Summer Reading List

I love to read.  As a child, I struggled to read, sound-out words, comprehend content, spell, etc.  I still struggle with these lack of skills but I work hard at them.  However, sometimes, I just reassign names in places where I cannot pronounce a word.  Using memorization instead of phonics.  It is amazing I was able to get through school, college and an obtain a PhD.

Each summer, I set goals and one of those usually focuses on reading certain books and creating a reading list.  I tend to hop around between history, biographies, limited non-fiction, etc.  This summer, I made a realistic goal of reading 5 books.  I write them down in my calendar when I finish them.  I used to make a ridiculous goal, unrealistic goals, that no one could accomplish in a summer while working full-time.  This seemed like manageable realistic goal. Below is a list of books I have read, still want to read, and/or gets added to a master list of books I need to read.


Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

  • Great read about cultural poverty and the impact is has on families, children, and communities. Then also the implications of trying to shed, deal, confront a past life of dysfunction, drugs, and poverty that are wrapped-up in this culture.

Rosemary by Kate Larson

  • Biography about Rosemary Kennedy who was JFK’s older sister. She was mentally challenged as a child and into adulthood.  Hidden from public eye, this book tells her story.

The Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr

  • A story filled with short memories that are like little stories that are captured and put on tapes and then re-played to help Alma with her dementia. However, these tapes have a lot to hid and one boy finds out about her secret.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

  • You will either love or hate Olive but this book focuses on her life, emotions, relationships, that become challenged as she grows older in life. Also the web of connectivity of life in communities; everyone is connected in some way.   Olive becomes relatable and humanistic.  And the most important piece, she become more vulnerable which all people can relate too.

Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up by Paul Schmitz

  • Leadership from the ground-up and that all can be actively engaged in leadership. Helping others to learn they have potential to lead.

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Hunt

  • A youth book and a good read for a 4-7 grader but I had heard good things about the book. The story focuses on a girl that has managed to work her way through school not knowing how to read or write.  The excesses and tricks she uses to get out of this work are amazing.  She also builds friendships, learns to trust a teacher, and finds faith in herself.

If you have some great books, feel free to share!  I am always looking for good reads that help me learn, growth and think differently.  Happy reading!

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