With Thanksgiving upon us, we are reminded once again how much we have to be thankful for this year. So far in 2012, we have celebrated two bestselling titles, the addition of Margaret and Megan to our team, as well as a move into a great new office alongside Shelton Interactive. Two things make a banner year like this one possible: first, our truly amazing clients, and second great books.
Following tradition, we have compiled a list of the books we are most thankful for this year.
Barbara – The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides
Eugenidies is a master of voice whose latest work about the intertwined lives of three students at Brown University was the most transporting book I’ve read this year. I found myself lost in what, in lesser hands, would have been a well-worn coming of age tale. Instead, I found myself lost in the characters’ interactions and inner lives. It is almost as though Mr. Eugenides is able to take a plot, tilt it slightly to one side, and strip back the layers to reveal an entirely compelling and fresh look at the lives of his well-drawn characters. I was pinned to the pages from beginning to end and was so sad to see it end. A fan since he published his first novel, The Virgin Suicides, in 1993, I only wish he wrote more books for me to devour.
Jessica – Quiet, by Susan Cain
Cain’s premise – how dramatically American culture undervalues introverts, and how much we lose in doing so – altered my mindset so strongly that I now see her ideas in action nearly every day. It also helped me reframe my own work in a very personal way. Quiet encouraged me not only to embrace my introverted personality (it’s true, introverted publicists exist!), but to reflect on how my quiet and thoughtful tendencies actually contribute to my unique strengths on the job. It’s a fascinating and extremely well-executed work of non-fiction, and personally empowering to boot.
Kaila – Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young
In a time when technology commands our attention at seemingly all times – between email and text messages chirping persistently on our iPhones, constant Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn notifications, and a 24-hour news cycle to keep us updated real-time on happenings around the world – making time for quiet reflection can be a challenge. In Jesus Calling, Young challenges readers to do just that, offering a daily devotional dedicated to focusing our minds on God’s Word and finding peace in His presence.
Kim – The Knot Book of Wedding Lists, by Carley Roney
Admittedly, I spent much of the last year diving into a lot of wedding and marital books, but the book that I was most thankful for throughout my wedding planning – and fretting – was The Knot Book of Wedding Lists. Although the book doesn’t offer groundbreaking advice, it does provide a timeline that breaks down all the overwhelming wedding tasks into a far less daunting to-do list (something I think many of my fellow publicists can appreciate)!
Lew – Married for Life, by Bill Morelan
This little book of daily readings offers insights and personal stories from couples who have been married for more than 50 years. My husband and I read it together each night and even read it over the phone to each other when one of us is traveling. It’s a great book of encouraging stories of people who have made it through all kinds of adventures in life’s journey to celebrate 50+ years together.
Margaret – Fodor’s San Antonio, Austin & Hill Country, by Fodor’s
Before officially moving down to Austin last April, I had been to the state of Texas a grand total of one time. And being a lifelong Yankee, I truly did feel like the move was a big adventure into the unknown.
This Fodor’s guide has been my constant companion since, and has inspired some really fun trips. Day trip to Gruene to see the famous dance hall? Check. A hike up Enchanted Rock in Fredericksburg? Check. A ghost tour along San Antonio’s River Walk? Check. So this year, I’m thankful for this small orange book that has taken me deep into the heart of Texas.
Megan – Estampas de la Raza: Contemporary Mexican American Prints from the Romo Collection by Lyle W. Williams
This exhibition catalogue celebrates an influential yet rarely discussed art scene – Chicano printmaking. Held at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, the exhibition features prints from my dear friends at Coronado Studio + the Serie Project (who themselves are celebrating a 20-year anniversary). Studying the pages, you’re sure to see that the collection of prints, captured through such cultural icons as Frida Kahlo, Tejano music, and tattoos, is truly groundbreaking. I so appreciate the beautiful forms, passionate nature, and dedicated community involved in Latino printmaking.
Rusty – One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp
I am thankful for Ann’s masterpiece, One Thousand Gifts, which has impacted hundreds of thousands of lives since it released in early 2011. The book focuses on the power of gratitude, and I can tell you from working closely with Ann for some time, she is a true embodiment of the message. If you are looking for a book that will change the way you look at life, look no further.