Books I “Read” in 2019

Here is a brief recap of most of the books I “read” in 2019. I put “read” in quotes as I listen to most of these via Audible as I workout, commute, or travel. This year I read some great books I’ve already found myself recommending over and over. I read a few books as I developed a new interactive workshop on emotional intelligent leadership. I also got to read several books and discuss with the authors/editors on Student Affairs Live. Perhaps you’ll add some of these to your reading list and make a suggestion or two that you think I should add to my list for 2020.

Highly Recommend

The Wise Heart
Jack Kornfield

Jack Kornfield has a PhD in clinical psychology; trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, India, and Burma; and has taught mindfulness and meditation for more than 35 years. In his book, The Wise Heart, Kornfield explores Buddhism not as a religion or a set of spiritual practices but as a scientific psychology, including its intersections, affirmations, and conflicts with psychology as practiced in the West. My key take aways are here.

Dare to Lead
Brené Brown

Brené Brown‘s most recent book Dare to Lead is a compilation of her best wisdom and insights from previous books (Braving the Wilderness, Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, Gifts of Imperfection, and more) as well as new research all condensed and shared for leaders and applications in the work place. Here are seven of the key lessons for me.

Trauma Stewardship
Laura van Dernoot Lipsky & Connie Burk

Trauma Stewardship, written by Lipsky with Connie Burke, is a great resource for those working directly with others in trauma or those supporting, leading, or supervising those supporting others in their trauma. Author Laura van Dernoot Lipsky specializes in helping individuals and organizations who support others in their trauma. She works with emergency room doctors, child protective services social workers, social and environmental justice activists, and more trauma stewards. Her approach is grounded in psychology, a substantive oppression analysis, and wisdom and practices bridging many different spiritual traditions traditions. Here are my thoughts on practicing Trauma Stewardship.

Atomic Habits
James Clear

In his book, Atomic Habits, author James Clear accessibly compiles lots of scientific research on habits into a practical and applicable format for the reader. This is not a book on what habits are bad or good. He leaves that up to you to determine. This is a book on how to start good habits and how to end bad habits. It is full of a wide variety of examples from smoking, reading, mediating, exercising, writing, biting nails, drinking more water, managing social media, sleep, and more. Here are my three biggest lessons.

Cultivating Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

This year, I received two separate requests to develop workshops around cultivating emotionally intelligent leadership. A non-profit requested a full day staff retreat and a conference requested a half-day interactive workshop. It was been exciting to immerse myself in this learning and make connections to other work.

Daniel Goleman developed the initial work on emotional intelligence, which emerged from a series of articles he wrote as a science writer for the New York Times. Goleman developed the idea of emotional intelligence and continues to be a leading scholar. His initial book Emotional Intelligence is the original for much of this work, but at this point is a bit dated with a publication date of 1995.

Goleman’s work is active and still valuable and he is a great follow on LinkedIn. This video below is a more recent reflection of his work.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is a newer accessible book for busy leaders who are looking to learn about the basics of emotional intelligence. It’s a quick overview with lots of quick suggestions for developing your emotional intelligence. If you purchase the book, you get a quick self-reported assessment that offers you some baseline information. I found this helpful in keeping the topic simple but not so helpful diving in deep to the concept of emotional intelligence or how to develop it.

This was one of the best books I read this year and so is mentioned above. I wanted to include it here as well. Even though Brené Brown doesn’t use the term emotional intelligence, her newest book Dare to Lead is full of powerful insights into the importance of human connection in leading organizations. She has many wonderful suggestions for how to cultivate our emotional intelligence. Dare to Lead is a great summary of the best from Brené Brown’s other books compiled specifically for leaders of all kind of organizations. A wonderful, powerful, useful read.

I read this years ago and re-read it again for this project. Emotionally Intelligent Leadership is a book to develop emotionally intelligent leadership for students. This book uses the three domains of Consciousness of Self, Consciousness of Other, and Consciousness of Context. It is co-authored by my friend and colleague Paige Haber-Curran, who was kind enough to join me, Mamta Accapadi, and Marilee Bresciani Ludvik for this Student Affairs Live episode on Emotionally Intelligence in Leadership and Social Justice.

Books & Authors on Student Affairs Live

I had the wonderful opportunity to not only read books but also interview and engage in conversations with authors and editors on Student Affairs Live. Each image below will take you to the full episode website with more information about the books, the authors, and the video and podcasts of the episodes.

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Additional Books

Entrepreneurial You
Dorie Clark

Clark is a writer, speaker, & podcaster (among other things) about different ways to run an independent business. Each chapter explores a different venue such as website, speaking, podcast, online course, etc. along with why, how, and examples.

Bird by Bird
Anne Lamont

I started reading this on a camping trip. I’ve enjoyed taking it slowly, chapter by chapter. Lovely advice on writing and life. Funny, wise, and thoroughly enjoyable.

You Are Awesome
Neil Pasricha

Some of my posts about lessons and take aways from various books have gotten lots of hits. This has resulted in some authors/publishers offering a free copy to review. This was the case with You Are Awesome. It’s a blend of cute personal stories, positive psychology, and self-help. I found it a bit cheesy for my taste but others might find it very accessible.

Up Next

My Audible already has these two downloaded.

And here is what currently sits on my shelf awaiting my time, attention, and focus in 2020.

Books Stack for 2020
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