I just read a post about summer reading suggestions for students and that has we wondering about a summer reading list for adults. What are you planning to read this summer? (professional and for pleasure)
Usually I have a stack of books waiting for me at this point of the year... this year I do not! I have some reading journals I need to tackle but nothing set for pleasure reading. Therefore, I am very eager to see what others are reading (and why) so I can put together a list and get to it in two weeks... :)
I hop between academic stuff and pure lighthearted fun in the summer (my latest favorite is the Diane Mott.) Are you familiar with the social networking surrounding books and reading? Living Social on Facebook has a book-club type application, where you can see what your other friends (with the app) are reading, how they rate the book, etc. There are also several websites such as http://www.goodreads.com/. This also features a friends list/sharing feature. Literature Map is also something I truly enjoy. It's a folksonomy of authors names based on what others have put in who also put in the author you selected. I've found some great books that way. I know that Amazon Recommendations are almost identical, but lit-map feels less corporate.
Oh! To answer your question - for pleasure some Stephanie Plum, Goldy the Caterer fluff, probably some Kim Harrison and Jim Butcher, and for improving my teaching I am digging into best practice research on online learning and world languages. Budget problems in my state are forcing me to consolidate my upper division classes, and I want to put some of my AP students online to replace what they will now be missing since they'll only get half my attention.
It'll be fun to check back and see what kind of answers you get!
Here's what's on my night table(where I keep my current and upcoming needs)
-The Logic of Failure, why things go wrong and what we can do to make them right; Dietrich Dorner (from my father-in-law's library)
-Holy Conversations, Strategic Planning as a Spritual Practice for Congregations; Gil Rendle and Alice Mann (for a strategic planing team at my church)
-Experimental Geography, Radical Approaches to Landscape, Cartography and Urbanism; Nato Thompson and the Independent Curator's (for fun)
-The Argument Culture, moving from debate to dialogue; Deborah Tannen (from my father-in-law's library)
-Multiple Intelligences, the Theory in Practice; Howard Gardner (catch-up from previous purchase)
On order from Amazon
Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations; Clay Shirky (must read list)
The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business; Tara Hunt (on the recommendation of my friend Naomi Swinton, of United World College, Bartos Institute and Grass Roots Leadership)
Will I get through these this summer? Probably not; summer is the busy time for us IT folks, but it's worth a try.
I gave up light reading years ago, but sometimes pick up a novel or sci fi book.
These may get back to the library unread, but my current borrowings are A brief history of philosophy : from Socrates to Derrida
A history of philosophy. Volume 01, antiquity and the middle ages.
A history of philosophy. Volume 02, the modern Age to romanticism.
A history of philosophy. Volume 03, from bolzano to wittgenstein.
Corrupting the youth : a history of philosophy in Australia
The God delusion
The book of the cosmos : imagining the universe from Heraclitus to Hawking
The philosophers : introducing great western thinkers
The second creation : makers of the revolution in twentieth century physics
The undergrowth of science : delusion, self-deception and human frailty
Oh, and why? Well, I've dipped in and out of philosophy, and want to get a connected, time-delimited coherent picture of the field. I need to get some refreshed history of modern science back under my belt, and I've borrowed Dawkins' Delusion many times, I just have to steel myself to read it. (I should, I just dislike reading full-volume stridency!)
I'm planning to read something else by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - I would describe him as the modern/ spanish embodiment of Hemmingway. Pick up Memories of my Melancholy Whores or Love in the Time of Cholera. Both stunning works. Here are some other great, but not necessarily new, summer reads:
Water for Elephants - A good, light lazy summer novel - about circus life in the 1930's. Freakonomics - In case you've been living under a rock, this is a must-read. Last Night at the Lobster - If your into literary portraits of the mundane, this is the book for you. Everything is Illuminated - One of my favorite books of all time. Get past the vulgar first 20 pages and the payoff is exquisite. The Complete Short Stories - Ernest Hemmingway - Need I say more?
So there you go. These are my suggestions. I am looking for something to read as well, so I'm keeping my ears open.
The libarian at our school asked the teachers to tell her what their favorite book is and to write up a little paragraph about it. She bought all the books that teachers recommended and the students (high school age) are reading books that we recommended. It has become pretty interesting. Students talk to you about the book you suggested. It give students and teachers an avenue to talk to students other than about class. I also took the list and plan on reading the other teachers suggestions over the summer. A couple of choices were: Middlesex, Double Helix, The day Pigs Could Fly, etc. I also play to read some of Kathy Reich's books about a forensic anthropologist cases (murder mystery). You may want to see if your libarian can come up with something for you school.
In terms of Leadership, the last two books I have read I would highly recommend:
The Defining Moment, Jonathan Alter
+ FDR's first hundred days truly is one of the most remarkable examples of leadership. Thought I knew the general idea of what he did, but this book puts it in tremendous perspective.
Lincoln on Leadership, Donald Phillips
+ Compact book filled with wisdom and reflective thoughts to practice. A casual read
Thanks for starting this thread. Already, the list is growing!
Also, Lee Kolbert wrote a post about summer reading for teachers. She is collecting suggestions via a survey linked to the post and will be sharing the results when the survey is closed.