New Releases

March 12, 2024

March 12, 2024


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: Cultures of Growth: How the New Science of Mindset Can Transform Individuals, Teams, and Organizations by Mary C. Murphy, Simon & Schuster 

Carol Dweck’s multi-million-copy bestseller Mindset transformed our view of individual potential, coining the terms “fixed” and “growth” mindset: in a “fixed” mindset, talent and intelligence are viewed as predetermined traits, while in a “growth” mindset, talent and intelligence can be nurtured.

In Cultures of Growth, Dweck’s protégé, Mary Murphy, a social psychologist at both Stanford and Indiana University, shows that mindset transcends individuals. A growth mindset culture can transform any group, team, or classroom to reach breakthroughs while also helping each person achieve their potential.

Murphy’s original decade-long research reveals that organizations and teams more geared toward growth inspire deeper learning, spark collaboration, spur innovation, and build trust necessary for risk-taking and inclusion. They are also less likely to cheat, cut corners, or steal each other’s ideas. And they’re more likely to achieve top results. In these cultures, great ideas come from people from all backgrounds and at all levels—not just those anointed as brilliant or talented. 

Discover how a culture of growth helped make outdoor retailer Patagonia a leader in its field; how Satya Nadella transformed Microsoft; how winemakers Robin McBride and Andréa McBride John are leading with a mindset to disrupt and diversify the entire wine industry; and how a New York school superintendent reversed massive inequities for children of color by reshaping the district’s mindset culture. Drawing on compelling examples from her work with Fortune 500 companies, startups, and schools, Murphy demonstrates that an organization’s mindset culture is the key to success for individuals, teams, and the entire organization, teaching you how to create and sustain a culture of growth no matter your role.

Create environments where people want to be, where everyone can thrive and achieve their potential, both individually and together. In a world where success seems reserved for a chosen few, Cultures of Growth unveils a radically different approach to creating organizations that inspire learning, growth, and success at all levels.


Gabbi’s pick: How to Be Old: Lessons in Living Boldly from the Accidental Icon by Lyn Slater, Plume 

When Lyn Slater started her fashion blog Accidental Icon at age 61, she discovered that followers were flocking to her account for more than just her A-list style. As Lyn flaunted grey hair, wrinkles, and a mega dose of self-acceptance, they found in her an alternative model of older life: someone who defied the stereotypes, refused to become invisible, and showed that all women have the opportunity to be relevant and do something new at any stage of their life.

Covering topics such as attitude, acceptance, natural aging, where to live, fashion, relationships, work, and social life, How To Be Old goes beyond personal acceptance of aging or posting a photo on Instagram. It’s about rewriting the narrative completely. The way the media portrays it, there are two ways to be old. The first suggests you’ll be frail, lonely, invisible and depressed. The second way, expensive and inaccessible, is if you eat the right food, invest in the right products or treatments, and take a plethora of nutritional supplements you can keep aging at bay. How To Be Old takes a different approach, one that shows readers that while you can't control everything, what you can control is the way you think about old age, the way you prepare in your youth for a long life ahead, and the creative ways you respond to the changes in your mind and body as they happen.

In this paradigm-shifting memoir, Lyn offers the possibility that, even with its unique challenges, being old is just like any other new beginning in your life. She encourages us to think of aging as a set of creative challenges and exemplifies that when done successfully, getting older can be the best and most fun of any of life’s phases.


Jasmine’s pick: The Neurodiversity Edge: The Essential Guide to Embracing Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Neurological Differences for Any Organization by Maureen Dunne, Wiley 

Did you know that an estimated 1 in 5 people are “neurodivergent”—have a mind that works differently, such as the autistic, ADHDers, the dyslexic, synesthetes, and other unique neurotypes—and that the vast majority are motivated, capable, and unemployed?

This indispensable guide is based on more than two decades of immersive cognitive science research, case studies, stories from neurodivergent voices, in-the-trenches work with hundreds of organizations from start-ups to global Fortune 500 titans, and Dr. Dunne's own lived experiences as a neurodivergent employer, entrepreneur, board member, and CEO. Too many unique minds and perspectives on the sidelines, and too many organizations beset by groupthink, innovation-stagnation, and a lack of access to qualified new candidates. 

The Neurodiversity Edge takes you all the way from why to what and to how, delivering practical insights that build on a new foundational framework: 

  • Cultivate a values-driven approach to building a culture of sustained authentic inclusion where everyone can thrive, 
  • How to improve the interview process to avoid missing game-changing talent 
  • Develop a hybrid office protocol that works for everyone and a support infrastructure that aligns with universal design principles 
  • Discover why Google's Project Aristotle found that innovation and performance hinge on psychological safety 
  • Uncover and eliminate the destructive influence of unconscious cognitive biases 
  • Take a graphic tour into the wonders of the human mind 
  • Understand unique problem-solving abilities such as lateral thinking, visual-spatial thinking, multisensory thinking, leaps of creative insight, hyperfocus, and many more 
  • How to articulate and implement organizational goals and measure progress toward them 

The Neurodiversity Edge is an essential guide for executives, board directors, human resources professionals, managers, recruiters, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, allies, educators, nonprofit leaders, and anyone with an interest in better understanding neurodiversity, authentic neuroinclusion, and the human mind.


Dylan’s pick: Twelve Trees: The Deep Roots of Our Future by Daniel Lewis, Avid Reader Press 

The world today is undergoing the most rapid environmental transformation in human history—from climate change to deforestation. Scientists, ethnobotanists, indigenous peoples, and collectives of all kinds are closely studying trees and their biology to understand how and why trees function individually and collectively in the ways they do. In Twelve Trees, Daniel Lewis, curator and historian at one of the world’s most renowned research libraries, travels the world to learn about these trees in their habitats.

Lewis takes us on a sweeping journey to plant breeding labs, botanical gardens, research facilities, deep inside museum collections, to the tops of tall trees, underwater, and around the Earth, journeying into the deserts of the American west and the deep jungles of Peru, to offer a globe-spanning perspective on the crucial impact trees have on our entire planet. When a once-common tree goes extinct in the wild but survives in a botanical garden, what happens next? How can scientists reconstruct lost genomes and habitats? How does a tree store thousands of gallons of water, or offer up perfectly preserved insects from millions of years ago, or root itself in muddy swamps and remain standing? How does a 5,000-year-old tree manage to live, and what can we learn from it? And how can science account for the survival of one species at the expense of others?

To study the science of trees is to study not just the present, but the story of the world, its past, and its future. 


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