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2023 Reading List » Danielle Clardy
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2023 Reading List

Welcome to the 2023 reading list! Instead of doing a separate blog post for each month’s reading list, I am going to update this blog post every month with the new month’s book updates. I want to know what y’all are reading and what I can put into my library. I am constantly reading right now and reading a ton of different topics and genres. So, what books should I check out?

2023 Reading List

~THE STORIES WE TELL BY: JOANNA GAINES | Joanna Gaines invites us on an authentic and deeply vulnerable journey into her story—and helps shine a light on the beauty of our own—guiding us to release the weights that hold us back so we may live and share our story in truth. We’ve all dropped anchor in places that suited us for a time: a city, a perspective, a lie we mistook as truth. This book is an invitation to a kind of life where you know how to hold what you believe—about yourself and the quiet worlds behind the people you pass—with gracious and open hands. To see your story as greater than any past or future thing, but for all the beauty and joy and hope it holds today. It’s an invitation to take stock of the chapters you’ve lived—the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly—glean what’s gold, and carry only that forward. Let it slow your feet and steady your life-in-motion so you can see where you stand today from a new point of view. No longer through weary or uncertain eyes, but a lens brimming with hope.

~BECAUSE OF BETHLEHEM BY: MAX LUCADO | For some, Christmas is a time of excitement, celebration, and quality time with loved ones. For others, it’s full of loneliness, grief, and loss. Join New York Times bestselling author Max Lucado as he unwraps the enduring promises of Christmas and discovers a lifetime of hope, all because of one baby born in Bethlehem. It’s easy to lose sight of the remarkable story of Christmas. We forget that a king ordered a census, Joseph was forced to travel, Mary bounced on a donkey’s back, the hotel was full, the hour was late, and the event was one big hassle. Yet, out of that hassle, hope was born. In Because of Bethlehem, Max invites us to look at the Christmas story from a different perspective. He reminds us that Christmas is about more than a pretty tree with presents piled up underneath it. Christmas begins what Easter celebrates: the child in the cradle who goes on to become the King on the cross. Because of Bethlehem, we have a place on earth and a Savior in heaven.

~THE SPORTS GENE BY: DAVID EPSTEIN | The debate is as old as physical competition. Are stars like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Serena Williams genetic freaks put on Earth to dominate their respective sports? Or are they simply normal people who overcame their biological limits through sheer force of will and obsessive training? In this controversial and engaging exploration of athletic success and the so-called 10,000-hour rule, David Epstein tackles the great nature vs. nurture debate and traces how far science has come in solving it. Through on-the-ground reporting from below the equator and above the Arctic Circle, revealing conversations with leading scientists and Olympic champions, and interviews with athletes who have rare genetic mutations or physical traits, Epstein forces us to rethink the very nature of athleticism.

~FINDING ULTRA BY: RICH ROLL | On the night before he was to turn forty, Rich Roll experienced a chilling glimpse of his future. Nearly fifty pounds overweight and unable to climb the stairs without stopping, he could see where his current sedentary life was taking him—and he woke up. Plunging into a new routine that prioritized a plant-based lifestyle and daily training, Rich morphed—in a matter of mere months—from out of shape, mid-life couch potato to an endurance machine. Finding Ultra recounts Rich’s remarkable journey to the starting line of the elite Ultraman competition, which pits the world’s fittest humans in a 320-mile ordeal of swimming, biking, and running. And following that test, Rich conquered an even greater one: the EPIC5—five Ironman-distance triathlons, each on a different Hawaiian island, all completed in less than a week. Rich reflects on the steps he took to shift his mindset and leverage deep reservoirs of untapped potential to achieve success beyond his wildest imagination, urging each of us to embark on our own journey of self-discovery.

