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text 2018-05-14 00:17
I have my first Star Trek novels!

So, for my plan to read the Pocket Book series of Star Trek novels I went out to the local used bookstore and came back with these finds.

 

 

To be honest, I was just a little disappointed with the selection, as I thought they would have more of the older ones available than they did. Still, I took most of the ones they had and walked out the store happy.

 

I've already picked one -- Greg Bear's Corona -- and started on it. So far it's validating my decision in ever respect, being both an entertaining read and one unburdened by the need to be faithful to the collective mass of the Star Trek universe, At this clip, I should be done with this bunch in a couple of weeks, buy which time I'll probably have a few more to get through. I may even save a couple and box them up for future rereading, as they are definitely proving to be fun.

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text 2018-05-08 16:41
I really need to learn to read German
Metternich: Stratege und Visionär - Wolfram Siemann

Last week I decided to make brushing up modern European history a goal for myself this summer, and so far I'm enjoying it immensely. I've already completed two books, two more underway, and I'm making preparations to read at least a half-dozen others. What's been unexpected is the degree to which I find my interests focusing on modern Germany, though this is probably because of its centrality to the era.

 

I was investigating a possible addition to my TBR stack, though, when I discovered that new biographies of Maria Theresa and Klemens von Metternich were published recently. I have been wanting to read biographies of both figures, and these two books (both of which were written by top-flight historians) are garnering considerable praise.

 

The only problem is, they're both in German.

 

Now, according to the German department at the cow college where I matriculated for graduate school I'm able to read the language. What I'm officially qualified to do, though, is different from what I can actually do. Now I could get one or both of these books and plow through them with the help of a German-English dictionary, but if this sounds familiar to you, it's because I'm already planning to do the very same thing to learn how to read Spanish, and while I like a good reading challenge, undertaking two at the same time seems a bit much. Or am I wrong here? Because I would love to be wrong about this.

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text 2018-05-02 03:14
It's almost summer reading time (again)!

The mercury has been flirting with the triple digits, which means that summer is almost upon us out here. Yesterday I went to my local independent bookseller and picked up for my son the materials detailing this year's summer reading challenge, so now that that's out of the way, I can focus on what I'm going to read!

 

Last year, I set some pretty ambitious goals for myself, none of which I made. This year I'm scaling back my ambitions somewhat, though I'm also scaling back my podcast reading so that I'll have the time for what I do decide to read. Here's what I have in mind for now:

 

Modern European history - This fall I'm scheduled to teach our modern European (post-1789) history survey. It's one of my favorite classes, yet one that I haven't taught in a while and frankly my lectures need a little updating. I'm probably going to start with Richard Evans's volume in the Penguin History of Europe series, target a couple of books on my TBR list, and take care of others on my shelf that have been on there for far took long. The holy grail in this respect is Peter Gay's five-volume history of the 19th century European middle class, but this is where that pledge to scale back my ambitions probably needs to kick in, so I might have to settle for Klaus Theweleit's books on the fantasies of Freikorps members, which has considerable relevance to the world in which we're living today.

The Chaco War - This is a follow-up to my recent read on the Paraguayan War, as I decided to read up on the major South American war of the 20th century. There are two books on the conflict in English, both of which look to be fairly easy reads.

Hornblower! - So far I've read four of the eleven books; reading the others sounds like a nice way to pass some of the hours while staying out of the heat.

All of this will be in addition to whatever I'm sent to review and cover in a podcast, but I think this summer will see me achieving more of my reading goals than the last one.

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url 2018-04-13 10:45
Shifting Educational Goals Conscious Parenting Book Excerpt in Times of Malta
Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents - Nataša Pantović Nuit

Shifting Educational Goals Times of Malta
Education should teach children how to ask appropriate questions, how to analyse a problem, stimulate a desire to learn, and flexibility to consider different points of view.
Education should teach children how to ask appropriate questions, how to analyse a problem, stimulate a desire to learn, and flexibility to consider different points of view.

One of the biggest problems of education today is that the ‘factory model’ of teaching: the top-down approach and the rewards-and-punishments ap­proach, limit students’ ability to contribute with their imagination and creativity.

[quote]In the Finnish educational model, active learning is taken seriously. Schoolchildren do not sit at their desks memorising
- Natasa Pantovic[/quote]
The system needs a shift in focus: from one that teaches children a curriculum, to the one that inspires lifelong learning. Education has to shift from conveying knowledge in a static curriculum package to enabling teachers and students to view knowledge as a dynamic entity that is constantly changing.

Both Waldorf and Montessori learning methods establish a collaborative environment without tests, with the child’s learning and creativity at the centre of the focus. They go against the grain of traditional educational methods.

To read the full Conscious Parenting book excerpt published in Times of Malta Education Section by Nataša Nuit Pantović please go to:

https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20120527/education/Shifting-education-goals.421503

Source: www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20120527/education/Shifting-education-goals.421503
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text 2018-03-22 03:56
Spur to learn, or am I just kidding myself?
Felipe II: La Biografía Definitiva - Geoffrey Parker

As part of my recent entertainment-inspired commitment to reading more Spanish history, I have been  researching titles for my book list. I've identified about a half-dozen or so that I hope to get to over the next year or two. Over the past few days, though, I've been contemplating taking it to another level altogether and try to learn how to read Spanish.


As is so often the circumstance with us bibliophiles, this was inspired by a book -- in this case, Geoffrey Parker's Spanish-language biography of the Spanish king Philip II. It's a doorstop of a book, and one with a curious history; written by one of the foremost American scholars of early modern Europe, it was translated into Spanish in 2010, but published in its original English four years later, albeit only in an "abridged" edition. I have the English-language edition, but my weakness for weighty tomes (especially of subjects as important as Philip) has made this a ridiculously appealing addition to my library.

 

Now my Spanish history project has renewed my interest with the added idea that I would do so in order to learn the language. The idea would be to purchase a copy (which, while not cheap, is affordable enough) and then over time work my way through its nearly 1500 pages. I'd like to think that as I go along my command of Spanish would grow, but then that presumes that I would even read it in the first place, especially when I have no shortage of books awaiting my attention (including the English-language version plus a second book that Parker write about Philip's grand strategy). So what I'm trying to figure out is this: should I get this, or is the whole idea just an excuse to enable an entirely unnecessary purchase?

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