Lydia Sheaks
Lydia Sheaks
Lydia Sheaks, education reporter, writes about finding adventure in the everyday, her opinions of current events and trends and occasionally her two cats.

Other Stories by Lydia Sheaks
Reporter Lydia Sheaks writes about education and family issues for the Elkhart Truth.

5 books that impacted me in 2013

Posted on Dec. 26, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Dec. 26, 2013 at 2:03 p.m.

This year I didn't read as much as I wanted to. That said, a few things I did read stuck with me enough for me to recommend them to you.

Disclaimer: This is definitely not an exhaustive list of books I read this year. There are some books I read that I don't remember, some I hated intensely, MANY that I started and never finished, and others I just won't talk about here. But if you want to know more, I will talk about books and reading until the cows come home. So just ask me.


1. The Circle Maker: Praying circles around your biggest dreams and greatest fears (Mark Batterson)

Ever circled something on a to-do list or a note to remind yourself, "Hey, this is important?" That's the idea behind this book. I liked it because it has a great message about persistence. It reminds me of a cool Bible story about a widow who wouldn't give up. (Luke 18:1-8 if you're curious).


2. The Obamas (Jodi Kantor)

Barack Obama may be the POTUS, but he was a husband and a father first. What is daily life like for the Obamas as one of the most-watched couples in the world? New York Times correspondent Jodi Kantor provides an inside look. This book is a great opportunity to think about the president differently, perhaps, than you would just by paying attention to the news.


3. Waiting: the true confessions of a waitress (Debra Ginsberg)

Everything you never knew you wanted to know about the secret world of waiters and waitresses. This is a memoir by woman who was a waitress in different restaurants throughout her life. She shares the ins and outs of crazy things that customers say and do, and how the waitstaff deals with it. A funny and interesting read.


4. Newtown: An American tragedy (Matthew Lysiak)

I almost didn't read this book. What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary broke my heart and I didn't want to go there emotionally again. But I'm so glad I decided to read this book anyway. It packs a powerful message about mental health treatment. It takes a deep look into Adam Lanza (the shooter)'s childhood. And, best -- it shows how a small town pulled together after a terrible tragedy.

The book is full of those beautiful, personal details that can only be gotten after an interviewee completely trusts a reporter...and it's mind-boggling to think of the hours of interviews that Matthew Lysiak conducted to piece together a compelling story about what happened that day.


5. Lean In: Women, work, and the will to lead (Sheryl Sandberg)

A book about leadership written by former Google VP and current Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg? Sign me up.

Many books with this premise are dull and I can't relate them to my life. But Lean In is laid-back, doesn't have useless jargon, and does have a lot of good advice.  Sandberg has been there, done that and offers easy-to-understand dos and don't s about succeeding at work, peppered with personal stories that are often funny. And I appreciated hearing Sandberg's stories about what it's like to work with Mark Zuckerburg.

Got some advice about what I should be reading in 2014? Let me know by emailing me at lsheaks@elkharttruth.com. Or find me on Twitter and Facebook.

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