"On the Books" is a series that asks one question, "What are you reading lately?" I'm so pleased that Whitney Hoffman pops in with her answer today. An attorney and the mother of two sons, Hoffman produces LD Podcast, an informative Internet radio show about learning and learning disabilities.
As the home page states, the focus of LD Podcast is on "parenting children who are struggling in school, but you'll find many of the topics we discuss applicable to any child. You'll hear a lot about how to emphasize your child's strengths, while helping them find ways to minimize their deficits." Interviewing experts in their fields, Hoffman covers an array of topics, including handwriting problems, ADHD, dyslexia, and homework.
Let's hear from Whitney Hoffman. The mike is all yours, Whitney.
I started the podcast after finding it hard to figure out what I "should" be reading. I wanted to know what was happening in education, especially as it affected kids who didn't fit perfectly into the system as it stands. My list is fairly representative of the types of books I usually read—a mix of books on education, personal development and strategies, and business books, with fiction mixed in for fun.
I should tell you my very best book secret: the business books about management and marketing can be applied in different circumstances. After all, if you learn how to get your message across in an advertisement, those same skills are equally applicable to getting your ideas across to your children and students. The business section sometimes has better parenting books than the parenting section. Shhhh—don't tell!
The Truth About You: Your Secret to Success, by Marcus Buckingham. A great book with an accompanying DVD that is more than just a gimmick—it's definitely worthwhile. I shared the disk with my children. Great messages about identifying and capitalizing on your strengths.
Wired for Speech: How Voice Activates and Advances the Human-Computer Relationship, by Clifford Nass and Scott Brave. The authors examine how people are mentally wired to process speech sounds and what this means for computer programs and design. (Totally geeky.)
ADHD in Adults: What the Science Says, by Russell A. Barkley, Kevin R. Murphy, and Mariellen Fischer. I will have a chance to attend a seminar with Dr. Barkley in November, and will be interviewing him for the podcast at that time, so reading his book is important prep.
Home Advantage: Social Class and Parental Intervention in Elementary Education, by Annette Lareau. I found this one at a local college bookstore. It's part of the coursework for a class (that I am not taking) but after looking at it, it became clear I needed to read this book, as it discusses the interaction between home and school.
Buying In, by Rob Walker. An interesting book about how trends are adopted and how non-traditional marketing is making an impact.
Mind candy book of the month: Then We Came To The End, by Joshua Ferris. I'm just starting this novel about office politics. Since my office is virtual, this will make me feel a bit more like Twitter is actually my water cooler.
P.S., what the kids are reading lately, Whitney? I know all of you like books.
James (age 13): The Candy Shop War, by Brandon Mull, and Brinsingr by Christopher Paolini.
John (age 10): Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson; the Jack Sparrow series, by Rob Kidd; and Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech.