You Can You Will by Joel Osteen


Title: You Can You Will – 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner

Genre: Inspirational

Page Count: 171

Publication Date: 2014

Summary: A Biblically-based inspirational book, the author separates his message into eight ideals needed to achieve your goals: Keep your vision in front of you, Run your race, Expect good things, Have a positive mind-set, Commit to excellence, Keep growing, Serve others, and Stay passionate.

Recommended: Yes.  This is a quick read and is very positive yet realistic. Rather than just quoting Bible verses, the author explains the significance of short Bible stories.

If You’re Offended: No problems here.

Noteworthy Excerpts: “God did not call you to keep everyone happy. It’s good to be loving, kind, and generous, but you are not responsible for the happiness of others. You are responsible for your own happiness.”    “If you’re the smartest one in your group, then your group is too small. You need to be around people who know more than you and have more talent than you. Don’t be intimidated by them; be inspired.”


Curious by Ian Leslie


Full Title: Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It

Genre: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 216

Publication Date: 2014

Summary: This book explores the nature of curiosity – what causes it and how we benefit from it.  Using psychology, it explores how we learn and why we learn.  It looks at the history of curiosity – how it has been banned and celebrated over the years. It also looks at the roles of schools and education in helping our curiosity to flourish.

Recommended: Yes! If you like to learn as much as you can about the world around you, this is the book for you. It is filled with anecdotes and real-world success stories of people being curious.

If You’re Offended: No problems here.

Noteworthy Excerpts: “When people are interested in what they’re reading, they pay closer attention, process the information more efficiently, make more connections between new and existing knowledge, and attend to deeper questions raised by the text rather than merely noting its surface features.”     “Knowledge, even shallow knowledge – knowing a little about a lot – widens your cognitive bandwidth. It means you get more out of a trip to the theater or a museum or from a novel, a poem, or a history book.”

PCOS for Dummies


Authors: Gaynor Bussell and Sharon Perkins

Genre: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 268

Publication Date: 2011

Summary: PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is a disease that affects up to 10% of women of reproductive age.  This book, in classic “For Dummies” style, gives you a basic overview of the disease and treatments in an easy-to-read style of writing.  The book also includes information about how to incorporate a low-glycemic-index diet, weight loss, medications that can be used to treat symptoms, and how to deal with infertility and pregnancy.

Recommended: Yes.  The information is very user-friendly and you can either read the whole book or just the sections that are interesting to you.  There is a section at the end that includes resources that provide information and support.

If You’re Offended: No problems here.

Noteworthy Excerpts: “If you have PCOS, you may be told that you have insulin resistance (pre-diabetes). There aren’t a lot of physical signs of insulin resistance, but the following clues can warn you of the possibility: darkened areas of skin around the neck, in the armpits, on the elbows, behind the knees, and around the knuckles, fat accumulation around the waist, and skin tags that grow off the skin.”    “If you keep blood glucose levels under control, eat well, and lose even a small amount of weight before getting pregnant, you can significantly decrease your risk of complications during pregnancy.”

Race, Ethnicity, Gender & Class


Race, Ethnicity, Gender & Class: The Sociology of Group Conflict and Change by Joseph F. Healey and Eileen O’Brien

Genre: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 412

Publication Date: 2015

Summary: This book explores the history of immigration to the United States and the roles that various minority groups have played in American society.  Topics covered include African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Gender, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Americans, Diversity and Prejudice and Discrimination.

Recommended: No.  Although the content was interesting, the book was not laid out well.  Some minority groups were given much more thorough coverage than others and the authors often repeated information several times throughout the course of the book.

If You’re Offended: No problems here

Noteworthy Excerpts: “Since the Indian Removal Act of 1830, American Indians have been concentrated in the western two thirds of the nation, although some pockets of population still can be found in the East. The states with the largest concentrations of American Indians are California, Oklahoma, and Arizona.”    “Most Latinos who speak predominantly Spanish are first generation, while most who speak predominantly English are third generation. The second generation is most likely to be bilingual.”

Exceptional Children by William L. Heward


Full Title: Exceptional Children: An Introduction to Special Education

Genre: Textbook

Page Count: 562

Publication Date: 2013

Summary: This book explains the causes and treatments (if available) of a variety of disabilities as well as best practices for teachers of students with those disabilities. Disabilities covered include intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders, autism spectrum disorders, communication disorders, deafness and hearing loss, blindness and low vision, physical disabilities, health impairments, ADHD and low incidence disabilities such as severe/multiple disabilities, deaf-blindness and traumatic brain injury.  Other sections include collaborating with parents of special needs students and working with gifted and talented students.

Recommended: Yes, yes, yes.  This has been an amazing resource as a new teacher and I recommend it for all general education teachers.

If You’re Offended: No problems here.

Noteworthy Excerpts: “Social skills instruction is an important curriculum component for students with emotional or behavioral disorders. Many of these students have difficulty holding a conversation, expressing their feelings, participating in group activities, and responding to failure or criticism in positive and constructive ways.”   “Gifted students who must wait for others to catch up or who are used as tutors in the classroom are not having their needs met.”

American Indians: Answers to Today’s Questions


Author: Jack Utter

Genre: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 494

Publication Date: 2001

Summary: In a question-and-answer format, this book explores the past and present situation of American Indians.  Topics range from Treaties and Agreements, Culture and Religion, Warfare and Health to Education and Land and Resources. Because tribes vary, this book gives a broad overview of Native Americans.

Recommended: Yes.  Though my professor assigned this book as a textbook, it would make an interesting read, either all the way through or just the questions that you find relevant.

If You’re Offended: No problems here.

Noteworthy Excerpts: “Today it is generally the tribes which define who is and who is not a member – though Congress ultimately has authority to intervene.”   “Official U.S. military involvement in warfare against American Indians occurred over a 115-year period, from 1776 to 1891. However, the U.S. Army was involved in a dozen or more ‘police actions’ relating to Indian tribes between 1891 and 1907.

Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac


Genre: Historical Fiction

Page Count: 231

Publication Date: 2005

Summary: In the 1920’s and 1930’s, Navajo Indians were sent to boarding schools to learn English and they were forbidden to speak their native language or celebrate their culture.  Fast forward to World War II, when the US Marines needed a code that could not be broken by the Japanese to send important messages from one location to another.  Navajos were recruited by the Marines specifically because their language was complex and hard to learn.  This story goes from reservation boarding school to action-packed war zones in the Pacific theater.

Recommended: Yes! Though it was written for young adults, this book will appeal to anyone who likes World War II or historical fiction.

If You’re Offended: Only one instance of the word damn.

Noteworthy Excerpts: “I think it was probably harder for young white men to be abused like that by their drill sergeants than it was for us Navajos. Being Indians, we were used to having white men shout at us and tell us were were worthless and stupid.”    “Once again I heard the sound that is one of the most awful things anyone can hear: the dull thud, between the sound of a slap and a punch, of a bullet hitting the body of a human being.”