Mike Matthews

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

Books Library

Salt: A World History

Matt Kurlansky 2003
Read: 2020
Cooking, Non-Fiction

I saw this book in the airport bookstore, and bought it for my Kindle. I love reading on my Kindle,   […]   View Post →

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Yuval Noah Harari 2015
Read: 2015

My dad recommended this one to me. I don’t think I liked it as much as he did. Mr. Harari   […]   View Post →


Gregory Roberts 2003
Read: 2017

I read this book at the recommendation of some friends in the District. It’s a book of fiction about the   […]   View Post →


Hermann Hesse 1922
Read: 2011

From rural living to the search for Buddhist meaning in India. If you have read the Power of Now and you liked it,   […]   View Post →


Kurt Vonnegut 1969
Read: 2011
Fiction, Recommended for Young Adults

Continuing my “summer of satire.” This is a book on MBUSD reading lists that I had never read, but had always   […]   View Post →

Spark Joy

Marie Kondo 2016
Read: 2018

The introduction to this book has Marie Kondo saying, “I don’t really see a need for this book. I told   […]   View Post →

Spark. The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

John J. Ratey, MD 2008
Read: 2011
Education/Leadership, Non-Fiction

Exercise makes us better. Plato had it right when he wrote: “In order for man to succeed in life, God provided him with two means, education and physical activity.

Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson 2011
Read: 2011
Education/Leadership, Non-Fiction

I downloaded this on the first day it was available. I said at the TEDx conference that I think Steve Jobs   […]   View Post →

Stranger in a Strange Land

Robert Heinlein 1961
Read: 2013

My dad recommended this book to me. It’s a combination of science fiction, sixties mentality and utopian society thinking that had   […]   View Post →

Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Character)

Richard P. Feynman 1997
Read: 2019

Oh, and the reason I like his views as a teacher was that he believes that textbooks bring nothing additional to the classroom, and only a great teacher bringing a subject to life matters. Word.


Chip and Dan Heath 2010
Read: 2011
Education/Leadership, Non-Fiction

It’s centered on the idea that humans have two sides: a rational side (the rider) that plans and knows what is best, and an emotional side (the elephant) that actually get things done.

Talking to Strangers

Malcolm Gladwell 2019
Read: 2020

In recent months, I have become a fan of podcasts. I have a long commute so I enjoy getting to   […]   View Post →

The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance

Josh Waitzkin 2007
Read: 2022
Education/Leadership, Non-Fiction

This is yet another book recommended by Scott Fawcett, inventor of DECADES golf. It’s written by Josh Waitzkin who was   […]   View Post →

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garth Stein 2008

It’s a sad history told by Enzo, an amazing dog destined to be a human in his next life. Enzo,   […]   View Post →

The Art of Scoring: The Ultimate On-Course Guide to Short Game Strategy and Technique

Stan Utley 2009
Read: 2022

I think the way that I learned about this book was through a golf learning program called Decades Golf, taught   […]   View Post →

The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100

Dan Buettner 2019
Read: 2021

I learned about this book when I received my Blue Zones newsletter in my in box, and then I was   […]   View Post →

The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer

Neal Stephenson 2000
Read: 2013

My sister-in-law recommended this book to me. It’s a science fiction book about a futuristic world where computers and humans   […]   View Post →

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell

Robert Dugoni 2018
Read: 2020

This book combines some classic underdog stories in the setting of a traditional Catholic school education. I was reminded several   […]   View Post →

The Flip Side: Break Free of The Behaviors that Hold You Back

Flip Flippin 2007
Read: 2014
Education/Leadership, Non-Fiction

I heard Flip Flippen speak at a conference. He’s an incredible force. He’s adopted children from around the world and   […]   View Post →

The Hobbit

JR Tolkein 1937
Read: 2013

My 25 year old son, who just graduated from law school, was my companion as we watched all of the   […]   View Post →

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay

Suzanne Collins 2008, 2009, 2010
Read: 2012

I just finished reading this three part series that young adults are crazy about. I can see why. It’s a   […]   View Post →

The Lacuna

Barbara Kingsolver 2009
Read: 2020

I don’t get a chance to read much non-fiction, but when I do, there’s not much better than a Barbara   […]   View Post →

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Marie Kondo 2011
Read: 2018
Education/Leadership, Non-Fiction, Reading Now

I was listening to an architect who specialized in building new schools talk about what classrooms should be. One of   […]   View Post →

The Lincoln Lawyer

Michael Connelly 2011
Read: 2012

I know it’s summer when I’m reading a Michael Connelly novel. It’s not great literature, but it’s always fun. This   […]   View Post →