My Favorite Books
Reading is my solace, my excitement, my learning, how I ground myself. I read very widely, so get ready for an eclectic list of books. Some are new, some are not. I’ve only included my raves, because I have no desire to be a critic. Writing a book is too hard, as I well know.
History & Cultural
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
This book will change the way you look at everything, including race. Stunning.
The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter
Traces the invention of the idea of a white race. Painter is an incredible historian.
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definite History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
How and why racist ideas were created and spread.
Read these three books together, and you’ll have a new way of seeing. And taking action.
A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety by Sarah Ray
Practical, caring, and concise ideas for dealing with your fear and overwhelm.
All We Can Save: Truth,Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis edited by Ayana Johnson and Katherine Wilkinson
Glorious collection of essays, poems, and art, “All We Can Save illuminates the expertise and insights of dozens of diverse women leading on climate in the United States and aims to advance a more representative, nuanced, and solution-oriented public conversation on the climate crisis.”
The Women of Copper Country by Maria Doria Russell
Historical novel about mining in the West. Russell is one of the most original and smart writers today.
Deep River by Karl Marlantes
Immersive family epic set in the Pacific Northwest set in the late and early nineteenth century.
The Innocents by Michael Crummey
A brother and sister are orphaned in an isolated cove on Newfoundland’s northern coastline in the early 1800s.
Fantasy and Magical Realism
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstances by Ruth Emmie Lang
Is this magic realism fantasy or something else entirely? A novel of wonder.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Read this when you are sunk in regrets or give it to anyone who woulda-coulda-shouldas all over themselves. I love this book so much.
Deadly Education by Naomi Novick
I love Novick’s YA books and this one, the first in a trilogy, does not disappoint. A magic school sure, but this ain’t Harry Potter.
Strange the Dreamer and The Muse of Nightmares by Lani Taylor
Taylor’s imagination is astounding. Her world building is impeccable, but she does not fall down on story like so many fantasy writers do.
Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen
Love story with a tiny bit of magic. Another novel of wonder.
Becoming Duchess Goldblatt by Anonymous
The first half of this memoir is one of the most delightful books I’ve read in a long while. I thought the second fell apart structurally but still great. Great mood picker-upper.
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing
This book blew my heart away.
Sea Wife by Amity Gaige
I almost didn’t keep going, because I was afraid it was going to be too dark for me. But then I got caught up in the story of the main character’s marriage. Beautifully written.
The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
Kidd imagines the life of Jesus’ wife. A study in desire.
Willa’s Grove by Laura Munson
If you miss my retreats, read this.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
I will be thinking about this book for a long time. I read it before Wilkerson’s Caste, and now I’m thinking about it through that lens.
Inner Work and Coaching
The Advice Trap by Michael Bungay Stanier
The sequel to the giant best-seller,The Coaching Habit, Michael does another crack-up job. I so easily fall into giving advice as a coach so I take this off the shelf often.
The Art of Holding Space: A Practice of Love, Liberation, and Leadership by Heather Plett
A beautiful and practical handbook of learning how to hold space for yourself and others. Essential reading for coaches, therapists, parents, family members, and friends. Yep, all of us.
Drinking in the River of Light: The Life of Expression by Mark Nepo
If you struggle with “productivity debt,” always feeling you must be doing something, or you wonder if creating matters, read a little of this gem every day.
The Power of Natural Mentorship: Shaping the Future for Women and Girls by Christine Wagner. If you mentor younger women or girls, you must read this book. I was lucky enough to coach Christine in one of my Strategy sessions and get to read an early copy.
The Grief Forest: A Book about What We Don’t Talk About by Laraine Herring
Laraine told me “creating The Grief Forest was unintentional. I was having trouble writing after we shut down in March, and I started doodling and then sharing those doodles on Facebook.” It became this wise beautiful book.
Being Alive edited by Neil Astley
A rich, diverse anthology of poems about living.
Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Poetry edited by Camille T. Dungy
This book has been a revelation to me.
Get Your Bother On: A Guided Journal to Discover What’s Next by Jennifer Louden
200 prompts and mini-exercises to help you live the ideas in my newest book. Available mid-November. You will be the first to know.
Here’s to collecting a big, lovely, and deep TBR (to be read) pile to get you through the coming months! If there is a book you want to recommend, pop over to Facebook and tell me, I’d love to hear.