It’s Christmas time in the city…

“The Last Politician” by Foer – I hate when I read a book and realize I don’t know everything that’s been going on the past two years – and that was sort of what I got from this one – but it was good

“Necessary Trouble” by Faust – former Harvard prez and her memories growing up during the ’60s – was good

“Never Enough” – Wallace – good book on a problem with America’s youth and our expectations of them

“Hurdles in the Dark” by Gonzalez – good book – sad book

“In the Spell of the Barkley” by Panhuyson – TN’s ultra – like most ultra book, a bit (major) extreme

“Her Country” by Moss – didn’t know all there was to know about the women in country music – let me have a good conversation with a friend

“How to Know a Person” – Arthur Brooks – really good book – one of my favorite for the year

“60 Songs that Explain the ’90s” – I not only seemingly missed much of this music, I missed it again when NAQT did questions a month later that were based on the book

“Gold From Iron” Baumgartner – Olympian from a small town – the homecoming at the end was cool

“Running Up the Mountain” Baxter and Mann – NAU’s program – long anticipated book for me – was glad to get to read it

“A Truck full of Money” Kidder – not really sure how the title related to the book – second book in this set that I was reading and kept thinking “what’s the point of this?” and didn’t get a great answer

“Tired of Winning” by Karl – agreed with Politico – Karl cranks out Trump books prolifically

“Charlie Hustle” – Pete Rose biography – sad – interesting – but really sad

“If You Would Have Told Me” – Stamos – he’s more grounded that I thought he’d be –

“The Race of the Century” by Baschomb – YA on The Perfect Mile – which I hadn’t read in years – so that was good to read about again – watched the Bannister video on YouTube – which was good

“Mighty Moe” – Swaby and Fox – reread – and good

“Bruchko” Olson – Cranston lent it after I watched “The Mission” – sad

“Hidden Potential” – by Grant – took two pages of notes – really good

“Choose to Run” Des Linden – second time to read it this year – still good:)

“Elon Musk” – Isaacson – good – interesting guy – like most people, you can’t just take the good – or bad – and dismiss everything else – it’s hard putting up with people:)

“Slang from Shakespeare” – actually by Shakespeare b/c it’s just a list of phrases he used – some surprised me – “I am that I am” wasn’t one I thought was in there

October 2023

“Last Days of the Dinosaurs” by Black – great book – really interesting

“Midnight in Chernobyl” by Higginbotham – scary book – wow, scary time

“The Innovators” by Isaacson – won this book b/c of a library contest – enjoyed it – history of technology

“The Race to be Myself” by Semenya – self-serving – all autobiographies are – but lots of complaining – not as much running:)

“Creative Act” by Rubin – good book on creativity

“Educated by Design” by Cohen – book about creativity in the classroom – and purpose there

“The Heat Will Kill You First” by Goodell – again, me and scary books – read this one in September – when it was about a billion degrees – so good timing:)

“Being Henry” by Henry Winkler – the Fonz – interesting book – interesting life

“Dying for Purpose” by McElveen – Vapor Sports founder – won it at a race – good read

“My Life in the Fish Tank” by Dee – fiction – YA – from the library – CMS

“King” by Eig – great biography – learned a lot

“Music was It: Young Bernstein” by Rubin – good YA book about an interesting historical figure

“Gambler” by Billy Walters – not as good as I thought it would be – and like some, self-serving

“Undisputed” Donavan Bailey – a sprinter book – so lots of ego there:)

“The Tigerbelles” by Card – great book about the TSU women and the way they represented the USA for years

“How to Win Friends and Influence Fungi” – meh, loved the concept but wasn’t as good as I’d hoped

“The Real Hoosiers” – I’d read about the Atticus team years ago – but still enjoyed this one

Summer 2023

“Twisted” by Anderson – was not a fan of this book – free – and it still cost me:)

“Forgotten Girls” by Potts – really great book about rural, gifted girls and the obstacles they faced in the 1990s – and today

“The Power of Fun” – meh – had a friend recommend it to me

“My Father’s Brain” – Jauhar – life with an Alzheimer’s patient – from a medical scientist’s point of view

“Smart Brevity” by VandeHei – good about messaging in today’s world – keep it short

