Lizzie’s Book Club

June

Start With Why

by Simon Sinek

My book of the month for June is one that I first read in college while I was a resident assistant. Some of the knowledge I gleaned in this book inspired me to develop my brand and create the bodypeace platform.

In Start With Why, Sinek explains inspiration at its core as a golden circle, with the center of that circle being a strong purpose, or the “why”. In life, and in businesses, people tend to forget their “why”, and instead become fixated on the “how” or the “what”. Whether you feel like you’re in need of some personal motivation or you’re working hard to build your brand, this book provides plenty of eye-opening examples of how to discover your why and its incredible importance.

July

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

by Christine Wilding

This book aptly explains what cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is, and why it’s something you should start implementing in your life right away. CBT is a psychological technique that has been used to improve overall well-being and happiness while relieving issues like anxiety, depression, stress, and anger.

In this book, Wilding guides you through CBT by giving a thorough explanation of it, how it can be beneficial, and how you can begin to incorporate it into your daily living. I’m personally always looking for ways to live better, and this book appealed to me from the moment I picked it up.

August

The Catcher in the Rye

by J. D. Salinger

It’s back to the classics for my August book pick, and this 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger is one of my favorites. It examines complex issues of childhood innocence, personal identity, and connection.
The storyline follows protagonist Holden Canfield, and the encounters he has in New York after being expelled from boarding school. The reader feels transported the novel thanks to the point of view and the colloquial speech of Holden. Even though there has been some controversy surrounding this book, its significance and unique literary style have landed it in Lizzie’s book club this month.

September

Maximum Brainpower

by Shlomo Breznitz and Collins Hemingway

September’s pick for Lizzie’s book club is for those of us that are interested in personal growth and mental agility. Maximum Brainpower is exactly as it sounds – a tool for understanding how the brain works, and what we can do to increase its capabilities. This book is not only a helpful self improvement option, but also an easy read thanks to its real life examples and scientific evidence. Each chapter ends with a summary so that the read feels they’re able to recap what they’ve just learned. I believe in living better, and if you do too, you’ll love this months pick for my book club.

October

Blink

by Malcolm Gladwell

I am such a huge fan of Malcolm Gladwell, and Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking is my favorite book of his. It examines the adaptive unconscious through psychological and behavioral economics research, and is a great read for anyone interested in how the mind works. Gladwell uses many real life examples to describe “thin-slicing”, the main subject of the book, in which the brain uses limited information in a narrow period of time to make a snap decision. If you enjoy psychology and understanding how humans instinctually operate, then you’ll likely enjoy this book as much as I did.

November

Sing to It

by Amy Hempel

This work of fiction by Amy Hempel is comprised of 15 short stories, for making a collection that is greater than the sum of its parts. Each story follow a desperate character, tugging on the readers’ heartstrings as we follow them through their less than ideal situations.

This collection showcases the author’s talent to be able to pack so much emotion into so few words, and that underlying feeling the reader is left with after each story is almost tangible. This creative work of fiction has certainly earned its spot as my November pick for Lizzie’s book club.

December

How to Create a Mind

by Ray Kurzweil

We’re wrapping up 2019 with one of my all time favorite books, How to Create a Mind. It should be no surprise by now that this book is about the inner workings of the brain, one of my fascinations.

In this book, Kurzweil discusses how the human brain works, and compares it to how artificial intelligence could be created. This book is a stunning example of how incredible the human brain is, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to better understand the complexity of thought.