Summer Reading for Parents


I struggle to find time to read for pleasure. I have, on occasion, tried to rise early and read. My boys have caught onto that and quickly interrupt the peace and quiet. Once I get into bed, any pages I read invariably have to be reread the following night as I don’t remember a single thing. While I once relied on vacation for reading time, even that, as you all know, becomes a challenge with young children. This summer is different, though. I have two weeks of vacation with… cousins! I am counting on my eight to fourteen year old nephews and nieces to buy me some good reading time.

Here is what I am looking forward to reading.

Tara Westover’s Educated: A Memoir

I love memoirs. From Agassi’s Open to J. R. Moehringer’s Tender Bar, I love learning about the lives and inner-lives of others. Educated looks like memoir meets John Krakauer non-fiction.

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 9.51.33 AM.png



William Finnegan’s Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

I recently read Jaimal Yogi’s All our Waves are Water when on vacation – with cousins, of course – and that book reminded me how much I enjoy surfing and surf life. While I have only gotten in the water one day this year, reading about surfing brings back wonderful memories.

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 9.52.34 AM.png


Wendy Mogul’s Voice Lessons for Parents: What to Say, How to Say it, and When to Listen

This one is reading for pleasure meets reading for work. We are hosting Wendy Mogul here at MTS next fall for a book talk on October 23. You can join me in reading the book before she arrives or get a copy that night and join our first MTS community book discussion in early 2019. If you haven’t read Julie Lythcott-Haims’ How to Raise an Adult, consider starting with that one and then read Voice Lessons after Mogul’s talk.

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 9.53.33 AM.png

Anthony Wolfe’s The Secret of Parenting: How to Be in Charge of Today's Kids

Robin, my wife, has read a number of books about early elementary children. As Harrison heads into Kindergarten and Huck figures out how to “use his words,” Robin suggested I read this book.

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 9.54.35 AM.png


“We Came to Win”

Okay, so this is a podcast and not a book. However, my second week of cousin-powered vacation is in Whistler, B.C. and I am going to be leaving Robin and the boys in Seattle for an extra few days of exploration. That means that I have 14 hours of solo drive time. This podcast by Gimlet Media has me, not a soccer fan, hooked on the World Cup. I am saving episodes for that drive. For those who also have long car trips ahead, I highly recommend all of the Gimlet Media podcasts. Younger MTS students might particularly like “Story Pirates” and my boys now brush their teeth for two full minutes because of “Chompers” a two-minute long podcast.

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 10.53.47 AM.png

“Battle Sheep” and “Dimension: The Spherical Stackable Fast Paced Puzzle Game”

As long as I am veering from books, I want to quickly put a plug in for a few of the games that we are going to be playing as a family. Games and card-games are a great way to keep math and STEM skills progressing over the summer. Battle Sheep and Dimension are two such games. You can see a more complete list of math and stem-oriented games here.


We encourage our students to read over the summer. There is no better way to inspire your children to read than to do it yourself. Whether these books or others, consider joining me in turning off the phone and returning to long-form reading “for fun.” Or, more accurately, "trying" to return to long-form reading for fun.