“Unbroken” – YA adaptation – added it this year to 8th grade list – I like my choice:) hadn’t read the original in a while so good book

“Marty Glickman” by Gurock – he was a broadcaster, but before that, he was on the 1936 relay team – but was left off running – likely b/c he was Jewish and the coach didn’t want to offend Hitler – was a great read

“How to Make a PB Sandwich in 17 Easy Steps” – children’s picture book – cute – and some good teaching ideas

“The Book of James” by Babb – hagiography of Lebron – wasn’t that insightful

“The ROI of LOL” by Cody and Fletcher – decently entertaining – I don’t by the premise of the book but there were some good gems in there

“Parenting Advice to Ignore in Art and Life” by Tersigni – meh…

“Spare” Prince Harry – I really don’t know the royals, that was my takeaway – lots of things he assumed I knew I didn’t

“Magic Words” by Berger – good read – fascinating what they can analyze today with word usage

“Beyond the Wand” by Tom Felton – good Potter fun:) Of course, the introduction by Emma Watson was my favorite:)

“On Great Fields” by Ronald C. White – book about a prof who won the turning battle point at Gettysburg – very fun Civil War and post-CW facts

“Fahrenheit 451” Bradbury – liked it – a classic I’d never read before

“American Born Chinese” by Yang – excellent – another one I’d missed years ago

“Flamin’ Hot” by Montanez – fascinating how the Disney Plus film fits with the book – and the claims about whether or not Flamin’ was invented

“The Teachers” by Robbins – so teachers have it tough according to this book:) especially the girl who divorced her longtime mate in a small town and then started seeing the art teacher who was new and from New York – I mean, c’mon people… 🙂

“Losing our Religion” Russell Moore – really good book – really sad book – but very insightful about today’s SBC environment

“Life in the G League” by Squadron – ironically about the B’ham Squadron – entertaining

“Generations” by Twenge – really good – and backed up with research – I now keep explaining the way people do things based upon their generation:)

“A Tide of Dreams” by Keefe – was a bit of a stretch to make into a book – but it was tied to Alabama football so it had to be added to the list:)

“The Forever Season” by Keith – oh, just email and ask about this one:) it was a roller coaster of “throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks” 🙂

“The Storm of the Century” Roker – hurricane that devastated Galveston over 100 years ago

“George Varnall” Burlingame – official – reffed the first Bama Rose Bowl – so that was cool:)

“AI for Education” by Miller – we were supposed to read it week by week – I read it in an afternoon – was good though

“Surprised by Hope” NT Wright – Lot of what people think about heaven and the thereafter isn’t really based on scripture once you get down to it – very good read

“The Occasionally Accurate Annals of Football” Patrick – meh…

“The Exceptions” – MIT women – their battle for recognition in the science division there – great read – and included fun facts about Boston and I’m always up for that

“Hansel and Gretel” Mattotti and Gaiman – reimagining the legend of Hansel and Gretel – short read

“What if? 2” – we have one textbook option from the first book – this was was okay-ish – like most sequels, the fun of the original was gone

“Silent Calvary” – by Howell Raines – fascinating read about Union soldiers from the state of Alabama and their work – and the fight to cover that work up for years b/c it didn’t mesh with The Lost Cause

A-Day book musings…

Andrew Peterson – “On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness” – had a friend recommend the series – wasn’t a huge fan – so it made it awkward for conversations – definitely not strong female characters

“Young Eliot” – Robert Crawford – biography on TS Eliot – really good – which was good b/c I had the second volume ordered

“The Monster in the Hollows” – Peterson – so the dad came back to save the day – b/c, of course, a strong male was needed in a flash of glory

“Inaugural Ballers” – Maraniss – story of the 1976 women’s Olympic team – great book – wrote a grant for copies

“High Conflict” – Amanda Ripley – why we have high conflict situations and ways to diffuse the situation

“Testimony” Jon Ward – a story of disillusionment with evangelicalism – it was well told though – and heart-breaking at times

“Eliot after Wasteland” by Crawford – man, I was cheering for the dude until he married for the first time at 60-something to a 30-year old – and then started writing “adult” poetry to her that the author felt we needed to read

“Mondays Not Coming” – Jackson – “city” book that turned into horror/weird in the last 50 pages – so that was new:)

