Books allow us to learn and grow.  For those of us in transition, which is all of us, it's even more critical to continue to stay positive and relevant.  These books can help.

Some of these books, and others that aren't listed here are part of the do-over.me library and can be lent to members.  Ask us how to do that.

Check out the Lunch 'N Learn or Drink 'n Think series to enjoy the discussion of books with others.   

Please note that we own the books that have a * before the title.  We'd love to own them all and are always appreciative of any gifts.

Featured Book of the Month -

 

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

Join this informal group meeting.  An experienced group facilitator will guide the discussion.  Handouts will be provided. You don't need to have read the book to participate.

Click here to sign up for this event (opens in a new tab).

Please sign up in advance, here for all events, even those that are offered at no charge.  It is important for planning purposes.  Also, if an event is cancelled, we will notify those who are registered.  If you are able to and want to come at the last minute, please do so, but call us at 630-402-0429 and let us know that you are planning on stopping over.

 

 Inspirational do-over stories

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories Hardcover – April 8, 2014 by Marina Keegan  (Author), Anne Fadiman (Introduction)

Chickens in the Road by Suzanne McMinn

Woodswoman Living Alone in Adirondack Wilderness by Anne LeBastille 

What Comes Next and How to Like It by Abigail Thomas

Peace from Broken Pieces: How to get through what you're going through by Iyanla Vanzant

 

On Gratitude

*Gratitude by Oliver Sacks

*A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen

 

On Failure

*fail fail again fail better: wise advice for leaning into the unknown by Pema Chodron

*Very Good Lives: The fringe benefits of failure and the importance of imagination by J.K. Rowling

The Power of Failure: Succeeding in the Age of Innovation by Fran Tarkenton

*Daring Greatly and *Rising Strong, both by Brene Brown

FLAWd: How to Stop Hating on Yourself, Others and the Things that Make you Who You Are by Emily Anne Rigal

 

Specifically for those considering a do-over

Make Change Work for You by Scott Steinberg

Zero to One: Notes on Start-Ups or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters - Some quotes from the book:  "The act of creation is singular, as is the moment of creation and the result is something fresh and strange."  "Today's best practices lead to dead ends and best paths are new and untried."  "Successful people find value in unexpected places."  "Brilliant thinking is rare, but courage is in even greater supply."

Quitter: Closing the Gap between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job and Start: Punch Fear in the Face. Escape Average. Do Work that Matters - both by Jon Acuff

The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People by Carol Eikleberry, Ph.D.

*Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work and Never Get Stuck by Jon Acuff

*The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life by Marci Alboher

Unretirement: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think about Work, Community and the Good Life by Chris Farrell

 

Business Books

Works Well with Others: An Outsiders Guide to Shaking Hands, Shutting Up, Handling Jerks, and Other Crucial Skills in Business that No One Ever Teaches You by Ross McCammon

Listful Thinking: Using lists to be more productive, highly successful and less stressed by Paula Rizzo

The Go-Giver: A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea by Bob BUrg and John David Mann

Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong by Alina Tuge

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, How We Can Learn to Fulfill our Potential by Carol Dweck

The Rebel Rules by Chip Conley

Marketing that Matters by Chip Conley

Small Giants:  Companies that Chose to be Great instead of Big by Bo Burlingham

Success through Stillness by Russell Simmons

Conscious Capitalism by John Mackay

Zen and the Art of Management by Richard Tanner Pascal

Failure to Hire by Liz Ryan

Managing Yourself for the Career You Want by Herminia Ibarra

The Right Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee

Manage Your Work.  Manage Your Life by Boris Groysberg and Robin Abrahams

How Successful People Grow, How Successful People Think and How Successful People Lead by John C. Marshall

Seven Choices for Success and Significance by Dr. Nido Qubein

 

For Job Seekers

Type Talk at Work: How the 16 Personality Types Determine Your Success on the Job  by Otto Kroeger with Janet M. Thuesen and Hile Rutlege

Knock 'em Dead: Social Networking for Job Search and Professional Services by Martin Yate

*What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Nelson Bolles

 

For Entrepreneurs

The Power of Broke by Daymon Johns

Your Dream Map by John Maxwell

The Art of the Start:  The Time Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawaski

The $100 StartUp:  Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau

The Pumpkin Plan:  A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field by Mike Michalowicz

 

Current Trends

Living an Inspired Life by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

The Happiness Track by Emma Seppala, Ph.D.

Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhigg

Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and be Your Own Person by Sonda Rhimes

The Road to Courage by David Brooks - A highlight - "Brooks says there are two sides of our nature, Adam 1 and Adam 2. Adam 1 is stuffed with “resumé virtues” (as in curriculum vitae). Adam 1 wants to build, create, produce, win and appear high status. Adam 2 has the “eulogy virtues” – the warm remarks said over our coffin that enable a person to “do good and be good”. Adam 2 knows that “in order to fulfil yourself, you have to forget yourself. In order to find yourself, you have to lose yourself. The two Adams are always in conflict."

Beyond Willpower: From Stress to Success in 40 days. The Secret Principle to Achieving Success in Life, Love and Happiness by Alexander Loyd, PhD., N.D.

