Lizzie’s Book Club

June

The Power of Now

by Eckhart Tolle

I was given The Power of Now as a birthday gift from a close friend of mine in college. At the time I had been recovering from some difficult times in my life, and this book helped me emotionally overcome some barriers that were still in my way.

Tolle isn’t aligned with any one religion or tradition, and The Power of Now simply offers an uncomplicated way to become more present and focused in the moment in order to release stress and suffering. I’m always interested in reading about the distinction between brain and mind, and this book effortless explained how to get back to your authentic self while leaving the mind’s “ego” behind. Such a great read as we’re halfway through the year as an emotional and even spiritual reset.

May

Lean In

by Sheryl Sandberg

When I first started DeLacy Wellness in 2016, I devoured business and entrepreneurial books like dessert. Lean In encouraged me to think about my voice in my business, and I feel is especially helpful for women in any workplace.

This book offers professional advice, demonstrative research, and personal anecdotes for stepping into leadership in the workplace. Anyone can take the suggestions Sandberg has written and use them to further their personal achievements, which I’ve found incredibly helpful when I’ve worked with diverse teams of people. In addition to being a quick read, Lean In is entertaining and quite accessible to those wanting to excel in their career.

April

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson – This is the third novel in a series by author Stieg Larsson. I actually haven’t read the first two books, but had always read raving online reviews about it, so here we are!

All three books revolve around two main characters, Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, who use their technical expertise to take on corrupt officials, criminals, and thugs. Larsson’s narrative keeps you constantly wanting to turn the page with his dark, near humorless style. Without giving too much away, I will say I love his novels because in the end, the good guys always come out on top. If you’re looking for a thrilling read, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is it.

March

The Book of Secrets

by Deepak Chopra

The Book of Secrets is one of my favorite self-exploration books! When I first saw it in the bookstore I thought to myself “just another self-help books”, but I was quite wrong.

Chopra doesn’t write about ways to get rich, how to live the perfect lifestyle, or how to attract the ultimate soulmate. Rather, this book is broken down by 15 chapters, each one focusing on a different area of your life with thought provoking advice and activities. It took me about 3 months to entirely get through this book, as I would put it down, self reflect, and practice implementing the guidance that was given in each chapter. The Book of Secrets always calmed me as I was reading it, and I enjoy Chopra’s style which affords wisdom without inflated fanfare.

February

Fooled by Randomness

by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

At least once a year I try to read about a topic I’m unfamiliar with in order to continually challenge myself. Last summer I was introduced to Fooled by Randomness, which is an economic take on how luck and business are perceived by most people (like myself) who are not well versed in statistical probability.

Taleb’s entertaining writing style and character anecdotes solidify the message that most of what happens to us in business, and in life, are random chances that are not able to be replicated. This read definitely took me outside of my comfort zone as at the end of it I was left to ponder my existence and experiences.

January

Journey to the Heart

by Melody Beattie

This book is such a great resource to start the new year with! Journey to the Heart is a collection of daily reflections that inspire both self reflection and gratitude.

With 365 entries, each passage encourages the reader to connect deeply with themselves and I’ve been surprised how many times that day’s message directly pertained to something I was experiencing in my own life. With the start of 2020, I wanted to start back at the beginning of this lovely, ongoing read; I invite you to join me!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.