Every August 9, we recognize all that literature has to offer by celebrating National Book Lovers Day.

Whether it’s an old classic or a short story, reading has a profound impact on our lives. Research shows reading improves memory, builds empathy and helps with a multitude of health challenges such as depression and stress.

In celebration of National Book Lovers Day, we asked our team for recommendations to share with you.

Have you read a good book recently? Share with us in the comments.
The One Minute ManagerTeam member: Mark Stuart, President & CEO
Book: The One-Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard

Why I enjoyed the book: I discovered this incredible book, written as an allegory, during my graduate school days. It was an epiphanal experience and forever changed how I lead and manage my teams, as well as myself. It is an easy, must-read for any aspiring manager. I re-read it often.

SiddharthaTeam member: Joy Decena, Program Specialist, Community Impact
Book: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Why I enjoyed the book: You can read this book in one sitting, but you will find yourself contemplating the stories for years. I’ve read this book many times over and each time the meaning and themes have changed for me over the decades.

Cairo TrilogyTeam member: Cami Mattson, Director, Development & Stewardship
Book: The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz

Why I enjoyed the book: I love this trilogy as it spans three generations of Cairene socio-political life through the life of one well-off Cairo merchant, his children and grandchildren. It is a penetrating overview of 20th century Egyptian thought, attitudes and social change. I love that it is written by an Egyptian making it feel truly authentic. His brilliant writing skills drew me in to the lives and thoughts of his characters and educated me on the politics and Egyptian Islamic culture spanning three eras.

South of the Border, West of the SunTeam member: Catrina Dulay, Graphic Designer
Book: South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami

Why I enjoyed the book: I love the way Murakami explores love and loneliness. He delivers an unassuming dream-like story, but there’s a profound sincerity to it. I enjoy this book so much because it’s a mystical escape and it puts me in contact with reality at the same time. 

Harry PotterTeam member: Kelly Feuillet, Controller
Book: Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Why I enjoyed the book: I have read these books many times. I’ve always loved the inventiveness, imagery, and stories of friendship. I’ve appreciated them for the countless number of kids who became readers through these books. I’m currently reading these again, this time with my daughter. Being able to experience this incredible world while seeing her excitement and wonder is even better than reading them myself for the first time.

10% HappierTeam member: Miguel Lopez, Analyst, Prospect Research, Development & Stewardship
Book: 10% Happier by Dan Harris

Why I enjoyed the book: With wit and humility, Harris openly shares his struggles with anxiety in his life and career. Harris is candid about his journey in meditation, why it’s good for you and how it helps relieve anxiety.

What is your favorite book and why? Share it with us in the comments below!