I don’t know about you, but I am ready for Spring! During the winter I didn’t have much energy to read because I think my brain was feeling the instinctual need to hibernate and rest. In the last few weeks, as the days have started to get a little longer, I have felt more space to learn again. My Almost Spring Reading List has books that have helped me examine my own thoughts and patterns and how I view the world. They have also led to important conversations with my students. Check out these four books below!
How To Be a (Young) Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone. Dr. Kendi is one of my favorite authors and I am thrilled to be using this book and the supporting workbook with my students. For this book, Stone worked with Dr. Kendi to adapt his best seller How To Be an AntiRacist for the young adult audience. The language is upbeat and enticing for young readers, while giving clear definitions of race, racism, and antiracism. The book and workbook has led to in depth conversations with my students about race and what it means to be living in a patriarchal white supremacy. As a white educator I am grateful to have this guide. How To Be a (Young) Antiracist is a great introduction to antiracist work for students and I can see that mine are inspired by Dr. Kendi’s story and want to learn more.
Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto by Tricia Hersey. Hersey is the founder of The Nap Ministry, a movement for people to honor their divinity by resting. She says that our self worth is not tied to our productivity, our worth is inherent. The first tenet of her work is “rest is a form of resistance because it disrupts and pushes back against capitalism and white supremacy,” (13) institutions that were built by the labor of enslaved people. Hersey encourages readers to find time to rest, nap, daydream, or meditate because it helps us take back our power over our own bodies and not play into the oppressive systems. Her book has helped me personally feel less guilty about taking afternoon naps and encourage others to do the same.
The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control by Katherine Morgan Schafler. In our society the term “perfectionist” when used to describe women and girls has a negative connotation. Women are seen as trying too hard to reach an unachievable high standard. However, Schafler points out that when men show the same perfectionist characteristics, they are revered for being meticulous and detail oriented. In this book, Schafler encourages perfectionist women to embrace their true selves and strive to achieve in a healthy way. She makes the distinction between adaptive perfectionism, “using perfectionism to your advantage in a healthy way,” (27) and maladaptive perfectionism, “an unhealthy manifestation of perfectionism” (27). Schafler says that there are four different types of perfectionists and provides a quiz to help perfectionists better understand their tendencies. In the book she says there is nothing wrong with perfectionism, a freeing piece of encouragement for those who identify, and provides strategies to use perfectionist qualities to their advantage.
The Emotional Lives of Teenagers by Lisa Damour. This book is set to be released on February 21st and I am excited to read it. Dr. Damour is my favorite child and adolescent psychologist who specializes in teen girls. Her book Under Pressure has been an inspiration for me in my work with high school students and much of her research is the foundation for our methods at Coastside Leadership Academy. The Emotional Lives of Teenagers is her first book since the pandemic and I am curious to see what her research has found and how it can help us better support teenagers.
Happy almost Spring reading! I would love to hear your thoughts on the books and what you are reading as well. Send me an email or comment on my social media.