It’s National Read A Book Day! Here Are A Few Book Recommendations from the JEDCO Staff:

September 6th is National Read A Book Day, which encourages us to take time out of our busy lives and get literary. Did you know, reading improves memory, concentration, and helps with reducing stress? Whether you reach for a tablet or a physical copy, a new bestseller or an old favorite, it’s nice to transport yourself with a good book! Audio books count, too!

We, here at JEDCO, enjoy a good book and want to share what we have been reading as of late. Our interests span from the classics to captivating stories set within our own backyards. If any of these books pique your interest, we’ve provided links to our recommendations below!

The Yellow House: A Memoir
By Sarah Bloom

“I loved learning the history of New Orleans East from the perspective of the author’s family. Ms. Bloom is a great storyteller, and her story is very real.” – Jennifer Lapeyrouse, Director of Financing

The Overstory
by Richard Powers

“I adored this book – it’s a lush, weaving book about a wide range of characters whose lives seem entirely different, but who all end up connected with one another in surprising and beautiful ways. Trees are the focal point of the book: from individual trees that are meaningful to families, to huge forests that dwarf the characters in size and time, to incredible scientific knowledge about how trees communicate with one another. I learned so much and gained a deeper understanding of how important and wonderful trees are. Highly recommend this book if you’re looking for fiction with some depth and a bit of non-fiction thrown in!” –Annalisa Kelley, Director Strategic Initiatives & Policy

Pride and Prejudice
By Jane Austen

“I will say that for many, many years I have made a point to revisit a classic novel every summer, usually Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice is a personal favorite, and I like, no LOVE it, for the clever and humorous writing style. She was well ahead of her time that Jane Austen” -Kate Wendel, Director of Economic & Workforce Development

By Sarah Smarsh

“So, I haven’t finished this book but for National Read a Book Day this year, I definitely will! The book I’m close to finishing is “Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth” by Sarah Smarsh. I, along with many colleagues, had the chance to hear from the author during a sit down discussion at the recent inaugural Delta Regional Authority (DRA) conference. She shared her story of growing up in a multi-generational home in rural America with not much to their names and how many stigmas –s.a. getting free lunch at school made kids tease her, having a teen mom, etc. – all shaped a perspective that stuck with her as she went to college. She didn’t know any different from her way of life until it was pointed out to her. She later in life got to label things and even be a face to many issues. Her upbringing resonated with me because there’s things in my own childhood of growing up with immigrant parents that I just thought was the norm, until other kids or people pointed out the differences and could sometimes be cruel about it. Her book includes many gut-wrenching stories about her upbringing but also many ways of how living it has allowed her to identify holes in systems and bring advocacy and change that can positively impact her community and others growing up with what her and her family dealt with: food insecurity, education access, etc.” – Janet Galati, Director of Industry Recruitment

1. “The Westbank of Greater New Orleans by Richard Campanella (a coworker suggested this book a while ago) a great book to learn about the historical timeline and its geographical story. If you are a “Westbanker” like I used to be, lol, this book is great.

2. Also, one of my favorite is The Shack by Paul Young. The book is about a child been abducted and killed during a family vacation in an abandoned shack. Years later, God invites the dad back to the shack. Its an eye opener how God, the Son and the Holy Spirit are portrayed. A very spiritual reading. A really good book.

3. And of course, The Bible, by God. It can transform you!! I know……….. by personal experience. 😊” -Margo Ruiz, Economic Information & Incentives Coordinator

By Tara Westover

“I am reading Educated by Tara Westover. I like the story because it gives an unusual perspective describing the life of a child challenging rural community views to receive a modern education. While Tara’s parents are desperately preparing for Y2K, she and her brothers search for the education that would remove them from rural Montana.” -Peter Johnson, Economic Development Specialist

Mutinous Women: How French Convicts Became Founding Mothers of the Gulf Coast
By Joan DeJean

In 1719, a ship named La Mutine (the mutinous woman), sailed from the French port of Le Havre, bound for the Mississippi. It was loaded with urgently needed goods for the fledgling French colony, but its principal commodity was a new kind of export: women. Falsely accused of sex crimes, these women were prisoners, shackled in the ship’s hold. Of the 132 women who were sent this way, only 62 survived. But these women carved out a place for themselves in the colonies that would have been impossible in France, making advantageous marriages and accumulating property. Many were instrumental in the building of New Orleans and in settling Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, and Mississippi.

Why do I like it?

It’s a look into my past. My great-great-great (not sure how many greats) grandmother was one of the women on the La Mutine. She eventually settled in South Louisiana.” – Lisa Cabrera, Loan Specialist

The Midnight Library
By Matt Haig

“I enjoyed this book over the summer because it really sparked my imagination! The Midnight Library is a space between Life and Death, where there is an infinite amount of shelves filled with books that provide a chance for you to live a different life and undo regrets if you choose. Alternate realities happening at the same exact time due to small choices that were made differently in one’s life. The main character, disenchanted with life, ends up at The Midnight Library. Now, she has the weighty option of choosing a different life and ultimately finding out what fulfillment means for her.” –Anthea Smith, Marketing & Communications Strategist

Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
By Anne Lamott

“The great Anne Lamott interconnects how to be a better storyteller with stories of her own experiences, advice, and thoughts. Storytelling is such an important piece of marketing. I’ve loved learning how to be a better, more thoughtful writer through Anne Lamott’s beautiful, funny, and inspiring book.” – Kelsey Scram, Director of Marketing & Communications

Did you know that there are 16 Library Branches located within Jefferson Parish?!


Today would be a great day to visit your local library!