New Releases

May 7, 2024

May 07, 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:

Sally’s pick: Attachments: Essays on Fatherhood and Other Performances by Lucas Mann, University of Iowa Press 

Lucas Mann turns his attention, tenderness, self-reflection, and humor to contemporary fatherhood. He looks closely at all the joys, frustrations, subtleties, and contradictions within an experience that often goes under-discussed. At once intimate and expansive, Mann chronicles his own life with his young daughter, but also looks outward to the cultural and political baggage that surrounds and permeates these everyday experiences.

Moving through memoir, lyric essay, literary analysis, and pop culture criticism, Attachments treats the subject of fatherhood with the depth, curiosity, and vivid emotion that it deserves.


Gabbi’s pick: Fighting for Our Friendships: The Science and Art of Conflict and Connection in Women's Relationships by Danielle Bayard Jackson, Hachette Go

Why are women's friendships so deep yet so fragile? Friendship coach and educator Danielle Bayard Jackson unpacks the latest research about women's cooperation and communication, while sharing practical strategies to preserve and strengthen these relationships.

Fighting for Our Friendships is one part textbook, one part handbook. Readers will not only learn what the latest research has to say about the mechanics of women's friendships, but they'll walk away with real-life solutions for the most common conflicts that arise in their platonic relationships.

Using a combination of psychology, science, narrative, and a few of the author's signature scripts and out-of-the-box exercises, readers will learn: 

  • The three "affinities" that bring women together (and tear them apart) 
  • Scripts to navigate nine of the most challenging "friend types" (and how to know which one you are) 
  • The covert strategies women use to hurt each other (and how to avoid them) 
  • How to have a hard conversation with a friend (without losing the friendship) 
  • Surprising ways that women's people-pleasing delays platonic intimacy (and how to stop it) 
  • How to know if a friendship is worth saving (and what to do to recover) 
  • How to make (and deepen!)  connections with other women 

In a time when we are often encouraged to opt out of friendships at any sign of friction, Danielle Bayard Jackson is showing us how to opt in.


Dylan’s pick: Magic Pill: The Extraordinary Benefits and Disturbing Risks of the New Weight-Loss Drugs by Johann Hari, Crown

In January 2023, Johann Hari started to inject himself once a week with Ozempic, one of the new drugs that produces significant weight loss. He wasn’t alone—some predictions suggest that in a few years, a quarter of the U.S. population will be taking these drugs. While around 80 percent of diets fail, someone taking one of the new drugs will lose up to a quarter of their body weight in six months. To the drugs’ defenders, here is a moment of liberation from a condition that massively increases your chances of diabetes, cancer, and an early death.

Still, Hari was wildly conflicted. Can these drugs really be as good as they sound? Are they a magic solution—or a magic trick? Finding the answer to this high-stakes question led him on a journey from Iceland to Minneapolis to Tokyo, and to interview the leading experts in the world on these questions. He found that along with the drug’s massive benefits come twelve significant potential risks.

He also found that these drugs radically challenge what we think we know about shame, willpower, and healing. What do they reveal about the nature of obesity itself? What psychological issues begin to emerge when our eating patterns are suddenly disrupted? Are the drugs a liberation or a further symptom of our deeply dysfunctional relationship with food?

These drugs are about to change our world, for better and for worse. Everybody needs to understand how they work—scientifically, emotionally, and culturally. Magic Pill is an essential guide to the revolution that has already begun, and which one leading expert argues will be as transformative as the invention of the smartphone.


Jasmine’s pick: The Work Is the Work: Letters to a Future Activist by Brian C. Johnson, Broadleaf Books

There are many ways to make a difference in our communities, many causes to organize and volunteer for. But where do we start? And how do we avoid burning out? Whether you're just beginning the work of social justice, or you've been doing it for years but need a reminder of why we're in this fight and how to keep going, this book is for you.

Drawing from his nearly twenty-five years of social justice work and LGBTQ+ advocacy, Brian Johnson offers us this set of urgent, essential, justice-seeking letters to his daughter in The Work Is the Work. Johnson explores what compels us to serve and how to respond to the many needs around us, offering insights from well-known figures in justice work such as Claudia Rankine, Greg Boyle, Gandhi, and more. What is personal is also universal—containing the essentials of justice work and advocacy, and revealing why we keep going. For all who care about environmental justice, LGBTQ+ advocacy, anti-racism efforts, and community support, The Work Is the Work celebrates the struggles and victories of advocacy work and shares the spirit of justice for our children, the next generation of changemakers.

Written for the millions who work for justice, march in the streets, volunteer in service positions for the public sector, and want to inspire the next generation of changemakers, this book reminds us of the essentials and inspires us to keep fighting the good fight. 


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