HVL’s Top Rated Content of 2021

by | In the News

Team reading

What was the favorite thing you read or watched in 2021?

Favorite Watch:


“My husband and I started binge-watching all of the old seasons when the pandemic started and got hooked. Season 41 aired this year and has been one of the best seasons ever—great diverse cast, new twists, and fast-paced gameplay.”

Kayla MacNeil, Director of Design

Favorite Read:


By Greg McKeown

“It challenged me to simplify my processes and work on setting a sustainable pace. As humans, we tend to overcomplicate, and this read challenged me to value progress and simplicity over perfection.”

Sara Beth McLeod, Talent Acquisition Specialist

Favorite Read:


By Randy Pausch

“Randy was diagnosed with terminal cancer and had only months to live. His last lecture was a reflection on lessons he learned during his life that he wanted to leave for his students and young children. The Last Lecture was a live lecture then repurposed as a book. Both are highly recommended!”

Travis Dailey, Director of Marketing Growth

“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.”

“…if you offer wisdom from a third party, it seems less arrogant and more acceptable.”

·  The Last Lecture  ·

Favorite Watch:


“It was an accessible show for people who aren’t normally into superheroes. It did such a good job of telling the story of grief and loss, and how Wanda is coping with it all while using the frameworks of iconic sitcoms through the decades. It was incredibly smart, heartbreaking, and entertaining.”

Mackenzie Hagan, Product Designer

What is grief, if not love persevering?

· WandaVision ·

Favorite Read:


By Fumio Sasaki

“If you enjoyed the Marie Kondo craze of 2019, you may enjoy one of my favorite reads from this past year. Sasaki shares his experience living a minimalist lifestyle (he got rid of 95% of his possessions) and how it impacted his life. While his approach to minimalism is very radical, I’ve adapted many of his principles to create my own level of minimalism.”

Katrina Langland, Product Designer

“Minimalism is built around the idea that there’s nothing that you’re lacking.”

“Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.”

·  Goodbye, Things ·

Favorite Read:


By Dallas & Melissa Hartwig

“It isn’t a new book but was new to me. It did a great job of connecting the dots between what we consume and our quality of life. Their research evolved the way I thought of health and vitality and set me on a path of wellness I plan to adopt (in moderation) for the foreseeable future.”

Emily Claypool, Director of Marketing Communications

Epigenetics is the study of gene expression—whether genes turn on or turn off and how loudly their information is expressed. While we are all born with a certain code, we are also born with switches that tell that code what to do. Our environmental input (diet, exercise, air quality, etc.) activates those switches. Think about it this way: Genetics loads the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger.

· It Starts with Food ·

Favorite Read:


the Power of Talk in a Digital Age

By Sherry Turkle

“Piggybacking off her iconic Alone Together, Turkle advances a well-researched case for how the same technology that promises to keep us always connected actually exacerbates our loneliness at home and our inefficiencies at work. Turkle points to technology-free, face-to-face, undistracted, human interaction as an obvious, yet under-appreciated solution.”

Hunter Strickler, Director of Operations

“A love of solitude and self-reflection enables sociability.”

“We slip into thinking that always being connected is going to make us less lonely. But we are at risk because it is actually the reverse: If we are unable to be alone, we will be more lonely.”

“The Goldilocks effect: We can’t get enough of each other if we can have each other at a digital distance—not too close, not too far, just right. But human relationships are rich, messy, and demanding. When we clean them up with technology, we move from conversation to the efficiency of mere connection. I fear we forget the difference.”

·  Reclaiming Conversation ·

Favorite Watch:


“A British miniseries set in Europe before WWII that follows the lives of two best friends. It was so addictive I stayed up all night to finish it – then immediately made my best friend watch it. The limited series is based off of the book published in 1945 – which is now on my “Must Read” list for 2022.”

Beth Scott, Visual Designer

Favorite Read:


By Tim Ferris

“It’s a short but mighty e-Book that opens with the Mark Twain quote, ‘Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.’ Themes of awareness, reflection, and questioning the status quo were coupled with tangible examples and resources, making it easy to apply to your own life. It opened my mind to questions I’d never contemplated and gave more dimension to how I think about the world.”

Hayley Park, Demand Generation Specialist

“If you stress-test the boundaries and experiment with the ‘impossibles,’ you’ll quickly discover that most limitations are a fragile collection of socially reinforced rules you can choose to break at any time.”

·  17 Questions That Changed My Life ·