New Releases

November 28, 2023

November 28, 2023


Finding the right book at the right time can transform your life or your organization. We help you discover your next great read by showcasing four recently released titles each week.

The books are chosen by Porchlight's Managing Director, Sally Haldorson, and the marketing team: Dylan Schleicher, Gabbi Cisneros, and Jasmine Gonzalez. (Book descriptions are provided by the publisher unless otherwise noted.)

This week, our choices are:


Sally’s pick: Activating the Common Good: Reclaiming Control of Our Collective Well-Being by Peter Block, Berrett-Koehler Publishers 

This book counters the dominant and destructive story that we are polarized, violent, selfish, and destined to consume everything in sight. That is not who we are.

The challenge, Peter Block says, is that we are suffering under an economic theology that is based on scarcity, self-interest, competition, and infinite growth. We’re told we can purchase and outsource all that matters. Block calls this the “business perspective narrative.” It dominates not only the economy but also architecture, faith communities, journalism, arts, neighborhoods, and much more.

Block offers an antidote: the “common good narrative.” It embodies the belief that we are basically communal and cooperative. And that we have the capacity to communally produce what we care most about: raising a child, safety, livelihood, health, and a clean and sustainable environment.

This book describes how shifts to the common good perspective could transform many areas, fostering journalism that reports on what works, architecture that designs habitable spaces creating connection, faith collectives that build community, a market that is restrained and local, and leadership and activism that build social capital by creating trust among citizens. With these shifts, we would fundamentally change the world we live in for the better.


Gabbi’s pick: Different Kinds of Minds: A Guide to Your Brain by Temple Grandin, Ph.D, Philomel Books 

Do you like puzzles, coding, and taking things apart? Do you write stories, act in plays, slay at Wordle? The things you are good at are clues to how your brain works. Are you good at math? Working with your hands? Are you a neat freak or a big mess?

With her knack for making science easy to understand, Temple Grandin explains different types of thinkers: verbal thinkers who are good with language, and visual thinkers who think in pictures and patterns. You will discover all kinds of minds and how we need to work together to create solutions to help solve real-world problems.


Dylan’s pick: Experiments in Reflection: How to See the Present, Reconsider the Past, and Shape the Future by Stanford, Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, illustrated by Gabriela Sánchez, Ten Speed Press 

While we often think of reflection as a way to consider what is or was, it can also be a powerful tool for imagining and shaping what could be. Through activities based on the science, art, and practice of reflection, this book guides you through simple experiments that teach you how to make meaning from your experiences and, as a result, support your goals and values.

Stanford professor Leticia Britos Cavagnaro sets up each experiment with a stated hypothesis, a simple method, and direction for gauging your results. With each experiment, you’ll build concrete skills and learn how to shift your mindsets as you strengthen your ability to reflect with purpose.

With thought-provoking collage-style illustrations from artist Gabriela Sánchez, Experiments in Reflection helps you tune into your environment, train your intuition, and shape the future you want.


Jasmine’s pick: The Power of Conscious Connection: 4 Habits to Transform How You Live and Lead by Talia Fox, Ideapress Publishing

It’s more than just a book; it’s a movement that encourages the reader to be more present, more engaged, and more attuned to the intricacies of our interconnected world. Fox crafts a passionate plea for us to reimagine our roles, not just as leaders, but as global citizens, capable of inspiring and influencing change through conscious connection.

Harnessing the power of her signature model, the LOVE (Listen, Observe, Value, Engage) system, she illuminates the profound impact of these four habits. Each page of this book will stir you to the core, awaken your senses, and challenge you to commit to a new way of living and leading. It’s about feeling more alive, more connected, more fulfilled. It’s about inspiring you to play your part in co-creating a world that truly matters—a world that we all would love to live in.

The Power of Conscious Connection is more than a leadership guide—it’s a blueprint for a more conscious, compassionate, and connected world. This book is a call to action. It’s a call to connect . . . consciously. Join the movement, change the narrative, and let’s create a world that values conscious connection.



"Vegan Africa: Plant-Based Recipes from Ethiopia to Senegal by Marie Kacouchia. She re-examines African cuisine and presents interesting ways to incorporate plant-based foods into your life.  The introduction brings up the necessities of what ingredients you should have and why, while bringing a personal narrative that guides the cook in all of us to explore with food."

—Roy Normington, Senior Customer Service Specialist

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