Being that: a) we’re in that time of year that everyone is looking for the perfect gift, and b) educators will actually have time to read books during the two weeks they get off, I thought it would be a good time to write up a book recommendations post. These books weren’t necessarily published in 2017, but most of them are books I read in 2017. All of them are books that I recommend. I’ve included a variety of categories because we’re all real people and we read more than just YA and professional development books (though those are in here too).
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My Book Recommendations for 2017
Young Adult Novels
One thing I’ve loved about transitioning into a 6-12 school this year is that it gives me a professional excuse to read more YA. This is only a short-list: there were a ton of these that I loved. If you want to see my book recommendations throughout the year, be sure to follow me on Instagram – I often post what I’m reading.
- Three Dark Crowns – Amazing fantasy novel about a set of triplet queens with special gifts who must murder one another to ascend to the throne. The sequel is currently on my to-read shelf.
- The Serpent King – Friendship. Poverty. Religion. Finding yourself. One of my favorite realistic fiction titles this year.
- Highly Illogical Behavior – What happens when a boy with severe agoraphobia meets a girl determined to cure him. And no, they don’t fall in love.
- Dumplin’ – Amazing body-positive read about Willowdean, a self-proclaimed fat girl who takes on her town’s notions of what it means to be beautiful.
These book recommendations are mostly centered around making, creativity, and library spaces since those are my main foci right now. And of course, I would humbly suggest the two books I wrote this year as well: Challenge-Based Learning in the School Library Makerspace and Reimagining Library Spaces: Transform Your Space on Any Budget. I think they’re pretty awesome 🙂
- The Big Book of Makerspace Projects – Colleen and Aaron’s fantastic book chock full of maker projects. A must-have for any educator or family interested in making (my review here) Also, check out their new book: 20 Makey Makey Projects for the Evil Genius
- Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative – If you aren’t reading Austin Kleon yet, you should be (my review here)
- Maker Centered Learning – I haven’t dug deep into this one yet, but from what I’ve seen, I like it
- The L!brary Book – Library space eye candy.
Minimalism and Simplicity
This year has had a lot going on for me, but my embrace of minimalism and simplicity has really had a profound impact on me. It’s helped me learn to be intentional, to slow down, to get rid of things in my life that I don’t need. It’s also inspired me to really take control of my finances and get out of debt. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or frustrated with life, I highly recommend checking out these books.
- Essential: Essays by the Minimalists – I am hooked on the Minimalists and their podcast. I’ve read all three of their books and this is my favorite.
- The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Underneath Everything You Own – A very practical view of minimalism that’s approachable.
- Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path – This is the book that helped me to really that I needed to slow things down in my life.
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – You have to say “no” to some things so that you can say “yes” to the important things (my review here)
Because sometimes books I read don’t fall into neat categories. Here’s my general book recommendations:
- Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things – Irreverant, inappropriate, and a look into living with mental illness
- 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story – The subtitle does a pretty good job actually.
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear – Elizabeth Gilbert’s take on creativity
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life – Anne Lamott’s take on creative writing.
My to-reads for 2018
I read a LOT of books every year (around 40-50 when I used to track it). So obviously, I’m not giving you an exhaustive list here. These are books I’m planning on reading next year. Some I just haven’t gotten around to yet. Others are written by friends. Some will be new releases. But I think they’re all worth taking a look at.
- The Kickstart Guide to Making Great Makerspaces – Laura Fleming’s latest book – I love that it’s setup like a workbook that readers can interact with.
- The Green Screen Makerspace Project Book – I just got a copy of Todd’s book and I’m looking forward to getting great ideas 🙂
- Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More – I love Courtney Carver’s blog; plus, she’s coming to Tampa for her book tour.
- The Hate U Give – Somehow I haven’t read this one yet. That changes soon.