by: Roma G Velasco

Spring is here and our team is excited to share some of the books that we love. We hope that these books inspire you as well! 

Black Magic by Chad Sanders

A powerful exploration of Black achievement in a white world based on honest, provocative, and moving interviews with Black leaders, scientists, artists, activists, and champions. This revelatory book uncovers Black experiences in predominantly white environments while demonstrating the importance of staying true to yourself.

Who loves this book? DarrieMatthew Burrage

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Parable of the Sower is told in a series of dated journal entries by Lauren Olamina, a Baptist preacher’s daughter living in a walled enclave in a dystopian future version of Southern California, which is wracked by climate change, poverty, and violence. The novel is divided into four years. Each part and each chapter begins with a verse from the text Lauren is writing throughout the story, The Book of the Living.

Who loves this book? Mikayla Branz

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink

In When, Pink distills cutting-edge research and data on timing and synthesizes them into a fascinating, readable narrative packed with irresistible stories and practical takeaways that give readers compelling insights into how we can live richer, more engaged lives.

Who loves this book? Roma G Velasco

The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman

A sweeping new look at the unheralded transformation that is eroding the foundations of American exceptionalism.

Who loves this book? Amy Maranowicz

The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett

Sabine—twenty years a magician’s assistant to her handsome, charming husband—is suddenly a widow. In the wake of his death, she finds he has left a final trick; a false identity and a family allegedly lost in a tragic accident but now revealed as very much alive and well. Named as heirs in his will, they enter Sabine’s life and set her on an adventure of unraveling his secrets, from sunny Los Angeles to the windswept plains of Nebraska, that will work its own sort of magic on her.

Who loves this book? Anna King

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein

In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation—that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation—the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments—that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day.

Who loves this book? Kate Shervais

The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures: Simple Rules to Unleash A Culture of Innovation by Henri Lipmanowicz and Keith McCandless

Smart leaders know that they would greatly increase productivity and innovation if only they could get everyone fully engaged. So do professors, facilitators, and all changemakers. The challenge is how. Liberating Structures are novel, practical, and no-nonsense methods to help you accomplish this goal with groups of any size.

Who loves this book? Dianne Dickerson

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

New York Times best-selling author and professor Brené Brown offers a powerful and inspiring book that explores how to cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to embrace your imperfections and to recognize that you are enough.

Who loves this book? Christi Granstaff

Parents Who Lead by Stewart D. Friedman and Alyssa F. Westring

Stew Friedman and coauthor Alyssa Westring offer a robust, proven method that will include tools illustrated with compelling examples from the lives of real working parents that show you how to: design a future based on your core values; engage with your children in fresh, meaningful ways; cultivate a community of caregiving and support, in all parts of your life, and experiment to discover better ways to live and work.

Who loves this book? Darrie Matthew Burrage

The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life by Uri Gneezy and John List 

Anyone working in business, politics, education, or philanthropy can use the approach Gneezy and List describe in The Why Axis to reach a deeper, nuanced understanding of human behavior, and a better understanding of what motivates people and why.

Who loves this book? Roma G Velasco

Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets by Sudhir Venkatesh

The story of the young sociologist who studied a Chicago crack-dealing gang from the inside captured the world’s attention when it was first described in FreakonomicsGang Leader for a Day is the fascinating full story of how Sudhir Venkatesh managed to gain entrée into the gang, what he learned, and how his method revolutionized the academic establishment.

Who loves this book? Amy Maranowicz