People often say that if you need something done ask the busiest person in the room.
I am that person.
I love being busy, even when school is out. Even when relaxing at a vacation home in Florida with my friend Buffalo, I will coordinate what we are eating, what activities we should do during the day, and even map out a grocery store route.
At the end of summer, I finished graduate school, worlds for hockey had come and passed, and teaching was busy, but nothing was new there. This fall was the first time in the past three years that I could not confidently declare that I was the busiest person in the room.
I started on my next big self-assigned task: creating a reading list to help prepare me for my research in the spring.
A collection of my Grandmother's books
After being awarded the Fulbright last April, I went through a stage of shock and excitement, followed immediately by obsessively making sure everything was planned and prepared for the trip.
Logistically coordinating an international move is no easy feat, and with only six months of living in the country I wanted to make sure that my time in The Netherlands was spent interviewing teachers and observing Dutch schools.
After constructing my "syllabus" I filled my new found flex time on the subway, before bed, and while eating, planning for my trip and reading books.
To keep everyone updated on my academic research (and other fun reads) I figured I could also share my literary journey. I have not fully jumped on the Kindle train, so I purchased many of the books through Amazon. After moving all my things into storage I realized that approximately 50% of what I own is books. I have no plans on getting rid of them, but might start planning some sort of big gay lending library when I return.
1. Stonewall by David Carter
Even though I researched LGBTQ+ education through my Master's Degree, my first stop on my journey was to refresh my understanding of the Gay Rights Movement in the US. I decided to go back to the beginning and read Stonewall . The book provided a comprehensive history of the Stonewall riots, but largely was from the perspectives of white gay men at the time. While I appreciated the book, I would have like to read more about other stories during the riots. Perhaps the cover with four white men should have been a sign.
2. Getting Ready for Benjamin Edited Rita Kissen
This collection of essays about working with sexual diversity in education provided an overview of the literature out there from multiple view points. This was a solid read, and made me think of something I would want to discuss in a seminar course.
3. The Right to Be Out by Stuart Biegel
I own this book, but have yet to crack it open. I will get back to you later on what it is about, but the cover is appealing, and you know what they say about that.
4. Why Europe is Lesbian and Gay Friendly (and why America never will be) by Angelia R. Wilson
This book was the first dip that I took into reading more about gay culture in Europe. The most shocking part of the book was learning about how some European countries that want to use gay people to solve social welfare ills will only allow gay people to adopt, and only adopt children with disabilities. There's a lot to unpack there...
5. LGBTQ Youth in America's Schools by Jason Cianciotto and Sean Cahill
This book was an extensive mixed of policy research and helpful information for advocates of LGBT youth in America. I plan to use some suitcase room to take this book along.
6. Global Homophobia Edited by Meredith Weiss and Michael Bosia
If learning about how homophobic people can be in US wasn't enough for you, and you haven't turned on the news recently you can enlighten yourself by learning about homophobia across the globe!
7. A Tyranny of Petticoats Edited by Jessica Spotswood
I snagged this book from my sister after visiting my nieces in Maine. Books like these bring me hope for young women/men/gender nonconforming individuals, definitely a ginormous step up from Sweet Valley High.
8. Not Under My Roof by Amy T. Schalet
This book contrasts Dutch parental norms on talking about sex and intimacy with teenagers with American families. The majority of Dutch parents are fine with their teenager's partner spending the night, knowing that they will likely have sex. Mind blown? Read further.
9. Discovering the Dutch: On Culture and Society of the Netherlands by Emmeline Besamusca and Jaap Verheul
What sort of political system do the Dutch have? What makes their social welfare system different than the US? This book has your answers.
10. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
The LGBTQ+ community spans all races, classes, and abilities. As I move into looking at educational inequity among LGBTQ+ students I want to keep the importance of intersectionality with race at the forefront of my research.
11. Amsterdam & The Netherlands by Rick Steves
Whenever I found myself home alone in Brooklyn during the fall I would put on Rick Steves' guide to different European countries. It was a pleasant surprise when my partner Lindsey's mother gifted me the Rick Steves' guide to Amsterdam for my birthday. While I am most excited about just living my life in another country, it would be a loss to not explore so many of the things that make tourists love The Netherlands.
The next stop for many of the books on this list is a detailed summary on a google document to add to my literature review, so if you want a more in depth academic analysis of any text that is on the way.
Creating my own schedule this spring is something that I already have in a spreadsheet and plan to be excited about. Not actually, but I am thrilled that I will have the chance to fill my time researching and exploring.
Until writing another book list is next on my To-Do list I would love to hear from you.
What books have you read recently? Do you have any reading recommendations?