Reading Recap: August 2017

During a scary time in our country’s history, I found some (only some) comfort in reading. Here are the books I read this month; let me know if you want more info about any of them by commenting below!

img_2130Working Out Loud – John Stepper
The subtitle for this book is “for a better career and life” and I have to say that it couldn’t be more spot on. In this guidebook, Stepper has developed more than just another self-help book; he’s developed a new way of making progress in our lives. All of the strategies presented are paired with tangible activities, challenging us to truly work out loud with the people in our lives. I was fortunate to also participate in a Working Out Loud Circle at work, a group of people that met once a week for 12 weeks to share about our progress and hold ourselves accountable. Whether you’re a student or professional, this system will help you identify and achieve your goals. Learn more about WOL and John Stepper here.

img_2128The Gatekeepers – Chris Whipple
I wrote about this book a few weeks ago, but each erratic day in the Trump administration makes a strong case for reading this book. Whipple goes deep into the careers of every White House Chief of Staff since the Nixon administration, revealing the priorities, challenges, allies, and enemies of each holder of the office. It’s also a phenomenal examination of how each Chief of Staff wielded leadership and power during their time in the White House. I especially loved the clear connection  between the performance of each Chief and the successes or failures of the President. If you want to understand just truly how historical a mess Trump is making in the White House right now, check this out right now.

img_2209-1Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harari
What makes Homo sapiens different from all other species? Why did we decide to write our languages down? What are the connections between human progress, imperialism, and science? These are just a taste of the many questions answered in this absolutely fascinating book from an Israeli history professor. As any great historian does, Harari reveals a treasure chest of facts, stories, and trends that hold enormous implications for the present and future of our species. This book revolutionized the way that I think about politics, language, money, and so much more. If you’re willing to commit to 400 pages of dense yet entertaining reading, you won’t be disappointed by this book.

img_2240Lovesong: Becoming a Jew – Julius Lester
When I first found this book on my parents bookshelf at home, I was excited to get reading! That being said, when I finally cracked it open, I didn’t love it at first. The story of Julius Lester, a Black author and professor who converted to Judaism, is long and complicated and the first half of the book felt that way too. However, the second half, when Lester’s feelings become more concrete, raw, and real, ultimately revealed a fascinating man with an incredible story. Lester’s story of transformation and soul-searching is a powerful examination of faith, family, and love. 

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