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review 2018-09-09 15:31
More Personal Than Authoritative
The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time - David L. Ulin

This version of The Lost Art of Reading by David L. Ulin is a revised edition previously published in 2010.  It contains a new Introduction and Afterword reflecting important cultural and technological changes that have occurred over the past eight years.  Ulin uses these updated sections to describe and bemoan current trends in the US in terms of freedom of speech, privacy concerns, censorship controversies, and race relations.  He does not hesitate to excoriate the election results of 2016, making his political opinions pretty clear from the start when he describes: “…the racist rhetoric that runs, like excrement, from the President’s mouth.”   It seems that Ulin could have written a separate book on that subject, especially given the fact that these parts of the book take up almost 25% of the total.  The rest of The Lost Art of Reading contains some very personal anecdotes and broad assumptions based on seemingly only on his own experience.  The author digresses into history and sports analogies, explaining that everything can be considered a “story” and is thus relevant to his discussion.  Ulin relates his own dismay at discovering an uncharacteristic inability to maintain sustained attention and interest in his reading.  He uses the frame of helping his son with a school assignment to demonstrate the younger generation’s lack of interest in traditional modes of reading. He notes that the Internet, with its sheer saturation effect and many distractions, has impeded people’s ability to concentrate on text as is required.  He also seems skeptical of the value of e-readers and cites their limitations, although his observations are based on outdated technology from 2010. This new release of The Lost Art of Reading would have benefitted from a complete update throughout so advances in this area could have been considered.  Ulin’s book is most interesting if approached more like an extended essay or personal memoir than a definitive text.  Those seeking a research-based or global approach to current trends in reading would be better served by searching elsewhere.

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text 2018-05-14 20:34
Reviews by Cat Ellington: The Complete Anthology, Vol. 1
Reviews by Cat Ellington - Cat Ellington
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review 2018-01-02 05:46
Reading with the Stars: A Celebration of Books and Libraries
Reading with the Stars: A Celebration of Books and Libraries - Leonard Kniffel

I'm not reviewing this because most of the essays are just average (and the only 'stars' by strict definition are Julie Andrews and Oprah).  A few were ok, but mostly came across as sounding defensive.

 

Library sale find, so nothing lost.

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text 2017-03-28 23:28
There is a Bird on Your Head! - Mo Willems

In another one of Mo Willem’s classic tales, There is a Bird on Your Head!, Piggie and Elephant are back again, but this time they have got trouble! A bird has decided to land on Elephant’s head, and it does not look like it will be leaving anytime soon. The first bird is joined by another bird, those birds make a nest, and before Elephant knows it, he’s got three baby birds on his head! But how can he make them go away? This book’s Lexile reading level is 210L, and it would be great for younger readers in preschool or kindergarten. This story would be great to talk about sequencing with students. You could print out pictures that are descriptive of the text, and allow students to put the pictures in the order in which they occur. This book is one that teachers should try and be theatrical with. Because it is a simple book to read and understand, teachers should really be over-the-top in how they read the story so it could be more entertaining for students. I would suggest maybe using some puppets to read, or making different expressions in your vocal tones.

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review 2017-01-01 00:00
On Reading, Writing and Living with Books
On Reading, Writing and Living with Books - E.M. Forster,George Eliot,Wilkie Collins,Virginia Woolf,Leigh Hunt,Charles Dickens Charming little book and so well-written.
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