2017 Summertime Reads from the LEARN Team
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” —Dr. Seuss
Inhale, exhale summertime is here… You made it through yet another school year chalked full of learning, sharing, collaborating, testing, planning, lecturing, worrying, writing, explaining, crying, making, meeting, rushing… sigh… Inhale, exhale: summertime is here. As we close the chapter on our students’ learning, another opens for our personal, and yes, selfish learning! The LEARN team wants to support you on recharging those batteries and inspiring your personal growth over the summer break… Inhale, exhale: summertime is here…
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
An enchanting tale of a young musician’s early years as he strives to enter the famed University for the chance to study the arcane arts and “sympathy” (magic!). After the murder of his family and their troupe of traveling performers by the mysterious Chandrian, his journey takes him from life as a traveling performer, to life in the slums and finally, to the University where he manages to begin his studies, despite being too young and too poor to enter. There is so much more to his story, and it unravels in layers of beautiful writing and an endearing cast of secondary characters.
Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozaw
Fun facts: a) Haruki Murakami is my favourite author. I try and read everything he writes. b) I really love listening to music. When I work and write I listen to instrumental jazz and classical music, and I’m always looking for suggestions. Murakami always peppers his books with cool musical references. He used to own a jazz club. c) As I write this I’m listening to Brahms Piano Concerto no.1. Even more enjoyable now that I know a funny little story about a recording of the concert with Glenn Gould and conductor Lenny Bernstein (Seiji can call him Lenny, because he was his assistant conductor).
First Family by David Baldacci
Mayhem ensues in the Whitehouse after the President’s past secrets come to light. Great, fast-paced thriller for your summer reading.
The Happiness Hypothesis (Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom) by Jonathan Haidt
As the deadline approaches, it is strange how philosophical issues become so important. It offers a contemporary perspective on the human condition. Easy to read with large print and only so many big words. What this means is that I can drink my Stoli and still understand what I am reading. Inverted text in photo intentional!
Le Code Quebec par Jean-Marc Léger, Jacques Nantel et Pierre Duhamel
Le code Québec : Les sept différences qui font de nous un peuple unique au monde. Qui sommes-nous? Que voulons-nous? Qu’espérons-nous? Voilà de bien grandes questions existentielles ! Après Les 36 cordes sensibles des Québécois de Jacques Bouchard en 1978, les auteurs tentent de démystifier l’« Homo quebecensis » à partir de l’étude des milliers de sondages en dévoilant les sept traits identitaires des Québécois. Bref, si vous désirez mieux comprendre le « Quebecis vulgaris » sous toutes ses coutures, Le code Québec est votre lecture de l’été!
Untangled by Lisa Damour
I work with teenagers. I live with teenagers. Is it surprising then, that I also read about teenagers? This book was recommended to me by other moms of adolescent girls and I am grateful! It’s full of practical advice and stories about how to
cope live with a teenage girl, and if/when parents need to really worry.
Looking forward to being back in my hammock soon for more summer reading!
Seven Minutes from Home: An American Daughter’s Story by Laurel Richardson
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
“Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .”
Love Anthony by Lisa Genova
“I’m always hearing about how my brain doesn’t work right…But it doesn’t feel broken to me.”
Lisa Genova, an American neuroscientist and author, uses her medical background to create stories about characters with neurological disorders – in this case, learn about autism through Anthony’s world. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll travel along this unforgettable journey with the protagonist. Very enlightening read! I guarantee you won’t want to put it down.
You Only Live Twice by Chase Joynt & Mike Hoolboom
Mike’s films and life marked my own 80’s experience in Toronto, and I was glad to see when his prolific career was recently awarded the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts where he gave a powerful speech from the margins. Then I saw that Zoe Whittall picked the book on CBC’s Canadian authors pick their favourite books of 2016 list. She describes how the book “engages with so many interesting ideas around second lives and the possibilities that occur after major transitions” in the form of a series of letter exchanges between the two artists and survivors of a movement from one life to another. As someone who has restarted more than a couple of times, I can’t wait to filter through their reflections and stories.
Maker-Centered Learning by E.P.Clapp, J. Ross, J.O.Ryan, S. Tishman
The Makerspace movement has become a hot topic over the last year across North America. Here at LEARN, we have been involved in working with teachers, consultants and administrators, exploring how Makerspaces can work in different settings with different audiences but always trying to address the “why” of doing this. This book by scholars from Harvard Graduate School looks at these same issues and should provide more food for thought.
The Right to be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier
I bought this book a few months ago after hearing the tail end of a dynamic radio interview with the author, but haven’t yet had the chance to pick it up. I’m hoping that in the summer days to come I will have the head and heart space to delve into this memoir by the well-known Inuit activist, which interweaves her personal story with the theme of climate change and how it poses an existential threat to a people whose culture is embedded in ice and snow. A timely topic!
Hag-Seed or The Tempest retold by Margaret Atwood
This book is part of the Hogarth Shakespeare project that sees Shakespeare’s works retold by acclaimed and best selling novelists of today. As much as Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale is dark, this retelling is a fun read that will keep you captivated, not wanting to put the book down. I loved every line in this book.
Canada by Mike Myers
In honour of this amazing country’s sesquicentennial, I’m recommending a book that not only made me proud… but had me laughing out loud! Mike Myers’ literary debut is an autobiographical love letter to a nation, from a famous expat who’s heart clearly remains here. Funny and insightful stories, with plenty of great memorabilia pics. Happy 150th birthday Canada!
Syllabus – Notes from an Accidental Professor by Lynda Barry
I’ll be re-reading Syllabus – a dense collection of notes, drawings and activities kept by cartoonist and writer Lynda Barry in her first three years of teaching “The Unthinkable Mind”, an interdisciplinary studies in the arts course at the University of Wisconsin. The book provides concrete exercises to foster writing and drawing practice, but its richness lies in Barry’s questioning of the fundamental purpose of art. It is an inquiry into the power of representation, of creation as an innately human endeavour, not reserved for those with unique talents. It is a deep dive into art practice as a way of thinking and being – “how are our hands, images, and insight connected?” A great way to start the summer, pull out the art supplies and start filling pages with unthinkable thoughts…
Inhale… Exhale… you made it… inhale… exhale… inhal…exha…in…ex..in..ex………
Have a great summer from the LEARN team.