Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday's Five: Summer Reading Books

Friday's Five is a feature every week where I pick a new topic and list five items that I think fit best.  Then I ask you, my readers, to share your thoughts in the comment section.  For an archive of past topics, check the Friday's Five Page.  If you'd like to make suggestions about future topics or discuss topics I bring up on the blog with others, make sure you click the "like" button on the right hand side of the page to join A Teacher's Life for Me on Facebook.  Don't be shy about sharing the blog and Facebook Page with others.  Each post has a "Tweet" button on top and buttons on the bottom that allow you to share in several ways, including e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter.
flickr/Simon Cocks
Since today marks the last day of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation for me, I thought I'd share five books that I plan to read over the summer.  After all, summer is the time when we, as teachers, finally get the chance to read and go to the bathroom.  Not all of the books are education based, but that's OK.  Being well-rounded is one of the things that makes us good teachers.

After reading my list, please share a book or two that you plan to read or that you suggest in the comment section.  I'm always looking for a good book, and I'm sure others who read the blog would appreciate suggestions and/or recommendations.

  1. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch - This book was highly recommended and loaned to me by a colleague.  It's the story of Randy Pausch's last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a professor, just before he died of pancreatic cancer.  
  2. The Vault of Walt by Jim Korkis - I admit it.  I'm a Disney Geek.  I love the stories behind the parks, stories of Walt's life, and stories about the company that very few people know or remember.  That's what this book is filled with.  It's a collection of short anecdotes from the memory and research of Jim Korkis, former Disney employee and respected Disney historian.  The forward is written by Diane Disney Miller, Walt's daughter.   
  3. Why We Do What We Do:  Understanding Self-Motivation by Edward L. Deci - The High School principal in our district loaned this book to me a while back.  It's time that I read it and gave it back to him.  When he gave it to me there was a sticky note on the cover that said, "Mike, Read with caution.  This one has made me rethink everything we do in education."  Sounds like my kind of book!
  4. Galen Rowell's Inner Game of Outdoor Photography - When people find out that I am a photographer, or see my portfolio, I often get asked, "Who is your favorite photographer?"  The answer is Galen Rowell.  The guy was an amazing photographer, writer, and person.  His passion for outdoor adventure photography is evident in his work, and contagious.  It's unfortunate that he died in a plane crash in 2002 because the world lost one of it's great creative minds and artists.
  5. A World in Transition:  Finding Spiritual Security in Times of Change - This anthology of essays and talks has been sitting on my shelf for many years, but I have yet to read it cover to cover.  I have found the parts I have read to be inspirational, thought provoking, and enlightening.  The inside of the book jacket claims, "Today there is a great emphasis on external solutions to our problems.  Yet, peace, happiness, and prosperity all come from within."  That message is similar to Gandhi's "Be the Change" quote that I referenced in a previous post.  
Now it's your turn.  What books do you plan to read this summer?  What books would you suggest to others?  Have you read any of the above books?  What did you think?  Let us know in the comment section.

Also, don't forget to share the blog with others by clicking on the "Tweet" button up top, sharing on Facebook, sending a plurk to your PLN, or all of the above!