The past few years I have been sharing my summer reading list as a blog. In addition to forcing me to collect these books (yes, I still like to have print editions – better for the beach!), I have benefitted from people sending me recommendations after seeing what I am planning to read.
As I share each year, before I was a Head of School, I read Roland Barth's Run School Run. Barth, who founded the Harvard Principal's Center, shares in his book that he would keep a box under his desk where he would collect books to read over his summer vacation because he found he did not have the time during the school year to keep up with his reading. For the last sixteen years, I have adopted Barth's practice adding articles and academic journals to my box under my desk.
Below you will find a list of the books I plan to read this summer. As always, I look forward to comments and to further suggestions from you of additional reading material.
My Summer Reading List
You Don't Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism by Brad Hirschfield. Through personal stories, biblical and rabbinic texts, and with a grounding in history, Hirschfield explores issues of pluralism, diversity, and inclusiveness. This book is the CESJDS school-wide read for 2017-18.
CATCH 67 by Micah Goodman. This book only available in Hebrew argues that Israel today finds itself trapped between surrendering the West Bank which would be to take an unacceptable risk to the country's physical survival and not to surrendering the West Bank which entails an unacceptable risk to the country's moral survival as a democratic Jewish state.
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant. Grant shares his research about the mindset and skills that are required to develop creativity and original ideas. He suggests that this mindset is one that we can all develop and is essential in the 21st Century.
Probing the Ethics of Holocaust Culture edited by Claudio Fogu, Wulf Kansteiner, and Todd Presner. Admittedly heavy reading for the summer, this volume investigates the debates and controversies that have shaped Holocaust studies over a quarter century though chapters by both the founding generation of Holocaust studies and a new generation of historians, artists, and writers.
Learn Better: Mastering the Skills for Success in Life, Business, and School, or, How to Become an Expert in Just About Anything by Ulrich Boser. I found this book through NPR which blogged about how Boser challenges the conventional wisdom on how humans learn by mapping out a new science of learning.
Things That Happened Before the Earthquake by Chiara Barzini. This is Barzini's literary debut that follows the travails of Eugenia, a privileged Roman teenager whose free-spirited parents move the family to L.A. right after the 1992 riots and then watches her navigate her new life, with the 1994 earthquake as catalyst.
Dangerous Sisters of the Hebrew Bible by Amy Kalmanofsky. Kalmanofsky is an outstanding teacher and scholar of the Hebrew Bible. In this study, she explores the role sisters play in Biblical narratives. This is a carryover from last summer that I did not get to.
I hope that some of these may be interesting to you and look forward to hearing your thoughts as well as recommendations for other books (or material) you are reading.
Follow Mitch on Twitter @MitchMalkus.