Bookmark and Share

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to the NonprofitMaine blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Books + Blogs: Finding Joy in Summer Reading

by Molly O'Connell

Reading usually brings me joy, but the red folder on my desk marked “to read” is now 3 inches thick.

It started as a way to clean out my inbox while convincing myself that I was definitely-for-sure-probably-even-this-week going to read all those interesting things I’d flagged. Instead, it’s become a brick in my backpack (literally and figuratively).

Tell me I’m not alone in this self-delusion!

I’m bringing my joy in reading back through this fancy three step plan (which, conveniently, can be applied to almost any project!).

  1. Bribes. Have you ever heard of temptation bundling? I’ll be tackling that red folder one fancy iced chai latte at a time, maybe even away from my desk (gasp!), so I’ve cleared space for the new.
  2. Let go. Hello, recycle bin. I see you there, and I will give myself permission to use you, especially if step #1 fails.
  3. Ask for help. I love hearing about what others are reading, and it always helps broaden my book horizons. I reached out to my MANP colleagues to ask what books, poems and blogs–any genre–they’re enjoying.

We hope some of these suggestions pique your interest, but whatever you’re reading this summer, may it bring you joy!

What We’re Reading

From Mary Ellms, Training Program Coordinator:

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell, about how our cultures, families, generations, and even birthdays play as much of a role in our economic and career success as hard work.

Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong. Just because.

From Jennifer Hutchins, Executive Director:

Inspired by facilitator Bob Wright at last week’s MANP Leadership Institute, the poem “It Is I Who Must Begin” by Václav Havel.

From Brooke Welty, Event Assistant:

The ‘Silo Series’ by Hugh Howey. Set in a very distant and dystopian future, these books remind me of the importance of nonprofits in their role as the glue that holds society together. If you need a reason to work even harder toward your nonprofit’s mission, these equally terrifying and compelling books are for you!

From Jenn Burns Gray, Director of Advocacy + PR:

I’m looking forward to reading Hillbilly Elegy:  A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance. It was mentioned by presenter Lynn Davey at the Spring Executive Leadership Forum (and lent to me by my mom).

From Katrina Ruffner, Director of Eduction:

Temple of a Thousand Faces by John Shor, because my son is travelling to Cambodia this summer and will be visiting Angkor Wat. I’m fascinated by the history and culture and I’m excited to talk with him about his adventures when he returns! I’m going to miss him, so this is a way keep him close.

From Debbie Atwood, Membership Manager:

I haven’t been a huge blog reader and am making a point to read more blogs about membership, personal & professional development, etc. I’m particularly enjoying the blog by MANP member Scott Woodard, of Scott Woodard  Coaching, who writes about leadership, careers and the future of work. A favorite is “Clarity and Your Leadership Narrative.”


What are you reading this summer, at work, or for pleasure (or both!)? Share your suggestions here!

One thought on “Books + Blogs: Finding Joy in Summer Reading

Steve Mortimer says:

I just finished “The Giver” and am now reading “Hidden Figures”. On deck is “Thinking Fast & Slow” and then “Righteous Minds”. First two are really thought provoking, upcoming two are long overdue and much anticipated reads.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.