One of my goals for 2012 was to read at least 24 books. Now that I’m finished with school, this is a very attainable goal and a goal that I will probably surpass sometime this summer. Here’s the catch: I need to maintain a 1:1 ratio of professional-development books to “fun” books (for lack of a better description). This is the part of the goal that I’m having a really hard time upholding. I’m creating some accountability for myself with hopefully what will become a new feature on my blog: Book Fare. Again, I’m slacking on this for 2012, but here are the pro-dev-related books I’ve read so far:
Through the lens of the Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama helps the reader to understand how a sense of self can ultimately help a person to become compassionate and understanding and to initiate positive change in the world. The Dalai Lama helps the reader to understand how to bring his teachings into their everyday life in order to “ bring about a genuine transformation in our perception of ourselves and our lives” whether they are Buddhist or not.
A short read, but totally over my head. Admittedly I don’t know anything about the Dalai Lama despite following him on either Twitter or Google+. I thought this book would be a good way to learn about him and learn about Buddhist teachings. It was in a way because it was basically a primer on Buddhism, but it read like a philosophy textbook. Though there were some quotable nuggets early on, I didn’t really enjoy this book like I was hoping to. Oh well!
Part of the reason I love to read is that it is a peek into an experience that isn’t my own. In Breaking Night, the author overcomes a childhood of debilitating poverty to gaining acceptance into one of the country’s most prestigious universities. It was an excellent depiction of Liz Murray’s resilience and tenacity.
I had a hard time putting this book down. Liz writes with such detail about the completely horrifying details of her childhood. I would occasionally catch myself with my mouth hanging open as I read. Understanding that many do not even survive a childhood like the one Liz experienced, it helped me to learn (as I keep learning over and over again) that everyone’s story is unique and should be treated as such. Breaking Night is another example of there not being a typical American college student. I thought about being Liz’s academic advisor and how Liz might have different needs than a more “traditional student.” It made me think about how I might learn about her experience, her needs, and how I could help her feel supported during her college experience.
In this book, the author shares the stories of four women as they experience a year in the Greek-life system. Sometimes the experiences were positive and sometimes the experiences were salacious. It really helped me to understand why students are drawn to the Greek system and how sometimes it can be detrimental.
I did not participate in the Greek system as an undergraduate, mostly for lack of awareness and understanding, so I thought it would be useful to learn more about it given my chosen profession. Reading with a grain of salt, I understood that this was the story of four women at one university in one region of the country. Though, Alexandra briefly discusses other types of fraternities and sororities, I know I need to continue to educate myself using a wider lens than the one Alexandra provides. Pledged was a good initial insight into sororities, but not one that I would consider to be the absolute truth.
Do you have any book recommendations? Share them with me in the comments! Or to keep up with what I’m reading and share with me what you’re reading, follow me on Goodreads or check out the widget on the right–>