Summer of reading for social workers in training

Limestone College Social Work

With summer just around the corner, you may be in search of a good reading list that can offer a source of entertainment, relaxation but also personal development.

Below we’ve highlighted a few reading lists along with specific book picks that Bachelor of Social Work students might enjoy and learn from.

Gatesnotes: 5 Good Summer Reads

Bill Gates’ blog, “gatesnotes” regularly offers book recommendations. He shares his latest summer reading picks in the “5 Good Summer Reads” post. Among the Summer 2017 recommended titles is a book, Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance.

This memoir offers an insight into “disadvantaged world of poor white Appalachia” told through the story of the author’s upbringing, writes Gates. “I came away with new insights into the multifaceted cultural and family dynamics that contribute to poverty.” Gates’ key takeaway lays in the importance of “surround[ing] children with high expectations and as many loving and caring adults as possible.” For aspiring social workers, this book offers another angle into family, children and poverty issues in America.

Oprah’s Book Club

For any Oprah Winfrey fan, Oprah’s Book Club, offers a complete reading list with a number of choices aspiring social workers might find interesting. For example, the list includes titles such as A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle.

This book falls in the psychology and spirituality genre and can be described as a self-improvement book. It challenges its readers to live in the present and strive for a level of detachment from worldly possessions. This shift in consciousness and departing from “ego-based state”, Tolle argues will not only increase our happiness but also pave the way toward ending conflict and suffering in the world. For social work students, this book offers interesting parallels with mindfulness-based therapies used in social work practice.

Goodreads Choice Awards

If you haven’t heard of Goodreads, they are the largest online community of readers offering book recommendations, reviews and discussions across a variety of genres. The best rated books are captured in the Goodreads Choice Awards and the current nonfiction picks includes Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond, a Harvard sociologist and urban ethnographer.

In his book, Desmond tells a story of eight families in the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee, struggling to survive as they spend everything they have on rent. Nonetheless some are faced with eviction, a practice that’s become more common in recent years despite its devastating effect on families. For aspiring social workers, this book provides an intimate look at poverty but also ideas on addressing the underlying issues that perpetuate economic exploitation.

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