Two Great Reads

I am 4 books into a “great read chain”, having just finished two really different but both excellent books. I first read Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown, after a chaotic month of September where I felt like I was a whirling dervish, trying to get too many things done at once. I was giving 80% to all things and nothing was getting my 100% focus. McKeown speaks succinctly and lays out a simple plan of how to decide throughout your day whether or not a task, conversation, relationship, is a meaningful investment. He recommends saying “no” often and with confidence. He sights countless examples of people who created blank space for sitting in silence and just thinking – and the powerful revelations that came from that practice. He also highlighted some of the greatest thinkers of our generation who weed out non-essential meetings, calls, and trips, so that they can spend their time doing the things that will bring about the most meaningful change in the world around them. I made some subtle and not-so-subtle changes in my daily choices after reading this book. And I feel at least 30% happier and less stressed because of them.

I then took a 180 degree turn after reading this book, and read This is How It Always Is, by Laurie Frankel. In this novel Frankel deftly explores the transgender experience for a young family who has a son that is born believing he is without a doubt meant to be a girl. I laughed, I cried, and I walked away from this read feeling deep compassion for families in this situation. It is a must read for teachers, who will without a doubt more regularly bump up against this circumstance in the years to come. Outside of the transgender plot this book is chock full of beautiful family relationships. Frankel also creates a healthy, whole, and very real relationship between two of the main characters who are the parents of the young girl who transitions in this book. It had some great nuggets on what marriage looks like at its best when under extreme duress. It was a very quick and meaningful read.

Leave a Comment