July Reading Update [2019]

Technically, I finished the first book on this list on the last day of June, but I didn’t have time to add it to my June post before it was published. July was another fun reading month.

  • A Double Life by Flynn Berry – I discovered this mystery by simply scrolling through my library app and looking for a good mystery! I loved the fact that the author told us pieces of the story from the past interspersed with the current storyline of “where are they now”. This was a sad story about a young woman needing closure on a horrific incident from her childhood, when her father was accused of murdering one woman and attempting to murder another, the girl’s mother. My biggest complaint about the book was that it wouldn’t load properly in my app, making it impossible to save a page or know were I was in the book at any given point in time.
  • Layover by Amy Adelson & Emily Meyer – I enjoyed this fun YA told in 3 different perspectives. The three main characters, Amos, Poppy and Flynn, are stepsiblings who decide to run away when they realize their parents are about to announce another divorce. They have an adventure throughout LA as they try to figure out what their relationships will be in the future. What I loved is that the story continued even as each chapter changed narrators. It had a great flow!
  • The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean – My stepmom recommended this book to me and I loved it (Thanks Holly!). A young women who worked in The Hermitage museum during WWII memorizes every piece of art in the museum as she and others pack them all away and live in the basement of the museum for months on end to survive the war. As this part of the story is going on, a current storyline also tells us that this same woman ends up with Alzheimer’s later in her life and she doesn’t share her history with her own children. This was a sweet but sad story, touching, moving, and full of art history.
  • One Day in December by Josie Silver [audiobook]- I loved the beginning and the end of this book, but the middle felt like a never-ending saga of unnecessary drama. When Laurie sees Jack from her seat on a bus, she feels an instant connection. After a year of trying to find her “bus boy” he turns up as the new boyfriend of her best friend. Hence, the drama that goes on for a decade before the expected happy ending occurs. I’m glad I listened to this on audiobook, because it was an easy story to follow along to while fighting my new longer afternoon commute, and I would have been frustrated if I was reading it in print.
  • Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton – What a beautiful story! The chapters alternate between Elisa’s life in Havana, Cuba in the late 1950’s, when Fidel Castro fights for power, and Elisa’s granddaughter Marisol as she travels to Cuba in 2017. I loved learning more about their lives and Cuban history throughout this wonderfully written story. It was sad to see the lives of Cubans who were exiled during tough political times as well as the lives of Cubans who stayed behind and had to fight for every morsel of food they could find. Then men in their lives, Pablo and Luis, were strong, passionate, political figures who brought added depth to this bittersweet story.
  • The World Becomes What We Teacher: Educating a Generation of Solutionaries by Zoe Weil – I love this book and highly recommend this to all educators! My new boss gifted me this book as a welcome present and it was a great introduction to the culture of my new district. If every school in the world took the advice from this book to heart, our educational system would be significantly different for our learners. I believe we need to rethink about how we educate students and what their role can be in their own learning. “Solutionaries” think critically about the world’s current problems and come up with actual solutions!
  • Desperate Measures by Stuart Woods – Another mystery in my favorite series- Stone didn’t buy any new houses, but he did have at least one girlfriend die in the process of their relationship.
  • The Ethical Line: 10 Leadership Strategies for Effective Decision Making by Toni Faddis – I was happy to read this book by my friend and colleague. Toni shares specific tips and real-world scenarios to help leaders explore ethical issues in a purposeful way.
  • Tumble and Blue by Cassie Beasley [audiobook] – One of my good friends recommended this YA book to me, knowing I would enjoy it! Tumble and Blue are two young adolescents who meet and become friends during the summer when Blue’s entire family is searching to change their bad fates. Blue’s fate is to lose at everything and Tumble is a superhero in training with trouble following her everywhere. They team up to solve their problems together through a series of fun and silly adventures.
  • The Coach ADVenture: Building Powerful Instructional Leadership Skills that Impact Learning by ME! – Technically, my book is not out yet (coming at the end of August), but as part of my final editing, I did reread my entire book a few times this month.

About Amy's Reflections

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