Good Reads: Books That Guide Personal Growth
Spend any time at all with Jennifer Malcolm, founder of Jennasis Speaks, and you’ll likely learn that she turns to a good book or two whenever her busy schedule allows.
For Jennifer, reading is a way to refresh, reflect and re-imagine. She makes a goal of reading at least two books each month, combining books with leadership topics and development with nonfiction.
In her ground-breaking weekly podcast, Jennasis Speaks, Jennifer often shares her current reading list and asks guests to share theirs too. Some guests recommend books that have helped them in some way; others suggest books they’ve written. Sharing books that source insight and inspiration is another way Jennasis Speaks helps women connect.
Be Bookish with Jennasis Speaks
It’s a rare podcast when Jennifer doesn’t reference one of the many books she read during her personal journey. Below are just a few:
- Untamed – Glennon Doyle, often called the patron saint of women’s empowerment, offers a memoir that eloquently describes the burden of expectations that many women carry and ways that women can shed that burden.
- The Gifts of Imperfection – Ten years ago, Brené Brown wrote “The Gifts of Imperfection,” launching a grassroots movement of women saying, “My story matters because I matter.” Brown’s classic offers guideposts to what she terms “wholehearted living” – authentic lives free of unattainable expectations.
- You’re A Bad Ass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life – Author Jen Sincero wants us to use The Force to kick some serious ass. “You’re A Bad Ass” provides readers with straightforward ways to identify and eliminate self-sabotaging beliefs and actions.
Want to learn more about Jennifer and Jennasis Speaks? Below are links to recent episodes.
- Unapologetic Warrior
- My Journey of Healing & Self-Recovery
- A Heart of Gratitude
- Activation of Love
- New Beginnings and the Why
Guest Sarah Bratt
Jennasis Speaks guest Sarah Bratt joined Jennifer for the podcast episode Our Blessed Hot Mess Adoption. This episode was a heartwarming conversation about interracial adoption. Her must-read recommendations include:
- Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption—A testament to flaws in our justice system, “Just Mercy” is the true story of an idealistic defense lawyer who fought for a man wrongly accused of murder.
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People To Talk About Racism—Robin DiAngelo is an antiracist educator whose best-seller, “White Fragility” deftly explores the defensive moves white people make when challenged by racial inequity and how that dynamic prevents racial equilibrium.
- I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness—Memoirist Austin Channing Brown bears witness to the impact of white Evangelist Christianity on the widening racial divide.
- Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking and the New Gospel of Adoption—According to Kathryn Joyce’s searing analysis, children from Third World countries are taken from their birth families as part of an ongoing campaign to support the goals of evangelical Christian leaders. Joyce encourages anyone who wants to adopt a child from a poor country to look more closely at the adoption process.
Guest Betsy Muller
Betsy Muller uses Emotional Freedom Techniques to help others understand how fear and discomfort keep them from achieving peace and happiness. In 2017, when her husband became critically ill, Betsy turned to her EFT training to cope with the myriad of challenges she faced. Betsy shared her story and her insight into EFT with Jennifer in this podcast episode.
Intrigued by EFT? Interested in learning more about Betsy’s story? Check out the links below:
- The Comeback: An Energy Makeover Love Story—Betsy Muller goes deep into one of the worst days of her life, when her husband collapsed while jogging. Her book provides suggestions designed to help readers survive their own worst days and go on to thrive.
- Energy Makeover: A Conscious Way to Stay Young, Have Fun and Get More Done!—In this book, Betsy shares her Energy Makeover along with tips and tools to help transform readers’ energetic frequency and boost their overall well-being.
- Winning at Waist Management—Betsy applied EFT to create a self-care book dedicated to anyone fighting the battle of the bulge and seeking healthier habits.
Guest Tricia Downing
Tricia Downing’s Olympic dreams were shattered when she was seriously injured in an accident that left her paralyzed from the chest down. Undeterred, this elite athlete went on to become a Paralympic athlete who proudly represented the United States in several Paralympic events, including triathlons.
Tricia shared her story in the podcast episode Shifting Gears. Learn more about her journey from tragedy to triumph in her memoir, listed below, and enjoy her first novel:
- Cycle of Hope: A Journey from Paralysis to Possibility—Tricia Downing chronicles her personal journey of shifting gears after becoming paralyzed in an accident.
- Chance for Rain, A Novel—Tricia Downing’s first novel is the story of an elite athlete who fearlessly takes on every challenge except one—finding the strength to be open to love.
Guest Tesha Friztgerald
Educator Tesha Fritzgerald is a passionate advocate for Black and brown students who, too often, get lost or left behind in our educational systems.
Fitzgerald believes teachers can do more to help these children. To that end, she has written a teaching guide that is a roadmap to more inclusive education. She recently joined Jennifer for the podcast episode Educating the Next Generation to discuss her innovative approach to teaching. Learn more by reading her book:
Guest Laura Geideman
In the podcast episode Amish to Acceptance, Laura Geideman joined Jennifer to share her story of a journey of faith that began when she left her Amish family and community. Geideman found her way by tapping into various resources including the podcast and books below:
- Dr. Henry Cloud—Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life. “Boundaries” focuses on ways to regain control of our lives by setting healthy, biblical boundaries.
- A Time to Advance: Understanding the Significance of the Hebrew Tribes and Months – Chuck D. Pierce outlines how understanding the Hebraic calendar can help Christians attain redemption.
Guest Teri Griege
Teri Griege is a cancer survivor. More than that, she is a thriver and striver. Cancer couldn’t stop her from reaching her athletic goals, and it inspired her to raise funds to support cancer research and to award medals to those coping with cancer and cancer caregivers. In the podcast episode Powered by Hope, Teri and Jennifer discuss how hope can help us power through life’s hardships.
- Powered by Hope: The Teri Griege Story—Teri Grieg’s first-person account of her cancer experience and her determination to bring hope to others coping with cancer.
Books Bring Us Together
Books can bring us together. Books can drive change by opening our eyes to new ways of thinking and offering roadmaps to help us on our way to a new and different way of living.
Sharing books is just one of the ways the Jennasis Speaks community helps women connect and draw strength from each other.
We hope these suggestions provide insight and spark enthusiasm for change.
To learn more about Jennasis Speaks, visit our website and tune in to our weekly podcast where women share their empowering stories.
Jennasis Speaks is a platform that empowers women to safely share their stories, promoting healing and growth through the power of collective vulnerability and acceptance. Believing that “every woman has a story…and every story matters,” founder Jennifer Malcolm hosts a new guest each week to tell her story on the Jennasis Speaks podcast and invites listeners to connect and find their own paths to passion and purpose.
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