What I Read in January 2018

I keep track of my reading for my own (slowly fading) memory! In years past I have written a description of each book I read during a month, I have written about my personal reading experience with each book, and I’ve kept a running list. This year I want to include a quote that resonated with me from each book. I love collecting quotes and ruminating on why an author chose a specific word or phrase. I look forward to gathering a wide range of quotes this year!

  • Promise My Love (The Bradens Book 7) by Melissa Foster – I read book one of this series last month and somehow managed to download book seven next – oops! This was a short, quick read, and a typical cheesy romance – perfect for vacation reading! “Legend has it that everything in their lives was meant to keep them apart, and against all odds, they found their way to each other.”
  • After You Left by Carol Mason – What an intriguing story – or two stories intertwined. As you learn about how Alice survived her husband leaving her mid-honeymoon (and why), you also learn about Evelyn’s love stories, from decades past. When Alice and Evelyn strike up a friendship, it is such a sweet relationship! “I’m trembling with the force of reality rewriting itself” and “I don’t think I’ve ever noticed how silence is a sound of its own”.
  • Culturize: Every Student. Every Day. Whatever it Takes. by Jimmy Casas – I love books published by Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc., including this positive, uplifting professional book. Casas, who I’ve followed for years on Twitter, offers four core principles for creating a positive culture, or culturizing a school: 1) Champion for students, 2) Expect excellent, 3) Carry the banner, and 4) Be a merchant of hope. He shares lots of examples as well as practice ideas to begin this work. I recommend this to any educator who wants to make a positive contribution to their own school or district’s culture. There were two quotes that stood out to me while reading.
    • “No one person is responsible for determining your success or failure but you, and no one is responsible for your morale but you.”
    • “It was also my job to help them [students] acquire the necessary skills and strategies to improve their changes of not walking out as a prisoner of potential but rather as the embodiment of promised expectations fulfilled.”
  • We are Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union (audiobook) – I have shared my love of listening to celebrity autobiographies before and it continues with this book. The difference here is that I know this actress’s earlier work, but not a lot of her recent work. I learned a lot about her, her childhood, her work, and her passions. I appreciated getting a closer look into her struggles and triumphs as a African-American woman in this day and age. I don’t have a quote to share, since i listened to this while driving and didn’t capture specific lines.  However, I appreciate the final message about taking time NOW to take care of yourself.
  • Final Girls by Riley Sager- A blogger I follow recommended this as a fast-paced, can’t-put-down mystery, and I agree! In fact, I had to force myself to close the book (okay, the app!) so I would go to sleep one work night, and the first thing I did when I woke up was finish the book! I always enjoy a story that is told alternating between past and present tense and between various character’s perspectives. In this case, Quincy is the main narrator in the present, but then we have a third person narrator giving us glimpses into the past, when Quincy became a “final girl”.
  • A Leader’s Legacy by Kouzes & Posner – I received this book as a gift after completing a Women in Educational Leadership Institute over the last six months. I love the research and writings of Kouzes and Posner and was happy to read this book, though it is now over ten years old.The authors discuss four areas in which leaders can work to better themselves, in hopes of leaving a lasting legacy: significance, relationships, aspirations, and courage. Unlike man of their other books, this book read like the authors were sitting down having a chat. This is a valuable read for new and veteran leaders looking to make a positive impact. A few quotes that stood out to me were:
    • “The only effective approach to sustaining performance is to tap into people’s natural drive for autonomy, and invite people to join in the adventure.”
    • “Leadership isn’t about selling your vision; it’s about articulating the people’s vision.”
    • “People always want to know something about the person doing the leading before they’re going to become the people doing the following.”


What I read in 2017

What I read in 2016


About Amy's Reflections

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