Winter Reading List

December 1, 2021 |
3 minute read
|

Get into the holiday spirit with Commonfund Institute’s winter reading and holiday gift-giving list.  This thirteen-title line-up, compiled of recommendations from our Commonfund colleagues, promises to deliver something for almost everyone on your list. We don’t doubt that you’ll find the titles and stories as compelling and timely as we do.  

American Dirt | Jeanine Cummins   

“Already being hailed as "a Grapes of Wrath for our times" and "a new American classic," Jeanine Cummins's American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.”1

 Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones | James Clear 

“Atomic Habits will reshape the way you think about progress and success, and give you the tools and strategies you need to transform your habits--whether you are a team looking to win a championship, an organization hoping to redefine an industry, or simply an individual who wishes to quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, or achieve any other goal.”2

 Boys in the Boat | Daniel James Brown 

“…. out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.”3

Facing the Mountain | Daniel James Brown 

“A gripping World War II saga of patriotism and resistance, focusing on four Japanese American men and their families, and the contributions and sacrifices that they made for the sake of the nation.”4

The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: How Risk Taking Transforms Us, Body and Mind | John Coates 

“….Coates demonstrates how our bodies produce the fabled gut feelings we so often rely on, how stress in the workplace can impair our judgment and even damage our health, and how sports science can help us toughen our bodies against the ravages of stress. Revealing the biology behind bubbles and crashes, The Hour Between Dog and Wolf sheds new and surprising light on issues that affect us all.”5

Indistractable | Nir Eyal  

“In today’s tech-dependent, app-centered, notification-ruled world, it’s easier than ever to get distracted from what’s really important—your values, your relationships, and your work. In Indistractable, Nir Eyal develops a four-part model for gaining the modern-day superpower of “indistractability.””6

LifeLines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health | Dr. Leana Wen, MD 

“From medical expert Leana Wen, MD, Lifelines is an insider's account of public health and its crucial role―from opioid addiction to global pandemic―and an inspiring story of her journey from struggling immigrant to being one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People.”7

The Power of Trust: How Companies Build It, Lose It, Regain It | Sandra J. Sucher and Shalene Gupta 

“Based on two decades of research and illustrated through vivid storytelling, Sandra J. Sucher and Shalene Gupta examine the economic impact of trust and the science behind it, and conclusively prove that trust is built from the inside out. Trust emerges from a company being the “real deal”: creating products and services that work, having good intentions, treating people fairly, and taking responsibility for all the impacts an organization creates, whether intended or not.”8

The Prophets | Robert Jones Jr.  

“A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence.”9

Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi 

“From award-winning, bestselling author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five comes a powerful YA novel in verse about a boy who is wrongfully incarcerated. A must-read for fans of Jason Reynolds, Walter Dean Myers, and Elizabeth Acevedo.”10 

Risk: A User's Guide | by Stanley McChrystal and Anna Butrico 

“Drawing on examples ranging from military history to the business world, and offering practical exercises to improve preparedness, McChrystal illustrates how these ten factors are always in effect, and how by considering them, individuals and organizations can exert mastery over every conceivable sort of risk that they might face.”11 

The Surprising Science of Meetings:  How You Can Lead Your Team to Peak Performance | Steve G. Rogelberg 

“…. Steven G. Rogelberg, researcher and consultant to some of the world's most successful companies, draws from extensive research, analytics and data mining, and survey interviews with over 5,000 employees across a range of industries to share the proven practices and techniques that help managers and employees enhance the quality of their meetings.”12

Your Turn, How to Be an Adult | Julie Lythcott-Haims 

“Being an adult, it turns out, is not about any particular checklist; it is, instead, a process, one you can get progressively better at over time―becoming more comfortable with uncertainty and gaining the knowhow to keep going. Once you begin to practice it, being an adult becomes the most complicated yet also the most abundantly rewarding and natural thing. And Julie Lythcott-Haims is here to help readers take their turn.”13

Have you read any of these books?  We’d love to hear your reviews.  Email us and let us know your favorites.

 

 

  1. American Dirt
  2. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
  3. Boys in the Boat
  4. Facing the Mountain
  5. The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: How Risk Taking Transforms Us, Body and Mind
  6. Indistractable
  7. LifeLines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health
  8. The Power of Trust: How Companies Build It, Lose It, Regain It
  9. The Prophets
  10. Punching the Air
  11. Risk: A User's Guide
  12. The Surprising Science of Meetings:  How You Can Lead Your Team to Peak Performance
  13. Your Turn, How to Be an Adult 

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