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 →

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 →

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 →


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 →

Educated: A Memoir

Tara Westover 2018
Read: 2020
Education/Leadership, Non-Fiction

This is a book that has been on the best-seller list for a while, and I saw it in a   […]   View Post →

Emotions, Learning, and the Brain

Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang 2015
Read: 2016
Education/Leadership, Non-Fiction

Manhattan Beach belongs to Consortium 2034, a group of school districts from across the country who work to better serve   […]   View Post →

Ender’s Game

Orson Scott Card 1985
Read: 2014
Fiction, Recommended for Young Adults

Somehow I missed this when it came out. I am a fan of this genre and this book was a   […]   View Post →