Monday, August 7, 2017

Summer reading 2017 recap

Now that professional responsibilities have formally resumed, I suppose summer reading must lose its seasonal qualifying adjective. To mark that occasion, here's a list of books I finished since Memorial Day (along with parenthetical notes)...

Ideas Are All Around by Philip C. Stead (soft-spoken picture book inspiration)
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (first tome in epic -- yet intimate -- fantasy trilogy)
Teaching Literacy in the Visible Learning Classroom by Douglas Fisher et al (Hattie's effect sizes explored, applied)
The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser (still topical, alarming inspection of Internet's influence)
Waking Up by Sam Harris (meditations on meditation)
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo (more sweet than bitter MG ride with plucky young hero)
It Ain't So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas (memoir where cultures collide, sometimes causing cliches)
The Beekeeper's Lament by Hannah Nordhaus (in-depth look at often overlooked insects and the industries/people trying to harness them)
Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee (YA sci fi takes on mixed-martial arts)
ROLE Reversal by Mark Barnes (early adopter on minimizing grades and maximizing project- or problem-based learning)
Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Ruby Powell et al (YA verse novel inspired by mid-20th century interracial romance)
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (intersection of US aeronautics industry's launch and related rise of brilliant mathematicians who were black women staring down Jim Crow)
It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by Danah Boyd (think twice about assumptions re: teens and tech; question pervasive, pernicious cultural forces)
Translanguaging with Multilingual Students by Ofelia Garcia et al (make room for multiple languages to fuel learning)
New Boy by Tracy Chevalier (Shakespeare's Othello re-imagined in 21st-century elementary school; aimed at adult readers)
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (Saab story re: Swedish curmudgeon hiding heart of gold)
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Anthology of mind-expanding essays about still-expanding universe and its phenomena)
Why?: What Makes Us Curious by Mario Livio (Look at brain science and historical paragons fell short of stoking my curiosity about this trendy focus)
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (Dizzying adult fiction about three-plus Dominican generations across five decades)
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal by AKR (Actual text presented as amusing interactive hypertext, with musings loosely inspired by various school subjects/tropes)

This list comprises eight works of fiction and a dozen nonfiction titles. I consumed seven as e-books, one as an audio book, and the rest as I-turned-actual-pages paperbacks or hard covers. Of the latter, two I owned and the rest I borrowed from the library.


  1. Interesting list and I appreciate how you noted how you read them. A few of my favorites this summer were Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and Refugee by Alan Gratz. Favorite professional read was Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading by Vicki Vinton. As we approach the first day of school, my reading life has diminished in intensity. Sigh.

    1. Thanks, Julieanne, for sharing back reading recommendations of your own.

  2. I love Man called Ove and Hidden Figures! Good list :)

  3. They sound so interesting and they must have been. Thank you for sharing.

  4. So, we really have to say goodbye to summer reading??? Sniffle! Today was my first day teaching, so yeah, we do. Our lists do not overlap at all, although I have read some of yours. I made a door display of the covers of my summer reads.

    1. Nice - I like that idea of making one's reading life transparent IRL and online. Remember: goodbye to summer reading need not mean goodbye to reading (and based on your first-day slice, it doesn't!).

  5. if you liked Zeroboxer (which I didn't add to my 6th grade classroom library) you should give Fonda Lee's 2nd book, EXO, a try. I added that one to my classroom library without hesitation.

    1. Thanks for the pointer, Adrienne. I'll be on the lookout for _Exo_.

  6. I love the diversity of your reading list. I too have been enjoying the extra summer reading time. I really loved A Man Called Ove, and AKR's Textbook is on my list.