• Summer reading suggestions from Baylor Family authors

    Covers of "The Road to Joy," "Beyond Racial Division," and "The Soul of the Helper"

    Looking for some summer reading? Whether your interest is sports, healing racial division, or self-care, we’ve got some recommendations for you — all written by Baylor Bears!

    First up: The Road to J.O.Y.: Leading with Faith, Playing with Purpose, Leaving a Legacy, by Baylor men’s basketball coach Scott Drew. Drew’s rebuilding of the Baylor program has been talked about at length — but with this new book, we get an inside look into the culture of J.O.Y. (Jesus, Others, Yourself) that he has instilled throughout his two decades as head coach. (As we write this, the book is No. 2 on Amazon among Christian Business & Professional Growth books, and No. 5 in Basketball Biographies.)

    This book isn’t just for those who play basketball or coach a team; we’re all a part of a group or organization, and if you’re doing things for others as a servant leader, Drew says people will follow that and want to be a part of something greater than themselves. The book focuses on the people who were a part of the rebuild. “This books gives us an opportunity to share how God’s blessed not only our program, but the players, the coaches, and everyone that has played a part in it,” Drew told NBC’s Today show.

    Drew, of course, is the national championship-winning head coach of the Baylor men’s basketball team. With 19 seasons at the helm, he is tied with Kansas’ Bill Self as the Big 12’s longest-tenured head coach. Drew owns program records with 370 victories, nine NCAA tournament appearances, and a national championship. More than his records, Drew is known for his passion, leadership, and tremendous belief in helping others achieve their goals.

    Next up is Beyond Racial Division: A Unifying Alternative to Colorblindness and Antiracism, by Baylor sociology professor George Yancey. He writes that colorblindness and antiracism depend on the idea that they have the right solution and the other side must accept their path, but Dr. Yancey offers a third way — an inclusive conversation about mutual accountability that acknowledges that we don’t all have the answers.

    While the world may seem deeply divided on race, Yancey is hopeful that with a lot of hard work, we can find healing and racial reconciliation. With empirical rationale, this book lays out how collaborative conversations and mutual accountability can reduce the racial division. “When I say mutual, what I mean is that everyone, regardless of race or perspective, has a responsibility of entering to this conversation,” Yancey explains. “I’m not saying that the solution is going to be mutual, but I’m saying that the conversation has to be, because if it is not, then all we’re going to do is set ourselves up for more of the animosity and anger that we have kept seeing in our society.”

    Yancey, a professor of the social sciences, came to Baylor in 2019 from the University of North Texas. He is the author of more than a dozen books on such subjects as racial diversity and identity, anti-Christian bias, and atheism in America.

    And finally, we have The Soul of the Helper: Seven Stages to Seeing the Sacred Within Yourself So You Can See It In Others, by Baylor social work professor Holly Oxhandler. It’s a timely book written to those who help others. If you’re a healthcare worker, teacher, social worker, or anyone else serving those around you, this book is for you.

    Helpers have high level of empathy and a tendency to step in during a time of need, sometimes to the point of burnout, writes Dr. Oxhandler. And with burnout comes feelings of shame, fear, anger and resentment. The Soul of the Helper offers space for those helpers to find rest, resources and encouragement. With a seven-step process, Oxhandler teaches the importance of stopping, finding stillness, and finding your ‘sacred spark.’ “This book is packed with strategies to try out, lean on, and consider as people are going through the work that they’re doing as helpers,” says Oxhandler.

    Oxhandler is associate dean for research and faculty development and an associate professor in Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. Her research focuses on the intersection of a person’s spirituality and mental health.

    Sic ’em, Baylor authors!