3 Books to Read this Month
Lisa is a mom of two future world-changers and wife to one tattooed accountant. As a Noonday Ambassador since 2014, Lisa loves that Noonday has become an outlet for her combined love of fashion and merchandising as well as nonprofit experience. Lisa is also a bibliophile who loves passing on her favorite books to others. Today on the blog, Lisa is sharing her top three books to read as summer winds done and fall begins!
My kids (8 and 5) are back to school, and with this transition comes the required reading lists and book reports. While the beach seems but a distant memory, the following summer reads were the perfect trio for me to squeeze in before the hustle and bustle of the school year started up. If, like me, you’re mourning the loss of longer sunny days and beach breezes, pour yourself a glass of iced tea or lemonade, grab one of these books and settle in. No book reports required!
A Book to Learn From
Ever since becoming an Ambassador with Noonday Collection, I have become increasingly more aware of social justice—not just oversees, but here at home. I thought I was pretty aware of the issues here in the US. But it wasn’t until Noonday Collection that I realized, with my fellow Ambassadors’ help, that I actually didn’t know much, especially about issues of race in our country. I made a conscious decision to start listening to the voices of people of color. I made it a priority to read and watch and listen to everything I could find on the subject—especially if it made me uncomfortable. Through Noonday Collection, I found my fellow Ambassador and sister Osheta Moore’s writings (www.shalominthecity.com). I also followed Latasha Morrison (www.beabridgebuilder.com) and joined her facebook group on racial reconciliation. And I started writing down books I needed to read on the subject.
First up, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. This book was recommended reading from various racial reconciliation groups. I really wanted to have a thoughtful conversation about this with my husband so I made him a deal. We would start a “book club” and I got to choose the first book. It might be because I vowed to read “The Hobbit”—his choice—for the next book, but he agreed. Zak told me, “It didn’t take long for me to fully embrace this book that details the incomprehensible racial injustice in this country. I was about halfway through the book and still questioning how this could actually be nonfiction! This book gave me all the more reason to open my eyes to what is going on in the country I live in.”
Are you looking to have further conversations about racism and inequality? Perhaps there is someone that can read a book and discuss with you. Bonus: you have an excuse to have a Starbucks date AND it takes the onus off of you to start the conversation. I’m really thankful my husband heard me and took the time to read something that he normally wouldn’t read because he knew it was important to me.
A Book for Fun
Ok. Disclaimer. I married said husband—a CPA—because I do not do numbers. Like at all. I had a hard time learning how to tell time back in the day (why do people say quarter after? Why can’t they just say 2:15?). The Martian by Andy Weir was arguably one of the year’s biggest hits, in part because of the film adaptation starring Matt Damon, but holy moly are there are A LOT of numbers. This is actually awesome because—while it is a fiction book to be read for fun—you actually feel SUPER smart reading it.
The Martian is a fascinating read about astronaut and botanist Mark Watney, who has been stranded on Mars after his crew was forced to evacuate the planet due to storms, and, thinking he was dead, got the heck out of there. Mark survives by using his insane botany and astrology knowledge combined with cuss words, sarcasm and grit. This book—though fictional—is an inspiring tale of survival against the biggest odds, challenging oneself and pushing past limits. Something we can all relate to at one point or another, no? Bonus: you get to have an excuse to pop some popcorn and watch the film on Netflix, then feel superior by telling your co-viewers that you actually read the book and there were a lot more numbers, equations and scientific formulas than Matt Damon would have you believe.
A Book to Help Us Be
Shauna Niequist’s highlight anticipated work Present over Perfect came onto the scene right when I needed it. As fall starts to ramp up, her book begins with this passage from The Message: “God hasn’t invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful—as beautiful on the inside as the outside.” Can I get an amen?!
This message actually fits so well with my Noonday journey. Back in January last year, I was honored to speak at Shine, our Ambassador conference, where I shared some pretty vulnerable truths about myself and insecurities. But I also shared that I found Noonday Trunk Shows to be a place where I could really be intentional. Present. I wanted everyone that was there to know and feel that they mattered. It is as simple as looking—really looking—into another person’s eyes. To acknowledge them. To be generous with our smiles and compliments. For me, life is people. To be present is to slooooooooooooow down and meet them where they are in that moment.
In June I stood with 20 other Ambassadors on a garden terrace in Peru. Jessica Honegger, Noonday’s Founder, spoke about the Artisan visits ahead of us. She told us to be: Conscious, Connected and Curious. I’m seriously contemplating adding to my tattoos with some new ink representing this message (sorry, mom!) I need to see it daily. We need the reminder.
And sometimes, we also may need the permission. Shauna’s book lets us know it’s okay to choose present over perfect. A few lucky Ambassadors were invited to a leadership summit in Chicago in August and were surprised with an intimate gathering with Shauna. My fellow Ambassador Jennifer Jensen said, “I was reminded that I need to give myself grace to leave some things behind and focus on what’s important.” Can’t think of a better message to read and really take to heart! Bonus: Life will become sweeter and the present will become the present. A gift. See what I did there?
Meet Lisa Thomson
Lisa is a mom of two future world-changers and wife to one tattooed accountant. Back in college she began as a fashion merchandising major, switched to journalism and might have had a music major at one point. When writing for a fashion magazine didn't pan out, Lisa found herself in marketing for nonprofits. As a Noonday Ambassador since 2014, Lisa loves that Noonday has become an outlet for her combined love of fashion and merchandising as well as nonprofit experience. She hasn't started singing at Trunk Shows YET, but the music major could still come in handy!