Book recommendations get tricky. Some people read to escape reality, and others read to deepen their understanding of it. I appreciate hearing what my friends and family are reading — whether they're loving it or couldn't stand it. Recently, I realized that when I talk about books that mean a lot to me, I recommend the same titles again and again. After hearing about a new book club concept from Richard Branson, I wanted to share my top six books with the Jada Jo community.
Richard Branson's Book Club
Literati's latest celebrity book club features selections from one of the most compelling entrepreneurs of our time, Richard Branson. The founder of the Virgin Group and noted philanthropist, Branson selects a book each month. The stories of risks, rewards, and advice have inspired him. Some are written by his friends and confidents, and all will have personal meaning for him. The quote accompanying the press intrigued me, and I can't wait to see the books he chooses.
Book recommendations for the Jada Jo community
Storytelling weaves its way into my jewelry. Without it, I don't believe I would have the same sense of urgency to create, to connect with the Jada Jo community, or to share what we're creating with the world. It shouldn't surprise you to see that the books I hold most dear revolve around discovery and enlightenment, increased self-awareness and connection to the world around us. I hope you choose to pick up these titles, to see if one of them speaks to you where you are in your life right now.
Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
Noted social scientist Brené Brown explores what real belonging looks like in a world divided by polarizing opinions. She stresses that true belonging must be born from authenticity — the sense of belonging fully to yourself before you can connect with the community surrounding you. I admire the way Brown weaves together research, experience, and storytelling to bring abstract concepts into tangible actions, particularly during this time of social upheaval.
The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, M.D.
The first edition of this book by Dr. Peck came to be over twenty-five years ago, and it continues to be a powerful agent of spiritual awakening. Dealing primarily with relationships and the power of open-hearted love alongside self-discovery, I find The Road Less Traveled to be a book filled with both hope and grace. Dr. Peck allows that the journey towards self-awareness is a long one, which means I revisit this book at different times, when I need to investigate relationships in my life.
More Myself by Alicia Keys
Music means so much to me, so my friends aren't surprised to see a biography of an accomplished musician on my list. More Myself is, well, more than just an autobiography. As Keys talks about her life, the books tells of her journey both as an artist and as a person, giving both depth and breadth to the book. A complicated childhood and a complicated industry provide much to consider as Keys shares how she grew into the best version of herself.
The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger
Pulled from a pile of bodies when American troops liberated Auschwitz in 1945, Dr. Edith Eva Eger fights survivor's guilt and flashbacks for many years. She tells her tale with the help of those who assisted in her survival after Auschwitz, and and her road to recovery and acceptance of her past. Edie's story both breaks your heart and puts it back together again with hope and forgiveness.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
One of my all time favorite books holds crucial truths within the simple story of Santiago, a shepherd looking to find treasures and travel the world. As we follow him on his journey, we are able to look within ourselves to see what we value — and where to find those precious things. Like The Road Less Traveled, I feel that The Alchemist changes a little with each read, depending on where I am in my life, letting me re-center myself on my own journey.
Reason for Hope by Jane Goodall
I have traveled the world to closely admire mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, and many other primate species. For years, I marveled at the wisdom, truth, and scientific discoveries Jane Goodall found by studying chimpanzees in Tanzania. In Reason for Hope, she turns her gaze inward, sharing the spiritual self-discoveries she made while in the forest. A beautiful, thought-provoking book, this one speaks to both my love of adventure and the endless quest for spiritual awakening.
What is your favorite book to recommend to your friends?