For the past few years, I’ve taken some space here each December and/or January to highlight the books I read or plan to read in a given year. Among the many uses I’ve found for blogging in the last decade, goal-setting (and the public accountability thereof) has been one of the top ones for me.
In January, I set a goal of reading 15 books in 2017, 3 more over my goal of reading 12 in 2016. As of this blog post in late July, a bit past the halfway mark for the year, I’ve read 34 books in multiple formats (e-book, audiobook, and traditional). After a year or so of making do with my (otherwise excellent) public library’s relatively meager electronic offerings, I pulled the trigger on an Audible account this year, which really expanded my listening options. Between Audible, the two public libraries of which I am a member, my regular rotation of favorite podcasts, and my music, I finally have enough at my disposal to make the hour-plus one-way commute – dare I say? – pleasant!
Of note: the books I read last year were fairly evenly distributed across formats (4 books, 5 e-books, 6 audiobooks). This year, traditional books have constituted the majority of my reading (18), with audiobooks in second (10) and e-books shortly behind in third (6).
This balance will surely shift somewhat over the next five months, as I’ll be downloading audiobooks and e-books like crazy before we leave on our annual family vacation next month, but it’s interesting for me to pause my consumption and look at this breakdown and wonder why. As I’ve previously mentioned, I don’t have an expressed preference over format (though I have found that I find it easier to let my mind wander with audiobooks than with books that require visual decoding).
If you’re interested in what I’ve been reading so far this year, here’s the list, in reverse order (most recently finished first), with links to Goodreads and authors’ Twitter accounts, where applicable:
- The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
- The Ways of White Folks, Langston Hughes
- Phantom of the Pines: More Tales of the Jersey Devil, James F. McCloy & Ray Miller
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni
- A Dance with Dragons, George R.R. Martin
- Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest, Zeynep Tufekci
- Mind Gym: An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence, Gary Mack
- Other People’s Children, Lisa Delpit
- Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin
- Collected Essays, James Baldwin
- God Bless America: Strange and Unusual Religious Practices in the United States, Karen Stollznow
- For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood… And the Rest of Y’All Too, Christopher Emdin
- The Devil Finds Work, James Baldwin
- Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America, Dan Savage
- The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession, Dana Goldstein
- No Name in the Street, James Baldwin
- Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of Non-Profit Colleges in the New Economy, Tressie McMillan Cottom
- Born a Crime, Trevor Noah
- The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin
- Nobody Knows My Name, James Baldwin
- 10% Happier, Dan Harris
- The Muses Go to School: Inspiring Stories about the Importance of Arts in Education, Herb Kohl (ed.)
- Letters to a Young Teacher, Jonathan Kozol
- Notes of a Native Son, James Baldwin
- White Trash: The 400-Year Untold Story of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg
- A Schoolmaster of the Great City, Angelo Patri
- Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change, Adam Kahane
- Escaping the School Leader’s Dunk Tank, Rebecca Coda & Rick Jetter
- Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?, Pasi Sahlberg
- A Feast for Crows, George R.R. Martin
- Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik
- A Storm of Swords, George R.R. Martin
- Dune, Frank Herbert
- The Zen Teacher, Dan Tricario
I’m always on the lookout for book recommendations, so please feel free to leave me a rec in the comments, and let me know what you’re reading, for business, pleasure, both, or otherwise! Also, please connect with me on Goodreads; I love seeing what teachers, administrators, and other smart people are reading.