January ’17 Reading Update

I keep track of what I read each month for my aging and fading memory and for the fun of sharing my reading pleasures with others! Last year I wrote about my reading experiences each month in an update. By the end of the year, I had forgotten what many of the books I read were about, and my experiences didn’t necessarily remind me of the plot details of the stories. Therefore, this year, I hope to capture a short summary so that I can look back and recall more about the books I’ve read.

During 2016 I read 69 books. I hope to beat that record this year. Here is what I read in January 2017:

  • Someday Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham – After listening to Lauren Graham’s memoir last month, I knew I wanted to read this fiction book she wrote back when she was still on Parenthood. In her memoir, she said that many people think this fiction story is based on her life, but she said that wasn’t completely true. As I read, I pictured a goofier, curly-haired version of her as Frannie, the young woman in NYC trying to be an actress. I liked reading about Frannie’s auditions, friends, and celebrity encounters, which were entertaining because of how ridiculous (and probably realistic) they were! It was nice to see Frannie catch a break by the end of the book, both in her acting career and her love life.
  • The Together Leader: Get Organized for Your Success – and Sanity! by Maia Heyck-Merlin – I purchased this book after hearing about the program in a district’s presentation at the Learning Forward conference in Vancouver last month. At first, I thought the book was going to be just like The Breakthrough Coach program that helps school administrators organize their time to spend more time in classrooms and still have a life outside of work. However, this book was much  more detailed and went way beyond calendar and email organization. Maia takes you through how to set small and long-term goals, how to use those goals to set priorities, then use the priorities to plan your calendar of tasks. I think this would be a great tool for new leaders and anyone needing to create a new organization system to be more efficient and productive.
  • The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes – This book was exactly what I needed to read, as my sugar addiction is very real! It’s a dry, detailed look at the history of the sugar industry in America, and a summary of various research studies conducted to prove that sugar was not harmful (during the era where fat was bad!) and the new interpretations that tell us how detrimental sugar is to our healthy in many ways. I might need to reread this every year, to continue to battle my addiction to sweets. For my own health, I’m making a concerted effort to lay off the added sugar whenever possible.

About Amy's Reflections

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Southern CA, taking time to reflect on leadership and learning
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