Mike Matthews

My thoughts after 60 years on this planet on family, public education, cooking, and life.

Books Library

10% Happier

Dan Harris 2014
Read: 2014

My father recommended this book to me. I try to always follow his recommendations. He is still a voracious reader,   […]   View Post →

100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways To Make The True Essentials

America's Test Kitchen 2015
Read: 2017
Cooking, Non-Fiction

This is a great cookbook from my favorite cooking magazine people – Cooks Illustrated. They always explain the science behind   […]   View Post →

A Leader’s Legacy

James Kouzes 2007
Read: 2014
Education/Leadership, Non-Fiction

This book focuses on the personal legacies of our leadership. How does our relationship with those we lead help them   […]   View Post →

Adventures of Huckleberry Huck Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Roughing It

Mark Twain 1884, 1876, 1872
Read: 2012

My dad has always loved Mark Twain, so I reread or read for the first time – Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, and Roughing   […]   View Post →

All the Light We Cannot See

Anthony Doerr 2014
Read: 2019

Here is my second Pulitzer Prize book to read this year. This one is so much more approachable for me,   […]   View Post →

Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival

Peter Stark 2014
Read: 2019

My brother Bill from Oregon recommended this book. It’s a great companion to Undaunted Courage which is one of my   […]   View Post →

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Neil de Grasse Tyson 2017
Read: 2018

solid read.   by  (2017) I’ll give you two quotes from the book. One from the intro: “If you’re too   […]   View Post →

Being Mortal

Dr. Atul Gawande 2014
Read: 2015

I am 55 years old now and I feel very fortunate that both of my parents are still alive and   […]   View Post →

Better Learning Through Structured Teaching

Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey 2013
Read: 2015

This came to my attention from a USC doctoral student. It is a fantastic book that brings together many of   […]   View Post →

Between the World and Me

Ta-Nehisi Coates 2015
Read: 2018

Manhattan Beach has spent a lot of time over the last 18 months talking about the importance of inclusion. We   […]   View Post →

Big Green Egg Cookbook

Sara Levy 2009
Read: 2012

When I’m not being a school administrator, I love to cook. I cook all kinds of things, but what I   […]   View Post →

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Trevor Noah 2019
Read: 2022

What a life. Those of you who watch the Daily Show (Jon Steward/Steven Colbert/Trevor Noah) know what intelligence, empathy, humor,   […]   View Post →

Building a Better Teacher

Elizabeth Green 2014
Read: 2015

This book, by a journalist and not an educator, hits the nail on the head when the author states that   […]   View Post →

Building The World’s Greatest High School

Richard Parkhouse 2013
Read: 2014

I love this book. I love it so much and it has truly inspired me. I met with a group   […]   View Post →

Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story

Chris Nashawaty 2018
Read: 2021

Chris Nashawaty’s book details the making of Caddyshack, and even more than you might figure it was, it was a total sh**show. It’s a miracle a film was ever made. You marvel and cringe your way through it, and you feel for all of the comic geniuses who could not hang on to their own lives.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

Isabel Wilkerson 2020
Read: 2021

This was a majorly eye-opening book. To me, the key to the whole book is Wilkerson’s assertion that there have   […]   View Post →

Coaching Conversations: Transforming Your School One Conversation at a Time

Linda M. Gross Cheliotes and Marceta A. Reill 2010
Read: 2014

This book was recommended to me by Dr. Brett Geithman, MBUSD’s Executive Director of Educational Services. Brett is one of   […]   View Post →

Cool: How the Brain’s Hidden Quest for Cool Drives Our Economy and Shapes Our World

Drs. Steven Quartz and Annette Asp 2015
Read: 2015

Steven Quartz is a very good friend of mine, and my wife and I were excited to be able to   […]   View Post →

Creative Schools

Ken Robinson 2015
Read: 2016

Like most educators, I am a huge fan of Ken Robinson. His famous TED Talk has inspired so many of   […]   View Post →

Daditude: The Joys and Absurdities of Modern Fatherhood

Chris Erskine 2018
Read: 2019

My favorite columnist in the world is Chris Erskine. He was a twice-a-week columnist in the LA Times for years.   […]   View Post →


Daniel Suarez 2014
Read: 2014

This is another recommendation from my father. I call these types of books pure fun that can be read on   […]   View Post →

Death by Meeting

Patrick Lencioni 20014
Read: 2012

, by  (2004) I’ve always thought of myself is an excellent meeting manager. In fact, I’ve often joked that my   […]   View Post →

Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Education Will Change the Way the World Learns

Clayton Christensen  2011
Read: 2012

Michael Horn, one of the co-authors of this book, spoke at Manhattan Beach’s TEDx conference in 2012. It’s a book   […]   View Post →

Edge of Eternity

Ken Follett 2014
Read: 2015

This is the last in the century trilogy by Ken Follett. I’ve already written about the other two, Fall of   […]   View Post →