Summer Reading 2014: LEE Staff Picks

Originally published on the Leadership for Educational Equity blog.


Welcome back from what we hope was a relaxing 4th of July holiday!

We hope you had a chance to relax, refresh, and maybe even start digging into your summer reading. But if not, don’t worry — there is still plenty of time left to start.

We’re pretty avid readers at LEE (we’re looking at you, Victoria Ford). But rather than keeping our reading recommendations to ourselves, we thought we’d give you a peek into what’s on our reading lists this summer.

Here it goes…

Neeta Sonalkar, Director, Leadership Development & Design

Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop by Lawrence Lessig

Republic, Lost is the sixth book by Harvard Law professor and free culture activist Lawrence Lessig. Neeta says it “should be required reading for anyone who cares about our democratic process and how it isn’t working for us right now.”

Jazmin Cameron, Data and Program Coordinator

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

Ishmael Beah’s memoir provides a firsthand account of the decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone and the ongoing plight of child soldiers in conflicts worldwide.

Jerry Gonzales, Senior Director, Talent, Learning, Culture

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Quiet is a collection of real life stories about introverts in an “extroverts world” and how we should change our views about introverts, as well as how introverts should change their views on themselves.

Stacey Moore, Director, Regional Impact

Cage-Busting Leadership by Frederick M. Hess

An educator, political scientist and author, Frederick M. Hess has a provocative take on the underlying issues in the education system and how we must talk about what leaders can do, rather than what they can’t.

Victoria Ford, Program Director, Leadership Development & Design

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

Set in the 19th Century, the story is about scientist Alma Whittaker and her family, and their trials and tribulations. LEE’s Victoria Ford reflects on how she finds books The Signature of All Things, “I get suggestions from the NYT Review of Books, conversations with friends, lists of hot new books, and all sorts of other places. A dinner with LEE colleagues in Venice Beach last fall resulted in a dozen new books on my list! I don’t remember where The Signature of All Things came from, but I’ve been hearing good things all over the place.”

Elizabeth Spriggs, Vice President, Technology

There Are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz

Journalist, Alex Kotlowitz’s 1991 biography is the powerful account of two remarkable boys struggling to survive in Chicago’s Henry Horner Homes, a public housing complex disfigured by crime and neglect.

Mehreen Nayani, Coordinator, Strategy and Operations

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch is a work of fiction by Tartt which chronicles the life of a teenager who is flung into a world of privilege and wealth, after the loss of his mother and abandonment of his father. He emerges himself into the art to deal with his loneliness and torment of his new classmates.

Bonus Picks:

The Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin

The Divergent series by Veronica Roth

Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Share with us on Facebook and Twitter what is on your summer reading list! @LEE_National #LEESummerReading


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