November Spotlight: Books & Podcast

Empathy, Empowerment & Action

Jess Anderson


Photo credit: Austin Distel, Unsplash

My sure fire way to seek inspiration? Read a great book or add a new podcast to my playlist — works every time. New concepts spark my curiosity and help connect information in new ways. This month I have selected books by Trevor Noah and Celeste Ng that I want to raise to attention for their ability to broaden cultural awareness and empathy for human struggle. While our books in November build empathy, the podcast series I highlight this month by Cathy Heller is all about empowerment and action. She and her stellar guests had me nodding my head and muttering ‘Yeah! My day job might be on notice!” while working my way through the carpool lane.

As you read these recommendations please comment with your recent inspired reads and listens! Or, add your thoughts on this media spotlight — I would love your feedback. Together we can curate the conversations that help goal getters focus on our most important tasks, consider a new perspective, and get inspired to think bigger.

Want to share book tips in real time? Join me on Goodreads.

Check out last month’s book and podcast picks here.

Book: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood — Trevor Noah

Born A Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood — Author Trevor Noah

News flash — this is not a business book. It’s not even in the self improvement genre. That said, I dare you to walk away from Born A Crime without a greater view of how diverse our world is (given you weren’t also born in 80s South Africa) and some time spent reflecting on your sense of self and personal values. Not specifically business — but definitely about human interaction. Not directly self improvement — but I felt I had a better understanding of myself after hearing Noah’s story.

Comedian Trevor Noah’s debut book is equal parts funny and thought provoking.

Relatable on a human level, Born A Crime is a window view into a culture that I haven’t been exposed to in my life. He talks honestly and openly about being ‘colored’…



Jess Anderson

Data strategist and people leader. I talk data, product, team building, agile, and the ability to sustain work + life in an always-connected world.