What I Read in July 2018

This month felt like a slow reading month. I listened to a lot of podcasts, which limited my audiobook “reading” and I probably watched too much TV! Here is what I did read this month (including an amazing professional book by one of my favorite authors!).

  • Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank – I love discovering a new author! This story took place in Lowcountry South Carolina and Corfu, Greece, over a 20 year period of time. Two couples, with a hidden past, form a summer friendship that takes them through raising kids, injuries, deaths, and drama. I enjoyed Eliza’s exploration of her Greek routes (and I’m even more excited to start planning a future trip to Greece!) and the memories from my own summers at the Jersey Shore that this reminded me of. Fun summer read!
  • Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators by Elena Aguilar – If you’ve read even a few of my blog posts, you will know that I have a profound respect for everything that Elena Aguilar writes. I loved The Art of Coaching and The Art of Coaching Teams so much that I’ve used them with coaches and leaders for the last four years. This book was amazing on an entirely different level. Aguilar outlines 12 habits and dispositions that will support emotional resilience. She even schedules them out throughout a typical school year at a time when you need each of these in particular. There were so many takeaways I had while reading this book. So many of the educators with whom I work are overly stressed out, anxious, and tired of getting beat up by public perception, public test scores, and self-doubt. I will be encouraging every educator I know to read this important book. A few key quotes that resonated with me include:

Patience is an emotion and a skill.

Learn to recognize your emotions as messengers, as potential sources of energy, and as a fact of human existence.

Healthy conflict can build resilient communities.

Where do you choose to spend your energy?

  • Pretty Mess by Erika Jayne – I listened to the author, a star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, read this autobiography. It was not very well-written, but it gave me a small glimpse behind the reality cameras.
  • The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride – What a beautiful, moving story about one woman’s road to self-love, as she leaves behind family, the Jewish religion, and most of the white race, to raise 12 black children. James’ love and respect for his mother as he tells her tales, all of which he learned through much research as an adult, not as a child, are evident and touching. While this book was originally published in 1996, the racial issues described are still a reality today. But the author leaves you with hope that we have more in common than that which makes us different.

About Amy's Reflections

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