Bryan Stevenson: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
This is a powerful, gripping account from a lawyer who represents prisoners on death row in the American south. If you wonder about the relationship between the police and African Americans, read this book!
Joe Guppy: My Fluorescent God
This is a compelling, funny, tragic and revealing personal story from a Seattle writer about his plunge into mental crisis. Joe is honest and direct. His experience is his own, but could happen to any of us.
Robert Coles: Lives We Carry with Us: Profiles of Moral Courage
Coles is the former Harvard professor who wrote "Children in Crisis" for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. He profiles 12 individuals here, including Bruce Springsteen, Dorothy Day, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Simone Weil. Good stories of compelling leadership.
Eric Metaxas: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Riveting account of the Lutheran pastor who, from the beginning, recognized the evil of Nazism, spoke against Hitler and paid with his life.
Fr. Gregory Boyle: Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion
Gripping, real life account of living in inner city LA and the power of love. I laughed, cried and shouted my way through this book.
Michael Ignatieff: Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics
Reflections on politics and the political life from the former leader of Canada's Liberal Party.
Greg J. Duncan and Richard J. Murnane: Restoring Opportunity: The Crisis of Inequality and the Challenge for American Education
I appreciate the focus of this book on education, including high-quality preschool.
Malcolm Gladwell: David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
A story-based look at why underdogs succeed and how we, as a society, misinterpret power and weakness. Includes a good lesson about the importance of police legitimacy.
Bruce Katz & Jennifer Bradley: The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy (Brookings Focus Book)
A must read for municipal leaders who want to understand and act on the reality of regional economics. Excellent application for Seattle and the greater Puget Sound region.
Anne Lamott: Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers
Funny, insightful, and thought-provoking. Lamott has delivered another quick read that made me ponder some of the deeper aspects of life.
James J. Heckman: Giving Kids a Fair Chance (Boston Review Books)
Insight from one of America's best early learning thinkers. Heckman builds a strong case for high-quality, purposeful preschool. Includes responses from many other distinguished education leaders.
Brene Brown: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
I really liked this book which is packed with stories about life. Good insight about vulnerability, caring for others, and leadership.
Enrico Moretti: The New Geography of Jobs
Chapter 3 is about Seattle.
Howard Thurman: Jesus and the Disinherited
Mr. Thurman passed in 1981 but his insights continue to influence thinking today, especially about the intersection between religious faith and public policy.
Paul Tough: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
The author of "Whatever It Takes," the story of Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem Children’s Zone, provides insight into the early development of children. What’s best? Cognitive or non-cognitive learning? Tough’s theory is that character is what really matters.
Timothy Noah: The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do about It
A sobering and rational analysis of the greatest threat to American democracy, packed with helpful ideas for reform. Noah identifies the six most significant contributors to income inequality. Read this book if you care about the middle class and our nation and city!
Eric Liu & Nick Hanauer: The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government
Another values-driven read from two local authors. Read it to discover a new way of looking at the economy and our politics. It's an inspiring essay.
Anthony S. Bryk: Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago
In 1988, Chicago public schools decentralized, granted parents and faculty resources and authority to reform. This book reports on a seven-year study of what happened and identifies the practices and conditions that were essential for improvement of student academics. The authors arrived at their conclusions by researching 100 elementary schools that improved and 100 that didn't. The five essentials—school leadership, parent/community ties, professional capacity of faculty/staff, student-centered learning environment, and instructional guidance system.