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Summer Reading Recommendations Part 4: More Learning Ally Staff

Categories: Blind or Visually Impaired, General, General

Compiled by: Kristen Witucki, College Success Program Curriculum and Content Editor

The College Success Program decided to put together a summer reading list so that we could encourage our students and each other to gravitate toward good books we've either read or plan to read. I've recently learned about enough great books to start a blog series! I have to admit that hearing about the many recommended books leads me to feel almost frozen by the thought of all the books I might not get to! We hope these book lists will help give you a sense of who we are and our program, and also offer some reading entertainment for everyone! For the third and fourth parts of our series we asked Learning Ally staff from across the organization to contribute their favorite books. As you may already know, the College Success Program is a very tiny part of Learning Ally, a mission-driven non-profit which works to ensure that teachers have the tools to deliver high quality reading products to their students with visual, learning or physical disabilities. Our solutions have grown from the audiobook, so naturally our company is full of bookworms. On Zoom, the platform we use to carry out our work, our Literature and Audiobook Experience Lead, Alexis (pronounced Alexie) created A Place to Talk Books. From that channel, I received more recommendations than I could possibly use - maybe that means I need to write a mini winter break reading list! But in any case, we hope these recommendations will get you started!

Please note: These books are not necessarily available in the Learning Ally catalog.

Alexis, Literature and Audiobook Experience Lead
The Knowledge Gap
by Natalie Wexler
Incredibly insightful book which provides a sorely needed historical context for diagnosing the issues with literacy instruction in the US today. I found the main argument very persuasive. Very relevant to Learning Ally's mission!


Christine, Instructional Texts Administrator
Young Elizabeth: The Making of the Queen
by Kate Williams
Biography of Queen Elizabeth before she becomes queen. Interesting and well researched and written. You realize how much history she has seen and has been a part of.


Daniel, System Support Specialist
Start With Why
by Simon Sinek
This book will ask you why you do what you do in life, in your career, in your work environment or any social circle that you are a part of. It is very illuminating.


Jane, Inside Sales Representative
A Piece of the World
by Christina Baker Klein
Beautifully written, moving story inspired by Andrew Wyeth's painting "Christina's World."


Julia, Manager of Development
by Nora Ephron
"Comical drama" about breakup, relationship, and cooking. Engaging, funny and a very easy read.


Mir, Front-End Developer
Deep Work
by Cal Newport
A guide to finding focus and clarity in an increasingly distracted world.


Rachel, HR Generalist-Admin
White Fragility
by Robin DiAngelo
This is a great book for challenging the way you think about racism and what it means to be white. Excellent read for an open-minded reader.


Shelley, Inside Sales Representative
The Cost of Living
by Deborah Levy
This is a poetic/minimal/feminist autobiography about a woman rebuilding her life.


Sumedha, Senior Developer
The Forty Rules of Love
by Elif Shafak
Shafak beautifully weaves her modern story with Sufi poet Rumi and Shams of Dervish's story. It clarifies Sufism and its philosophies.


Looking for more reading inspiration? Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this blog series of browse the Learning Ally Audiobooks.