June was packed with planning a conference and completing my annual CPE, but with July came the freedom to dig into my Reading List.

Of the two dozen or so books I’ve read recently, there were a few I knew I had to share.

MadeleineAlbright I picked this book off a discount rack, and wasn’t sure quite what to expect. It turned out to be an entertaining and insightful read, particularly in light of re-emerging global conflicts. Albright’s candor and cohesive explanations of historical world events provided an encouraging perspective. The way her personal story weaves through is a poignant reminder that life happens to all of us.
TheObstacleIsTheWay In terms of overarching life philosophies, Holliday outlines an excellent operating and thinking system for modern day life. I’d already read a few tenets of stoicism, but this pulls the often disparate threads together nicely. His vignettes and mini-biographies are a fun way to understand the principles.
AMindfulNation Written by a sitting United States Congressman, this surprising read shares how encouraging mindfulness would address many of our current challenges. From schools and workplaces to the military and healthcare, Ryan’s personal experiences and scientific research present a compelling case.
20000Days A quick read, I devoured this one on a Saturday afternoon, and I still reference my notes from it almost daily. Smith offers thoughtful prayers and daily reflection questions to assist us with living intentionally and in the present.
TheRiseOfSuperman Through the inspiring tales of adventure athletes, Kotler unveils the mental habits each of us can adopt to attain excellence in our fields. Kotler pairs Csikszentmihalyi’s research on Flow with detailed examples that bring the principles to life. No matter your ambitions, this is an instruction manual for achieving them.
FindingUltra Minutes before boarding a flight, I downloaded this one on a whim and fell down the rabbit hole. If you have any curiosity about eating plant-powered, this is a great place to start. Rich describes healthy meals that don’t require hours of preparation, and his lifestyle transformation will keep you flipping pages to see what happens next.
ThinkLikeAFreak From the writers of the Freakonomics series, this is the missing study guide. Revisiting hundreds of interviews and research projects, Levitt and Dubner distilled the collective wisdom into a handful of thinking and behavior patterns that have a significant positive impact. It’s just as much fun as their previous books, and lots more practical.
essentialism In a world that’s constantly nudging us towards more, McKeown proposes that the best approach could be less. Where minimalism helps us reduce our physical clutter, essentialism does the same for our thoughts and focus. Paired with 20,000 Days, this is a great resource for a purposeful restart.
ThePromiseOfAPencil In case you were wondering whether one person could still change the world, Braun reminds us of what’s possible. Told through 30 mini-lessons, this fascinating book shares Adam’s journey through crisis to the development of one of our world’s most effective for-purpose organizations. If a non-profit is near and dear to your heart, I highly recommend this read.


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Aside from books, I’ve discovered a few other favorites that I thought you would enjoy too.

  • Headspace makes meditation simple. If you’re like me, you might have tried it once or twice, but gave up because you weren’t sure how it worked. Using their simple app, Headspace guides you through your first few meditation sessions with grace and ease. After several false starts, I’m finally able to consistently carve out a few moments to calm my mind.
  • Misfit Shine is the ultimate low maintenance wearable tracker. I put mine on in mid-May and haven’t had to charge or plug it in yet. It syncs with their free app to effortlessly measure your activity and your sleep, reporting back to you through a simple dashboard. As I was writing this post, they released a code for a 20% discount: STUDENTDISCOUNT. If you pick one up, be sure to connect with me so we can encourage each other.