Books I Read: 2017

  1. Classroom Management for Elementary Teachers- Michael Cimicata

    I am teaching kids and realized, it’s an art and a skill, why not read on it. This 40-page e-book is a twenty-minute read (for me) and basically a quick blog post on how to deal with little monsters..eerr I mean angels.

  2. Mother Night– Kurt Vonnegut *****

    An amazing book of what happens when good people don’t do anything to stop the bad people or go along with the bad. Prescientific Vonnegut as always.

  3. The Philosophy of Teaching – The Teacher, The Pupil, The School– Nathaniel Sands ****

    There are not a lot of specifics in this book. It is what it says: philosophy. It is an old work and it is clear, that a person needs to be treated with respect and educated broadly. It is a great little read for all educators.

  4. Coffee Will Make You Black: A Novel April Sinclair *****

    The best way to learn about people is to learn from them and no better way than to read a book. I can never be a young black girl growing up in the 60’s but I can have a small taste when I read Coffee Makes You Black. The book is very well-written and really makes me feel what it is like to be growing up black, how it affects black people and how they feel about each other and white people right after segregation. I found this book on top of a retaining wall on the road, it was one of a few but something about this one spoke to me. The more I read by writers from other backgrounds the more I understand them. I plan to continue this act.

  5. On the Road: The Original Scroll (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)– Jack Karouack ***

    I am conflicted on this book. The writing is genius, you feel as if you are on drugs as you read this book on meth. The book is about a young crisscrossing America over the years with his friends. It is a memoir of a friendship. It is a sad look at how frail American friendships tend to be. How selfish people are and use each other for money and companionship and toss them when those friendships are not convenient.  It is an amazing book written through the lens of a hippy white privileged kid. You look at how he sees blacks, Latinos, and the Jews. It is an exciting and fun read but it is a view of self-indulgence that if it defined a generation, then I can see clearly see that generation and it explains a lot.

  6. Over to You: Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying– Roald Dahl *****

    As a child, I loved reading WWII books and stories. Specifically, those written by Russian writers. I loved the movies too. When I came to US, the quality of the stories wasn’t there. There wasn’t the humanness to them. Even Vonnegut wasn’t doing it for me. I didn’t think stories about the war on a level of Russian writers existed until I picked up this book. There is no better book on the topic I have ever read. There is no glamorizing of war here. The heroes are heroes and they are human. The stories are of civilians, of war life of life and Roald Dahl is now one of my favorite writers.

  7. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century-Tim Snyder****

    This is a must read for any citizen of a modern democracy if they wish to keep it. Snyder goes through 20 tips on how to keep a democracy and goes over tips on how people managed to overcome attacks on democracy such as Ukraine, what attacks on democracy have done in places where people become complacent or not vigilant like Russia and NAZI Germany.

  8. Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot (Vintage Departures)
    – Mark VanHoenacker (****) 300p

    This book will make you regret not becoming a pilot. It is so beautifully written. I really felt as if I was flying from country to country learning about everything that pilots do. Learning about how similar flying is to ships, what it is to fly from place to place, the camaraderie of the workplace, there is so much in this book that I cannot put into a short description. I can only say that you will never see flying the same way after reading this book.

  9. The Old Man and The Sea-Earnest Hemingway **** (70p)

    I loved Hemingway since I read The Sun Also Rises in high school. I read this book in about a day and it was mesmerizing. Hemingway makes me feel and understand the fisherman, the Cuban fisherman. His love of baseball, his love for the boy, his chase for the Marlin. I have so much respect for him and his tenacity and I start to see old people around me differently. This is a book that I will not forget for a long time. Sometimes, it is the short books that make the most impact. This story of an old poor fisherman going out to catch the Marlin is simple yet it makes so much sense why this was the book that gave Hemingway his Nobel Prize.

  10. Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Foer **** (270p)

    This book is so much better than the movie. The movie misses what this book is really about: explaining what a shtetl really was like. The characters are amazing in their realness. There is sex, rape, jealousy, hatred, wealth, poverty. Things are dynamic and beautiful. The book is crafted really well, the dialogues are funny and insightful. I can’t believe a 25 year old wrote this book. Highly recommended.

  11. Omon Ra – Victor Pelevin ***** (150p)

    This book shows how empty the Soviet system was and how fake it was. I think if we looked at American system or European, it might be as empty. Made me actually wonder about American space program in the 60’s. Except for the fact that we see the launches and our phones work so, we know American system works. This is 1984 written in 1992 that talks about Soviet inhumanity that I feel is still in Russia.

  12. Time Machine – H.G. Wells ***** (115p)

    I thought this book would be about a time-machine but the time-machine is an allegory for what might happen to a man in the distant future. The traveler first thinks that communism has destroyed man by making them stop competing until he realizes that separation of classes created to types of humans: those who are useless and those who have become animals, slowly devouring the useless. It was a grim reminder that socialism is bad and pure capitalism is self-destructing and destroys what makes us human by making some people not see others as human. Great book, very happy I read it. This is a very fast read that is well written. Goes by quickly but memorably.

  13. The Art of Public Speaking – Dale Carnegie (*****)

    I have read a few of books by Dale Carnegie and this one is the best. The examples, the tips and tricks show just how important speaking is not just to communicate with crowds, but to communicate ideas in everyday life. Highly recommended.

  14. Teddy Rosevelt Autobiography (*****)

    This book has changed how I view Teddy R and America. Seeing that things swing back and forth, that great people change this nation, suffer setbacks and that the forces of greed and abuse are never absent, but that there are always good and strong people out there that can and do reign them in makes me more hopeful about our country. An amazing read.

  15. Bowing Down to Shadow-Joseph Brodsky (****) 260p

    Joseph Brodsky was a Nobel Laureate who was born in Russia and emigrated to US. He wrote in Russian and English and is one of the foremost writers of our time. He is not well known but his writing is remarkable. This book is part travel writing, part personal essays that shows his genius and his understanding of humanity. I think this book was in someways an opening to how people can write to get their feelings and also showed me how a writer looks at other writers.

  16. Jews and Power  -Ruth Wisse (****) 187 p

    One of the best books I’ve read about Jews so far. This is a fast and easy read that goes over how Jews were exploited for generations, how them having power over their community was consistently used for anti-semitic purposes to undercut them and then goes beautifully into how the anti-semitism became anti-Zionism. Amazing book, a must read for anyone curious about Jews and antisemitism.

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