Plot: The country is broken, and it really doesn’t have to be.
Motto: Yes we can.
Opinion: The book reads like Obama’s manifesto, and is very clearly a campaign tool, but nonetheless it is a very interesting read about the challenges facing
I read this one back in March I think. Unfortunately, I've now waited entirely too long to write up this review and I can’t remember enough specifics about it to go into any detail. But I will tell you this- I get bored really easily when talking about government & politics ... but when I read this book I was engaged, and I intend to read it again so I can more fully understand some of his points. Obama is a very good author, his style is clear and focused without over-simplifying anything...I'm putting Dreams from my Father on my 'to read' list too, regardless of how the election turns out.
Plot: Girls get the boys, girls lose the boys, girls get get the boys!
Motto: Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters…
Opinion: I liked it, but I liked the movie better.
It took a while for me to get into reading
There’s a reason this is a classic though.
I really enjoyed the book, but I probably would not have liked it as well as I did if I had not seen the movie first. The movie is so well acted, with certain exchanges emphasised so much by tone of voice and significant glances. So my recommendation is that if you’ve seen the movie, read the book. If you’ve read the book first however, they’ve chopped a good bit out for the movie… so I’m not sure the recommendation would go both ways.
Plot: Two out of shape, middle aged men attempt to walk the
Motto: Are we there yet?
Opinion: This is the second Bill Bryson book I’ve read, and I really like his style. He’s funny, factual, thoughtful, and tends to use a chatty style of writing that pulls the reader into the story.
Bryson starts out his adventure with lots of intellectual and material preparation, sharing with the reader a bit of history about the 2,100 mile stretch of trail running from
The book takes a few somber turns when talking about the environmental degradation that has taken place along the Appalachians, and the state of the Parks Services tasked with taking care of the trail. But he’s not out to make a statement about it. If he has a statement at all, it’s that the reader should spend some time out exploring the natural world around them. Advice I intend to follow this summer after I stop working.
I’d recommend this book as a good vacation read, or a getting ready for vacation read. It’s not too heavy, but not pure fluff either, and parts are genuinely funny. I’ll be putting his other books on my ‘to read’ list ... but I’m in no hurry.
Plot: Hardworking, self sacrificing teacher brings out the best in his poor, mostly immigrant students.
Motto: High expectations + lots of work = lifelong success.
Opinion: This is a very inspirational and impressive story. But rather than making me feel hopeful about what kids can accomplish, it made me feel sad that he had to give so very much of himself to make a difference. It also makes me a little sad that I didn’t have a teacher like him when I was in school. Not that I’m bashing my education, I had a lot of really good teachers, it’s just that I got the impression, while reading this book, that so much more is possible. Like… this is the man who could have taught me math!!
Esquith is clearly a man on a mission. He is passionate about upholding high standards for both himself and his students. He teaches academic subjects (not just science, math & reading, but also art, music, athletics, and theater) as well as life skills. And the whole time he is swimming against the stream of standardized testing, ineffective school administration, and ongoing cuts in funding.
The book starts out by describing Kohlberg's Six Stages of Moral Development.
He challenges his students to be level six thinkers. I have to admit, I spend a lot of time in levels 1 (what's in it for me) and 4 (rules are rules) right now… and if nothing else, am glad I read this book so I can start incorporating, or attempting to incorporate, more level six thinking in my life.
I highly recommend this book to teachers and parents. It’s unrealistic to expect other teachers to perform the kind of magic in their classrooms that Esquith does (I don’t want to diminish the amount of effort he puts into his classroom, but really, the man has a gift) but he presents some very practical ideas that could be used by anyone.
So those are the books I've most recently read. I'm currently diving into some books about Thailand and teaching abroad, in fact I'm on the last few pages of The Bangkok Survivor's Handbook. I should probably write up a review of that one before I start in on the next book. Any good recommendations for me?