Tuesday, November 28, 2006

List of the Week: Best Books of 2006

As December is right around the corner here are the three best books released this year:

1) The Blind Side by Michael Lewis. Lewis, of Moneyball fame, is an outstanding writer. In The Blind Side he writes about a white, Christian family in Memphis that adopt an African-American teenager named Michael Oher. Oher has been raised by the streets, but the effect of his new family is amazing. The story takes place in the context of the rise of the West Coast offense in football, and thus the value of a quarterback and a left tackle to protect the quarterback's blind side from players like Lawrence Taylor. Fascinating read by a gifted author.

2) Chasing Ghosts by Paul Reickhoff. Paul was a year behind me at Amherst. Very good guy. Also, I'm sure, the only Amherst grad to fight in Iraq. Paul was a Platoon Leader in Baghdad, and now runs Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the largest veterans group for these two wars. A first-person look at the war in Iraq.

3) No Excuses. A look at high performing schools in low-income areas. The findings: All were charter schools. Schools had extended day and school year; nothing interrupted instructional time. Principals could hire and fire at will. They spend a lot of time examining the KIPP schools, started by two TFA alumni.


Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of "No Excuses" as well. Do you remember Bill Clinton's attack on the author (Abigail) at one forum during his national "conversation on race"? Two books on education I recommend to you: Doomed to Fail by Paul Zoch, and Class Warfare by J. Martin Rochester. Both I think will stir some ranting posts by you, to which I'll probably end up eagerly posting responses.

Ben Guest said...

The only problem is I have about 40 books stacked up to read and I estimate it will take about three years to get through the pile given that I tend to pick up other books along the way.

Robert said...


An attack? No. Misleading and fallacious criticism, yes, but don't lie about it.


Anonymous said...

Robert: I'll take your description of Clinton's comments. You present a reasonable description.