Excelsior

Follow us on

james@excelsiorgroup.co.uk

07976 306 494

Main Menu

Latest Blog Entry

The Daily Mile: Teachers “Must Try Harder”
September 13, 2018
Why the Daily Mile should not be mandatory for pupils Two Primary School head teachers have mentioned the “Daily Mile” to me in the last 6 months. The first said he was going to introduce it in his school. The second asked me about it and had concerns because she didn’t want any of the […]
More

User login

Lost password?

Summer reading recommendations 2018

Summer reading recommendations

Summer reading recommendations

Tolkien exhibition at the Bodleian Library

Half of the year has gone, Britain is currently enjoying (enduring?) a heatwave and my American colleagues and friends are about to have their 4th July vacation. Time to share some of the books I have read this year and that you might want to try.

The full list is below which you can scan, but here are some by categories.

I also recommend Tolkien fans visit the exhibition at the Bodleian library to see how a great work is crafted. You can see the amount of work he discarded before being left with the trilogy.

Reading for the beach :

  • The Expanse series by James S. Corey. If you like some inter planetary Science Fiction in the near future, then this series will keep you busy. Well written, great characters and interesting.
  • A Whole Life: Robert Seethaler. Short, but poignant novel about a man living in Austria. Simple, rural existence and the human experience.
  • Travels With Charley: John Steinbeck. Well crafted and entertaining autobiographical account of 2 months travelling around the USA in 1968. The man can write.

Reading for the Mind:

The Village effect

Possibly my book of the year

  • The Village Effect: Susan Pinker. Very readable and relevant look at the importance of human connections. If you have a young person on a screen, or an elderly relative living alone, I would say must read.
  • The War Of The World: Niall Ferguson. Extensive history of causes and effects of war in the twentieth century. More geo-political than military account and very revealing. Excellent read (Thanks to Kevin O’ Donnell for the loan).

Reading for Sports Coaches and P.E. Teachers

  • The Mastery Of Movement: Rudolf Laban. Explains the basis for Laban’s work which led to Educational Gymnastics in the UK. Great at learning how to move
  • In Pursuit Of Excellence: Terry Orlick. A very useful, practical and easy to implement book on mental skills training. It has lots of good ideas and is written to be used to by coaches and athletes, recommended.
  • Championship Team Building: Jeff Janssen. Very usable book with lots of practical ideas on improving team communication and cohesion. I would say entry level, which is no bad thing.

The Full List

  1. The Mastery Of Movement: Rudolf Laban. Explains the basis for Laban’s work which led to Educational Gymnastics in the UK. Great at learning how to move.
  2. Caliban’s War: James S. Corey. Big space opera SF novel. Page turning excitement with decent characterisations
  3. Abaddon’s Gate: James S. Corey. Another Expanse SF novel, weaker than the first two.
  4. Experiential Learning: David Kolb. Interesting and densely packed text book on lifelong learning. Maybe more relevant today than it was in 1992 when it was written.
  5. A Whole Life: Robert Seethaler. Short, but poignant novel about a man living in Austria. Simple, rural existence and the human experience.
  6. Cibola Burn: James S. Corey. Return to form in this SF exploration novel.
  7. movement physical education

    Great book, great photos

     Movement: Physical Education In The Primary Years: Department of Education and Science. 1972 guide for teachers, short, succinct and extremely relevant today. If schools were using this now, children would benefit immensely.

  8. Parkour: David Belle. A short book based on an interview of the founder of Parkour. Very insightful.
  9. Russell Rules: Bill Russell. Mixture of leadership and basketball related anecdotes. Some very good points made, but slightly over long.
  10. The Encyclopedia of Physical Conditioning for Wrestling:John Jesse. Classic text, reread so that I keep a check on whether I have strayed away from the basics.
  11. Nemesis Games: James S. Corey. Book 5 of The Expanse, the crew of The Rocinate split up. Very good novel.
  12. Babylon’s Ashes: James S. Corey. Book 6 of The Expanse, the war escalates and new characters appear.
  13. Persepolis Rising: James S. Corey. Book 7 of The Expanse, set 30 years further on and with a turn of events that puts the crew in more danger.
  14. The wasted generation

    Independent perspective

    The Wasted Generation: George Walton. A look at why so many US men were physically or mentally unfit for the draft in 1965. Great examples and shows concerns have been there for decades.

