Summer Reading, vol. 7: Shelly Hart

This week Pitts consulted a Candler staff member who specializes in educational administration, keeping the ship afloat as students enroll, access academic records, and plan their course roadmaps for a variety of programs. Shelly Hart, Director of Academic Administration and Registrar, not only engages with students through the registrar office, but also by actively highlighting edifying resources pertinent to the Candler community!

Shelly’s first recommendation is a must read for aspiring leaders, both in Candler and beyond! Another Way: Living and Leading Change on Purpose written by leaders of the Forum for Theological Exploration, Stephen Lewis, Matthew Wesley Williams, and Dori Baker offers practices to facilitate change through a holistic approach to leadership. The authors propose a 21st century model that honors the self, the community, and even the stranger as we work together for purposeful change in the midst of turbulent times. Find a copy of this book online in both paperback and ebook formats!

If you’re looking for a work of fiction, one of Shelly’s recent favorites is Lisa See’s novel The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. This book tells the stories of two girls, a very young mother, Li-yan, from a remote village in the tea mountains of China and her estranged daughter. The story follows Li-yan’s search to reclaim her daughter after the child disappeared into the international adoption machine in China, through which she has become Halley, the daughter of a white family in California. As mother and daughter grow up in vastly disparate circumstances, they experience divergent realities while at the same time continuing to long for a reuniting. Shelly notes that this book reveals interesting cultural details about a remote part of China and explores the experiences of both parents and adoptees involved in international and intercultural adoption. Find this item in the Emory catalog, at your local library, or online for purchase

If you’re looking to listen, Shelly recommends researcher and New York Times best-selling author Brene Brown’s podcast Unlocking Us. While originally planned to launch at South x Southwest 2020, this podcast instead premiered at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.  Brown’s discussion partners include a range of writers, thinkers, artists, and others, including Sue Monk Kidd, Ibram X. Kendi, Alicia Keys, Tarana Burke, Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, and Celeste Ng. Episodes offer “conversations that unlock the deeply human part of who we are, so that we can live, love, parent, and lead with more courage and heart.” Listen to this inspirational content online for free at

Summer recommendations from Pitts and Candler faculty and staff don’t stop here! Find more suggestions at