Of course, every book out there should make you think, right? Even if it’s a cookbook that asks you to contemplate your next meal or a best-selling suspense that makes you wonder, could this happen to you? Every book dares you to think differently while considering new points of view.
If you’re like me, you may have started a book and wondered if you’d make it through, but then you push on and realize that the reason this book made you pause is because it challenged you to think differently.
There are so many wonderful new releases this year with the theme of politics, social justice, equity and inspiration. I could barely keep up and have a giant backlog ready to read and rewire my brain. But here are a few new releases that instantly caught my eye, and either are building on my beliefs or challenge me in new ways. I hope that you will grab a copy and share how they have uplifted you and made you think.
Haben by Haben Girma. Haben, a deafblind woman who has defined disability as an opportunity for innovation, developed a text-to-braille communication system that created an exciting new way to connect with people. Haben’s pioneered her way through obstacles, graduated from Harvard Law, and now uses her talents to advocate for people with disabilities. What this book makes me think about: Ableism, Disability Advocacy, Defying the Odds, Immigration.
2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything by Mauro F. Guillén. Buckle up. This book will open your mind and cause you to think differently about where we are heading as a society and species if we keep on the same trajectory. Guillén, a Spanish/American sociologist, political economist, management educator, Zandman Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Director of the Penn Lauder Center for International Business Education and Research pours his wealth of expertise into this predictive tome. What this book makes me think about: Global Warming, Overpopulation, Political Climate, Technological Innovation and America’s Economic Future.
My Vanishing Country by Bakari Sellers. This journey begins with a father who inspired Sellers’ own success by standing up during the Civil Rights movement. Raised in the small town of Denmark, South Carolina, Sellers went on to become an attorney, political commentator, and representative of South Carolina’s 90th district in the lower house of the state legislature, becoming the youngest African American elected official in the country at age 22. And while this book is a memoir, it’s a tribute to “often forgotten” men and women, family, friends and neighbors who the media seldom acknowledges and their struggle for equal access, representation, job security and a voice. What this book makes me think about: Civil Rights, Underrepresented Population, Parental Mentorship, Defying the Odds.
Finding My Voice: When the Perfect Plan Crumbles, the Adventure Begins by Valerie Jarrett. Like me, you’ve probably been watching the news quite a bit this year. And like me, you’ve probably seen Valerie Jarrett a time or two. She is incredibly poised, stunning and when asked, always graciously offers her eloquent insight; so, it was a no brainer for me to be inspired by her and want to read her book. With a background in corporate law who rose against the odds to become Michelle and Barack Obama’s trusted personal adviser and family confidante, Jarrett is one of the most influential African-American women in the twenty-first century. What this book makes me think about: Single Motherhood; Authentic Influence; Woman of Color, Civil Rights; Optimism and Finding Your Voice.
This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World by Yancey Strickler. The founder of Kickstarter, entrepreneur and author, Strickler challenges our beliefs around wealth and prioritizing it in every decision. He opens the door to considering other non-monetary forms of compensation and personal capital in order to create a more equitable and sustainable community. What this book makes me think about: Entitlement, Sustainability, Values, Purpose, Creative Resolution and the Future of Our Society.
Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives by Daniel J. Levitin. Rewriting our genetic script and rewiring our thought patterns and behaviors to grow older more gracefully and healthfully should appeal to all of us. Levitin is a neuroscientist, cognitive psychologist, Founding Dean of Arts & Humanities at the Minerva Schools at KGI in San Francisco, and Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience at McGill University. His latest book offers proof that we can revolutionize the way we age and offers case examples of those living robust full lives in older years. He argues that if we choose to make intentional, positive changes we too can thrive in a society where the average life expectancy continues to rise. What this book makes me think about: Healthcare, Aging, Mindfulness, Self-Care, Cellular Regeneration.
Readers, please share the titles that really make you think.
Images Courtesy of Harper Collins, Penguin Random House & Twelve Books – Hatchette