The Books of Summer 2011 Edition

Summer is the time you can rejuvinate and learn.

I still think that my recommendations for book reading last year were great but there are some new ones I think you should pick up.
Reading The Book

The Way We're Working Isn't Working 
By far, this is one of the best books I've read not only on personal productivity but on teaching. Using research and great stories (mostly from the business world) Tony Schwartz, Jean Gomes, and Catherine McCarthy hit many of the misconceptions about work head on. If you can pick one book this summer, pick this one.

The Power of Less by Leo Babauta  
This is a great book to help you get rid of what is unimportant so you can focus on what is.

Focal Point: A proven System to Simplify Your Life, Double Your Productivity and Achieve Your Goals. by Brian Tracey. 
I pick up this book every time I need to FOCUS on the things important to me.

Finally Thin! How I lost More than 200 pounds and Kept them Off – by Kim Bensen. 
This is the book that got me on weight watchers and helped me realize that I could do it – finally. It doesn't advocate a particular method but really spells out the journey in a way that someone who has always fought the battle can understand. If weight is your problem, this is the book that changed my life.

Jack Reacher Books by Lee Child
I have to admit that I have a new love. Jack Reacher is a loner strong-man with a cerebral bent for figuring out how to solve problems no one else will touch. I only download one of these books when I have time to finish because every one of these books inhales me like a dog breathes in gnats. No turning loose. If you like adventure and action (like the old Clanceys or Cusslers before they started hiring writers) then this series of books is for you.

The Servant by James C. Hunter
This 1998 book is in the same vein as Steve Farber's book Greater than Yourself (another great read) and is one that Leadership Georgia gave everyone of of us in the class of 2001. It is a short read and one that needs to come back into circulation for summer book clubs. One of the best books I've read.

The Passion Driven Classroom by Angela Maiers and Amy Sandvold
I have to admit that Angela is a dear friend of mine. I admire her energy and zest for life as well as her love for students. She still spends a lot of time in the classroom although she teaches at the college level and writes and travels a lot. I'm halfway through this book and thoroughly enjoying it. Not the same old same old. ;-)

What Great Teachers Do Differently by Todd Whitaker
A great book that really lays out the things that make excellent teachers. I keep this one by my desk and refer to it often.

What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain
This applies to teaching at any level but is a must read for college professors, particularly those who want to inspire a new generation of teachers at the K12 level. Model what you preach.

Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
If you haven't read one of the defining books in giving presentations it is time. I would get this one in paperback.

The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby
This is a 3 part series and worth every penny. When I really started learning how to take pictures (and teach students to take them) was when I bought this book. You'll also want this on paper so you can pack it in your camera bag and experiment in the field. He has a three volume boxed set. My all time favorite book on taking digital photographs. One caveat, if you are just taking pictures with an ipod or small digital camera without manual features, you may not want this book as it will either frustrate you for all the things you cannot do or make you want to buy a new camera. ;-)

That is it for now. I'll probably think of some others and come back here and add them. All of the books here are those I've read personally and think they would be time well spent.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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