Expecting Better by Emily Oster
My husband and I recently found out that we are expecting a little girl! As someone who is averse to self-help books and the like (I did not read 16 marriage books before my wedding), I was not looking forward to the mountain of pregnancy books that were recommended to me as “must-reads”. However, there is one book that has really caught my eye. Expecting Better by Emily Oster tackles the pop pregnancy wisdom, while debunking the many “rules” that we have been taught as law! As an economist, Oster evaluated the research behind these “rules” and discovered that most are often misleading. From real effects of deli meat to the unbeknownst dangers of tending to your vegetable garden, Oster does a phenomenal job at putting to rest the minds of future mothers everywhere who have only been set up to worry. While I do not recommend this in lieu for consulting your midwife or obstetrician, I do believe this is a must read for expecting mothers.
To Read: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle
This new book by Daniel Coyle seeks to unlock what makes successful groups tick, from the teams at Google and Pixar to Navy Seals and NBA stars. He taps into three essential skills: build safety, share vulnerability, and establish purpose. He then details each skill and what it takes to hone that skill in any team. Coyle’s examples are what set this book apart from any other business book for me. He is a skilled storyteller and the anecdotes in this book are at once inspiring and rife with practical takeaways. I had the privilege of reading and discussing this book with a group of colleagues and it sparked great conversations about the culture in our teams and the creative ways we might grow these three skills. I think every group and team can benefit from the wisdom in The Culture Code.
White Picket Fences by Amy Julia Becker
I just started reading White Picket Fences with my husband, and I am already blown away with this title. I had the blessing of hearing the author speak a few weeks ago, and she is intelligent, kind, and shining light on a topic that is so often overlooked and pushed under a rug. I feel so strongly about this topic, privilege, that I think all Christians should pick up this book. If you are looking to learn more about how privilege separates us all, and how we can learn and grow, PLEASE read this book!
Come, Let Us Adore Him: A Daily Advent Devotional by Paul David Tripp
I haven’t read through an Advent devotional before but my husband and I decided to read an Advent devotional this Christmas season. It is tempting to get caught up in the decorations, the gifts and the events surrounding Christmas, but reading this devotional together daily has helped us to center our hearts back on Jesus. Each day holds an easy-to-read devotional that challenges you to think, provides additional scripture for further reading and an optional portion for families and children. Reading through this devotional, we have been reminded to remember our brokenness and what it truly meant for God to become flesh, especially at this time of year.
To Read: Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
The Softer Side of Leadership by Eugene B. Habecker
I am absolutely thrilled to soon finish one of those rare books with so much depth and richness that this reader is already eager to read it all over again after the last page! The Softer Side of Leadership: Essential Soft Skills That Transform Leaders and the People They Lead is an extremely insightful and inspiring text which details the significance and applicability of “soft” skills in leadership and organizations. The author, Dr. Eugene B. Habecker, is also the chairman of the board of Christianity Today and draws from 35 years of CEO and presidential role experience at various esteemed organizations, including the American Bible Society, Huntington College, and Taylor University (site of the Silent Night basketball game). What especially strikes me about this book is how Dr. Habecker writes in such an accessible yet professional voice that it reads as though he were mentoring the reader in person. The content is wise, thoughtful, and charged with dynamic relevance to aspiring and accomplished leaders alike. Regardless of your role, I cannot more highly recommend The Softer Side of Leadership as a staple for personal growth and best practices in any industry. Join Dr. Habecker and take leadership to the next level!