To Lead, (Keep) Read(ing)

What’s the most recent book you’ve read that you were completely engrossed in? One that transported you to a different realm or introduced you to a new perspective? The book you haven’t been able to stop talking about? pexels-photo-261820 (1).jpegThat book, the one you are thinking about right now, is an example of the power that reading can have. At LeaderShape, we believe that learning is a lifelong process; everyone has something to teach and everyone has something to learn. One way in which we can engage in learning (and teaching!) throughout all stages in life is through reading. Books expose us to new ideas, connect us to the lived experience of others, and can even bring about self-discovery.

October is National Book Month and to celebrate, we are sharing what we’ve been reading.


Kristen Young, Senior Vice President
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

“I am reading this book to continue my reading emersion in books and articles related to the issues of power, privilege, and equality. Most of my reading has been academic and this summer I was looking to read about how people are writing about these issues in fiction and specifically a fiction book written by a white woman. Being about half way into the book so far, I am eager to see how the book continues to bring to light the complexity of systemic oppression in a fictional story that is far from fiction.”


Tanya Williams, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by adrienne maree brown

“I’ve had this book for about a year and have read portions here and there, but realize I need to dive deep into it.  Any book that is described as “radical self-help, society-help, and planet help designed to shape the futures we want to live” is a book that I want to dig into!  And in the spirit of community, my partner, and another colleague are reading this book together so that we can be in conversation about it as we move along.”


Vernon Wall, Director of Business Development
Less by Andrew Sean Greer

“I rarely read for pleasure.  Lately, I have made a vow to take a novel with me when I go to the Cape for my week-long summer vacation. Here’s what I am taking this year . . .  A wedding invitation from his ex sends the writer on a trip around the world in an attempt to run away from everything. Instead, the adventure helps him find himself.”


Abby Prince, Director of Program Quality and Management
Practicing the Power of Now: Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises from the Power of Now by Eckart Tolle

“I really appreciate how this book reinforced my own meditation practice. I also learned about the pain-body: that entity of negative emotions that we carry around with us when we’re not living in the present moment.”


Kristen Bendon Hyman, Vice President
Kindred by Octavia Butler

“Although this book was published in 1979, it reads as though it could have been written in recent years. The story is centered around Dana, a strong, intelligent, and modern African American writer, and her experience of mysteriously transporting back in time to the antebellum South. Some of what makes this book so powerful is that it demonstrates how the culture of the time in which we live plays such a significant role in shaping each of us.”


Colby Brown, Community Engagement Intern
The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations by John McCain and Mark Salter

“Over the summer, I got into political memoirs. I started (then quickly finished) Promise Me, Dad by Joe Biden. I loved the raw and emotional read – even started a journal with excerpts from the book along with my thoughts that I will someday pass along to my future children. I’m only two chapters into The Restless Wave so far, but I already know that I’ll be adding a few excerpts to that journal.”


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