One of our Ben Franklin Circle hosts recently mentioned she’d love to know what other hosts are reading…so we asked the BFC community for some recommendations. Here are some of the titles they shared:

The Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity, and Resilience in Your Child by Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson

“Recommended by a friend, this book suggests that for kids and parents too there are four fundamentals to building the “Yes Brain”: emotional balance, resilience, insight and empathy. It segues very nicely with Ben Franklin ideas of introspection and behavior as communication in the larger world, touching on his virtues of sincerity, moderation and justice. I will recommend it to our Circle the next time we meet.”

– Caroline, BFC Host, Seattle


Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown

“I think it fits right in with BFC. It’s about how to create deep equitable change, in ourselves, society, and world. I’ve discovered (no kidding) about 10 other local social-change friends all reading it at the same time. We all have a deep sense that the time for this particular book is right now.”

– Kelly, BFC Host, Virginia


21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

“I especially like how this book urges people to be introspective about their viewpoints. Harari writes, “Undogmatic secular movements tend to make relatively modest promises…If you want your religion, ideology, or worldview to lead the world, my first question to you is this: ‘What was the biggest mistake your religion, ideology, or worldview committed? What did it get wrong?’ If you cannot come up with something serious, I for one would not trust you.’

– Adam, BFC Host, New York


Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD

“Our department at work (Adult & Teen Programs at Santa Barbara Public Library) is reading this together so as to enhance our relationships with our patrons, but also to better communicate with each other as well as others on staff. It makes you stop and think about what you are saying and how.”

– Jennifer, BFC Host, California


The Art of Convening by Craig & Patricia Neal

“Useful ideas for creating a space for meaningful conversation and engagement.”


The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt

“This is a great book for helping to understand people’s moral foundations.”

– Julie, BFC Host, Colorado


How to Speak Machine: Computational Thinking For The Rest Of Us by John Maeda

“For those Ben Franklin Circle members who are interested in the nexus of design, technology, and business; John Maeda’s new book “How to Speak Machine”, is a must read. As the former President of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), MIT Media Lab professor, and venture capital partner at Kleiner Perkins in Silicon Valley, Maeda creates a timely and succinct message about continuous renewal, the importance of computational thinking, and the lack of impact “The Temple of Design” has on emerging computational products. It’s not only a story about how inclusion and iteration are defining what makes “quality”, it’s also about becoming more human in the face of large-scale, societal shifts. For those interested in studying Franklin’s 13 virtues, you’ll be sure to find threads of them throughout this wonderful book.”
– Lee, BFC Member, New York



Do you have a title to recommend? Email us: