Summer Reading Recommendations

With summer temperatures upon us, the All Risks team has books on the brain.  Nothing completes a lazy day in the sun quite like a great book.  To get you prepped just for that, our team members shared the books that they think would make a perfect addition to anyone's summer reading list.


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The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Recommended by:
Kim Sonn

"What if you could change your life without really changing your life?  On the outside, Gretchen Rubin had it all -- a good marriage, healthy children and a successful career -- but she knew something was missing.  Determined to end that nagging feeling, she set out on a year-long quest to learn how to better enjoy the life she already had."


5174PRC0BDL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell 

Recommended by:
Jill Bednar

"Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter.  She was fifteen, the youngest of three.  Beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers, and half of a teenaged golden couple.  Ellie was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.

And then she was gone."


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The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile

Recommended by:
Weston Cox

"Ignorance is bliss―except in self-awareness.  What you don't know about yourself can hurt you and your relationships―and even keep you in the shallows with God.  Do you want help figuring out who you are and why you're stuck in the same ruts?  The Enneagram is an ancient personality typing system with an uncanny accuracy in describing how human beings are wired, both positively and negatively.

In The Road Back to You, Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile forge a unique approach―a practical, comprehensive way of accessing Enneagram wisdom and exploring its connections with Christian spirituality for a deeper knowledge of ourselves, compassion for others, and love for God."


519MfgDFefL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

Recommended by:
Lydia Bordo

"She’s the creator and producer of some of the most groundbreaking and audacious shows on television today.  Her iconic characters live boldly and speak their minds.  So who would suspect that Shonda Rhimes is an introvert?  That she hired a publicist so she could avoid public appearances?  That she suffered panic attacks before media interviews?

With three children at home and three hit television shows, it was easy for Shonda to say she was simply too busy.  But in truth, she was also afraid.  And then, over Thanksgiving dinner, her sister muttered something that was both a wake up and a call to arms: You never say yes to anything.  Shonda knew she had to embrace the challenge: for one year, she would say YES to everything that scared her."


51B12SO5RGL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Recommended by:
Kadi Swope

"Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years.  Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity.  With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration.  She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering.

She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear.  She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives.  Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us."


9780812979688_p0_v2_s600x595Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Recommended by:
Eric Quinn

"Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil.  What Taleb has identified and calls 'antifragile' is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish. 

In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world.  In Antifragile, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner.  The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust.  The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better."


41UvHqSRmYL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff & Alex Tresniowski

Recommended by:
Kim Sonn

"Stopping was never part of the plan...

She was a successful ad sales rep in Manhattan.  He was a homeless, eleven-year-old panhandler on the street.  He asked for spare change; she kept walking.  But then something stopped her in her tracks, and she went back.  And she continued to go back, again and again.  They met up nearly every week for years and built an unexpected, life-changing friendship that has today spanned almost three decades."


41nYEMfvoEL._SX352_BO1,204,203,200_Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World by Admiral William H. McRaven

Recommended by:
Lydia Bordo

"If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day.  Taking inspiration from the university's slogan, 'What starts here changes the world,' he shared the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life; and he explained how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves — and the world — for the better."


51kp9GZFUYL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

Recommended by:
Kadi Swope

"A motivational and inspiring guide to wholehearted living, rather than just the average self-help book, with this groundbreaking work Brené Brown, Ph.D., bolsters the self-esteem and personal development process through her characteristic heartfelt, honest storytelling.  With original research and plenty of encouragement, she explores the psychology of releasing our definitions of an 'imperfect' life and embracing living authentically.  Brown’s 'ten guideposts'  are benchmarks for authenticity that can help anyone establish a practice for a life of honest beauty — a perfectly imperfect life."

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