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Fully Booked: Recommendations for New Year's Reading Resolutions

With 2022 just around the corner, we're all working on bettering ourselves in preparation for the new year. We know that one of the most common New Year's resolutions is to read more, so we decided to compile a list of the JCI Team's favorite books we read in 2021 with the hopes that you would add them to your reading list for 2022.

Recommendation: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah tells the stories of two sisters who embark on they own path toward survival and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France. It’s a great read!

Recommendation: My book is Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy.

This non-fiction book takes an in-depth look at America’s opioid crisis and tells the story through a very humanizing lens. I’ve heard about this issue for a number of years but didn’t understand how it became so widespread. Beth Macy explains the issue and uncovers how much this has hurt communities across the country. The book also details the ways in which Purdue was able to skirt around regulations despite oxycontin being incredibly addictive. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the opioid crisis or wants to read a humanizing approach to an issue many have framed as ‘just an issue of drug addicts.’ There’s also a fantastic show on Hulu with the same name based off this book—I’d recommend reading and then watching!

Recommendation: My favorite book I read this past year was Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino. This is a fantastic collection of essays about cultural criticisms. I read this book slowly, as there was a lot to take in. I recommend everyone read this book because it challenges you to look at the cultural events through a critical lens and it requires lots of self-reflection.

Recommendation: The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. This heartfelt, beautifully written saga is the story of one man’s life - born in Ireland, lives in the US and returns to Ireland in a redemptive culmination of a fascinating, heart wrenching story. One of my favorite books of all time. You will laugh, cry, shout with glee and wish it never ends.

Recommendation: All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson is collection of essays and poems from climate leaders around the world, telling personal stories of how they are connected to the earth and what climate justice means to them. All of the essayists and poets are also women.

Others should read this book because you get to learn about so many perspectives and you see the spectrum of solutions for the climate crisis. I also really like how diverse the stories and writers are.

Recommendation: Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar...: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes is a 2008 publication by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein for people who want to understand but can’t quite grasp complex philosophical ideas. The book takes Platonian concepts and transforms them into a format we all understand: jokes. As an average reader who struggled through a few philosophy classes when I decided it was my college major on a whim (I switched out of it about two weeks later), I didn’t think Plationian concepts could become so understandable. This book is incredible at simplifying Plato and making his work digestible to the average reader.

Recommendation: Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown. This book explores eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human and walk through a new framework for cultivating meaningful connection.

Everyone should read because emotional intelligence is an amazing skill to cultivate. 😊

Recommendation: Finding The Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest by Suzanne Simard. Remarkable book about how the world of plants, trees and animals are all interconnected and will be the resources and knowledge that saves the planet from humankind.

Recommendation: Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It. It's written by a former FBI agent (Chris Voss) and hostage negotiator. He shares his life saving strategies and how to get to what you want in any negotiation especially where kidnapping is present. It's quite applicable in business and everyday situations.

And John submits this meme:

Well said, John.

Happy New Year and happy reading!


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