It is Day 1 of summer 2023. I’ve been looking forward to this day for several weeks as my sixth graders began to ‘blossom’ into seventh graders. It happens every year and the answer is an eleven week break to rest, reset, and restore for new year and new crop of students.
Day 1 finds me in my ‘summer office’ plotting and planning the today and the remaining 75 days of summer break. This will be my fourteenth summer of this blog. I have chronicled every summer and fall, winter, and spring since that first post thirteen years ago.
I am trying something new with this post, a response to the daily prompt through WordPress. Today’s prompt is
List three books that have had an impact on you. Why?
Muhammad Ali once said,
“A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”
I suppose if I had answered that question 30 years ago, or maybe even next week, the answer might be three different books, but at this moment there are three: the Bible, The Giver by Lois Lowry, and Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella.
I’ve been reading the Bible most of my life. This past winter, I was watching a football game and watched a commercial produced by an organization called, He gets Us. It was a commercial for Christianity and it got me curious. Who is He Gets Us?
After clicking, reading, watching, and clicking some more, I wound up here You Version: Jesus – He Gets Us. I read, clicked, watched, listened, and downloaded the app. I began reading the Bible in a year. Since January 1, I’ve been following a plan to read the Bible in a year. There is so much to learn from the wisdom of the Bible, and I feel like I am only scratching the surface. If you are curious, it’s there for you to be curious, and less judgmental.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
I first picked up The Giver in the Spring of 1998. I was studying to be a teacher and in the throes of rigorous academic semester. I was taking Introduction to Children’s Literature with Carl M. Tomlinson. We had to read children’s books and write book summaries for each one. The semester project and a large percentage of the final grade was to read ten novels and fifty picture books. For each book we needed to create a six-sentence summary. If you have been reading MtDC dot org for any length of time, you’ll know that might have been a challenge for me. One of the novels I chose to read was The Giver. The story is about a twelve-year old who lives in a futuristic utopian world. In this world, there is no love only feelings. Parents are matched with children and people are assigned jobs that match their personality and character traits. Our son, W, had been born in January just after the semester had begun and he was struggling to gain weight. In the novel, everything is planned and managed by the elders. The community was perfect, and weakness was weeded out. The book resonated with me then and I still remember reading the book and thinking of W. Years later I got to help my seventh graders wrestle with the book as they read it. Some enjoyed the book and others didn’t, but I did each time I read and re-read the book.
Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella
I read this book in the summer of 1990. I don’t remember if I had seen the movie Field of Dreams and I was curious to read the book or if I read it because I had simply picked it up, or someone had recommended it to me, but I do remember reading the book in my apartment when I was living in Dallas. It is rare when a movie is as good as the book, but this match comes close. Shoeless jo is a story of a man reckoning with his relationship with his late father. I read this book when father was alive, and I didn’t realize the connection until a year later when I was struggling with my own connection to my father. I’ve watched and rewatched the movie many times since. Shoeless Joe is on my summer read or re-read list.
Another book on my summer read list is, The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, M.D. it comes recommended by Tony Dungy through his book, Uncommon. I have 76 days to read books and share my adventures via the blog and hopefully develop a habit of blogging regularly when school resumes in late August.
Today is going to be an amazing day, I know it and I can feel it. So, I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, one word, one sentence, one book.
What is one book which could make your list of three?