Book Recommendations

Summer is for reading. Just kidding. So is winter and fall. Any season, really, is an excuse to curl up to a book. Here’s a list of the ones I’m currently dating:

Born a crime by trevor noah

This isn’t a new recommendation. People have been raving about this book since it was published in 2016. I found it in one of the little community libraries that look like birdhouses in my neighbourhood. There are three close to my place that I frequent. Some one put it in there when everything came to a head with Black Lives Matter. I’ve long been a fan of Noah’s style of comedy and the grace he approaches topics like racism with. The book is a memoir about growing up during apartheid in South Africa. I love a good story and Trevor weaves one so beautifully. Not just because he gives you an insider POV into South African history but because it reads as a love letter to his mom. He gave up Christianity a long time ago but his mom was a firm believer. Though he can rain down on Christianity for our hypocrisy and colonialism (which is true), he remembers his mom’s faith and there’s a level of warmth and respect there. This is what inspires me most about the book and hope that I could create an impact in someone else’s life the way she did in his.

Redefining fair: How to plan, assess, and grade for excellence in mixed-ability classrooms By Damian Cooper

To be honest, I haven’t dug into this one yet. It was loaned to me by a principal. I asked her for some info on grading because I want to find a way to let the kids have more autonomy over their own grades. Assessing kids in art and writing is kind of tricky. How do you give a grade so something so subjective? And why is it so dependent on me the teacher? Isn’t the point for the kids to love learning and want to keep learning after they leave school? Because I’ll be grading +500 kids from three different schools next year, I want to find a way to create learning contracts for kids in elementary school. I’ve created one for a high school class. It needs some tweaking but gave me a framework to begin. I wanna know if it could work for kids, too, and help them take more ownership over their learning style. I dunno. It might work. Or it might flop. Maybe this book will help?

The good girl’s guide to great sex (and you thought bad girls have all the fun) by sheila wray gregoire

This is a sex book for Christian women. I started reading it because I wanted to understand God’s design for sex in marriage. It’s not taught like that in schools or in magazines… I’ve heard sermons on the theology of sex biblically which were all very helpful but this book is for women and talks about some of the struggles they experience after getting married. It reads like a sex talk from a big sister that’s practical and honest. Obviously, it’s highly subjective and I’m sure there’s some uptight Karen who would disapprove of her advice but so far nothing Sheila has said has contradicted Scripture (as far as I can tell… I’m not a scholar though). It’s a sobering look at what marriage is really like but also encouraging. I feel like the whole thing is about overcoming. Overcoming shame. Overcoming fear. Overcoming apathy and laziness. And reconsidering what we think a fulfilling sex life is. I never considered it to be as fulfilling as she describes. Sheila gave me a vision of what a healthy love life could look like and gave me something to aspire to if I ever get married.