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Home Blog Head of School Reading List

Head of School Reading List

By Jeff Leahy 06/28/2018
The latest installment of what CRMS Head of School, Jeff Leahy, is reading.

In offering this slate of books, it is important to note that I tend to read and finish any book that comes across my desk – in other words, I am not the type to read only portions, but rather will see to completion anything that I have begun.

David Howarth’s We Die Alone, a WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance. Highly recommended by a friend, this is a well-written, fast read. I would sum it up as a wartime story about a Norwegian Aron Ralston, just substitute the Norwegian fjords and a winter climate for the desert. It provides a Norwegian lens to WWII that I found unique and refreshing, and helped me to better understand the challenges that everyone faced at this critical time in modern European history. I highly recommend this book – (and so does Stephen E. Ambrose, of Undaunted Courage and Band of Brothers fame).

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore’s Inventing Ourselves, The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain. This is a very new addition to the study of adolescent brains and how it differs from other periods in life. She supports her conclusions with groundbreaking science and provides us with insights into how we might better educate this age group. I highly recommend this book, or Jensen’s The Teenage Brain (either has good information and is relatively easy reading).

Tasha Eurich’s Insight, The Power of Self-Awareness in a Self-deluded World. Nothing like reading a book that has on the cover “buy a copy for yourself and leave another – anonymously – on your boss’s desk.” While I haven’t been as impressed with this book at the moment, I have been surprised by how many times I have left notes in sections I wanted to revisit later. I believe that on the whole, it presents a volume of information that is worth considering but I was a bit underwhelmed by the style of presentation – or perhaps I am just not insightful enough to understand how groundbreaking this is all supposed to be. Moderate recommendation – worth the time, if you have it.

Anthony Horowitz, The Magpie Murders. A murder mystery within a murder mystery. Given the strong reviews, I wanted to like this more than I ultimately did, but I did find it entertaining enough to keep with it. It has been described as “clever”, “deliciously dark” and a “homage to the Golden Age of Crime.” It will make a good summer beach read. I give it a moderate recommendation – but many, many people have absolutely loved it.

Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One falls in the young adult fiction category (which I want to be clear, I am open to). This science fiction novel is now a Spielberg movie, and it presents us with a future where the world has depleted resources and relationships, adventure, and the like happen in a virtual world. It stays in a relatively safe zone when it comes to heavy topics and does not really take the opportunity to explore some very challenging questions, but perhaps that is what you get with young adult fiction? This book is a fun, easy read that may leave you wanting to spend more time listening to those songs you played if you grew up in the 80’s. It is a young adult adventure story at its heart and not the social commentary it could have been. I would recommend it for a young adult – for whom it is written.

Louie Simmons’ Special Strength Development for All Sports. A definitive strength and conditioning book coming out of the Westside Barbell Club – which has produced the strongest athletes in America and the world. Not much more to say other than it is clear and concise and right up there with Kelly Starrett’s Becoming a Supple Leopard when it comes to my most influential fitness reads. If you want to get stronger, lift smarter, and perform better then I would highly recommend taking a look at this book.



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Home Blog Head of School Reading List

Head of School Reading List

By Jeff Leahy 06/28/2018
The latest installment of what CRMS Head of School, Jeff Leahy, is reading.

In offering this slate of books, it is important to note that I tend to read and finish any book that comes across my desk – in other words, I am not the type to read only portions, but rather will see to completion anything that I have begun.

David Howarth’s We Die Alone, a WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance. Highly recommended by a friend, this is a well-written, fast read. I would sum it up as a wartime story about a Norwegian Aron Ralston, just substitute the Norwegian fjords and a winter climate for the desert. It provides a Norwegian lens to WWII that I found unique and refreshing, and helped me to better understand the challenges that everyone faced at this critical time in modern European history. I highly recommend this book – (and so does Stephen E. Ambrose, of Undaunted Courage and Band of Brothers fame).

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore’s Inventing Ourselves, The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain. This is a very new addition to the study of adolescent brains and how it differs from other periods in life. She supports her conclusions with groundbreaking science and provides us with insights into how we might better educate this age group. I highly recommend this book, or Jensen’s The Teenage Brain (either has good information and is relatively easy reading).

Tasha Eurich’s Insight, The Power of Self-Awareness in a Self-deluded World. Nothing like reading a book that has on the cover “buy a copy for yourself and leave another – anonymously – on your boss’s desk.” While I haven’t been as impressed with this book at the moment, I have been surprised by how many times I have left notes in sections I wanted to revisit later. I believe that on the whole, it presents a volume of information that is worth considering but I was a bit underwhelmed by the style of presentation – or perhaps I am just not insightful enough to understand how groundbreaking this is all supposed to be. Moderate recommendation – worth the time, if you have it.

Anthony Horowitz, The Magpie Murders. A murder mystery within a murder mystery. Given the strong reviews, I wanted to like this more than I ultimately did, but I did find it entertaining enough to keep with it. It has been described as “clever”, “deliciously dark” and a “homage to the Golden Age of Crime.” It will make a good summer beach read. I give it a moderate recommendation – but many, many people have absolutely loved it.

Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One falls in the young adult fiction category (which I want to be clear, I am open to). This science fiction novel is now a Spielberg movie, and it presents us with a future where the world has depleted resources and relationships, adventure, and the like happen in a virtual world. It stays in a relatively safe zone when it comes to heavy topics and does not really take the opportunity to explore some very challenging questions, but perhaps that is what you get with young adult fiction? This book is a fun, easy read that may leave you wanting to spend more time listening to those songs you played if you grew up in the 80’s. It is a young adult adventure story at its heart and not the social commentary it could have been. I would recommend it for a young adult – for whom it is written.

Louie Simmons’ Special Strength Development for All Sports. A definitive strength and conditioning book coming out of the Westside Barbell Club – which has produced the strongest athletes in America and the world. Not much more to say other than it is clear and concise and right up there with Kelly Starrett’s Becoming a Supple Leopard when it comes to my most influential fitness reads. If you want to get stronger, lift smarter, and perform better then I would highly recommend taking a look at this book.



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