~BARBARIAN DAYS: A SURFING LIFE BY: WILLIAM FINNEGAN | Raised in California and Hawaii, Finnegan started surfing as a child. He has chased waves all over the world, wandering for years through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa. A bookish boy, and then an excessively adventurous young man, he went on to become a distinguished writer and war reporter. Barbarian Days takes us deep into unfamiliar worlds, some of them right under our noses—off the coasts of New York and San Francisco. It immerses the reader in the edgy camaraderie of close male friendships forged in challenging waves.
Finnegan shares stories of life in a whites-only gang in a tough school in Honolulu. He shows us a world turned upside down for kids and adults alike by the social upheavals of the 1960s. He details the intricacies of famous waves and his own apprenticeships with them. As Finnegan’s travels take him ever farther afield, he discovers the picturesque simplicity of a Samoan fishing village, dissects the sexual politics of Tongan interactions with Americans and Japanese, and navigates the Indonesian black market while nearly succumbing to malaria. Throughout, he surfs, carrying readers with him on rides of harrowing, unprecedented lucidity.

~CHASING I DO BY: MARINA ADAIR | Darcy Kincaid might be a runaway bride, but she still believes in happily ever after, which is why she’s devoted to helping couples orchestrate their perfect I do. Even though her fiancée turned out to be unfaithful and a big disappointment, Darcy walked away from her wedding fully committed—to her unborn daughter. Now, a single mom, it’s up to Darcy to secure her daughter’s future, which is why she’s invested her life savings into renovating Belle Mont Manor, Portland’s oldest, and nearly forgotten, wedding venue. So when Wedding Magazine offers her the cover for their June issue, in exchange for planning the wedding of a high-profile couple, Darcy thanks her lucky stars. Until the star’s best man turns out to be her ex’s brother…The last time Gage Easton saw Darcy, she was sneaking out the back door of her own wedding—destroying his brother’s life. No way is he going to entrust the gorgeous jilter with his biggest client’s special day, no matter how much in love with her he secretly was. Determined to take his client’s wedding elsewhere, he confronts Darcy, only to meet a toddler with Darcy’s blonde curls and the Easton blue eyes that has him renegotiating—the wedding for a chance to know his niece. But when a fun day in the park leads to warm family dinners, Gage finds himself stuck between his loyalty to his brother—and the two women who have stolen his heart.

~THE GRAND RUIN BY: JC HAWKE | Being stood up on your birthday sucks. It sucks even worse when it’s your brother’s egotistical best friend and CFO who delivers the blow. My first encounter with Lance Sullivan had me crying in an elevator as I clung to a stranger for comfort. On our second, he stormed my dress fitting pretending to be my husband. And by the third… I’d made the bastard smile. I do not have time for a man in my life. Not when I already have two stubborn men at the centre of my world who can barely show up for me. But Lance is showing up, and did I mention he has the most beautiful green eyes I’ve ever seen? Lance is fun to mess with. I just need to convince him to drop the ‘your brother will kill me if I touch you’ act, especially when his mouth has already touched the parts of me that matter… One summer. Two hearts. And a promise… to not disappear on me.

~COACH BY: DEVNEY PERRY | Football star. Single dad. And once, a long time ago, mine. I’ve spent the better part of a decade forgetting Ford Ellis. If he had just stayed away from Montana, I might have erased the memory of his striking blue eyes and rugged smile forever. Avoiding him was easy when the only place I saw his face was on ESPN-and a remote control could fix that problem. Except my boss just hired Ford as the new head coach for the Treasure State Wildcats. Not only will I be stuck watching him on the sidelines this season, but avoiding him will be impossible now that we’re working together. Maybe I haven’t forgotten Ford. Maybe I still dream about what we might have been. Maybe he hasn’t forgotten me either. Except those maybes won’t change the fact that we were never meant to be. Maybe he was mine once. But as of today, the only thing I’ll be calling Ford Ellis is Coach.

