My Most Recent Reads - October, 2015

Sixteen books for the month--I'll take it!  It's been a crazy month with lots of different things going on--all good, but keeping me particularly busy.  I unexpectedly read a bit more horror than I anticipated (and am still making my way through some of it too), but I guess that was fitting.  So here are my highlights for October:


The History of American Higher Education: Learning and Culture from the Founding to World War II by Roger Geiger

Geiger - History of American Higher Education Book Cover
This is a dense but complete history of higher education from the colonial times to World War II.  Sometimes a bit too complete (e.g. spending two pages on the life of George Whitefield).  I read it as part of a course on the history of higher education that I am taking and though it feel there were times when there was just so much detail, it also spoke to Geiger's ability to find all these details and use them to craft a very clear and substantial history.  He traces the evolution of different components in higher education such as the faculty, the students, extra-curricular activities, curriculum, foundational supports, sports, and the like.  Sometimes, he trace these threads chapter by chapter pulling them where necessary and still other times, he focuses an entire chapter on a given chapter.  In the end, it's the place to start when you are ready to learn more about higher education.  


Ghost Wife: A Memoir of Love and Defiance by Michelle Dicinoski

Dicinoski writes a great memoir that contrasts her family's history with her pursuit to legitimate (at least in the eyes of the public) her relationship with her life-long partner and wife, Heather.  The story revolves around Dicinoski and Heather travelling to Canada from Australia to get married in part to celebrate their love and in part to spite the bigotted policies of Australia.  However, the narrative is more than just a "let's go to the chapel" story.  Instead, Dicinoski explores how the failure for the culture to acknowledge her relationship is part of a story played out many times before with her family members who disappear in one way, shape, or form and it's this story--the story of invisibility--that is as moving as seeing Dicinoski and her partner solidify their love.  In many ways, it parallels Dan Savage's memoir, The Commitment but has a very distinct flavor worth partaking.  


Locke & Key by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez

This review is for the audio production by AudioComics.  This is a fantastic production with a full cast that mixes celebrities and other talented narrators with sound effects and musical score.  It's a 13+ hour audio drama that will easily convert new listeners to audio-drama.  The story is derived from Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez's comic series of the same name and follows the Locke family as they deal with a set of strange keys that are found in this family home.  Each key unlocks a new ability but there are sinister forces about that are trying to collect the keys for themselves.  This production finds way of maximizing the horror through interesting sound effects and solid acting.  


Here's my ongoing list of books read this year on GoodReads.  Also, here 2015's reading reflections thus far:


BOOKS

  • The History of American Higher Education: Learning and Culture from the Founding to World War II by Roger Geiger

AUDIOBOOKS

  • God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
  • Jack of Spades by Joyce Carol Oates
  • How to Write a Thesis by Umberto Eco
  • Ghost Wife: A Memoir of Love and Defiance by Michelle Dicinoski
  • Locke & Key by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
  • The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • The Prize: The High-Stakes, Big-Money Race to Save Our Failing Schools by Dale Russakoff

GRAPHIC NOVELS

  • Lullabies from Hell by Hideshi Hino
  • Fragments of Horror Junji Ito
  • Moose by Max de Radigu├Ęs
  • How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman
  • Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants by Matthew Inman
  • Shutter, Vol. 1: Wanderlost by Joe Keatinge
  • Copperhead: Vol. 1 by Jay Faerber


What about you?  Any good reads this past month?


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