For many, summer is a time to break out a book and kick back in ways we don’t have time to do during the school year, and this is particularly true for teachers. We asked a few teachers to share what they read this summer and their choices are as various as the subjects they teach. Find a good book by looking at their lists, or just learn what they like by glancing at their virtual bookshelves.
Math: Mrs. Slowick
I read a lot of great books this summer! I read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell for a course I was taking. Outliers is a non-fiction piece about the conditions necessary to be successful; while talent and skill play a part, there are many other factors that contribute to one’s success. Factors such as your birthday or your nationality could be the difference between GREAT and average.
There were three books by Lisa Genova I read in about a week’s time because I was fascinated by the subject matter. Still Alice was the story of a woman discovering she has Alzheimers and her struggle with acceptance and coping. Love Anthony was about an autistic boy who died at a young age and his mother’s journey to understand his legacy. The third book, and my favorite, was Left Neglected. It was about a woman who suffered a brain injury after a car accident (she was texting and driving on a rainy day and slid off the road, flipping her car). Her brain injury was a rare condition called left neglect where the left side of everything simply disappeared from her vision and comprehension. She had to recover from her physical injuries as well as learning to make allowances for everything “left” that she could no longer comprehend. I loved the novels for the intelligent way they were written and the insights they gave into the human brain. There is so much we take for granted every day!
I love to read! I am always in the middle of a book. It is my escape from the craziness of my days.
Art: Mrs. Greenway
I made good use of my iPad this summer, downloading books from the public library and I even went to the library and checked out a few I couldn’t get online. I have my list of favorite authors but periodically search for any new books they have out I haven’t read yet or new authors to try. I usually read two or three books a week and prefer mysteries, but I will read about anything if I’m desperate!
I just finished Dan Brown’s Inferno and thoroughly enjoyed that. He includes so much art history in his books it’s perfect for anyone interested in the arts. His descriptions are so visual; I guess if I can’t go to Europe right now and see the work of the masters, I can at least visualize them through his writings. I got hooked on him with the Da Vinci Code and have read everything he has written; he’s an excellent author and really researches his material.
I got lucky and found a few I hadn’t read by John Grisham, James Patterson, David Baldacci and even Stephen King. I had given up on Stephen King for a few years after reading The Pet Cemetery (had nightmares after that), but decided to give him another try and it was worth it. I had a few more nightmares but enjoyed the books! I probably won’t read quite as much now being back in school, but if anyone has any recommendations for good authors, I will be happy to check them out!
Social Studies: Mrs. Wicks
I read mystery books written by the author of the “Longmire” series on A & E. His name is Craig Johnson and he lives in Buffalo, Wyoming, a place I frequent often–I go to the Big Horn Mountains and camp and ride horses for at least two weeks during the summer–so I thought I would read his books because he has taken up residence at Ucross, Wyoming (about 20 minutes from Buffalo) and wrote his series to show what life is like in our part of the country. He included all aspects of life in Wyoming in his series–culture (Native American and Basque), geography (climate, diversity), lifestyles, economics, crime. It was really interesting because he also included information about Rapid City, Pine Ridge and other parts of South Dakota and made it seem like we are much closer than we really are but that helps make his fictional novels more interesting.
The series now includes eight books and it is good if you read them in order but you don’t have to. I have donated a series to the freshman English teachers so if any students are interested in reading them they could visit Mrs. Mahoney, Mrs. Oldham and Mrs. Mueller.