Brenda’s 2017 Reading List

 In Books and Resources

We all have our reading quirks. For example, I finish a book for one of two reasons—either because I love it or because I hate it. If I am reading a fiction book and it does not grab me, I give it 50 pages and I abandon it. But non-fiction and professional development books are different. If I disagree with the author’s premise or am frustrated by the writing style, I tend to keep going to the end to make sure that I do hate it—or maybe I am hoping it will improve. What are your reading quirks? Preferences? It is important to honor your quirks—especially if means you will read more.  



The Imperial Wife: A Novel by Irina Reyn

Loved it. This is one of those novels that bounces between two eras—in this case between a modern-day art dealer whose parents immigrated from Russia and a young Catherine the great. Yum.


Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More by Joe Vitale and Ihaleakala Hew Len

Liked it. I wanted to revisit the peacemaking process called Ho’oponopono so I read this. If you are in the mood for some peace and love this is a good choice.


Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy 

Frustrating. No disrespect to the NY Times Bestsellers but I had a hard time finding value in this book. Maybe the publishers made them stretch the material for more pages.


The First Call From Heaven: A Novel by Mitch Albom

Loved it. I read this in about two sittings when I needed a little magic and inspiration. It’s hokey and it is just what I needed at the time.


One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd (One Thousand White Women Series) 

Loved it. Set in 1875 about a tribe of Native Americans.  One of those books that reminds us what a true fiction writer can do.  This book is what makes historical fiction my favorite fiction category.


The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier

Loved it. Ordered 10 copies and sent to leadership clients. Great, quick read for leaders who need to ask better questions of their team.


Own Your Time: Professional Time-Management Strategies for a Profitable and Balanced Life by Stephanie Wachman

Loved it. This time management book was written by one of my coaching colleagues. This quick read is chalk full of useful time strategies.


The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama,‎ Desmond Tutu,‎ Douglas Carlton Abrams

Loved it. I have always wanted to read a book by the Dali Lama and to know more about his lifelong friend Rev Desmond Tutu. Great read about our world, about the concept of joy and lots of good brain science as well.


Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson,‎ Joseph Grenny,‎ Ron McMillan,‎ Al Switzler 

Liked it. My only criticism is that it is a ton of information to try to retain. I listened to this in my car and wished I had read it in a book so I could underline. I would like to take the class sometime.


Love’s Executioner: & Other Tales of Psychotherapy by Irvin D. Yalom

Loved it. If you are fascinated by psychology and therapy, you will love this peek “behind the curtain” of a therapist and his patients.


Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity by David Whyte

Liked it. I read this to help my clients with career transition. It took me awhile to get used to reading the work of a poet but once I got over that it was deep and thought provoking about our tendency to over-work.


A Man Called Ove: A Novel by Fredrik Backman

Loved it. I put this down after 10 pages and a friend encouraged me to keep going. So glad I did. Great read about a cranky old man—but not really.


Ignite! The 4 Essential Rules for Emerging Leaders (People-First Leadership) by Sal Sylvester

Loved it. One of the most useful books for leaders. The parable outlines four foundations of leadership and does so in a quick read.


Why Can’t I Hire Good People: Lessons on How to Hire Better by Beth Smith

Loved it. Another short book packed with great info. Beth is a friend and colleague and this book outlines her exact strategy for interviewing and then hiring the right way.


The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer

Loved it. I am a big Stephanie Meyer fan but her new book has not one vampire. Instead a very smart, tough female heroine. Devoured this piece of fiction.


Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. Vance

Loved it. This book is like Glass Castle but from a man’s perspective and it has some data references as well. Very good insights into a part of our nation we don’t discuss.


Younger: A Breakthrough Program to Reset Your Genes, Reverse Aging, and Turn Back the Clock 10 Years by Dr. Sara Gottfried

Liked it. If you are a woman over 40 you will like this book. We are not necessarily a product of our genes and this Doc helps us see why.


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

Annoyed. I love swear words, so I was excited to read this. Maybe it was all the hype about this book. I did like the message of taking personal responsibility, but I did not enjoy the snark of this author’s tone or his illogical connections between stories and concepts.


They’re Playing Our Song: A Memoir by Carole Bayer Sager

Loved it. Baby boomers will love this surprisingly good memoir written by one of the most prolific song writers or our time. I googled nearly every song.


Who Are You…When You Are BIG? by Allan Milham,‎ and Kimberly Roush

Did not enjoy. I kept waiting for the connections to be made between anecdotes and the promise of the title, but it never came.  


The Atomic Weight of Love: A Novel by Elizabeth J. Church

Loved it. Historical fiction about the life of a female scientist spanning 1930’s to 1970’s. Lovely.


The Potential Principle: A Proven System for Closing the Gap Between How Good You Are and How Good You Could Be by Mark Sanborn

Loved it. Written by a friend and colleague (one of his many, great books) this is a quick read which reminds us that intentionally improving in key areas can have a huge impact in our lives and work.

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