NCO Quarantine Reading List

Many of us have a lot of time on our hands lately, and I, for one, don’t necessarily want to spend all of it cleaning and on home improvement projects. Don’t get me wrong, that stuff is a productive way to spend your time, but you’d be missing out if you didn’t use at least part of this time for relaxing. 

One of my favorite things to do to relax is cozy up with a good book. So, I thought I’d share a few of my personal faves… 

Magnolia Table, Volume 2: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering

The second installment of the Magnolia Table books, I love this one because it’s focused on tried-and-true recipes that cater to even the pickiest eaters. The end-goal? Everyone at the table together, enjoying each other (hopefully) and communicating. There’s even a whole section dedicated to the art of the gathering. Also, the recipes are delicious!

Where the Crawdads Sing

This book will have you captivated from beginning to end. It’s on the New York Times #1 Bestseller list, and it’s a recommended read from Reese Witherspoon’s book club for a good reason. It’s a murder mystery, which is intriguing in itself, but it really had me at the descriptions of setting. Delia Owens manages to capture the beauty of nature in words that paint such a vivid picture, you’ll wish you were there. I dare you to read the first few pages without getting sucked in!

American Dirt

Any book that Stephen King calls “extraordinary” is worth taking a look at. That coupled with a NY Times #1 Bestseller title and Oprah’s book club pick, and you know you’ve got a winner. Written by Jeanine Cummins, it’s about a woman forced to flee her comfortable life with her young son when her journalist husband is murdered and becomes another face in the sea of undocumented immigrants trying to escape danger in the US. This book will have you holding your breath and wanting to know what happens next right until the end.  

Atomic Habits

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who could use some self-improvement. I think that just comes with being human- it’s a good thing we’ve got books like this to aid in the neverending project of getting better at life-ing. If you’ve ever had a habit or three you’d like to kick, or would like to pick up some good ones, James Clear shows us how in this book. (Hint: It’s easier and more enjoyable than you might think.)

So We Can Glow 

I loved this collection of short stories about women from all walks of life that exposes our desires, obsessions, sorrows, triumphs, and pretty much everything that makes us tick. Leesa Cross-Smith manages to tap into that in such a vivid way that you’ll wonder if you actually know the women from these stories from somewhere before you realize they’re all of us in one way, shape, or form. 

Dare to Lead

Brené Brown is one of my favorites. This isn’t just a self-help manual to lead more efficiently at work, it’s also a guide to illuminate how self-love and self-awareness are critical in order to lead effectively. She also provides a workbook and leadership assessment- very practical tools to help you apply the lessons in the book to your own experience. If you’re ready to evolve into a brave, empathetic, well-rounded leader, read this book! She has a wide variety of books, so if you are looking for a starting point, begin with The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, and then Rising Strong!

I urge you to take some time out to read or listen to an audiobook or two during this strange time of isolation. Personally, it’s been a great way not only to stay entertained but to get immersed in other worlds and characters. 

As always, take good care.