Be Quiet, Be Heard:  The Paradox of Persuasion by Susan R Glaser, Ph.D. and Peter A. Glaser, Ph.D.

DO the KIND Thing: Think Boundlessly, Work Purposefully, Live Passionately by Daniel Lubetzky

*Ditch the Pitch: The Art of Improvised Persuasion by Steve Yastrow

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Fully Alive by Timothy Shriver

Shyness and Society: The Illusions of Competence by Susie Scott

Connected:  The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD and James Fowler, PhD

What if…A Lifetime of Questions, Speculations, Reasonable Guesses, and a Few Things I Know for Sure by Shirley McLaine

Your Life Calling:  Reimaging the Rest of Your Life by Jane Pauley

Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goldman

 

Love, Skip, Jump: Start Living the Adventure of Your Life by Shelene Bryant

In this whimsical yet inspiring book, Shelene tells the stories of real-life paths she took to learn some simple truths that changed everything in her life—everything for the better.

By loving how we were made to love; skipping comfort and safety to help those who can never repay us; and taking a risk to jump into the epic journey of our lives, the reality is we are all just one yes away from changing everything.

It Ain’t Over . . . Till It’s Over by Margo Thomas introduces us to sixty amazing women who are proving that it’s never too late to live out a dream—to launch a business, travel the world, get a PhD, indulge a creative impulse, make a family recipe famous, escape danger, find love, or fill a void in life with a challenging new experience. Meet a graphic artist who fulfilled a childhood ambition by going to med school at age forty-two; a suburban mom whose innovative snack recipe for her daughter’s lunchbox turned into a multimillion-dollar business; a private-practice psychiatrist who convinced her husband that they should quit their jobs and take off on an exciting, open-ended, cross-country adventure—in a giant bus, no less!; and a middle-aged English teacher who, devastated to discover that her husband was cheating on her, refused to be a victim, filed for divorce, and began the challenging journey of rebuilding her life.

Brimming with anecdotes that will inspire smiles, tears, and—most of all—hope, It Ain’t Over speaks to women of all ages with an empowering message: The best is yet to come!

SNAP: Making the most out of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma by Paul Wood

Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

 

About Relationships

The power of kindness: The unexpected benefits of leading a compassionate life by Piero Ferrucci

The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage by Rob and Kristen Bell

Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert

 

For the Clearly Creative

Take a Big Leap: Conquer your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks (2010)As improvisers, we get failure. Its part of our job description. What we actually have a harder time with is success. What happens when we start getting good and we start getting more recognition and more opportunities? Some of us self-destruct, and the worst part is we don't even know why. How you could not love a book about how we sabotage our own success and the sneaky ways we do it? In The Big Leap, Hendricks not only helps identify the things that we do that get in our own way to becoming even more successful, but also he gives us practical ways to overcome them. If you are frustrated that your career is not where its supposed to be, this book is a must-have on your holiday wish list. Be aware this book is filled with tough love.

Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
by Austin Kleon (2012) Boy, do I see this in my mprov classes all the time: Students who are blocking their creativity because they want to come up with an original idea. The premise of this book is that everything has been done before, and that all sorts of artists from Pablo Picasso to David Bowie have stolen from other artists. How great is that? For me, learning that, and the nine practical things that follow, was inspiring. The real power of this book is in its simplicity. It takes the shame out of the notion that is wrong to steal from other artists and gives you permission to do so.

 

The Doodle Revolution by Sunni Brown  -  Unlock the Power to Think Differently

The Doodle Revolution is a prequel to Gamestorming  and also a global movement unto itself. It’s an entertaining and informative romp through applied visual language for non-artists, but it also aims to radically overturn our social (mis)perceptions about doodling. To doodle is not to waste time or to be distracted. Instead, doodling is a powerful technique people use around the world to help themselves THINK. As scientists, innovators and even presidents know, doodling is a precursor to and a catalyst for deep intellectual and creative breakthroughs. This kick-starter guide for igniting and applying simple visual language to any challenge shows that our nascent capacity for visual literacy need only be unleashed in order to elevate cognitive performance instantly, at school and at work. Together, we’ll put the DO in Doodle and liberate Doodlers everywhere. Sign the Doodle Revolutionary’s Manifesto and Viva la Revolución!

Unfolding Your Life Vision – Portable Vision Boards by Jennifer Lee

The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want and Change the World by Chris Guillebeau

 

IMPROV

Funny Business by Bill Connolly

*Ditch the Pitch by Steve Yastrow

*Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses "No, But" Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration--Lessons from The Second City by Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton 

 

Dying and Death

The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life by Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg and Tom Pyszcznski

 

Classics

The Journey of Desire: Searching for the Life We've Only Dreamed Of by John Eldredge

30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans by Karl Pillemer, Ph. D.