“Lord of the Flies” by Golding – yes, I finally read it – it was good – fast read – so that was good

“Pride of a Nation” – Oxenham – story of USWNT – a table book – lots of pictures – okay

“The Collaborative Math Classroom” – Munson – disappointing – wasn’t what I hoped for – really just about concepts vs. practice

“Middle School Superpowers” – Fagell – found a ton to work with in this one – and added it to a presentation I hope to make

“Mosquito Bowl” – Buzzinger – WWII – football – sad book though b/c of the high casualty rate afterwards

“The Tao of the Backup Catcher” – Kratz and Brown – a bit overdramatic on how “important” a backup catcher is – I mean, way more important than a school teacher:)

“The 1998 Yankees” – Curry – quick read about the ’98 team – who won a ton – entertaining

“Game of Edges” – Scofield – fascinating look at sports and the analytics game now – helped me understand a bit more

“The Right Call” – Jenkins – reflections on “greats” she worked with

“The Program” – Suttles – Bama – not a lot I didn’t know – but still Bama so I’m going to read it

“Victory Stand!” Tommie Smith – graphic novel – remembered parts of it from Smith’s story he wrote years ago – very good YA book

“The Role of a Lifetime” – Farmer – UCLA – player and coach – Gene Bartow shoutout

“Nadia Comaneci and the Secret Police” – Olam – based off released files – interesting b/c I grew up reading about her coach – and he was seen as awesome – and now, he’s seen as a monster – power of time, I guess

“Win at All Costs” – Hart – set me up for the spring – disappointing story of Nike’s ability to look the other day with its distance running sponsor

“The Longest Race” – Goucher – great book – sad book – hopeful at the end

“Good for a Girl” – Fleshman – actually read this one earlier – probably six books above – just not on my list – but like Goucher, pro runner – and sad at times

“Choosing to Run” Des Linden – let’s just get the running books out of the way:) this one was more my favorite – story of perseverance – determination – passed it on immediately

“Fans Have More Friends” – Valentine and Sikorjale – defense of fandom – b/c I guess that was needed? wasn’t impressed

“Rough Sleepers” – Kidder – outstanding book – doctor who worked with Boston’s homeless for 30 years – so a story of his work – and how you can keep hope in a situation like that

“Top Dog” – Bronson and Merryman” – Science of Winning and losing – good book – lots about the difference between men and women that I wonder if would be rewritten now – but good book

“Talk of Champions” Kenny Smith – story of those he’s worked with through the years – good

“Right Kind of Wrong” – Amy Edmondson – when is it good to be wrong? when is it okay? good research and thought

“We Share the Sun” Gearhart – book about Kipchoge’s training camp – and coach – Patrik Sang – great book

“The Giver” – graphic novel – Lowery and Russell – really, really outstanding – makes me want to read the series now

All I want for Christmas is BOOK!!! (and super-fast shoes:)

“The Big Bang Theory” by Radloff – good oral history of the CBS show – really enjoyed it

“Who’s Counting?” Much more political than I would’ve thought – disappointing

“Head On” Larry Csonka – talked to dad about this one – he was about the same age as the players on the ’72 Dolphins – they got the glory – but they paid an awful steep price with their health and often their lives to get it

“The Betrayal of Anne Frank” by Sullivan – was what I expected “Hey, here are the theories AND here’s the one we came up with so that we’d have a podcast – and guess what? it’s the right one!!!” very self-serving – but lots learned about Anne and the Franks

“Singled Out” by Maraniss – a “controversial” book – but when the opening chapter is of a man dying with AIDS, I am disturbed that people would object – you can’t read it and not feel empathy – at least, I don’t think so…

“Bowerman” by Moore – a reread – as I’m now a coach, was a bit more relevant to me – good book

“Born to Run 2” by McDougall – not the original – but I did steal some drills for practice, so I must give props

Joe Madden and Tom Verraducci – was more hot takes than insightful

“Don’t Hold Back” by Platt – challenging – and good to read from my old pastor

“Long Live the Pumpkin Queen – Ernshaw – took a bit to get through at the start, but well worth it – really enjoyed it

“Swing and a Hit” O’Neill – about hitting – really, all about hitting:)

“School Trip” by Craft – enjoyable – of course:)

