All posts by jmayfield

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

dashing through the books…

“out of the pocket” – Kirk Herbstreit – good book – got mom to read it too

“tell it true” – tim lockette – YA – really, really good – enjoyed the main character and the issues it raised

“forget the alamo” – at the public library – didn’t know all that had been going on about the alamo

“will” by will smith – good – more insightful that I thought it might have been – sad at times – another book I gave to mom

“How to beat a broken game” by Moura – good book about the problems with analytics in baseball

“running with purpose” – jim weber – brooks ceo – wanted it to be more about running that it was – it’s more a business book – but I did enjoy it

November 2021

“We Want Bama” – good – lots of language and a bit insider at times – but a non-traditional book on Alabama football – so I sort of had to read it:)

“Marathon” graphic novel about the 1928 marathon – really enjoyed this one

“Adbi’s World” – great book about a US marathon legend

“Peril” – Bob Woodward’s new book – good – was surprised how quickly I was able to get through it – but it was rather a frightening reading

last days of october…

“Into Every Generation is Born a Slayer” – LOVED this book – anything about Buffy, I’m a sucker for – and given the recent news about the writer/director/producer, it was a great read

“Golden Ticket” – a YA book – blah – it’s basic premise was the whole “you don’t need to be in gifted, slow things down” – not impressed – especially when I was going to a gifted conference as I read it:)

“Hard Pivot” – Apollo Ohno – business type book – few sports things thrown in – meh…

“Running Sideways” – really enjoyed this book by a former Bama track star – she had an amazing career – very interesting and unique story

Pumpkin Spice reading…

“Sir Alex” – book about former soccer coach – meh…

“A Thousand Sisters” – really good book about the women who made up Russia’s fighting unit in WWII – untold story I didn’t know much about – good YA read

“Up and Down” – Bubba Watson memoir – good read

“Walking Miracle” – Ryan Shazier – former NFL player – his story about recovering from paralysis

so the start of school has been busy…

“Chasing History” by Carl Bernstein – really good – as a person who grew up loving newspapers – really enjoyed it

“Benedict Society and Prisoner’s Dilemma” by Stewart – the third book – I believe – so this picked me up from where I left off 10 years ago – enjoyed it

“The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict” – really enjoyed this one – thought it was a good contrast to the Hunger Games prequel

“Mysterious Benedict Society and Riddle of Ages” – this was the latest book – little different from the previous ones – it had been a while between books three and four

“The Jesus Music” – Marshall Terrill – enjoyed this book – there’s a movie coming out that the book is based off – growing up with this music, I enjoyed reading about it

“Gifted Guide to Depth and Complexity” – Byrd and Gehert – gifted book to read – enjoyed it – using this material in the classroom

“Letters to a Young Athlete” – Chris Bosh – great book – highly recommended – used a bit of it in class – wish I could get my students to read it

“Loserville” by Trutor – good book on the history of ATL in the 1960s through 1975 – a bit of a policy wonk book – but having visited Auntie and Uncle for years in ATL, this was a good one to read

“All In” Billie Jean King – very much enjoyed this one – lots of takeaways – from what King did in the 1970s to what she fights for today – very interesting read

last bit of july fun…

“The Mysterious Benedict Society” and “The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey” – I read both years and years ago – when they first came out – the first book was still vaguely familiar when I started the Disney series – the second book, I only remembered parts of the ending – but both have been enjoyable reads and I am enjoying the TV series:)

“The New Meaning of Educational Change” – when you love someone, you read the books they are reading for professional development:) in this case, the book was actually pretty good – albeit, the discussion I had wanted to have had to wait five months for the book to arrive on interlibrary loan:)

“The Anthropocene Reviewed” by John Green – good book – I like Green even better when he’s writing non-fiction – b/c I love non-fiction – so this one was really good

“1% Better” – disappointing…

“The Master” by Clarey – book on Roger Federer – really enjoyed this book – was not a traditional biography but covered all of Federer’s major wins – and defeats

“Giannis” – by Fader – really enjoyed this one – his story is unbelievable – where he started – where he is now – NBA champion – I actually ordered a jersey after finishing the book – I’m a fan:)

Happy b’day to mom…

“Developing Assessment-Capable Visible Learners K-12” by Frey, Hattie and Fisher – great book – really got a lot out of it for the classroom for next year

“Genesis Begins Again” by Williams – good read – part of A-Plus curriculum – I could use it in my classroom with no problem

“The Impossible Knife of Memory” – needed a book – can’t go wrong with Laurie Halse Anderson – haven’t read a book of hers that I haven’t loved

“Rusch to Glory” – disappointing biography – got a bit better but I read the wrong review to order it

“Bomber Mafia” – Malcolm Gladwell – disappointing – didn’t see the point in the book – I thought the book was a stretch to say that the firebombing of Japan and Hiroshima were two different ways of looking at bombing

“The Sisterhood” – by Goldman – this was a great book – on the USWNT – I read a book on the team last year by Murray – that book was more of a legal take – this one was more on the ’99 team – great read

“Where Tomorrows Aren’t Promised” by Carlmelo Anthony – great book – enjoyed reading it – just the different educational experiences he had as a highly touted basketball player made the book worthwhile

“The Memory Police” by Ogawa – friend recommended it – definitely good for adult fiction – interesting – well done