Small Victories by Annie LaMott

*The Alchemist by Paula Coehlo

Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen

 

Just for Child in us all

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco

More by I.C. Springman

Bear has a Story to Tell by Philip Stead

The Houey's in the New Sweater by Olivia Jeffers

Hello! Hello! Disconnect to Re-connect by Matthew Cordell

Stone Soup by Ann McGovern

On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

I'll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm

The Secret of Saying Thanks by Douglas Wood

Gifts of the Heart by Patricia Polacco

Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck

The Message of the Birds by Kate Westerland

The Blessing Cup by Patricia Polacco

Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

Where the Sunrise Begins by Douglas Wood

The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco

The Carpenter's Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree by David Rubel

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Psfister

The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper

Oh the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss

Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman

Once Upon a Company by Wendy Anderson Halperin

 

2016

January  - *Do Over by Jon Acuff

February – *A Curious Mind by Brian Glazer

March - Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office by Lois P Frankel, Ph.D.

April – The Future of Work: Attracte New Talent, Build Beter Leaders and Create a Competitive Organization by Jacob Morgan

May - Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazi

June -  Surprise: Embrace the Unpredictable and Engineer the Unexpected by Tania Luna and LeeAnn Renninger PhD

July - Fail Better: Design Smart Mistakes and Succeed Sooner by Anjali Sastry and Kara Penn

August - Rising Strong: The Reckoning, The Rumble. The Revolution. by Brene Brown

September - Love, Skip, Jump: Start Living the Adventure of Your Life by Shelene Bryant

October - Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy

November - The Desire Map: Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle LaPorte

There is NO BOOK in December.

2015

December - *Desire Map: Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle LaPorte

November - *Effective Apology: Mending Fences, Building Bridges and Restoring Trust by John Kador

October - *Overwhelmed:  How to Work, Love and Play When No One has the Time by Brigid Schulte

September - *Crazy is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags by Linda Rottenberg  -

Rottenberg has spent her career helping innovators think big. “If people aren’t calling you crazy, you aren’t thinking big enough,” she says. These days taking chances isn’t just for college dropouts in hoodies. Whether you work at a Fortune 500 company, a nonprofit, or a mom-and-pop, you need to think and act like a changemaker to claim your path to success.

How to do that is Rottenberg’s expertise. As the cofounder and CEO of Endeavor, the world’s leading organization devoted to identifying, mentoring, and investing in fast-growing businesses, she’s helped 

thousands of entrepreneurs take the risk out of risk-taking. Now Rottenberg draws on her unique experience to show how we can all take manageable steps to achieve our dreams. Crazy is a Compliment offers a blend of inspiring stories and practical tools for getting started, going big, and integrating work and family.

Written with wisdom, humor and passion, Crazy is a Compliment is a rallying cry for a new approach to business and a blueprint for personal change.

August - *Dream Year: How to Make the Leap from a Job You Hate to a Life You Love by Ben Arment  -  In this book, the author argues that we're all motivated by two fears: the fear of failure and the fear of insignificance.  He believes we must consciously choose to fear insignificance more.  Because only when we become terrified of wasting our potential and squandering our dreams - more terrified that we are of depleting our savings, say, or having to go without premium cable - will we dare to leave fulfilling jobs and live boldly.  Says Argent, "You were born to live a significant life."

July - *The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude by Jeffrey Gittomer

June - *BRAND YOU 50 by Tom Peters

May - *Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for you Through the Secrets of Personality Type by Paul Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger, *Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath and *How the World Sees You by Sally Hogshead.  

April – *Quiet: The Power of an Introvert in a World that Won't Stop Talking by Susan CainWith guest facilitator, Jerre Henriksen, Instructor/Faciitator, Lifelong Learning Institute, Waubonsee Community College 

March - *The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance – What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

February *Thrive: The Third Metric for for Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom and Wonder, by Arianna Huffington  -

In *Thrive, Arianna Huffington, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post and one of the most influential women in the world, has written a passionate call to arms, looking to redefine what it means to be successful in today’s world.

She likens our drive for money and power to two legs of a three-legged stool. It may hold us up temporarily, but sooner or later we’re going to topple over. We need a third leg – a Third Metric for defining success – in order to live a healthy, productive, and meaningful life.

In this deeply personal book, Arianna talks candidly about her own challenges with managing time and prioritising the demands of a career and two daughters. Drawing on the latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep and physiology that show the profound and transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging and giving, Arianna shows us the way to a revolution in our culture, our thinking, our workplaces, and our lives

 January - *Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life by Gregg Levoy.  With guest facilitator, Vickie Austin, Founder of Choices Worldwide

2014

December - Living a Life that Matters: Resolving the Conflict Between Conscious and Success by Harold S. Kushner

November - Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way we Live, Love and Parent by Bree Brown Ph.D., LMSW

October - *Outliers:  The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

September - *The Desire Map:  Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle LaPorte

August - *Give and Take: A Revolutionary Guide to Success by Adam Grant

July - *HA!  The Science of When We Laugh and Why by Scott Weems

June - *The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss

May - *Play:  How it shapes the brain, opens the imagination and Invigorates the soul by Stuart Brown, M.D.

April - *Remote:  Office Not Required by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried

March - *Top Brain, Bottom Brain: Surprising insights into how you think by Stephen M. Kosslyn

February - *David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

January - *To Sell is Human by Dan Pink

December 2013 - *The Gifts of Imperfection: Let go of who you think you're suppose to me and embrace who you are by Brene Brown