My Most Recent Reads - March 2015

Another month of great reading and it was a curious month indeed.  For the first time in years, I read more physical books than graphic novels.  That's largely due to a big headline coming up in May for an article that I am writing, but also because I've been trying to focus more on reading books than graphic novels.  To that end, I was still surprised I only read one graphic novel this month--I can't remember the last time that happened!  So let's take a look at some of this month's great reads!


The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control by Walter Mischel

Mischel's text is a great book for any of us to better understand and develop our self-control in different environments.  What Mischel does well is demonstrate how lack of self-control in one area isn't any indicator of poor self-control elsewhere.  In fact, it might be an indicator that the person does have better self-control elsewhere because this is an area where that person doesn't.  But Mischel goes beyond the traditional "marshmallow text" that much of his research began with and looks at a lot of different elements that contribute to how one can understand, express, and learn self-control.


Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word by Randall Kennedy 

Book cover - Randall Kennedy - Nigger
Kennedy's book is a fascinating look at the tricky and curious understanding of an infamous word.  What is so strong about this book is that it traces out the word's complexity and provides a clear understanding that it is not a fixed word and yet there are core elements to it.  Language is tricky and language that is deeply rooted in human degradation is even more challenging.  He looks at the cultural and legal history of the word while also identifying the ways that both African Americans and non-African Americans use the word in modern times.  It was clear prior to this book why it is such a powerful and troubling word, but now, I find myself with a richer understanding of how it happens and why it will be a long time before we have unpacked all the elements that comes with using the word.



Ben Franklin: Unplugged: .... And Other Comic Monologues by Josh Kornbluth

Now, as some of my readers will know--I'm a fan of Josh Kornbluth--the mastermind behind one of my favorite films, Haiku Tunnel. When I found out that I would be reviewing his latest collection of comedic monologues, I did do a little dance.  I really enjoyed it and keep an eye out for an interview with Josh Kornbluth that I will post sometime soon.  Anyways, this collection of comedic monologues is a real hoot as Kornbluth explores his resemblance to Ben Franklin, finally decides to pay taxes, finish his decades-old thesis, and contemplate Jewishness and Andy Warhol.  Through it all, he's must face off against his arch-nemesis and true dramatic foil...himself.

Here 2015's reading reflections thus far:

BOOKS

  • Authentic Learning for the Digital Generation: Realising the Potential of Technology in the Classroom by Angela McFarlane
  • Online Teaching in the Digital Age by Pat Swenson
  • Massive Open Online Courses: The Mooc Revolution by Paul Kim
  • Freaked Out: The Bewildered Teachers Guide to Digital Learning by David Morgan

AUDIOBOOKS

  • Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne
  • The Man Who Had All the Luck by Arthur Miller
  • The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control by Walter Mischel
  • Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word by Kennedy Randall
  • Ben Franklin: Unplugged: .... And Other Comic Monologues by Josh Kornbluth
  • Holy Cow: A Modern-Day Dairy Tale by David Duchovny
  • The Explorers Club by Nell Benjamin

GRAPHIC NOVELS

  • Powers: Bureau, Vol. 2: Icons by Brian Michael Bendis


So what have you been reading lately?  What's your favorite book of 2015 so far?


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