  15. Edward Wilson of the Antarctic: George Seaver. Biography of the doctor, naturalist and explorer who died with Scott. Interesting and inspiring story of this polymath,
  16. The Neo-Generalist: K. Mikkelsen & R. Martin. Series of interviews with people who have background in more than one area. Ok for some ideas, but no overall strand, reads like a series of blogs.
  17. Post Office: Charles Bukowski. Counter-culture novel of the Beat generation. Very funny.
  18. What The CEO Wants You To Know: Ram Charan. Short book, but insightful for bigger businesses. Good summary points at the end to help you focus.
  19. Children At The Gate: Edward Wallant. Novel about two young men feeling out of sorts with society. One of only a few by this author, funny and sad.
  20. The War Of The World: Niall Ferguson. Extensive history of causes and effects of war in the twentieth century. More geo-political than military account and very revealing. Excellent read.
  21. John Jesse Wrestling

    Worth reading every year

    J.R.R. Tolkien A Biography: Humphrey Carpenter. Written soon after his death, this detailed look at Tolkien’s life is interesting and well referenced. Page turner for Hobbit fans like me.

  22. Golden Sayings Of Epictetus: Hastings Crossley. Small book from 1917, but full of useful insights from the Stoic philosopher.
  23. In Pursuit Of Excellence: Terry Orlick. A very useful, practical and easy to implement book on mental skills training. It has lots of good ideas and is written to be used to by coaches and athletes, recommended.
  24. The Boxing Companion: Ed Denzil Batchelor. Very interesting selection of boxing stories and histories compiled in 1964. Looks at the development of prize fighting and glove fighting, plus some fiction.
  25. Dr Jekyll and Mr Seek: Anthony O’Neill. Short sequel to the Stevenson classic, easy read, forgettable.
  26. The Culture Code: Daniel Coyle. Eminently readable book about how successful teams create a successful culture. Useful points to apply for many organisations.
  27. Dreaming in Hindi: Katherine Rich. Autobiographical account of how an American woman went to India to learn Hindi. Interesting details about the struggle to learn a new language as an adult and how culture is so important when learning.
  28. Championship Team Building: Jeff Janssen. Very usable book with lots of practical ideas on improving team communication and cohesion. I would say entry level, which is no bad thing.
  29. The Great Gatsby: F. Scott Fitzgerald. Classic American novel, elegantly written and poignant.
  30. The Village Effect: Susan Pinker. Very readable and relevant look at the importance of human connections. If you have a young person on a screen, or an elderly relative living alone, I would say must read.
  31. Greybeard: Brian Aldiss. Classic SF novel about world with no children. Set in and around Oxfordshire.
  32. Stephen King On writing

    Excellent read

    Travels With Charley: John Steinbeck. Well crafted and entertaining autobiographical account of 2 months travelling around the USA in 1968. The man can write.

  33. Superhuman: Rowan Hooper. An overview of amazing feats or endeavours such as longevity, memory or endurance running. Interesting, but lightweight. Might trigger an interest into more detailed books.
  34. The Junction Boys: Jim Dent. Graphic account of a brutal Texas A&M football training camp in 1954. Too folksy a writing style for me and I was repulsed by the bad coaching by Paul Bryant.
  35. On Writing: Stephen King. Read for the second time, and it was even better. King uses an autobiographical account to highlight the process, inspiration and struggle of writing. Excellent.

Thanks for the book recommendations

Thanks as always to book club members Pete Bunning and Robert Frost (no, not that one) for sharing ideas. The Hayridge library in Cullompton and Libraries Unlimited for lending and ordering books which saves me a packet.

Also to Mandi Abrahams of Castle Books in Beaumaris for sending me an eclectic assortment of books I have never heard of, but always enjoy. If you are ever in Anglesey, I suggest you squeeze in and absorb.

Thanks to all my GAIN colleagues who always have a book or twenty to recommend.

If you have read any great books this year and would like to share, please leave a comment below.

Comments

  1. Richard Braithwaite says:

    Thanks for this list James, I like reading Michael Conelly for the beach.
    I also liked “You win in the locker room first” by Gordon and Smith for coaching/ team building.

  2. Andrea Clark says:

    I liked “How to support a champion” By Steve Ingham, very practical.
    “A whole life” was very moving.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Client Testimonials

Rugby Football League
James' knowledge of strength and conditioning has been a valuable resource that I have used to enhance the training programmes at 4 professional Rugby League clubs; Harlequins, St Helens, Whitehaven and Workington. He has had a positive impact on the performance of the athletes and added to the professional development of coaching staff
 
More

Upcoming Courses

Athletic Development Coach – HORSHAM * NEW COURSE *
14 Oct 2018

Athletic Development Coach – Horsham

Venue: Christ’s Hospital, Horsham. RH13 0LA

Cost: £100 including materials and access to online resources. here.

More