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review 2015-05-26 00:40
The Geometry of Love: Space, Time, Mystery, and Meaning in an Ordinary Church - Margaret Visser

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.


                Usually when I get approved on Netgalley, I try my best to write at least 250-500 words.  I find that for this book I cannot do so.


                Simply put: This is the best book I have ever read about a church or other building.

                I collect and read Pitkin guides as if they are going out of style.  But this book blasts them all to shame.  I pre-ordered a Kindle copy after reading the digital ARC.


                In this book Margaret Visser gives a complete guide to the church of Sant’Agnese di fuori Mura (in Rome).  Along the way, she deals with church history, art history, architectural history, feminism, martyrs, and ancient history.  It is brilliant. One would think a book of this length on such subject matter would be boring. 


                It’s not.  It’s sheer poetry.


                I never heard of this church before, and Visser makes you feel as if you there, but now I want – I need – to see it.


 If you interested in any of the above topics, please read this book.


I cannot thank Open Road Media enough for re-issuing this for Kindle and for allowing me to read a digital ARC.


                It’s magnificent.

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review 2015-03-06 17:32
Read It and Weep - Jenn McKinlay

Not much to say about this installment in the Library Lover's Mysteries.


Usually I don't care what the outcome of a mystery is; I just want to see how it all happens. The killer was obvious at the beginning of the book. That just made the rest of the book a behind the scenes look at the making of a community theater play.


Pythagoras of Samos would be disappointed to know that his theorem has been used in such an obtuse form between Lindsey, Sully and Robbie.


There were a few things left open at the end of this book.

What's up with Charlene's dad?

Is Robbie here to stay? Oh dear, WHY?

Will we get more Ian?

Does Lindsey's library have the latest addition of Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne?


Because I really like Jenn McKinlay and am willing to go along for the ride, I'm going to have to read the next book to find out.

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review 2015-02-21 16:21
The Shape of Things
The Wonderful World Of Genie Geometry Story Book - Carlos Fuentes,Carl Hiaasen

Admit it, you thought math was boring in school, didn't you?


Here to prove it doesn't have to be that way is Carl Lupton, with a multimodal story- and work-book that engagingly presents basic geometry ideas to an elementary school audience.


It's a clever book on many levels. First, the story itself: Genie Geometry tells her family's story, which quite literally is about how geometry concepts relate to one another. There's Grandpa Pythagoras, Grandma Trulia Right Angle, Great Uncle Linus and Great Grandpa Segy, and a family tree of triangles right, isosceles, and equilateral. The puns in the names are great fun for the adult reader and help make the characters memorable, along with the delightfully quirky illustrations by Philip Godenschwager.


Second is the format. Lupton has arranged the book to read in both directions. Read it from the front and you get Genie's story itself, but if you flip the book over, you get prompts to draw the characters doing various things--and thus practice drawing the shapes themselves. In the middle is a useful glossary, containing not only mathematical terms, but also definitions of words that crop in the story, like "confidence" and "reservation," which might be new to some kids. In this way, Lupton engages the students on many levels at once. There's math, drawing, and vocabulary development all embedded in one entertaining story.


As you might imagine, packing all of this into under 80 pages is a challenge. Lupton tells Genie's story in one fairly breathless take that fills each page to the margin. Elementary readers might find it difficult to read this for themselves, but it's clear that the intention is for a classroom teacher to read this aloud. Given more space, the notes to the teachers and notes to the students could be separated out more clearly to make it easier for the reader to pause at the appropriate spots.


A useful, and entertaining, addition to the classroom or the homeschool curriculum.






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review 2015-02-12 13:04
Mal was anderes: Mathe ist toll
Euclid's Window : The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace by Mlodinow, Leonard Published by Free Press (2002) Paperback - Leonard Mlodinow

Ich kann nicht behaupten, alles in diesem Buch verstanden zu haben. Gerade die letzten 100 Seiten über Relativitäts- und Stringtheorie wurden zusehends unverständlich, teils auch, weil die Forschung auf letzterem Gebiet in vollem Gange ist und die Experten selbst noch nicht wissen, was Sache ist.

Aber allein die ersten 150 Seiten waren für mich ein ganz neuer Blick auf ein Feld, das mich nie interessiert hat. Mlodinow schreibt äußerst unterhaltsam und liefert viele Einblicke in kulturelle und gesellschaftliche Entwicklungen und wie sie mitverantwortlich für mathematische Entdeckungen oder einen Stillstand in der Forschung sind.

Das Buch ist aufgeteilt in Kapitel über Euklid, Descartes, Gauß, Einstien und Witten und erzählt so von den zunehmend komplexen Theorien über Raum und später auch Zeit.

Faszinierend und unterhaltsam. Würde ich auch jedem Schüler empfehlen. Die Lehrer erzählen nämlich nur den langweiligen Kram: Warum kann Schule nicht ein wenig mehr wie dieses Buch sein?


Die deutsche Übersetzung "Das Fenster zum Universum" ist übrigens sehr frei übersetzt. Da wurde umgestellt, gestrichen und hinzu erfunden. Und weniger pointiert ist es auch noch. Also empfehle ich jedem, der flüssig Englisch versteht, das Original.

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text 2015-01-24 11:53
Reading progress update: I've read 60 out of 265 pages.
Euclid's Window : The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace by Mlodinow, Leonard Published by Free Press (2002) Paperback - Leonard Mlodinow

I can't believe how much I'm enjoying this. I never was into maths or geometry, but this is just fascinating and entertaining.

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