“Poverty by America” by Desmond – really, really good book – why we let poverty happen – and yes, there’s a role we all play – I liked Desmond’s book on housing – this is just as good

“Make it Stick” by Brown – disappointing – although, I don’t remember it now:)

“Surrender” by Bono – wonderful book – really enjoyed it – and glad I bought it – gave it to mom – she enjoyed it too

“Straight Shooter” Stephen A. Smith – didn’t know much about him – I’m not a hot takes person – meh…

“Welcome to the Circus of Baseball” by McKee – comes out in April – outstanding – enjoyed it

“All the Colors Came Out” by Fagan – really, really, really a great book – on so many levels – I hate it was seen as “controversial” – can’t read it and not appreciate your dad a whole lot more…

Back to school post

so the over the river and through the woods summer recap… 🙂

“The Leadership Secrets of Nick Saban” by Talty – not much new, but enjoyed it nonetheless

“The Last Folk Hero” by Pearlman – From Bama to AU – this one about Bo – really enjoyed it – lots of familiar names and places

“In Every Generation” by Blake – had to have my Buffy fill – although, not very impressed with the book

“Remember the Alamo Bowl” by Reeves – quick read when I needed a book

“The EduProtocol Field Guide 1” by Hebern and Corippo – book study for the county this summer

“Firekeeper’s Daughter” by Boulley – not enjoyable – very crazy plot

“Switching Fields” by Dohrmann – the fight to remake US soccer – loved it

“In the Wild Light” by Zenter – loved it – great YA book

“Vanderbilt” by Cooper – interesting book about a famous family

“1972” by Bence – enjoyed it – thoroughly – about Nike and running

“At Bat” by Art Black – finishes a trilogy of books about Rickwood

“The Church of Baseball” by Shelton – about the making of Bull Durham – and the disastrous Oscars afterwards:)

“Treasure Island” Robert Louis Stevenson – been a few years since I’d reread it – didn’t take long – which surprised me


“The Psychopath Test” – by Jonson – had a friend recommend it – probably b/c she thought I was a psychopath – and, of course, I hated the book:)

“7th Grade Ready” – good book for parents about middle school

“Game” – Grant Hill – good read about a guy who now has gray hair – which makes me feel old

“Call Him Jack” – YA on Jackie Robinson – enjoyed it

“Long Way Down” – Jason Reynold – good

“Alpahmaniacs” Fleischman – new book at our library

“the Racers” by Bascomb – new book at our library about auto racing before WWII

“Live, Laugh, Kidnap” – what i get for getting a book off the shelf with no recommendation (blah)

“The Silence that Binds Us” – again, desperate for something – and then wish I hadn’t

summer of 2022

“Born to Coach” by Celeri – great book to prep for the Boston Marathon – good coaching book

“Toughness” by Magness – good book on how what we thing is toughness isn’t so much

“Path Lit by Lightning” by Maraniss – great biography on Jim Thorpe – read it on the way to Boston – and back:)

“Rise” by Lindsey Vonn – oh wow at the many, many times she busted herself up – and yet kept going

“Call Us What We Carry” by Gorman – poetry – based mostly on the pandemic

“The Reading Mind” by Willingham – great book on the process of reading and how to make it easier for students

“This is Our City” – about Boston and its recent sports history – the past 20 years have been good to that city

“Flush” by Hiaason – reread for summer – had a parent object two years ago about all the exotic dancing – which was, um, mentioned 8 pages from the end – so yeah, basically a book about exotic dancing:)

“New Kid” by Craft – reread sixth grade – still enjoyed it

SBC report – hard to read but did

“From Saturday Night to Sunday Night” by Ebersol – good book about NBC sports for the past few years – and SNL

“Games of Deception” by Maraniss – reread and made a ton of notes for use in the classsroom

“Unretouchable” by Szamosi – graphic novel on retouches in magazines

“Sandy Hook” by Williamson – book on disinformation after that shooting – for what is a dark subject, it was fairly bright, especially given the number of lawsuits won by parents vs. hoaxers

“The Hot Seat” by Ben Mathis-Lilley – book on Michigan football – amusing fodder after a tough read

“New Kids in the World Cup” – Adam Elder – book in the 1990 US Men at the World Cup – enjoyable read

