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World Book Day: Team Insight’s Favorite Reads!

Team Insight is excited to be celebrating World Book Day this April 23, 2019! 

Below is a selection of our favorite books to read and recommend. 


Sarah’s Pick: “Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists”

I don’t think minimalism is for everyone (or is it? 😉), but I related deeply to questioning the subconscious motivations rooted in a culture of consumerism that so often drive our actions and major life decisions. When we get down to the “bones” of our life and realize how little we actually “need”, we create space to consider what we actually value in the people we surround ourselves with, the work we put out into the world, and the core values that define a life of meaning and substance.  


Casey’s Pick: The Giver, by Lois Lowry” 

I first read this in grade school when we were given the option of selecting from an assortment of Newberry-award winning books, and I have found myself periodically re-reading it over the years. It was my first introduction to dystopian fiction and I’ve been hooked ever since. Long before the Hunger Games or Divergent series, The Giver provided an in-depth look at a society that was painstakingly crafted to function as smoothly as possible but at an immense cost. As someone who eventually went on to study sociology/social psychology, I have always been fascinated by the ideology of the society’s founders, and this book certainly serves as a warning to anyone trying to provide blanket solutions to multilayered, intersectional social issues. 


Amy’s Picks: “Unlimited Memory, by Kevin Horsley” 

Think your ability to remember is just something we’re born with? Think again! Our brains are just like any other muscle, and in this book, Horsley walks us through a number of tips and techniques to show us how if we know how to work our brain properly we can remember far more than we imagine! 


Amy’s Picks: “Difficult Conversations, by Sheila Heen” 

This book helps us to gain empathy and insight to have better, more productive conversations with the most important people in our lives. Learn to differentiate between the words, the real meaning of the words, and the hidden needs revealed in our toughest yet most important conversations. 


Zach’s Pick: “Shoeless Joe, by W.P. Kinsella” 

On the surface, it’s a book about baseball, the infamous 1919 World Series, and American history. At its core, however, Shoeless Joe is about following your dreams, defining your values, and family.  It also mixes fantasy elements into an otherwise grounded story of an Iowa farmer, Ray Kinsella, who lives peacefully with his wife and daughter, until one day when he hears a voice in the distance that tells him, “If you build it, he will come.”  This mysterious message leads Ray to build a baseball diamond in his own cornfield. From there, ongoing clues lead him to meet important figures in Boston and Minnesota, before he returns home to find, much to his surprise, catharsis.  

Shoeless Joe was also the inspiration for Field of Dreams, which is its equal in many ways.  It’s one of the all-time great stories about fathers and sons.


Christina’s Pick: “The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S Lewis” 

This series stole my heart and mind as a child and this was the first set of books that I remember truly loving. The whimsical aspects swept me into this world of talking animals, kings, queens, war, where good conquers evil took me away into another world that I felt I was a part of. After falling in love with this series, my obsession with reading took on a whole new dimension


Purvi’s Picks: “The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho”

This is a beautifully written book that makes you think about your life’s journey and how where you started from can often be more important than anything. This book demonstrates that the journey is as important as the destination and life happens in the moments when we are taken “off course”.


Purvi’s Picks: “Becoming, by Michelle Obama” 

This book has captured by heart and I cannot put it down. The truth and vulnerability shared by the past FLOTUS reminds us that perfection is not the goal nor is it actually attainable. Obama worked hard despite the obstacles in her way and relied on her village to help her realize her dreams. I think this is a testament that any person from any background can end up anywhere, including the White House. More than that though, I love that even in all her success, she talked about her fears, her self-doubts, her need for help – hopefully giving others the confidence to believe that you don’t always have to be perfect and you don’t always have to be strong.


Jenny’s Picks: “Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen” 

This is a book I re-read regularly.  It shows a picture of strong women in different situations in a time when a woman having her own opinions and expressing them were not common.  It also addresses how biases and judgments can cloud your perception of another person, but also how you can change your mind and create a friendship with someone who you may not have fully understood when you first met. 


Jenny’s Picks: “The Chosen, by Chaim Potok” 

A book that explores how friendship can help you find and express your voice in an environment that doesn’t always encourage it.  


Helena’s Pick: “The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin” 

Out the outset of this book, the author is very clear that she is not trying to change the world or give someone else a “how to be happy” guide, but rather it is her experiment to see if she can get more out of her own life to be happier and feel more whole. I love the idea of measurable goals that take place within a specific time frame and then being able to evaluate how much they have or have not made a change. Often in life, we may try something once or twice maybe even for a week – and if it doesn’t create lasting change we dump it and move on to the next thing. 


In her book, the author demonstrates that by changing little things or in little increments we have the power to make a lasting and impactful change in our own lives, and therefore the lives of those around us. The key isn’t something that the author dictates, rather a tool to see your own life as ever evolving and adapting according to the perceptions and personal rules you allow yourself to be governed by. 


Happy Reading! 

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