My Most Recent Reads - September & October 2014

As I mentioned in a previous post, September and October were crazy months in terms of how busy I've been and therefore, doing a September update in October proved impossible.  However, I'm getting back on track and thought I would throw out this combined post of my most recent reads of September and October.  Hopefully, I will be back on track with talking about my most recent reads and other fun things now that life is returning to normal!


Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

Book cover: Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters.  Image source: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51i4VsKCUCL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
I started reading this book in August while visiting a friend in Maine.  I had heard about the book and it's overall impact on other literary authors and found the concept fascinating.  So I picked up the book at my friend's house and started reading.  Well, I ended up having to buy a copy and read it because I was so compelled.  I love the idea and it's overall execution.  The book is a collection of poems that are written by dead people in the town of Spoon River.  Each poem highlights the dead person's life in concrete and abstract ways.  Through these poetic sermons, we learn about how the town worked and didn't work.  It's a lot of fun but I have to wonder if there is some site out there that provides a map of the characters and how they interconnect.  That would be fascinating to look at.  


Book cover: No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald.  Image source: http://www.glenngreenwald.net/

No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State by Glen Greenwald


As the journalist who broke the NSA spying programs by being one of the few voices that Snowden found trustworthy in the news media, Greenwald's account of their encounters, the NSA programs, and the harrassment he has experienced since revealing the traitorous acts of our own country, is a must read.  Beyond providing a much better context for the events that occurred, Greenwald provides an articulate and damning critique of contemporary media and it's inability to deliver real news or challenge authority.  He raises a great many and interesting points about security, identity, and freedom that we should all be asking ourselves.

  1. How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens by Benedict Carey
  2. The Small Big: Small Changes That Spark Big Influence by Robert Cialdini
  3. Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter Brown


These three books are must-reads for anyone who teaches.  I plan on writing a more extensive review of all three of these books that intertwine how they relate.  But let me just say that if you are an educator and want both the macro and micro level on how to improve outcomes and learning in your classes, you need to read these three books.  

For other best picks over the last year, check out previous monthly reviews:


BOOKS

  • Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

AUDIOBOOKS

  • No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State by Glen Greenwald
  • Tinhorn's Daughter: On the Trail of Greed, Gun Smoke, and Fiery Romance in Big Sky Country by L. Ron Hubbard
  • How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens by Benedict Carey
  • The Small Big: Small Changes That Spark Big Influence by Robert Cialdini
  • Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being by Brian Little
  • How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise by Taylor Chris
  • Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter Brown

GRAPHIC NOVELS

  • Archer & Armstrong, Volume 5: Mission: Improbable by Fred Van Lente
  • Fables, Vol. 20: Camelot by Bill Willingham
  • All-New X-Men, Vol. 4: All-Different by Brian Michael Bendis
  • The Walking Dead, Vol. 21: All Out War Part 2 by Robert Kirkman
  • How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis
  • The Manhattan Projects, Vol. 4: The Four Disciplines by Jonathan Hickman
  • Secret Volume 1 by Jonathan Hickman
  • Sex Criminals, Vol. 1: One Weird Trick by Matt Fraction
  • Deadly Class, Vol. 1: Reagan Youth by Rick Remender
  • The Movement Vol. 1: Class Warfare by Gail Simone
  • Nightwing, Vol. 4: Second City by Kyle Higgins
  • Wolverine: Three Months to Die Book 1 by Paul Cornell 
  • Velvet, Vol. 1: Before the Living End by Ed Brubaker
  • In the Dark: A Horror Anthology by Geroge Sturt 
  • Archer and Armstrong, Volume 4: Sect Civil War by Fred Van Lente



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