As a child, I spent the majority of my time reading - books, magazines, reader's digest, encyclopedias, the phonebook (really dating myself there), whatever was available. Reading was a way to feed my imagination and support my incessant need for knowledge. As I got older the number of books I read for fun decreased dramatically as responsibilities took over my free time. All of you college students, parents and business professionals (among others) can relate, I'm sure. Reading simply became a chore instead of fun and relaxing.

Now that my kids are a bit older and I am able to carve out some quiet, uninterrupted time on occasion, reading is again becoming a priority. As a result, one of my personal goals this year is to read 24 books. Now I realize this isn't a huge number, there are plenty of challenges out there where people are reading 100+ books per year. There's a possibility that I'll finally get back in the groove of reading all the time and could accomplish that, but wanted to set a target that was much more achievable for 2019.

Since reading is a focus for the year, I thought you might enjoy some reading recommendations based on books I'm reading. I'll be featuring two books a month (at least) that I've got on my reading list. A warning: my reading style is eclectic. I'll be featuring fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, classics, young adult books, leadership, self-improvement, academic text, biographies, you name it - it might show up here.

So what am I reading now?

Imagine It Forward

Author: Beth Comstock


Imagine It Forward focuses on Beth's journey through her career and how she has addressed challenges around organizational change, often while jumping in with little context. I'm partway through this book and can't stop making notes, highlighting sections and sometimes shouting with excitement randomly as I find ideas I've been percolating throughout my career validated.

If you are involved in any kind of change processes - business related or not, this book provides such great narrative around how to navigate life and rethink challenges. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, and will be adding it to my list of gift ideas for graduates.

Dawn Breaks In The East

Author: Br. Peter Zhou Bangjiu, O.S.B.


In the fall, my husband attended the St. Andrew's Abbey in Valyermo California as part of his master's program. During his weeklong stay at the abbey, he had the priviledge to spend some time with Brother Peter and learn his story, which involved a nearly 30 year imprisonment in China for practicing Christianity. This book details the experiences of Brother Peter during his imprisonment, and is a story of inspiration and how the human spirit can persevere even in the most difficult situations.

I've only begun my reading of this book, and find it incredibly interesting. The text is a bit more academic that I expected with lots of references and citings, so be prepared. Now that I've gotten into the book a bit more, I'm finding that it flows and I've gotten quite invested in the story.

This book can be purchased online through big retailers or directly through St Andrew's Abbey.

Want to read along? Have a recommendation or a book on your list that you want to share? I'd love to hear your thoughts on how this series can be shaped to be useful to you!