Summer Reading List

Summer is almost over. *cue sad music*

I've focused my summer on working with my clients, spending time with my children, and enjoying the outdoors.  Part of our summer routine is library visits; at least weekly.  We often check out at least 10-15 books at each visit.  The kids get to explore different types of books and "travel the world" as they read. I'm finally able to get back to diving into novels and reading. I've also been reading more non-fiction including autobiographies (e.g. "My Stroke of Insight" by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor).  

Some people love audio books, some love reading on a Kindle or Nook.  For me, there's nothing like the feel of a traditional paper book.  I also keep a journal nearby to write quotes that speak to me, or if I'm feeling reflective as I read.  This summer reading adventure has also inspired me to write more, like this one about dementia I wrote for our local Green Bay Area Mom's Blog.

I must use words until I am comfortable with them and they are comfortable with me.
— Bayard Baylis

After a stroke or brain injury, reading and writing are often very difficult.  Aphasia Corner has simulations to help demonstrate what it is sometimes like for a person with aphasia. Improving reading and writing can help bring back a person's hobby, allow them to be more independent, and give them a creative outlet. 

 

What's on the summer reading list of a speech-language pathologist?

 

A Stitch of Time: The Year a Brain Injury Changed My Language and Life, by Lauren Marks

This autobiography describes Lauren's experiences when she had her stroke at age 27, and her recovery.  She journaled throughout her recovery and shares her insights and experience. She helps prove that the best way to learn about aphasia, is from people with aphasia.  

Healing the Broken Brain: Leading Experts Answer 100 Questions about Stroke Recovery by Mike Dow, David Dow, Megan Sutton (contributor)

This well-organized and well-researched book is a quick read, though FULL of information.  It's easy to pick up, flip through to a topic of interest, or to answer a question.  It just came out this summer and I recommend it to many of my clients who've had strokes and their families.  

Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach

I try to re-read this eloquent book every few years.  Love, love this book about travel and trying new things and exploration. I just feel happy whenever I read it.  

The Right to Write by Julia Cameron

Julia Cameron may be best known for her book "The Artist's Way".  I stumbled upon the Right to Write and read it several times before returning to the library. Easy to read and inspirational.  My biggest takeaway was that you don't have to be a "writer".  You don't even have to be good at writing.  Just write anyway.  Even if it's full of errors, or doesn't flow how you want it to, write anyway.  With my clients, they need to work with words in order to improve their language and communication.  Lauren Marks, Jill Bolte Taylor, and many many other people use journaling during their recovery.  It also helps to show progress. "You can only know where you're going if you know where you've been." - James Burke

You can only know where you’re going if you know where you’ve been.
— James Burke

 

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards  

This book is still on the list.  I am an artist at heart. Not much skill, I admit, but I love to draw and paint. There are high hopes that this book will help me work on the "skill". And I am fascinated by the brain. The brain and neurology are a big reason I became a Speech-Language Pathologist, and that I specialize in aphasia recovery.  The brain is fascinating and new research is coming out all the time. Although the "Right/Left-brained" is a myth (so the title is a tad misleading), this book does use brain research to help teaching drawing skills. A book that combines my love of reading, art, and neurology is a must-have.  

Will let you know how it goes...