“Outsmart Your Brain” by Willingham – again, lots of notes for the classroom – at least 5 pages

“From Strength to Strength” – by Brooks – great book on aging

happy spring break to me, happy spring break to me…

“Rickey” by Bryant – a bit excusable towards Henderson for, um, everything – but certainly brought depth to a player who was always seen as an object of ridicule

“I Must Betray You” by Septeys – wonderful, wonderful book about the rise of the revolution in Romania in 1989 – a great YA book

“True” by Kennedy – about Jackie Robinsons through four “seasons” – with everything that’s been written about him, it was definitely done well to avoid what others have already done

“Playing Through the Pain” by Good – now, this one was definitely excuses – Ken Caminati was just in so much in pain that was why he became the poster child of the steroid era – surprisingly, he was not the dominant player I remembered – but definitely a sad, sad book

“Dragons in my Classroom” – by Kennard – story of a teacher going to England in 1998 for a year abroad – and how it changed her life – was interesting

“The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You” – a YA take on Much Ado About Nothing – it was good – passable

“USATF Coaching Manual” – I’m still overwhelmed at the expertise needed in every track event – I only know distance – but it was a good introduction to the other issues

“The Nineties” by Klosterman – insightful look at “my” decade – most of the cultural references were right up my ally

well, you know i wasn’t not reading:)

“renegades” – obama and springsteen – just a printed version of their podcast – still, pretty good – I loved seeing the edits the president had made in his speeches – would be really good to show kids if we didn’t live in such polarized times…

“the fighting soul” by rabin-havt – on the road with Bernie – well, prior to 2020 and the pandemic – was interesting – didn’t know as much about Bernie

“forever young” Hayley Mills – the first 20-ish years of her life in detail – and lots about her Disney movies – I grew up on Pollyanna so this was a must read

“Hometown Victory” by Lowe – football coach who stopped a school shooter a couple of years ago – it was interesting how he changed the culture of things at the school

“slaughterhouse five” vonnegut – do not get it – at all…

“going there” – katie couric – a really sad book – grew up on the Today Show – it was sad she was around such toxic males – and sad that she had a relationship with a guy just older than her daughter

“the peach rebellion” – van draanen – really great YA – coming soon – so many things make this book great – the historical fiction part – the fact that three girls can put away boy drama and do something important – love, love, love…

“Annalies” – Gillham – what if Anne Frank had lived? Didn’t think people would enjoy it – guess what? they didn’t – but well researched – and let’s face it, Anne Frank becomes less “pure” if she becomes an adult – we all do

“How to tell a story” – bowles – Moth radio book – meh…

“Disillusionment” by Greer – good book about what the gospel has to say about disillusionment – what the prophets say too – that it’s okay – and how to recover

“100 Things Crimson Tide Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die” – the funny part of this book is that it came out in 2008 – just before 100 more things happened with six more national titles

“Darkness to Light” – Odom – from the Kardashians – wow, the drama there…

“Happy at Any Cost” – Zappos CEO – sad book

Welcome to 2022…

“How She Did It” by Huddle and Slattery – wonderful book coming out in March about women’s running – short biographies on nearly every important female distance runner ever – and good discussion points for female runners and those who work with them

“My Greatest Save” by Scurry – I grew up with her in goal with the USWNT – she really struggled once she was out of the spotlight – so her story was interesting to read – but a tough read

“Unguarded” by Scottie Pippen – continuing with stories from my childhood – I wasn’t really impressed with this book – it was long on slights Pippen felt – but it did remind me of all the basketball I watched growing up

“Enlightenment Now” by Pinker – this one was really, really long – I did get some ideas for debate in my classroom – other than that, just something to read

“The Sons” by The Howards – my mom read this one before me – we both enjoyed it – didn’t know about Clint’s acting career

“Spinning Silver” – meh – or boo, rather:) I wasn’t impressed with this book – a “sort of” YA – but was in the adult fiction section – the skeptic in me thought this would be b/c the protagonists were too strong to be relatable to YA readers:)

“The Puzzler” by AJ Jacobs – probably the third Jacobs book I’ve read – I’ve enjoyed most of them – this one too – plenty to use in the classroom

Gifted AND Talented at Columbiana Middle