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url 2016-09-06 06:17
We Are Reading Less Literature

Pile of books

 

(Not me!)

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text 2016-04-09 20:52
Happy World Book Day!

I'm sharing this post originally posted by the always wonderful Gina Conkle. I thinks it's sad that we're still talking about illiteracy in a first world country and there still much to be done to reduce the percentage of illiterate people in the USA. Let's get to work and help reduce that number! 

 

Gina is also running a Giveaway on her website if anyone is interested. 

 

 

 

What is World Book Day?

World Book Day is a UNESCO designated holiday observed in more than 100 countries. This year marks the 19th annual celebration of all things books and reading. Some nations hold the holiday in March, while the USA gives its nod on April 23rd.World Book Day
is a UNESCO designated holiday observed in more than 100 countries. This year marks the 19th annual celebration of all things books and reading. Some nations hold the holiday in March, while the USA gives its nod on April 23rd.

 

 

 

Gina's original post: http://casablancaauthors.blogspot.com/2016/04/world-book-day-by-gina-conkle.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: casablancaauthors.blogspot.com/2016/04/world-book-day-by-gina-conkle.html
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review 2016-01-09 00:00
Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data
Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data - Charles Wheelan A very readable overview of the basic statistics that the average person sees in life. Yes, it's simplified, but it's also user-friendly for a general audience. Basics like mean/median, probability, and regression are covered.
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text 2015-12-26 19:45
2015 Reading Recap
The Secret Life of Winnie Cox - Sharon Maas
The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q - Sharon Maas
The Skeleton Road - Val McDermid
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
Joseph Fouché: Bildnis eines politischen Menschen - Stefan Zweig
A Place of Greater Safety - Hilary Mantel
The Gods of Guilt - Michael Connelly
Face Off - David, Various, x Baldacci
Moriarty - Anthony Horowitz
Hogfather (Discworld, #20) - Terry Pratchett

No fancy graphics and no astounding numbers – in fact, rather average numbers for me, these days – but anyway, here we go:

 

Total Number of Books Read:

68

– including rereads
– but excluding my current read, Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell (which is bound to take me all the way to the end of the year).

 

 

Rereads:

21

 

                         Including my annual Christmas revisitings:

 

                         Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol

                         Dorothy L. Sayers: The Nine Tailors

                         Arthur Conan Doyle: The Blue Carbuncle

                         Agatha Christie: Hercule Poirot's Christmas

                                                 The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding

 

A Christmas Carol - Charles DickensThe Adventures of the Blue Carbuncle - Arthur Conan DoyleThe Nine Tailors - Dorothy L. Sayers, Elizabeth GeorgeHercule Poirot's Christmas - Agatha ChristieAdventure of the Christmas Pudding (Poirot) - Agatha Christie

 

 

The Year's Top Reads

                    Sharon Maas: The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q.

                                         The Secret Life of Winnie Cox

                     J.R.R. Tolkien: The Hobbit (reread)

                     Val McDermid: The Skeleton Road

                     Hilary Mantel: A Place of Greater Safety

                     Stefan Zweig: Joseph Fouché

                     Andrew Nicoll: The Secret Life and Curious Death of Miss Jean Milne

                     Anaïs Nin: Henry and June

                     Michael Connelly: The Gods of Guilt

                     David Baldacci (ed.), Various Authors: Face-Off

                     Anthony Horowitz: Moriarty

                     Terry Pratchett: Hogfather (begun Dec. 2014)

 

 

Breakdown of Ratings:

  10

   10

   18

   23

   6

   1

 

 

Average Rating

Including Christmas rereads: 3,94

Excluding Christmas rereads: 3,87

 

 

Books Shelved as Favorites:

25 

Of these, new reads: 14

Rereads: 11 – including 5 Christmas rereads

 

 

Breakdown of Shelves:

(Note: Virtually all of my books are shelved in multiple ways)

 

