies show that the success is possible via non-IQ related drivers. Besides basic IQ, the main driver for success is the “character,” which contains: curiosity, resilience, compassion, focused training and intentional practices. The book’s message to parents is to encourage nurturing environment for kids in safe and encouraging settings, which then facilitates growth in their curiosity, resilience through failures and kindness to people. I think all of these also help us in business world. Success is built upon more than a high IQ or top tier degree; it’s about character.

—Lucia Cao, Senior Director, Community Management Operations


“How to Fail Like a Pro”
Episode 5 of Freakonomics Radio’s “How to be Creative” Series

Learning or changing your approach to selling a product or service can be intimidating, especially when testing with a live audience. On this episode of the podcast Freakonomics, Stephen Dubner interviews brilliant composers, inventors and entertainers, asking them about their failures. All interviewees agreed that their failures ultimately helped to pave their successful futures. The best part of failing is that if you’re curious, you’ll learn what didn’t work and why, and then use that information to improve your next attempt. This episode is a reminder to me that although failure is likely when mastering something new, that possibility shouldn’t stop you from trying – go for it!

—Kayla Prunier, Director of Sales



“Why We Sleep”
by Matthew Walker

When you’re launching a new brand, a new website, or a new intranet, you don’t sleep a lot. Everything is on a tight timeline. When you hit a snag, as you always do with launches, you have to make up the time. Before you know it, you’re investing in under-eye cover-up and increasingly worried about nodding off in meetings. I knew sleep was important but just how important wasn’t obvious until I read “Why We Sleep” by Professor Matthew Walker. More than any other book this year it has opened my eyes to the devastating consequences of lack of sleep. The book helped me change my schedule. I’ve already seen improvements in my health.

—Karen Dawson,VP of Brand



“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”
by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

I’m inspired by stories that highlight the power of a single individual (hint, I watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” every year!). I also love reading memoirs, autobiographies and stories about Africa. This book is a great reminder about what someone can achieve with curiosity, learning, perseverance, resilience, and determination. Netflix also released a film adaptation this year.

—Cynthia Stephens, VP of Demand Generation



“The Secret Benefits of Retelling Family Stories”
by Sue Shellenbarger for the Wallstreet Journal

Of late, we are keen to hear from others digitally – be it via social media posts, messaging apps or online articles. But we forget that before all of these, the best conversations were the ones that we had with family. As kids, we were all regaled with stories about our parents, grandparents or cousins. These were about funny antics they did, personal difficulties that they overcame, or achievements that made the family proud. During the holiday season, we engage with our families again and tap into our shared nostalgic past. This article is a reminder of all the benefits of sharing these amazing stories and passing them on to the next generation!

—Lionbridge Mumbai Book Club



“Learn to get better at transitions”
by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox for the Harvard Business Review

This is a great article that is equally applicable to our professional and private lives. Panta rhei is an ancient Greek philosopher’s saying meaning “everything flows,” and it holds true today. The world is in a constant flux and the rates of innovation are increasing exponentially. Think of smartphones – indispensable today, but a dozen years ago almost non-existent. The Internet gave us unprecedented levels of connectivity and access to vast pools of information. It has dramatically transformed how we live and how quickly things change. AI will further disrupt our lives in a coming decades and it’s going to happen much faster than we anticipate. Brace for disruptive change! This article gives a few useful tips on how to get better at transitions.

—Kajetan Malinowski, Senior Director, Product Strategy



“Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language”
by Gretchen McCulloch

Language lacks heartbeat, but is still a living thing. Language grows, evolves, and inevitably, like all living things, some form of it dies. Gretchen McCulloch writes about a new evolution of language, replacing its more formal, traditional counterpart, in her new book, “Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language.” I chose this book because it’s very relevant to the changes to everyday life in 2019. Social media, new technology, and an increasing global access to the Internet have had a huge impact on how we speak and the language we use.

—Sophia Eakins, Content Specialist



“New in Structured data: FAQ and How-to”
by Daniel Waisberg et al.

There are a lot of places to get information about search engine optimization (SEO), but my favorite source is the horse’s mouth. Google Webmaster Central has an informative blog that is often rewritten and republished in a lot of other SEO publications. Whatever is published in this blog is real, reliable news. My favorite article this year was this one, which talks about the new structured data for FAQ and How-To results.

—Brendan Walsh, Global Search Subject Matter Expert



“The war to free science”
by Brian Resnick and Julia Belluz

In this data-heavy piece, Vox reporters Brian Resnick and Julia Belluz cover the history of academic journals and the open access movement as it gains momentum. Libraries, researchers and “science pirates” – not quite the “Autonomous” kind, but close – are pressuring scientific publishers to provide cheaper, broader access to articles, particularly those funded by taxpayers. The parallels between open access efforts (both in the US and abroad) and EU’s regulations on transparency and accessibility demonstrate an exciting shift toward more information-sharing. I’ve long been a believer that open, honest, straightforward communication is an underrated societal asset, and this article gives me hope for a better informed and more collaborative approach to research.

—April M. Crehan, Content and Communications Manager



“You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works and Why It’s Making the World a Weirder Place”
by Janelle Shane

This book first intrigued me when I saw an endorsement by Adam Grant prominently displayed on the front cover. Grant, who is one of my favorite authors, suggests that Janelle Shane makes learning about artificial intelligence (AI) fun, and he is absolutely right. The unusual title is taken from an AI-generated pickup line, which sets the tone for the book. It is fascinating to discover not only the strengths and limitations of AI but also how machines learn. Importantly, Shane makes the subject matter accessible to everyone. With AI becoming more and more prevalent and machines now performing some tasks that have previously been done by humans, I breathed a big sigh of relief learning that Shane does not expect artificial intelligence to surpass human intelligence, at least in our lifetime.

—Janette Mandell, Content and Communications


#lionbridge #topreads

The Lionbridge Team