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What's on the Shelf?

Lose yourself in a book with this month’s must-read recommendations.

What better way to start the new year than with a good reading list? After all, a true state of wellness comes from a balanced mind, body, and spirit.  Here are a few selections to inspire your literary journey. And, of course, nothing fuels your mind like a good mystery novel. Enjoy! 

Daring Greatly

by Brené Brown

The subtitle of this book says it all: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. Every day of our lives reveals uncertainty and doubt. Whether we are entering into a new relationship, an important business meeting, or a difficult parenting challenge, we must find the courage to be vulnerable, and open our hearts, to engage with these situations effectively.  Clearly, putting ourselves out there creates the risk of criticism or pain. But, from the outside, we realize that nothing is more hurtful than wondering what might have been.

TLDR: Daring Greatly is a powerful lesson in letting ourselves be seen. It will spark a new spirit of truth—and trust—in our organizations, families, and community.

Where the Crawdads Sing

by Delia Owens

After 2 ½ years on the NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller List, this engaging novel is scheduled for release as a major motion picture this summer. For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet fishing village. So, in late 1969, when the popular Chase Andrews is found dead, locals immediately suspect Kya Clark. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh. Owens’ debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by our childhood, and we are all subject to the secrets that nature keeps.

TLDR: Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder.

A Long Walk to Water

by Linda Sue Park

This book is based on the true story of two eleven-year-olds in Sudan—a girl named Nya and a boy named Salva. Nya fetches water, twice a day, from a pond that is two hours walk from her home. Salva becomes one of the “Lost Boys” of Sudan, separated from his family by war in the 1980s and forced to cover the African continent on foot searching for a safe place to stay. Salva is a survivor who survives starvation, animal attacks, and disease. His story intersects with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

TLDR: Salva, a poor Sudanese refugee to the US in the 1990s, returns to Africa to drill deepwater wells in remote villages in need of clean water.

Big Magic

By Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic was an instant #1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller for good reason. For anyone looking to get their creative juices flowing, this is the book they must-read. While Elizabeth Gilbert’s books have inspired and empowered countless numbers of readers for years, this one is truly special. Gilbert shares her own creative process and helps us discover the “strange jewels” of creativity that reside within each one of us. Whether you want to write a book, paint a picture, or just open your eyes to the beauty all around us, this is a great read.

TLDR: This book is the key to unlocking the hidden creativity within. Learn the attitudes and approaches needed to live our most creative lives.

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