Staff Picks for Your Summer Reading List

It’s probably no surprise that some of us Writing Team members have a long summer reading list. And of course, we’re always on the lookout for other recommendations. So this week, we asked some of Hoboken Grace’s staff what they’d suggest — the books that changed their perspective, the ones they’re still thinking about, and the ones that simply make a great summer read. Here’s what they suggested and why.


Anthony, Care Director

How People Change by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp

Sometimes I think we struggle believing that the Gospel applies to present, everyday living. This book helped me to understand that it all starts with the heart. If I truly want to change and grow, that need begins at the heart.

The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller

Not a reader, but want to be? This short book helped me understand what it takes to truly enjoy my life. It’s packed with truths about identity, work and what we put in our lives that takes the place of important things. Plus, it’s less than 100 pages!

No More Dragons by Jim Burgen

If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and didn’t like what you saw looking back at you, this book has the power to move you. The author is real, honest and shares powerful story after powerful story to illustrate how people really can change. It’s a fascinating and wonderful read.


Rachel, Kids Director

The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Peter Scazzero

This book was a great reminder of how important it is for me as a leader to maintain a healthy relationship with God by spending time with Him daily. My ability to lead well when things are busy or stressful can only come from a deep connection with Him. I found this book to be encouraging and helpful!


Sarah, First Impressions Director

Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion by George J. Thompson and Jerry B. Jenkins

This is a great read on how to engage people through empathy and how to love them through words in difficult conversations. It’s a great encouragement on how to listen better. I recommend this read to help anyone improve their communication skills.

Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service by the Disney Institute with Theodore Kinni

A fun and inspiring look behind the scenes of the cast and customer service at Disney! Whether you’re hosting a party, planning a meeting or getting ideas for First Impressions, this read will spike your curiosity and inspire you to up the ante in serving others.

Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World That Loves to be Noticed by Sara Hagerty

A lovely friend gifted this book to me — I had no idea how it would encourage my soul in this season of life. For all the ladies who need a sweet reminder of whose you are — beloved by our Father — dive in and enjoy!


Nick Lenzi, Community & Finance Director

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Okay, I didn’t “read it,” but I listened to the audiobook and I feel that was the best choice because Trevor is a wonderful performer and impressionist. Born a Crime is a true story about a mischievous young boy (Trevor Noah) who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. This book does such a wonderful job with race, history, anthropology, economics, faith and so much more.


James Sproule, Outreach Director

The Captain Class by Sam Walker

A great read on sports dynasty and leadership dynamics.


Melanie Leonard, Communications Director

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Amy Wallace and Edwin Catmull

Nothing energizes me more than talking about ideas and the possibilities of the future. This book was a great inspiration in how to create, manage and maintain an environment where that can happen. Everyone can be creative in some form and I love finding ways to draw that out of people.


Pastor Chris

Artisan Soul by Erwin Raphael McManus

I love how Erwin moves people to dream. I love how he helps us all connect with the artistic aspect of who God made us to be.

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