Start with Hello
(And Other Simple Ways to Live as Neighbors)
Where to Purchase
A simple path to a more deeply connected life
You want more. You want to belong to a community that looks out for each other. You believe in your bones we don't have to live detached, distracted, and divided. The question is, How? Shannan Martin invites you into deeper connection through simple resets, such as
· Open Door > Perfect Décor. We invite others in, seeking to connect, not impress.
· Familiar > Fussy. We serve tacos and pizza like the feasts they are, because fancy is overrated.
· Tender > Tough. We greet the world with our hearts exposed and our guards down.
Packed with street-level practices and real-talk storytelling, Start with Hello is your field guide for a life of security, camaraderie, and joy. There is no step too small.
"As it turns out, there is no them but only us, and this is the book we both want and need to help us find our way back to each other."--Emily P. Freeman, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Next Right Thing
"Start with Hello is a love letter to community and a call to action toward radical, realistic hospitality."--Osheta Moore, pastor, speaker, and author of Dear White Peacemakers
"This book will change you in a way you've been craving to change. It makes being a neighbor, not to mention a person, just so beautifully . . . doable."--Kendra Adachi, New York Times bestselling author of The Lazy Genius Way
"This book is lovely, warm, honest. It brims with possibility."--Jen Hatmaker, New York Times bestselling author of Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire
"Shannan Martin is a sidewalk poet and an everyday prophet. In Start with Hello she issues a stunning and accessible invitation for us to live as neighbors in the world, casting a hopeful vision of what it looks like to be human together. As it turns out, there is no them but only us, and this is the book we both want and need to help us find our way back to each other."
Emily P. Freeman, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Next Right Thing
"This book is so inspiring, but in a chill, regular sort of way. It doesn't wreck you or kick you in the pants or make you rethink your entire existence. Instead, it will change you in a way you've been craving to change by helping you see the beauty of where you currently exist and the people who exist near you. It makes being a neighbor, not to mention a person, just so beautifully . . . doable. Y'all, this is the book we've been waiting for."
Kendra Adachi, New York Times bestselling author of The Lazy Genius Way
"Fellow wallflowers, Shannan Martin has written our guide to come to the dance floor in a way that feels possible, alluring, and bursting with potential. In terms that are both poetic and practical, Shannan makes a compelling case that we all can find our people and our places in community. Start with Hello invites us to see the people around us as whole and generous and just waiting to be known and loved. You'll want to mark up your copy and pass it to a neighbor."
Beth Silvers, cohost of the Pantsuit Politics podcast and coauthor of Now What?
"'Jen, pick one of your favorite people on planet Earth.' Fine, I pick Shannan. I pick her friendship. I pick her example. I pick Start with Hello. This book. It is lovely, warm, honest. It brims with possibility. It is--and Shannan would hate this word--inspiring. I want to run home and leave the mess where it is and send a text to my five closest neighbors to come over for chili and $10 wine. What a gift she is. What a gift this book is."
Jen Hatmaker, New York Times bestselling author, host of For the Love podcast, and founder of Legacy Collective
"In her wise, loving, practical, and timely book Shannan Martin dispels all that is mystical about being a good neighbor. Start with Hello. It's just that simple but we can overthink it, and this is where I'm so grateful we have Shannan to lead us. We do this, Shannan reminds us, by first being curious and aware of those around us. Filled with practical ideas, recipes, stories, and her disarming sense of humor, Start with Hello is a love letter to community and a call to action toward radical, realistic hospitality."
Osheta Moore, pastor, speaker, and author of Dear White Peacemakers
"Start with Hello is winsome, kind, and brave--exactly what we need in times like these. I'm grateful for the ways Shannan not only helps us lean into growth but also shows us how to compassionately embody it."
Aundi Kolber, therapist and author of Try Softer and The Try Softer Guided Journey
"Start with Hello is an impactful read. Shannan does not hold back in addressing anti-racism. She highlights the importance of loving your neighbor and treating people with dignity and respect, while also providing practical tools to help assist you in understanding those you perceive to be different from you."
Faitth Brooks, writer, speaker, and educator
"I forever want Shannan Martin to boss me on the art of neighboring and the true purpose of home. One of the best books of the year."
Myquillyn Smith, New York Times bestselling author of Welcome Home
"See, this is why I love Shannan Martin! In Start with Hello, she gives the reader amazingly practical steps that help us move toward one another in an age where we seem to be moving further apart. She reminds us that although our daily activities may not change the whole world, if we are each intentional about these ten subtle shifts, we could most definitely change our individual worlds."
Jonathan "Pastah J" Brooks, author of Church Forsaken
"This essential field guide to expanding your world (in spite of all that makes us human) is engaging, accessible, and beautifully layered with Shannan's signature storytelling and unabashed honesty. You'll be better for reading it, and so will the world around you."
Deidra Riggs, author of 30 Days to Being Actively Anti-Racist on Social Media
"Start with Hello has changed the way I see my neighborhood, challenged the way I define and live in community, and given me hope that we can actually build a better world for us to live in by taking small steps to connect with one another. Read it, practice the simple ways you can move toward each other, and begin to experience the richness of heaven here on earth."
Grace P. Cho, writer, poet, and editor
"Start with Hello is a required read for anyone who cares about community--a roadmap back into authentic communities. Martin delivers an easy read with delightful wit as she leans into uncomfortable truths about building connections. Her experiences are relatable and give us needed wisdom to develop meaningful relationships with estranged neighbors in today's America."
José Chiquito Galván, writer and Shannan's actual neighbor
"Shannan Martin takes us by the hand and leads us on a journey of true human connection in her new book, Start with Hello. This beautiful and practical reflection beckons us to come as we are so that we may experience the depths of our humanity. Borrowing Shannan's own words, it is 'an invitation to belong more fully and engage more deeply with this life we've been given.' With thoughtfulness and vulnerability, this book shows us what it really means to be a neighbor and a friend."
Kat Armas, author of Abuelita Faith and host of The Protagonistas podcast