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What are your must-read books?
These must-read books for parents and educators are just the tip of the iceberg. But this list of 12 titles is a good start – especially with some increased time for reading (or listening) to books, as of late.
Must-Read Books for Overall Well-being:
The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It
by Kelly McGonigal
This mindset shift is required now more than ever. Reframing the stressors in our lives can help put us back in control – just what’s needed as we experience seismic shifts on nearly a daily basis.
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
by Michael Pollan
It’s an especially prescient message right now – as store shelves are emptied and we wait in grocery lines. You are what you eat. Now is the time to think critically about what it is you are – and want to become.
The Joy of Movement: How exercise helps us find happiness, hope, connection, and courage
by Kelly McGonigal
At a time that we all need more happiness, hope, connection and courage – find it within yourself. Though you may need to be more creative about how you connect during these uncertain times, you can still be sure your mind and body will benefit from the movement.
Must-Read Books on Education:
The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed
by Jessica Lahey
Ms. Lahey makes a case for failure as the primary tool for learning – something that “helicopter” – and now “snowplow” – parents have ignored. Your own bumpy ride got you to where you are – and gave you the tools to appreciate it. You owe it to your children and/or your students to allow them access to the same way of learning.
The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way
by Amanda Ripley
By following American teens living and going to school abroad, the author gained insights into innovative programs in Finland, South Korea and Poland. Though the specifics vary, the takeaway is the same: when given time, space and targeted support students can think more critically and creatively – and apply these skills to a wide variety of topics and situations.
How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success
by Julie Lythcott-Haims
How to Raise an Adult – a book I read for professional reasons, but started implementing in my own home immediately – with my then 10-year-old. The charts by age range are priceless.
Must-Read Books on College:
Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania
by Frank Bruni
Where You Go is Not Who You’ll Be – the title says it all. A clear case against choosing an undergraduate institution for its name. With simple, straightforward data to support the case for less stress and more being a teenager.
The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us
by Paul Tough
Have you ever wondered who benefits from college and who loses out? Did you seize every possible opportunity in your college experience? or did other factors leave you on the sidelines? Paul Tough dives into these questions – interviewing dozens of students throughout the country to learn about their experiences in American colleges and universities – public and private, large and small, urban and rural.
There Is Life After College: What Parents and Students Should Know About Navigating School to Prepare for the Jobs of Tomorrow
by Jeffrey J. Selingo
Getting to college is what many parents and educators are hyper-focused on, but Mr. Selingo argues that what happens after college is where our focus should be. How can students use their time in college to understand what drives them – and how to channel that into a meaningful career match – is what he focuses on.
Must-Read Books on Understanding and Recovering from Trauma:
The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity
by Nadine Burke Harris, MD
Understanding the ACES Study – (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and how we can help support our youth – and adults – in reversing the effects. As our country is immersed in the throes of this global health crisis, understanding the layers beneath that can promote – or deter – resilience should be at the forefront of your mind.
A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League
by Ron Suskind
Zeroing in on the transition from a rather tumultuous inner-city high schools to the serene, academic oasis that is Brown University, the author follows Cedric Jennings on a trying, yet fruitful journey. Mr. Suskind lays bare the alarming truths about what it takes to survive in an urban neighborhood – and what different skills are often valued on college campuses.
SuperBetter: The Power of Living Gamefully
by Jane McGonigal
I read this before I realized that she and Kelly (The Upside of Stress, The Joy of Movement) were twin sisters. An unbelievably uplifting story not only of her personal recovery from a head injury, but also of a method to help heal oneself in almost any challenging circumstance.
What are your must-read books? Any of these?
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