Book Lovers Day 2016

Happy Book Lovers Day!

Yes, this is a real thing.

I spend a lot of time at my local library (and sometimes work there)  because all my friends hang out there – the books!

This summer I read a variety of books for a variety of reasons.

As a coach, I always want my problem solving and support skills to be top notch which is a huge driver of my book selections. As an educator and activist, it’s important for me to read a variety of voices and hear stories from multiple lenses.

 

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I participate in a wine sipping group, uhm, I mean a book group – so that’s another way books get on my list. I enjoy creating things and crafting – and it’s always a treat to be able to design my workshops and events around helping people upgrade an area of their life while crafting.

These are the 6 books I read this summer.

The Girl on the Train

My book group is reading this book and we plan to see the movie in October. It was a quick read, especially for beach time and lounging at the pool. I really liked the format of the book and specifically how it was told through the voices of various women . The story masterfully shows how women unfortunately compete with each other which leaves everyone involved vulnerable, unprotected, and misguided.

Alphabetica

I haven’t met many arts or crafts books I haven’t loved. This is such a beautiful and well-designed book. Carving out time to get my hands dirty and to follow along with the guidance of this book really helped me relax after a busy spring session/semester with work and my kids’ schedules.  I also selected this book so I could work on some journal projects which will become part of some upcoming workshops and retreats.  I’m really looking forward to working with kids and their parents on creating personalized planners for a successful and happy school year.

Girls and Sex

I heard Peggy Orenstein being interviewed on NPR and I knew I had to read this book. As a woman who had to navigate my younger years, I feel fortunate to have had a parent who had open and direct conversations with me about human sexuality and sex. As an educator, I have never been happy with much of the health curriculum in secondary schools because it lightly dances on complex surfaces, forgets kids have access to erroneous information on the internet, and doesn’t allow space for safe questions. As a parent, I have worked very hard to create a safe and open environment for my kids. I want them talking to me about sex and other things without going to peers or Google.

This book is so impactful and I’m thrilled to lead a book study to support other parents who want to be empowered during these discussions – so their daughters are also safe and empowered.

 

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How to Raise an Adult

I’ve had the pleasure of hearing Julie Lythcott-Haims speak at two different events (and this was the second time I read this book). One event was a parent education lecture and it painted a clear picture of how we, as parents, are often overdoing things for our kids because of our own fears and hang-ups. The other event was a suicide awareness and prevention breakfast event. To say I wasn’t ripped open and thrust into a space of searing pain as I listened to parents talk about losing their children to suicide – it was too much – but so necessary.

Julie Lythcott-Haims clearly laid bare her fears and parenting challenges in regards to the said and unsaid messages her children hear and learn about what it means to be successful – and what sacrifices go into this. We have to be open with our kids. We need to ask more questions – to listen – to observe – and to slow down. We need to be willing to let our kids grow up into who they are going to be without laying our burdens or fear on them. They cannot be raised by checklists and an abundance of activities. We need more daily connection and softer places to land – because once children start thinking it’s all or nothing – we have failed them and arrested their development.

This is Ridiculous – This is Amazing

As an obsessive list maker – this book is so funny. It’s another glimpse into how being a good parents does not mean you have to be overly serious or perfect. It’s OK to be a good parent who is silly, humble, trying to figure things out, and still proud of the messes that get made.

Between The World and Me

This is the second time I’ve read this book. My husband and I read it together and discussed it. I decided to reread it because of the violence that is currently happening in the United States. To say I’m disturbed is an understatement. At one point, this summer, I thought I may not want to drive alone at night time. And in the next moment I could not believe my mind let me go there.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a gifted writer and I think his clarity of how structures are currently affecting groups of people is a way for all of us to examine ourselves and the role we play. Spending time with this book, instead of getting sucked into the warped messages of the news media, was a good way for me to slow my brain, assess my needs, and then seek the right support and advocates for next steps.

Have you read any of these books? I’d love to hear your review of these books –and what you read this summer.

PS – If you want to get on my list for upcoming events, let me know. You can also check out my book and add it to your book lovers list.

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