Summer reading list 2015

beach reading

It’s a Wiebe tradition.

The annual summer reading list.

For as long as I’ve been in education, I’ve had a summer reading list. Several of my early mentors suggested that the summer is a perfect time for personal professional learning.Develop a list of professional and fun books. Commit to reading them. Talk about the content with others. I eventually came around to the idea and learned to love it.

My wife, also an educator, started doing it. Later, we passed on the idea to our kids. The cool thing is that we’re all still committed to it. The best summer was the year my wife and I took a tech naked trip to the beach. Without the internet, there’s was nothing to do but sit in the sand and read. Awesome.

Of course, in all of the years that I’ve been doing it, I’ve never actually finished the original list. Schedules change. Books aren’t as good as I had hoped. It’s easy to get sidetracked. Work. Travel. Family stuff. But the idea is still a good one. It makes us better educators. And isn’t that part of the job?

So even though I’m pretty sure I won’t finish it, I still make the list. Cause one of these years, it’s gonna happen. All the books, all the way through. Really. I’m serious. This year for sure.

The 2015 Summer Reading List

Work related

Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World
Reading onscreen has many virtues. Yet the virtues are matched with drawbacks. But if the way we read is changing, so is the way we write. Many authors and publishers are producing shorter works and ones that require little reflection or close reading. Words Onscreen weighs the value of reading physical print versus online text, including the question of what long-standing benefits of reading might be lost if we go overwhelmingly digital while looking at how the internet is shifting reading from being a solitary experience to a social one.

Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt
The National Book Award–winning biography that tells the story of how young Teddy Roosevelt transformed himself from a sickly boy into the vigorous man who would become a war hero and ultimately president of the United States, told by master historian David McCullough.

Gettysburg: The Last Invasion
Two-time Lincoln Prize winner Allen C. Guelzo shows us the face, the sights and the sounds of nineteenth-century combat: the stone walls and gunpowder clouds of Pickett’s Charge; the reason that the Army of Northern Virginia could be smelled before it could be seen; the march of thousands of men from the banks of the Rappahannock in Virginia to the Pennsylvania hills.

The Game Believes in You
What if schools, from the wealthiest suburban nursery school to the grittiest urban high school, thrummed with the sounds of deep immersion? More and more people believe that can happen – with the aid of video games.

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World
Steven Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life from their creation to their unintended historical consequences. Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes, the book investigates the secret history behind the everyday objects of contemporary life and examines unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated fields.

Just for fun

The Name of the Rose
The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the creepy labyrinth of the abbey, where “the most interesting things happen at night.”

The history of Ireland told through the eyes of three different families. Rebellion and famine and politics and Industrial Revolution and religion and explosions. What’s not to like?

English sea captain. Spanish and Portuguese church leaders. Japanese warlords. All brought together in feudal Japan in a struggle for power, control, and unlimited riches.

What’s on your list?

About Glenn Wiebe

I work as a social studies specialist at ESSDACK, an educational service center in Hutchinson, Kansas. Before coming to ESSDACK, I taught middle school US History and higher ed social science classes.

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