The best books on cultivating connections

The Books I Picked & Why

The Overstory

By Richard Powers

The Overstory

Why this book?

Overstory weaves together stories of people related to trees. Or maybe the opposite, trees related to people. Obviously not a catchy and engaging intro to one of my all-time favorite books. Yet this book envelops the reader in trees, their environments, how they grow, the cycle of life produced by trees. Most importantly Overstory details the connection trees have to all life on this Earth. You will never walk by a fallen branch, regard an emerging root, take a breath outside, pick up a leaf, or view a landscape in the same way again.


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Both Sides Now: A True Story of Love, Loss and Bold Living

By Nancy Sharp

Both Sides Now: A True Story of Love, Loss and Bold Living

Why this book?

This is a memoir based on the author’s life. She learns of her husband’s returned brain tumor the night she delivers their twins. So beautifully written despite the pain that endures. It is a book that inspires our connection not only to the past but to taking steps forward to create future connections with people, with community and with work. The author manages to hold the reader in the palm of her hand as she takes us from the world she leaves behind to the courage and resilience she unleashes to build connection to a new and promising life.


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Anxious People

By Fredrik Backman

Anxious People

Why this book?

If we could put all of congress in the same room for a day just as the author of Anxious People does with his characters we could imagine the great USA divide being conquered. Thanks to the forced intimacy the characters find themselves in the reader learns lush details of each character’s personality, life, and soul. Yet thanks to the forced intimacy we witness complete strangers respectfully and lovingly connecting to one another in a way that is unexpected, yet so satisfying.


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From Sole to Soul: A Daily Prescription For Moving Forward In Your Life

By Audrey Boxwell

From Sole to Soul: A Daily Prescription For Moving Forward In Your Life

Why this book?

This book inspires the reader to connect their mind with movement. The author has filled the days of the year with practice prompts, ideas to help boost self-awareness and push past adversity, and wisdom from artists and scholars as well. Sole to Soul motivated me to connect with nature, my own stillness, and with others. A great daily devotional. And a great gift especially during these tough times.


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The Island of Sea Women

By Lisa See

The Island of Sea Women

Why this book?

Island of the Sea Women is a work of historical fiction that takes place on the island of Jeju in South Korea. Although the focus is on the women divers who harvest the ocean floor for seafood (by hand and with no breathing equipment!!) it is also about connection. First and foremost the idea of connecting one’s heart to forgiveness. This is a theme throughout the book. But also the women’s positive connections to their fellow divers and teachers, their families especially their husbands, nature, and their spirit world burn bright with hope. But their connection to constant loss and pain, a brutal husband, and the invaders from both Japan and the USA combines to make this book unforgettable.


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