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 4-5 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.
Reading List for Summer 2018
Eunice The Kennedy Who Changed the World by Eileen McNamara
• Eunice was the 5th of the Kennedy kids (JFK’s younger sister) and grew-up during a time of very defined gender roles. She is constantly quoted by other’s in the book “as the Kennedy that should have been president, if she was a man.” However, somewhat removed from normal financial challenges of life, she is passionate and starts (historical) some of the most important social movements that focus on juvenile justice and prison reform, women’s prison reforms, mental disability funding for research, development of the Special Olympics, and the formation of the Head Start program all belong to her vision.
How to Style Your Brand by Fiona Humberston
• I loved her other book “Brand Brilliance” and decided to purchase this one, which I should have purchased first. Both books are amazing at helping the reader understand branding and styling a brand in a powerful way to connect to clients. Simple but impactful tips on photo arrangements, use of fonts, colors, textures, visuals, etc. to bring your brand to life, and provide a holistic branding concept are vital to any successful brand.
Illness or Deviance? Drug Courts, Drug Treatment and the Ambiguity of Addiction by Jennifer Murphy
• American society has been plaque with the drug epidemic for decades but the opiate epidemic has taken community health to a new level. There is tremendous research that argues the impact of opiates on brain development. Many argue that addiction is a mental health challenge while society finds it easier to blame the person for the initial use and then label them as a “druggie” and ignore them. Addiction is challenging for many to understand but seeking out research and literature about this topic (which impacts EVERYONE and our COMMUNITEIS) helps us better understand the perplexities of addiction. Learn so you can help others.
Elizabeth the Queen by Sally Bedwell Smith
• Who doesn’t like a good book about the Royals as some of us were glued to the TV to watch the recent Royal wedding. The history of the Monarchy is incredibly interesting and how Queen Elizabeth come to the throne is a great story. Also how she had to grow into the role at such a young age and balance the duties of being both a mother and Queen were challenging. Her dedication to her role as Queen and her continual impact on English society and history is inspiring to read about. I have also seen the queen in person on my first trip to England!!!
Summer of 2017 reads (or some of the most memorable)
American Fire: Love, Arson and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse
• A great book and a saddening story line, but all is true. This story of rural arson, and the plight of vanishing rural communities and towns, is a topic that many of us can relate too. But what happens to these small, rural, towns and communities when there is little left? You will need to read this book to find out what truly happened in this rural community and impact it had on the people who live there.
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
• Great read about cultural poverty and the impact is having 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.
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.