June Reading Update [2019]

Last year I read 59 books total, so my this time of the year I am competing with myself and want to be past the halfway point to 60. After May, I had read 41 books. This month I read 9 bringing my 2019 total to 50! I think I’ve beaten my halfway point goal and am on track to have a record-setting year of reading!

  • Losing Quin: A journey of injustice and healing by Brian M. Murphy with contributions from Maria Galleher – This sad and emotional and powerful book was written by a colleague of mine after losing his son due to medical misdiagnosis and complications. Instead of living in anger, Brian turned his grief into a lesson on the medical world of HMOs and health care in America. I was so saddened to read of each problem, each time a doctor didn’t listen, each time his son was in pain and no one helped. But I was so uplifted reading about Brian’s determination to heal, to turn Quin’s life into a lesson for other families, and to keep Quin’s memory alive. This is a beautiful family story surrounded by the sad details of a life cut too short.
  • The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger – I saw this book recommended on a blogger’s list and since I’ve liked other recommendations by her, I knew I would enjoy this fast-paced mystery. I loved the stories alternately told from the two female protagonists, each trying to solve this mystery on different continents and from different perspectives. As we learned about the deep deceptions within foreign banking, and the lies that bankers, politicians, and even journalists will tell, the story took chase across the world. I appreciate the ending for each woman’s story.
  • Nantucket Nights by Elin Hilderbrand – This is a great summer read! As Kayla’s life unravels around her, she is forced to question herself as a wife, a mother, and a friend. Her two closest friends, Val and Antoinette, betray her, and she in turns betrays others. This is a story about complicated relationships. While the ending was satisfying, I’m not sure if I liked it or not. I love a book that makes you think even after the last page!
  • The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan – This was a random add-on purchase when I wanted to make sure I had enough e-books available during a vacation. It ended up being surprisingly good, if you love books and reading! The main character, Nina, is a book lover whose dream is to be able to find the right book for each reader. After she loses her job at a library, she ends up moving to Scotland and opening a book shop out of a large van. As she puts books into people’s hands, she gets to know them and herself. It was fun to go on her journey and to read the gorgeous scenery of Scotland.
  • Coach It Further: Using the Art of Coaching to Improve School Leadership by Peter M. DeWitt – I try to get my hands on any professional book that relates to instructional coaching, as that is my passion, my work, and the content of my upcoming book (The Coach Adventure comes out at the end of August!). I enjoyed DeWitt’s book, which allowed us to follow a first year principal’s journey as he is coached by a mentor and as he learns to build the capacity of his assistant principals and his site leadership team. The themes that were repeated throughout the story include: take time to build relationships, coaching takes time and trust, and keeping a focus on the most important work.
  • The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker – I discovered this book by browsing my library’s e-reader app and I’m so glad I found it! This is a fascinating story about love, loss, and chaos in times of uncertainty. As the earth’s rotation begins to slow, the length of daylight and darkness grow, and people have to adjust to a new and scary normal. I loved the story being narrated from Julia’s 11-year old point of view. That made it as much about adolescence as about the possible end of the world. I highly recommend this book to everyone!
  • Unbound by Stuart Woods – I’m trying to get myself back in the correct order of my favorite series, the Stone Barrington books by Woods; I believe this was the last book I missed out of order in my recent haste. I loved this particular story because it includes a subplot all about Billy Barnett, formerly Teddy of the CIA, as he and Stone crossed paths between LA and Santa Fe. Billy had to use his old CIA skills to avoid trouble that he brought on himself after his wife was killed. It was a fun, fast-paced journey!
  • A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev – In my efforts to continue to expand my reading repertoire, I discovered this book through my library e-reader and I loved it! I enjoy Bollywood movies and this was like reading about one come to life! There were underage arranged marriages, real love, mystery, and what felt like a never-ending wait for the happily ever after moment!
  • Turbulence by Stuart Woods – I love my Stone Barrington novels, but I’m sad that I’m almost all caught up to the author’s present writing schedule. It will be hard to have to wait months for a new book to be available. In this story, Stone had both a boat and a car blown in an explosion meant to kill him. His insurance policy might not be renewed after these escapades!


This month I abandoned Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull.  Ed is a founder of Pixar and it was interesting to read about the begininings of the company and how they made their first movies. However, the storytelling was slow and laborious and I found myself not wanting to open the book up. So I stopped a little more than halfway through.

About Amy's Reflections

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