Summer Reading Roundup, Fall Reading Ideas

An apple tree definitely signals back to school - which equals more reading... right? Except no school for me!
An apple tree definitely signals back to school – which equals more reading… right? Except – no school for me! I’m done my MS degree!

Remember when I said I was going to read maybe half of that summer reading list? I read about a third.

But holy cow the ones I read were amazing!

(Except for Babbit. That wasn’t that great.)

I highly recommend Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.  I’m planning on giving it as a gift for Christmas for some special people.  Who knew psychology and economics had so much in common… not me – but now I do. This book is almost dauntingly big, but you can read it 10 page chapter by 10 page chapter as a nightly devotional.

I’ve been reading Metamorpha with my husband, and it’s allowed for some really great conversations about how Christianity is a journey, not a destination, or a past gate we walked through when we were “saved” so many years ago.  I’m loving Kyle Strobel’s overarching framework of a trifecta of worldview informers who help Christians through life: the Bible, good community, and the Holy Spirit.

I re-read the entirety of Lev Grossman’s trilogy – including the final book The Magician’s Land which kicked ass by tying up all the loose ends and being satisfyingly well written. Yep, I recommend all three – and my awesome Librarian friend Anna reviewed the book here.

I just finished Aubrey Daniel’s classic Bringing out the Best in People, which is the popular version of his textbook Performance Management, which I mistakenly thought I wanted to read. I didn’t really feel like reading a textbook. Really. Daniel’s is a huge proponent of positive reinforcement, with reinforcement being used in the psychological sense.  The book makes a lot of sense for both managers, teachers, and parents to read.  It wasn’t exactly scintillating – but I gleaned some important lessons.

The Locust Effect by Gary Haugen was powerful, but oh so sad.  I read it on the plane to and from my brother-in-laws wedding – which helped to not make it as sad as it could have been.  Otherwise it’s the type of book that will depress you for weeks.  The basic premise is that unless violence is alleviated in third world countries with serious justice systems and police accountability there will be no relief from poverty no matter how much money is thrown at the problem.  The stories are really heartbreaking.

Off-the-list reading this summer I really enjoyed included:

  • The Sparrow and sequel Children of God by Mary Doria Russell.  Super thought provoking fiction grappling with the concept of theodicy.
  • Drive by Daniel Pink.  Looks at the idea of motivation and what motivates us.  This is written in the spirit of most pop nonfiction books (think “Blink”).  The book was fascinating with it’s distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation – but what was more fascinating was reading the online venom between Aubrey Daniels and Daniel Pink. Ha.

As always, my “To Read” list on Goodreads is enormous and I’ll never finish it.

But… I’ll try and read these books this fall (significant summer overlap since I reallllllly did want to read the first 4), and hopefully a few others off of it.

  • Big Data at Work – Davenport.
  • Reasons and Rationalizations – Agyris.
  • Cradle to Cradle – McDonaugh.
  • Disunity in Christ – C. Cleveland.
  • The Meaning of Sex: Christian Ethics in a Moral Life – D. Hollinger
  • Kristin Lavransdotter Trilogy – S. Undset.
  • Good Work – H. Gardner.
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Author: Beth M

Life Lessons, Parenting, Books, Sustainability.

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