Nobel Prize Winners: 1

1001 Books: 6

Classics: 46

Short Fiction: 37

Theatre: 3

Poetry: 2

Mysteries and Crime Fiction: 44

– American: 3

– British: 41

Fantasy: 2

Romance: 4

20th Century & Contemporary BritLlit: 16

20th Century & Contemporary America: 1

Canada & Canadian Literature: 1

Germany & German Literature: 1

France & French Literature: 5

Italy & Italian Literature: 1

Scotland: 6

Eastern Europe: 1

Russia: 2

California & Southwestern USA: 1

Down Under (= Oz & NZ): 1

Orient & Asia: 2

– India & Indian Subcontinent: 1

– Southeast Asia: 1

Africa: 1

Historical Fiction: 8

Key Historic / Period Elements or Setting (in contemporaneous fiction): 5

Nonfiction: 7

– History: 4

– Politics: 1

– Memoirs - Biographies - Letters - Diaries: 4

– Essays - Addresses - Lectures: 3

– Art & Architecture: 3

– Travel: 1

– Reference: 1

Humor - Comedy - Satire: 6

Children's & YA Literature: 1

Cats: 1

Anthologies: 1

 

So, not one of my most diverse and international reading years, it would appear – lots of classics, lots of mysteries and crime fiction, and predominantly British literature.  But on the plus side, in their vast majority good or even great reads, which ultimately is what's most important!

 

 

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text 2015-07-24 18:28
The Red Record Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynching in the United States - Ida B. Wells-Barnett

The shooter in the recent Charleston massacre reportedly said:

"You rape our women, and you're taking over our country."

In the aftermath, the mayor claimed to not know much about the treatment of blacks in South Carolina because it was not taught in schools. That prompted people to create a reading list. This was one of the books I noticed from the list.

It documents lynchings in the early 1890s. Further, it describes in detail the newspaper reporting about some of the events such as the original accusation, actions taken prior to, the killing, and actions taken afterwards. (There were too many to document them all.) The simple plea here is for justice. Not retribution or actions taken against those who unjustifiably lynched. But for this country to stop allowing the murder of people either before they are tried or after a court found them innocent. One of the most powerful was a gentleman who was about to be lynched when a foreman told the mob that the person they were about to hang could not have done it because he was with the foreman, they let him go. The flimsiest of evidence would have seen him hung, but an eyewitness of the right skin color was enough to prove guilt or innocence.

In some respects I could see Ida B. Wells-Barnett might find the current legal climate where our people are arrested and found guilty at exorbitant rates over our peers who commit the crimes at the same rates disconcerting. But compared to her own time, we do have it better.

The first section explains that under slavery, killing one resulted in a many hundred dollar loss. So, one would beat a slave enough to break him, but try to avoid killing him. The first motivation for killing blacks was to prevent race riots, and for some reason the victims of these often surprisingly had no weapons with which to defend themselves. The second motivation was to prevent voting and established control over the Southern states. The third motivation was protecting the virtue of white women. THIS. The Charleston shooter killed three men and six women to protect the virtue of white women. In 120 years we have made little progress.

While a teenager I found a death threat letter signed "KKK" saying they would kill my father for dating mother from about 40 years ago. People stare at me when out in public with a pretty fair skinned girl, especially when she hugs or kisses me. But a hundred years ago, my father or myself would have been hung from a tree, shot, and burned for anything like this. A project noted below has a listing for the reason for lynching as "Writing Letters to White Girl."

The burning thing was curious to me. So I looked up attitudes on cremation in Christianity. The dot I needed connecting was that when Christ returns, the dead would be re-animated and join him. Burning these people was a deliberate attempt to prevent any possibility of these people joining Christ. So, not only were they killed but they were prevented salvation? So very low.

Was it depressing to read this? Yes.

Was it worth reading? Yes. The Mary Turner Project has a description of a lynching 20 years after the Red Record. Plus it looks like they are building upon the work of Ida and others.

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