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review 2019-11-17 16:16
Ideal for the middle school or high school student
Julius Caesar: Dictator for Life (Revised Edition) - Denise Rinaldo

My son is currently studying Roman history at school, and during one of our trips to our local library a couple of weeks ago he picked up as many books about Roman history as he could find. This Julius Caesar biography was among them, and while it's geared to a slightly older group of learners I'm not one to tell someone what they can't read. As soon as we arrived home, though, the books landed on the floor in his room, where they've sat ever since.


One of the reasons for this is that reading it wasn't an obligation. While he has a considerable amount of homework every week, he's allowed to choose what he wants to read. Because of this, he usual meets his obligations by reading books in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Dog Man series, both of which he enjoys greatly. In addition to that, though, he also has a weekly project due that rotates between Literature, Writing, Science, and Current Events. This week Literature came up in the rotation, which means that he has to not just read a book but "respond" to it in some way. I decided to use the assignment to push him to read the Caesar biography, and for it I decided to read it myself.


For an adult it's a quick read, with plenty of illustrations and info boxes. Denise Rinaldo does a good job of presenting the basic facts of Caesar's life, with some helpful short-term background information added in for context. Overall, it's a fine introduction for anyone seeking "just the facts" on one of history's big names, and is ideal for the middle-school or high school audience to whom it is geared. Hopefully with a little help an elementary school reader can enjoy it as well!

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review 2019-05-06 18:00
The Handbook of Climbing, Allen Fyffe and Iain Peter
The Handbook of Climbing: Fully Revised Edition - Allen Fyffe,Iain Peter,Hamish MacInnes

This is an excellent, accessible introduction to the most common forms of technical mountaineering, with clear explanations and helpful diagrams and photographs. I can recommend it to anyone wanting to learn the techniques of rock climbing, winter climbing (ice and snow) and alpine style mountaineering.


As an aside, Libby Peter, who features in numerous instructional photos in the book (nee Healey, as credited in the book) is the best mountain instructor I've ever had the great good fortune to learn from. She went on to become one of the pioneering fully qualified British female Alpine Guides. I can't remember if she was the absolute first but I'm confident she was in the first five. She's also a leading mountaineer of her generation. If you should stumble across this review, Libby, you won't remember me, just one of your very many clients and of below average talent, but I remember you: so highly competent in both technical and teaching skills and the least egotistical instructor I ever had - you made it all about your clients. I hope all is well with you and you're still exploring in the mountains.

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text 2018-10-19 22:28
Reading progress update: I've read 10 out of 272 pages.
American Reformers, 1815-1860, Revised Edition - Ronald G. Walters

Earlier this week I combed through my shelves and pulled out a half-dozen books to add to the book box. All of them were unread, but they are all books that I can get through our district's library system. One of them is Walters's book on antebellum reformers, which I have been meaning to read for years; I sampled the introduction, and I came across this:

[T]he patterns of thought were the same: old values were being lost and whatever was at fault had to be eliminated or controlled if America was to fulfill its destiny. Behind that reasoning was a suspicious mentality characteristic of many antebellum reformers, as well as non-reformers, that attributed the nations troubles to conspiracies of one sort or another . . . To believe that plotters were responsible for what was happening to the country was wrong; but it was part of a quest, going back at least to the eighteenth century, for secular terms in which to analyze politics and social change. Rather than seeing the hand of God moving events, many antebellum Americans saw the hands of sinister individuals. That may not have been accurate, but it was about as good as any other explanation available before Marx and modern social science.

And just like that, my reading for this weekend was set.

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review 2017-09-12 00:00
Remember to Forget, Revised and Expanded Edition: from Wattpad sensation @_smilelikeniall (Blink)
Remember to Forget, Revised and Expanded Edition: from Wattpad sensation @_smilelikeniall (Blink) - Ashley Royer The lead in this story is very depressed because of a life experience. He's a teen. He has a good support system. This story does a good job of helping someone who hasn't gone through something similar to be empathetic. It's a sweet story overall.
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text 2017-07-01 23:55
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
The I-5 Killer, Revised Edition by Ann Rule [MassMarket(1984/3/1)] - Ann Rule

This is not the correct version of the book that I'm reading. However, I'm not in the mood to try to fix booklikes right now with the correct ISBN and cover. I'm in a mood for a true crime book and so I just got this. I had a really good day so far with yoga and house cleaning and just getting organized so right now I'm just settling back in a comfortable chair with a cup of tea.

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