As we approach Spring, I’m under the mindset that there is literally nothing better than being on the back porch with an iced coffee in one hand and a book in the other. Okay, so we might be a couple of weeks out from sipping iced coffee outdoors here in middle Tennessee, but that is not stopping us from rounding up our favorite current reads. From parenting advice to personal development to the latest suspense novel, the Choice team has a full shelf for your perusal!


Here’s what we’re reading this month:


What’s On My Shelf

Though I 100% care about relationships, leaving people with a good feeling, and generally loving others well, I’m a pretty task-driven person (It’s kind of the bane of my existence #typethreeprobs). Imagine my frustration, then, when I stepped into the reading-parenting-books season of life. I was immediately drawn to books embracing the Gospel and grace and all the things I want for my son, James. BUT, friends, I would close the book without any knowledge of what I actually do if James is biting another toddler or screaming “No!” in Target (purely theoretical, of course, because James is an actual angel). I want my son to know Jesus is good and giving/receiving grace in this house is so real, but we also have to honor rules and healthy boundaries while respecting others human beings on this planet. Thank goodness, someone recommended “Boundaries with Kids: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Help Your Children Gain Control of Their Lives” to me. And can I tell you a secret? I thought this would be a good, practical book telling me how to whip James (not literally, of course) into shape before kindergarten. What I found, however, was that most of his habits begin and end with me and my husband, Mark. Ouch. Y’all, trust me, if you are a parent and you haven’t read “Boundaries with Kids” yet, order now on Prime because you need this book ASAP.


What’s On Heather’s Shelf

Leadershipit’s constantly on my mind. What kind of leader am I? Am I setting a good example? Am I developing my team well and effectively? This year I’ve determined to invest deeply in each Choice team member through intentional time. Recently, I had lunch with Devin Lee and we were talking about my favorite books that have transformed my own thoughts and style of leadership. I shared a long list. Later that day, as I was scrolling through my Instagram, I was reminded that Michael Hyatt was launching his LeaderBooks community. As a former publishing executive (and personal mentor), I’ve always paid attention to what books Mike is reading. He recommended so many to me when I worked for him at Thomas Nelson, including “Love is the Killer App,” which he told me about in 2003, when I was 27 years old, and to this day defines the way I look at competitors in the marketplace. So, I decided to join LeaderBooks for our team. The first book selection is “Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World” by Cal Newport. People are referring to Newport as the Marie Kondo of technology, so I’m in! I’m walking through section by section with Mike’s LeaderBooks community and taking full advantage of all the resources provided, including executive summaries and actionable insights. I look forward to digesting these books in a collaborative way with both my team and Mike’s community. It surely will only prove to enhance my own leadership skills.


What’s On Kerry’s Shelf

This Friday, we celebrate International Women’s Day – a day close to our hearts here at Choice. All week on socials, our team is celebrating women who have influenced us personally and women who have changed the world. One of those women is Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, known to the world as Hedy Lamarr. Hedy is the topic of Marie Benedict’s novel “The Only Woman in the Room,” which recounts her escape from abuse to Hollywood. While some remember her stunning looks and movie roles, her most notable accomplishment would be her groundbreaking scientific invitation that revolutionized modern communication. I can’t wait to dig into this book and Hedy’s incredible and inspiring story.


What’s On Devin Lee’s Shelf

Magazines are my favorite! It feels like I get a new issue in the mail every day which makes every day a happy mail day. Recently, I received the March issue of Real Simple and cannot put it down. I’m always a huge fan of Real Simple because it has articles, tips, and recipes I find myself using in my daily life. In this month’s issue, editor Brandi Broxson opens up about finding her biological father and meeting eight of her half-siblings. Brandi is someone I regularly pitch, so reading this article made me feel like I know her a little better. Now, I can’t wait to reach out to her, telling her how much I loved her fantastic story of discovering the great unknown!


What’s On Lena’s Shelf

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been reading.  It’s nothing for me to be reading a couple books at the same time — I can’t decide on just one, so I’ll pick a couple and get after it!  I have heard lots about the memoir, “The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls,” for the past couple of years, but it was never at the top of my list of must reads.  I finally picked it up at one of our bookstore outings (side note: my family LOVES the bookstore, which makes this bookworm’s heart just swell with pride).  Once I started reading it, I could NOT put it down. I read it in less than 48 hours – it was that good! There were parts that had me rolling with laughter, and there were parts I was cringing with fear and/or sadness.  The main takeaway for me was that despite your circumstances (your home, bank account, or family), you can make a place for yourself in this world. If you are looking for a quick read – one that will keep you interested from beginning to end – I cannot recommend The Glass Castle enough!


What’s On Sarah’s Shelf

I am always looking for a new, exciting and suspenseful read. Reading is a way that I am able to practice self love as it allows me to be still, which is my goal for 2019! So, when I find a book I love, I can’t put it down. Liane Moriarty is an author that I never ignore, as all of her books are ones that I become obsessed with. Her new book, “Nine Perfect Strangers,”  is one I am anxiously waiting to get to! This book tells the story of nine strangers who gather at a remote health resort and it changes their lives forever. I know this is going to a page turner that will have me on the edge of my seat. If you are looking for a new book to dive into, I would highly recommend!


What’s On Summer’s Shelf

A book that I have had on my list to read for quite some time that I plan to dive into this week is “Preach to Yourself: When Your Inner Critic Comes Calling, Talk Back with Truth.”  This is definitely one of those reads you know you need but keep putting off. Something I struggle with as an Enneagram 2, the helper, is investing in others but not myself and then constantly judging myself for this flaw. I am very excited to dive into this book from Hayley Morgan and see her perspective because I want to break this cycle of doubt and preach goodness to myself! I look forward to learning ways to break negative loops of feeling stuck and replace them with the wisdom of God. I highly recommend looking for change or needing a boost of positivity to join me and start reading Preach to Yourself!


We would love to hear what’s on YOUR shelf this Spring. What books are you excited to dig into and which ones can you not put down? 

    AUTHOR: Trisha Murphy
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