Tag Archives: reading list

7 Great Books to Read this Summer

iGnite Summer Reading List

Our leaders have come together again to create our annual iGnite Summer Reading List!  So without further ado, seven of our current favorite page-turners perfect for your summer vacation carry-on bag:

1. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

The Boys in the Boat“It’s about my homeland Washington State!” –Betty

Online review: This is a stirring tale of nine Depression-era athletes beating the odds and their inner demons to compete at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It is a thrilling, heart-thumping tale packed with plenty of suspense. It’s not only a great inspiring true story; it is a fascinating work of history.

also recommended by Amy Younkman

2. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See

“I’m in the middle of reading this book. Beautiful and uniquely written, it’s set in Europe around WWII and is a Pulitzer Prize and national book award winner. I’m loving it!” –Sha

3. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places

“I loved her book Gone Girl, so I thought I’d give this one a try too because my sister recommended it. I (clearly) love suspenseful books that keep me on my toes, and so far because I’m only half way through, I’m finding it is a page turner. Every chapter switches from the stories leading up to ‘the event’ in 1985 to present day. We’ll see if this one is as twisted as Gone Girl!” –Molly

4. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman

The Confidence Code

“This book was fantastic! It was a recommendation from Success Magazine and because I love Success, I figured it had to be great. Plus, I was very curious to learn if the ‘confidence code’ was cracked. If you are interested in the mystery behind confidence and all that goes into having it (or not), you will love this book and find it fascinating! Truly, my book is marked with notes and highlighted. I couldn’t put it down!” –Neissa

5. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

Brain on Fire

Amy Younkman loaned me this book and I thanked her and put it on my bedside table, thinking ‘oh, a hard story about a sweet gal with a troubling brain, um, I’ll think about it.’ Two days later, I had read it cover to cover. This writer/afflicted woman is your sister, your neighbor, your old roommate, your brother’s girlfriend. She is any of us, and she selflessly lays bare the struggles of a family battling a frightening illness, one whose name is only revealed eventually because she was in the right place at the right time. You’ll close the book with both a smile and concern, but most of all, with more compassion for those who walk the thread between mental and physical illness…and you’ll wonder if there is even a thread between those two at all.” –Cary

Online review: A powerful account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity. This autobiography tells the tale of a young New York Post reporter who contracts a rare brain disorder, recovers against the odds, then puts her restored mind to use investigating the disease’s underpinnings. What is most impressive is that Cahalan has little recollection of her month of insanity. Thanks partially to her talent as a journalist and to the fact that her parents kept journals, she was able to recapture her month and it makes for an intriguing and heart-warming story.

6. A Bicycle Built for Two Billion by Jamie Bianchini

A Bicycle Built for Two BillionOnline review: Over 1,000 strangers accepted Jamie Bianchini’s invitation to ride on the world’s first open-invitation, intercultural expedition around the world. His epic 8-year, 80-country journey is shared in his book “A Bicycle Built for Two Billion.”  Jamie and his best friend Garryck Hampton saved money for over two years while securing over 40 corporate sponsors to help launch their dream expedition called Peace Pedalers. The tour got off to a great start in Japan but it was not long before they ran into their fair share of adversity. “We had a bike stolen in China, a near-death crash in Malaysia and I dodged gunfire in Mauritania just to name a few,” reports Bianchini. “But what amazed me was how total strangers in every part of the world came out of nowhere to help keep us safe, fed, housed, warm and supported us in fulfilling the vision and mission of Peace Pedalers. It was this endless display of kindness and compassion demonstrated by total strangers that inspired Jamie to take the expedition to a new level. Starting by delivering hundreds of rides and gifts to orphanages throughout Asia he continued his adventures of compassion and contribution through Africa, Europe and Latin America. A one-of-a-kind, truly inspiring story of trust, faith and compassion that breaks through all barriers.

recommended by Amy Younkman 

7. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Husband's Secret

“I liked this book because it kept me guessing throughout the whole read. I never once guessed the answer to ‘the secret!'” –Molly


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5 Books that will Improve Your Life


by Catherine Sanderson

by Catherine Sanderson

With February comes a lot of focus on showing others our love through Valentine’s Day…but what about loving ourselves well in February?   Really, if we don’t love ourselves well first, it’s impossible to give our best love and care to the others in our life. So on that note, we wanted to share 5 great books that will help you do just that — show some love to the one and only you by making sure you’re taken care of first.

Carry on Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton

Cary's pick

Cary’s pick

“I love Carry on Warrior.  Not a book of inspirations or how to’s, but inspiring and real, I just love it.”

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz


Catherine’s pick

“I first learned about The Four Agreements from Neissa, who raved about it — so I knew I had to read it.  The book is short & sweet– and the four simple principles it introduces really and truly change how you approach every single uncomfortable situation and difficult decision.   Once I started applying the 4 ideas to my daily mindset, I noticed a huge change in the stress and discomfort I felt in previously ‘difficult’ situations.  So, so worth the read!  I even found my bff and I talking about one of the ‘agreements’ at a happy hour last week — It’s stuff that sticks with you.” 

When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd

Amy's pick

Amy’s pick

“I love the book When the Heart Waits. It is really well-written. Grounded in personal experience and bolstered with classical spiritual disciplines, this book offers an alternative to fast-fix spirituality.” 

 The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino

Neissa's pick

Neissa’s pick

“One of my favorite self-love/self-improvement books is The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino. I read this book at a confusing time of my life when my self-esteem low and I was questioning my purpose and future. This book is a quick yet powerful read because it beautifully states how uniquely and purposefully created we are- full of nothing but potential. It was a game changer for me and it, along with The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz, are the two books I give every college graduate.” 

Spiritual Disciples Handbook: Practices that Transform Us  by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun

Alli's pick

Alli’s pick

“I was introduced to Spiritual Disciplines Handbook a few years ago when I served as an elder on the session at my church.  We, as a session, decided to study this book over the course of two years. Each month, one or two of us would choose one of the 50+ disciplines described in the book that seemed pertinent to us individually, then introduce it to the other members of the session at our monthly meeting. Then, all of us would work on that discipline and report back about the impact on our lives at the next meeting.  This book has since then been a fixture on my bedside table, and I still refer to it regularly. Truly, the practices are transformative.”   Try them out and let us know what you think!

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