New Releases

July 9, 2024

July 09, 2024


Discovering your next great read just got easier with our weekly selection of four new releases.

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:

Jasmine’s pick: A Black Woman's Guide to Getting Free by Tamara Winfrey Harris, Berrett-Koehler Publishers

Tamara Winfrey Harris harnesses her knowledge as a two-time author and storyteller of the Black femme experience and nationally known expert on the intersections of race and gender to deliver a sharp feminist analysis that is illustrated by real-life stories and examples plucked from popular culture and intimate Black woman-to-Black woman truth-telling.

This book is separated into two parts. First, the meaning of liberation is explored and Black women will be guided in creating sustaining practice to mature their well-being along the freedom journey.

In part two, readers are introduced to the 6 pillars of living free as a Black woman:  

  • Spot the distortions
  • Know your truth
  • Celebrate the real you
  • Understand the cost of liberation
  • Practice freedom
  • SEE free Black women everywhere 

With the bold, astute writing that you have come to expect from Winfrey-Harris, A Black Woman’s Guide to Getting Free urges Black women everywhere to choose themselves, and choose freedom, in a world that would have you chained.


Dylan’s pick: Devil's Contract: The History of the Faustian Bargain by Ed Simon, Melville House 

From ancient times to the modern world, the idea of the Faustian bargain—the exchange of one's soul in return for untold riches and power—has exerted a magnetic pull upon our collective imaginations.

Scholar Ed Simon takes us on a historical tour of the Faustian bargain, from the Bible to blues, and illustrates how the impulse fto sacrifice our principles in exchange for power is present in all kinds of social ills, from colonialism to nuclear warfare, from social media to climate change to AI, and beyond. In doing so, Simon conveys just how much the Faustian bargain shows us about power and evil ... and ourselves.


Gabbi’s pick: Pattern Breakers: Why Some Start-Ups Change the Future by Mike Maples Jr. and Peter Ziebelman, PublicAffairs

The breakthrough concepts of Pattern Breakers come from the observations of Mike Maples Jr., a seasoned venture capitalist, who noticed something strange. Start-ups like Twitter, Twitch, and Lyft had achieved extraordinary success despite their disregard for “best practices.” In contrast, other startups deemed highly promising often failed, even when they seemed to do everything right.

Seeking answers, Maples and coauthor Peter Ziebelman set out to discover the hidden forces that drive extraordinary start-up success. Pattern-breaking success, they reveal, demands a different mindset and actions to harness developments others miss or that may, at first, seem crazy.

Pattern Breakers is filled with firsthand storytelling about initial interactions with some of the most transformative start-ups of recent times. Maples and Ziebelman vividly illustrate an unexpected world where chaos is welcome, naysayers are a positive signal, movements galvanize believers—but one that ultimately change the future. They challenge us to rethink how to transcend the ordinary and achieve the extraordinary.


Sally’s pick: Writing on Empty: A Guide to Finding Your Voice by Natalie Goldberg, St. Martin’s Essentials

Bestselling author and teacher Natalie Goldberg has been writing for the past fifty years. But at the beginning of the pandemic, she suddenly wasn’t able to write anymore. Her imaginative wellspring had dried up, and she was forced to ask herself: what do I do when what has always worked for me doesn’t work anymore?

In this beautifully written, inspiring personal account, Natalie shares her harrowing journey out of creative paralysis and back onto the page. When all of her tried and true methods – meditation, sitting still, writing practice – stopped working, she had to take drastic action. She got into her car and left New Mexico in search of a new inventive source. In her journey through the western states, she visited famous literary sites, searching for the spark that would reignite her ability to write.

And, next to Hemingway’s grave, she found it. “Get going,” he seemed to say to her, and she did. Now, Natalie shares her story of traveling through literary and personal memory to clarify her way forward, struggling to make sense of her difficult relationships with parents and teachers, and digging into her long-held grief. Ultimately, she discovers how to write through the emptiness in order to fill up the world with compassion, healing, and renewed liveliness.

For anyone struggling to reconnect with their own creative source, Writing on Empty is a gentle and instructive guidebook back to remembering what truly matters.


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