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The Zone's Easy Reads

Written by Eden Allegretti, Programming Intern, 2019-2020

​Hi folks! We hope you all are doing well and staying healthy/safe during this time. Here are a few book recommendations from The Zone staff to energize you throughout quarantine. These are some of our favorite positive, life-altering, thought-provoking, funny, and inspiration reads (and, most importantly, are all relatively short!). Remember to take some time for your self-care and affirm that it is okay to take life slow, rest, and sit back with a great book!

Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence

By: Derald Wing Sue

If you believe that talking about race is impolite, or that "colorblindness" is the preferred approach, you must read this book. Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence debunks the most pervasive myths using evidence, easy-to-understand examples, and practical tools.

This significant work answers all your questions about discussing race by covering:

  • Characteristics of typical, unproductive conversations on race
  • Tacit and explicit social rules related to talking about racial issues
  • Race-specific difficulties and misconceptions regarding race talk
  • Concrete advice for educators and parents on approaching race in a new way

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

By: Don Miguel Ruiz

Don Miguel Ruiz's book outlines self-limiting beliefs that hold us back from fully experiencing life, joy, and happiness. He offers four agreements to make with yourself to transform your life and deconstruct the 'rules' we have been set to follow since birth. Ruiz highlights a process in which we can truly wake up and create a life that aligns with the values we hold within ourselves, and not the values of society. This book is relatively short, and is perfect if you are looking for something thought provoking while staying at home! 

The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul

By: Danielle LaPorte

I read this book my first year of college, and WOW it truly changed my life!! Danielle LaPorte's book is all about creating a life oriented around how you want to feel, and not what we want to have, gain, or accomplish. LaPorte's leads you through how she oriented her life around goals that align with her soul and her authentic truth with sprinkles of comedy, warmth, and a wholesome spirit. The best thing about this book is that it is formatted in two parts: the first being written chapters and the second being an interactive workbook. This section allows you to outline and revolutionize the way you go after what you want and maps out how to create a whole, fulfilling life!

You Majored in What? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career

By: Katharine Brooks

If social distancing has you thinking about what to do after graduation, then this is the book for you! Katharine Brooks, a college counselor, helps you answer the daunting question, "so what are you going to do with your major?" The book takes you through creative ways to figure out what you truly want after college, how to identify your strengths, marketing your skills/experience, and how to achieve your goals, regardless of what you majored in!

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

By: Brene Brown

Brene is a social worker, researcher, PhD, and famous Ted Talk-er, and using her 12 years of research, Brown argues that vulnerability is our largest measure of courage, not weakness. She sees vulnerability as the core of tough emotions, like pain, sadness, and fear, but also as the origin of emotions like joy, love, empathy, and happiness!!

Honestly, the first 10 pages of this book completely changed the way I thought about courage, relationships with others, vulnerability, and joy! It is a great quarantine read to challenge the notion that we are "never enough", and instead create a world in which we are truly seen! 

Tips for Consistent Reading

  • Be financially smart with your book buys! Search for used copies of books, free audio books, or use public library online services before buying a book. My favorite used book site is thriftbooks.com!

  • Set a consistent time each day for reading. Committing to reading each night before bed or when you wake up for X number of chapters/minuets helps you stay on top of your reading game and sets a steady time for self-care. 

  • Commit to starting! This is the hardest part of the whole process, but once you set a consistent time and get through that first chapter, you won't want to stop!

  • Support your local bookstores!! Many bookstores are selling online/shipping and offering great discounts. Indiebound.org is a community of local bookstores that allows you to search for stores and specific books (to buy locally) on the site. It is always nice when a great book comes with a great feeling of helping your community. 

Send us your book review

After reading one of these books, we would love for you to give it a super quick Zone style review using this link. We hope you enjoyed these fun reads and can't wait to hear what y'all thought of them! Stay safe, and remember, "we read to know we are not alone." - C.S. Lewis