Books for the Beach: The Allen & Shariff Staff Recommended Summer Reading List

At Allen & Shariff, we work hard. We also know how important it is to recharge. If you’re heading to the beach or to a much-needed vacation this summer, there’s no better time to relax and read a good book. So we asked our staff across all our locations for their top recommendations on what to read at the beach. Here’s what they recommended, all with links direct to Amazon so you can grab anything that piques your interest. Happy reading!

The Rock of Tanios

Submitted by: Ahmad Hachicho

Office location: Dubai

Why I recommend it: One surefire way to find a new read is to delve into the vast library of translations. “The books I am currently reading are in Arabic (translated from French) from award-winning Lebanese author Amin Maalouf, however [they] can be found in English as well,” writes Ahmad Hachicho of his recommendations. The Rock of Tanios, which won the Prix Goncourt in 1993, follows the shifting alliances and power struggles that result from the murder of a patriarch.


Operation Red Wings

Submitted by: Aaron DeSantis

Office location: Zelionople

Why I recommend it: The movie Lone Survivor, which came out in 2013, is based off of this book. The reason I would recommend it is because it shows the courage and ‘never give up’ mentality of our military men and women. Also, since it is an account of a real operation that took place, you feel more engaged while reading it.”


Secret Stories of Walt Disney World: Things You Never Knew You Never Knew

Submitted by: Paul Messineo 

Office location: Pittsburgh

Why I recommend it: “If you like Disney World, you will like this book. It is an easy read (two pages for each story). It describes little-known facts about the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney Studios, and Animal Kingdom. Get the inside story on attractions, resorts, and ‘things that never were.’”



Submitted by: Bill Jackson

Office location: Abu Dhabi

Why I recommend it: “An interesting Vietnam Army account of the futility of winning hills with no strategic value. This book describes how after the U.S. vacated an area, Vietcong took over the location, enhanced the defenses, and U.S army was sent once more to retake the objective. Good insight into race relations in combat situations versus down time. Reinforces the futility of war and how behind the scenes, command folk are oblivious to actual field activities.”


The Lost Symbol

Submitted by: Zack Shariff

Office location: Columbia

Why I recommend it: “My recommendation is Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, a good mystery (fiction) set within historical sites of Washington DC and interwoven with the intriguing Masonic order. Fast moving and full of surprises. Great read for the summer.”


Red Platoon

Submitted by: Bill Jackson 

Office location: Abu Dhabi

Why I recommend it: “[This is about] the U.S. Army…in Afghanistan trying to defend an ill-placed defensive outpost in a valley surrounded by steep slopes, with the heliport on the other side of the river. The insights provided by a National Medal of Honor winner are good as well as the character development of the men serving under him. The reaction to the Taliban attempt to overrun the camp is fascinating yet muddled. Interesting read but makes you wonder what non-combat folks are thinking when they recommend locations for outpost.”



The Children of Hurin

Submitted by: Pat Giordano

Office location: Salisbury

Why I recommend it: “A prequel to the highly popular The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings sagas, The Children of Hurin tells the exciting adventure detailing the cursed son of a captured lord and the impact of his actions on the people around him.”


World War Z

Submitted by: Phil Chandler

Office location: Salisbury

Why I recommend it: “Great story that gives you a full perspective of the Zombie Apocalypse. It’s a hard book to put down for wanting to find out what’s next. The stories that are told by individuals make you feel like you are a part of the story. The book was also the basis of a movie.”


Ready Player One

Submitted by: Adam Majsak

Office location: Zelionople

Why I recommend it: “My recommendation is Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. It is an exciting science fiction novel that explores the idea of the digital world in the future. While the book is aimed at a younger audience, it is full of great references of 80’s pop/geek culture that the older readers can appreciate.”


The Score

Submitted by: Phil Chandler

Office location: Salisbury

Why I recommend it: “Very descriptive tale of robbers and the detail that’s put into a robbery. I like this one best due to the fact that it’s the biggest heist they’ve worked on and it’s HUGE. Parker is relentless and cold. Compared to the range of emotions of the other characters, it plays off well that he is the leader.”


Extremely Loud and Incredible Close

Submitted by: Phil Chandler

Office location: Salisbury

Why I recommend it: “Definite page turner. It’s a story about a child named Oscar on a mission to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father who died in The World Trade Center on 9/11. The great thing about this book is the adventure, but as you’re reading you celebrate his triumphs and you’re saddened through his downfalls and emotional breaks. Definitely a roller coaster of a story and worth the read.”


11/22/63: A Novel

Submitted by: Jonathan Darling

Office location: Zelionople

Why I recommend it: “My recommendation is Stephen King’s 11/22/63, a science fiction genre. You get to follow a man that finds the ability to time travel, and uses this to try and save President J.F.K. The adventure that the main character goes on is intriguing and suspenseful at moments. It was so hard for me to put the book down, because I just wanted to know what was going to happen next. This is definitely a great read.”



Submitted by: Matt Houtman

Office location: Columbia

Why I recommend it: “Dune by Frank Herbert is one of the original classic science fiction books. It was written in 1965 and has inspired many famous authors after being published. If you like large books/series, science fiction, or Game of Thrones-esque political intrigue, check it out this summer.”


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Submitted by: Aaron Reinhart

Office location: Dover

Why I recommend it: “I found the good business approaches interesting.”

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