Ajay Chaudry, Taryn Morrissey, Christina Weiland, Hiro Yoshikawa: Cradle to Kindergarten: A New Plan to Combat Inequality
Here is a very pragmatic and effective road map that will pay huge dividends for our children. Chaudry, Weiland and Yoshikawa helped me with early policy and design issues for the Seattle Preschool Program. I highly recommend this book for those who want to move the needle and solve our children's opportunity gap.
Claudia Rowe: The Spider and the Fly: A Reporter, a Serial Killer, and the Meaning of Murder
This is a raw, hard-hitting, emotional roller coaster of a ride through a serial killer's life and that of the author. I couldn't put it down. Claudia Rowe, a journalist at The Seattle Times, tells a true crime story that is rich, foreboding and packed with glimpses of the harm often foisted on those we love the most.
Mark K. Shriver: Pilgrimage: My Search for the Real Pope Francis
My friend, Mark Shriver, wrote this book about Pope Francis and it soon become apparent he was writing about his own spiritual journey as well. The stories here are intimate and compelling.
Tom Rinaldi: The Red Bandanna: A life, A Choice, A Legacy
Rinaldi tells a moving and compelling story about a man who sacrificed his life for others during the 9/11 attacks in New York City. It's inspiring. Here's the ESPN video that tells the same story in 13 minutes: http://www.espn.com/video/clip/_/id/17519467
Alex Kershaw: Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family's Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris
Absolutely fascinating read. This true story about an American family in Paris during WW II will help restore your faith in people. Gripping. Tragically sad, at the same time. Well worth a quick read.
Mark Lilla: The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction
Interesting take on political conflict in terms of philosophy and the decline of the west.
Arlie Russell Hochschild: Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right
I've been reading more about middle America since the presidential election. White Trash and Hillbilly Elegy are very good, but Stranger in Their Own Land really captures the complexity and conflict many Americans feel toward their government. Read Hillbilly Elegy if you just want a quick read, but read Strangers if you want a deep dive into how many of our fellow Americans feel and perceive government.
Nancy Isenberg: White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America
Another read to acquaint myself with middle America.
J. D. Vance: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
After our recent national election, I decided to read up on people living in middle America. Vance's book is funny, insightful and powerfully poignant. This is a great story.
Larry Tye: Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon
Looking for relief from the current presidential campaign ugliness? Take a look back to Robert Kennedy. Tye's book is an excellent reminder of what political leaders can accomplish.
Norm Stamper: To Protect and Serve: How to Fix America’s Police
A look at American policing and what needs to change by Seattle's former police chief.
Bruce Bradbury: Too Many Children Left Behind: The U.S. Achievement Gap in Comparative Perspective
This excellent book compares the opportunity gap in the UK, Canada, Australia and the United States. Spoiler alert: our children have a wider and more persistent gap. Shame on us. Chapter 7 is a practical, step-by-step action plan on how to close this damaging gap for our kids.
Paul Tough: Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why
Tough, known for his writings about the Harlem Children's Zone, has condensed a wide body of research to make the case for focused, purposeful efforts to prepare children for success in school.
Paul Kalanithi: When Breath Becomes Air
This is an amazing book about life and death by an author who wanted to become a writer, then instead became a neurosurgeon. He chronicles his battle with lung cancer, but the power of the book comes from his personal journey of love, spiritual awareness, and friendship, all told in a beautiful prose that pulls you along to the tragic end. I couldn't put this one down. No wonder it has been atop the NYT's best seller list for so long.
Timothy Egan: The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero
A great story well told. I learned more about the famous Irish potato famine than ever, including the hideous and shameful role of the British.
David B Williams: Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle's Topography
A great story about the beginnings of Seattle. The focus is the topography of our city, but Williams fills in all the details on politics, the economy, our original neighbors, and much more. A very good read.
Eli Sanders: While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man's Descent into Madness
This is a "can't put it down" book, a gripping true account of terrible crimes in and around Seattle. It's also the story of our failure to care for those with mental disorders and the consequences. Eli Sanders won a Pulitzer Prize for his newspaper coverage of these crimes and the subsequent trial. His book asks what we're going to do now since we know the truth.
Christopher T. Bayley: Seattle Justice: The Rise and Fall of the Police Payoff System in Seattle
I covered the trials back in the early '70s when Chris Bayley was cleaning out the corruption at City Hall. His book is an important documentation of what can happen when city leaders fool themselves to think a little corruption is better than too much. Silly thinking then and now.
Ta-Nehisi Coates: Between the World and Me
Painful to read, but redemptive in the end. Read this book to understand the anger, disenchantment and despair deeply felt by our African American brothers and sisters. Coates writes a letter of love and stunning honesty to his son. This is a history of injustice and oppression every American should read and seek to understand.
Zeynep Ton: The Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs and Boost Profits
Successful companies can pay middle class wages and thrive, according to Ton who teaches at MIT. A highly motivational read for everyone running a business!