A splash of all the best books we’re reading right now. – Steph + Jen

GRIT ~ Angela Duckworth

Why do some people succeed when others fail? In Grit, the CEO/founder of Character Lab, a nonprofit advancing the science of character development in kids, weighs character traits like gumption and self-control to predict achievement. Fact and motivation-filled, this book unpacks the power of passion, hard work and perseverance in a way that’s fun to read.

Dear Committee Members ~ Julie Schumacher

Laughing at people who take themselves too seriously is always fun, particularly academics. And, as a recovering academic who has written a lot of recommendation letters in my life, this book resonates on a personal level and is laugh-out-loud funny. Read it. You will laugh.

Altitude Adjustment ~ Mary
Beth Baptiste

I’m a sucker for a “it’s never too late to follow your dreams” story, and this one tops my list. Mary Beth left her safe, fancy East coast life, dusted off her wildlife biology degree and headed for Grand Teton National Park, much to the horror of her husband and family. Not only did she do it, but upended her life (in a fabulous way) in the process. Plus, she’s a super cool human to boot.

Birds of a Feather ~ Lorin Lindner

My reaction to this story was complicated. Like a Disney movie. On one hand, I absolutely love and admire people who also love and save animals like birds, and at the same time, I felt rage for the reckless way some sucky people treat their pets. In the end, the connections between birds and people and the ways in which they help and save make this book an absolute heart-wrenching winner.

Alice & Gerald ~ Ron Franscell

You’re going to need a weekend for this one, because once you start reading, it’s impossible to put down. I’ve long been a fan of Franscell ever since reading The Darkest Night, and once again, he does not disappoint. Combining exhaustive research with literary storytelling, Franscell delves into the narcissistic psyche of a Wyoming couple, who are at once fascinating and horrific, as they get rid of obstacles standing in their way, seemingly without consequence.

Photo: Adam D. Ritterbush


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