~MARKETING CAMPAIGN DEVELOPMENT BY: MIKE GOSPE | This unique book takes you step-by-step through the disciplined, yet practical, process of architecting truly integrated marketing communications plans that work. In it, you will find a prescription for building a successful, repeatable campaign development process, including the necessary templates and helpful, practical techniques. While many of us will recognize a good, well-thought-out marketing campaign when we see one, the single, basic truth about world-class marketing campaign development is that it is easy to say, but hard to do. It is hard to do because we all like to take shortcuts. I hear the lament all too often: “I’m overworked don’t have the time to think strategically” or “Planning is overrated. I just need to get these projects done.” As a result, we take shortcuts like “ready, fire, aim.” Lack of planning is the slippery slope that leads to wasteful marketing. Then one day we get the call from the corner office to come and explain why our marketing efforts did not produce the desired results. Luckily, architecting world-class campaigns is achievable for any marketing team.

~ONE BOLD MOVE A DAY BY: SHANNA A. HOCKING | Early in her career, Shanna Hocking tried to do everything “right”: She spoke up in meetings, supported colleagues’ strategies, and raised her hand for new projects. Though her enthusiasm helped her get ahead in some ways, pushback from others nearly derailed her: Who did she think she was? She shouldn’t be so “out there.” She should “take it down a bit.” What happened next is a situation all too many professional women will recognize: Shanna began to internalize the comments, second-guessing herself and holding herself back to make others comfortable. It took a long time—years, in fact—before she was able to see what she was doing and regain the power of being her best self. In One Bold Move a Day, Shanna reveals the transformative mindsets that helped her regain that power and offer a practical, hands-on roadmap to achieving your own goals with intention and joy. More than just a career guide, One Bold Move a Day shows you how a single, measurable act each day will help you fulfill your potential, both personally and professionally. No matter how small or inconsequential they may seem to others, the Bold Moves you choose to bring you closer to your goals every day—and have the power to change the trajectory of your personal life and career. In the pages of this book, you’ll find the support you need, and see that the best time to start making Bold Moves is right here, right now.

~HOW I BUILT THIS BY: GUY RAZ | Great ideas often come from a simple spark: A soccer player on the New Zealand national team notices all the unused wool his country produces and figures out a way to turn them into shoes (Allbirds). A former Buddhist monk decides the very best way to spread his mindfulness teachings is by launching an app (Headspace). A sandwich cart vendor finds a way to reuse leftover pita bread and turns it into a multimillion-dollar business (Stacy’s Pita Chips). Award-winning journalist and NPR host Guy Raz has interviewed more than two-hundred highly successful entrepreneurs to uncover amazing true stories like these. In How I Built This, he shares tips for every entrepreneur’s journey: from the early days of formulating your idea to raising money and recruiting employees to fending off competitors, to finally paying yourself a real salary. This is a must-read for anyone who has ever dreamed of starting their own business or wondered how trailblazing entrepreneurs made their own dreams a reality.

~THE FIRST 90 DAYS BY: MICHAEL D. WATKINS | Transitions are a critical time for leaders. In fact, most agree that moving into a new role is the biggest challenge a manager will face. While transitions offer a chance to start fresh and make needed changes in an organization, they also place leaders in a position of acute vulnerability. Missteps made during the crucial first three months in a new role can jeopardize or even derail your success. By walking you through every aspect of the transition scenario, Watkins identifies the most common pitfalls new leaders encounter and provides the tools and strategies you need to avoid them. You’ll learn how to secure critical early wins, an important first step in establishing yourself in your new role. Each chapter also includes checklists, practical tools, and self-assessments to help you assimilate key lessons and apply them to your own situation. Whether you’re starting a new job, being promoted from within, embarking on an overseas assignment, or being tapped as CEO, how you manage your transition will determine whether you succeed or fail.

~I NEED YOU TO SAVE ME BY: GENICIOUS | Perhaps the stars aligned, but fate had other plans… Ace and Calla face the ultimate test as they navigate through the harsh realities of his arrest. The stakes are higher than ever before. With their future crumbling and their past lurking in the shadows, they must confront the demons that threaten to consume them. Will they overcome the darkness or be engulfed by their past?

~IT’S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU BY: JENNY HAN | It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come. But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started—at Cousins Beach.

