I have often been asked for recommendations about what books to read. These questions will come from students, colleagues, followers, etc. Before I start listing some of my favorites, I want to clarify my mindset while I am reading the books. My mindset is usually framed in how anything I read can be brought into the classroom and education in general. That is my passion in life. I want to learn about learning. I am always seeking new ways to look at any situation through other people's eyes. I highlight often in the books I read whether it is on a kindle or a physical book. If it is a library book (hint: free!!!) I will have a notepad next to me and write down notes and lines of the book that I deem worthy of keeping.
There are two types of books I love to read. They are World War II / Vietnam War memoirs and Business/education books.
The reason I like war memoirs is because my grandfather was almost killed fighting Nazis in the Battle of the Bulge in Germany in WWII. He never talked about it. He has since passed away and I have had a yearning to understand what he went through. I picked up WWII books and started reading. I have read over 50 WWII books to this date. I have branched out to Vietnam memoirs as well. I have found the life lessons from people who are close to death are very powerful. The stories of our heroes at war help me stay focused on what is important in my life and my dreams of changing education.
My current top 3 war books and favorite quotes from each are:
Auschwitz #34207; The Joe Rubenstein Story by Nancy Sprowell Geise
“You should never be afraid if you want to make a better life”
The Things Our Fathers Saw - The Untold Stories of the World War II Generation from Hometown, USA - Voices of the Pacific Theater by Matthew Rozell
“Kids should not grow up cynical - they should grow up like the world is theirs, and enjoy it and have a decent world”
Hornet 33: Memoir of a Combat Helicopter Pilot in Vietnam by Ed Denny
"Change what you can, accept what you can't, and be smart enough to know the difference."
Reading books about education and business can be a hit or miss for me. I like an author who tells it like it is...not as a sales pitch. I don’t want someone telling me their product or service, I listen to people who know their why and tell their story with it in mind.
Here are my current top 3 books on education / business.
Creative Schools by Sir Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica (This is what I consider the best book written on changing schools)
”The drab nature of standardized education does little to inspire and empower those caught in poverty.”
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
“People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.”
REWORK by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
“What you do is your legacy. Don’t sit around and wait for someone else to make the change you want to see. And don’t think it takes a huge team to make that difference either.”
I read a ton whenever I have a moment away from work and family. I hated reading in high school because they told me what to read. I found my why and sought out books and authors who could teach me more about my passion. What are your favorite books? I’d love to hear your lists!