~THE AUTHENTICITY PROJECT BY: CLARE POOLEY | Julian Jessop, an eccentric, lonely artist and septuagenarian believes that most people aren’t really honest with one another. But what if they were? And so he writes—in a plain, green journal—the truth about his own life and leaves it in his local café. It’s run by the incredibly tidy and efficient Monica, who furtively adds her own entry and leaves the book in the wine bar across the street. Before long, the others who find the green notebook add the truths about their own deepest selves—and soon find each other In Real Life at Monica’s Café. The Authenticity Project’s cast of characters—including Hazard, the charming addict who makes a vow to get sober; Alice, the fabulous mommy Instagrammer whose real life is a lot less perfect than it looks online; and their other new friends—is by turns quirky and funny, heartbreakingly sad and painfully true-to-life. It’s a story about being brave and putting your real self forward—and finding out that it’s not as scary as it seems. In fact, it looks a lot like happiness.

~THE DIARY OF A CEO BY: STEVEN BARTLETT | At the very heart of all the success and failure I’ve been exposed to – both my own entrepreneurial journey and through the thousands of interviews I’ve conducted on my chart-topping podcast – are a set of principles that ensure excellence. These fundamental laws underpinned my meteoric rise, and they will fuel yours too, whether you want to build something great or become someone great. The laws are rooted in psychology and behavioral science, in my own experiences, and those of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, entertainers, artists, writers, and athletes, whom I’ve interviewed on my podcast. These laws will stand the test of time and will help anyone master their life and unleash their potential, no matter the field. They are the secret sauce to success.

~GUTSY BY: NATALIE FRANKE | Gutsy is your guidebook to uncovering the audacious courage within you and making an impact on this world that only you can make. This book will help you learn to turn off the expectations of others, ask for what you deserve, stick your neck out, and be brave enough to take that next step. This book is for you if: You’ve been putting things off, procrastinating, or feeling stuck. You’re done letting the opinions of others hold you back. You’re tired of chasing after approval and hustling for validation. You know that you are capable of greatness with a little push. You’re ready to take action and become the boss of your own life. The gap between where you are and where you want to be is never as wide as you think it is. Gutsy will turn your momentary pause into forward progress with a heavy dose of radical curiosity, audacious courage, and abundant grace.

~THE DEAL BREAKER BY: MELISSA MCCLONE | Status quo might as well be Dashiell Cabot’s middle name. He has a job he loves, a billion dollars in the bank, and a best friend named Iris who keeps his personal life running smoothly. Why would he ever want to change any of that? But when Iris Jacobs tells him she’s quitting and returning to culinary school, Dash’s beloved status quo is thrown into chaos. Even worse? The thought of her departure is forcing him to realize his feelings for her might extend beyond the friend zone. Iris wants more out of life than taking care of Dash. She always has. And even though she could never repay him for everything he’s done for her, she can no longer afford to protect his precious status quo at the expense of her own dreams. She has no choice but to leave…unless he can give her a compelling—and possibly romantic—reason to stay. They’ve always been just friends. That was their deal. But when all is said and done, something will be broken—either their deal…or their hearts.

~THE GRAHAM EFFECT BY: ELLE KENNEDY | Gigi Graham has exactly three goals: qualify for the women’s national hockey team, win Olympic gold, and step out of her famous father’s shadow. So far, so good, except for two little things. Fine–a little thing and a big, grumpy thing. She needs to improve her game behind the net, and she needs help from Luke Ryder. Ryder is six-foot-five, built, opinionated, rude…and sexy as hell. But he’s still the enemy. Briar’s new hockey co-captain has his reasons, though. The men’s team just merged with a rival program, leaving Ryder with an angry roster where everyone hates one another’s guts. To make matters worse, the summer coaching spot he’s angling for with the legendary Garrett Graham is out of reach after he makes the worst possible first impression on his hero. So, really, this compromise with Gigi is a win-win. He helps her make the national team, she puts in a good word with her dad. The only potential snag? This bone-deep, body-numbing, mind-spinning chemistry they’re trying to ignore. It’s a dangerous game they’re playing, but the risks just might be worth it.


What have y’all been reading lately? As always, thank y’all for stopping by and reading. I will see y’all back here next time.

LOVE, DANI

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