Showing posts from September, 2021

Review: Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works

Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole My rating: 4 of 5 stars First and foremost, this is not a "diet" book and it's not a book to resolve issues about your unhappiness with your weight, per se. That's made evident repeatedly throughout the book that their goal is not to help you lose weight. That, I think is one of the book's most powerful and important messages and hope that others will understand what they are trying to do.  The entire framework of the book settles on the belief (and mounting evidence) that part of the problem with body image, eating disorders, and feeling unhealthy in our bodies stems in part from a loss of listening to our bodies express what they need and acting on it.  The authors draw out a wide range of ways this happens, emphasizing the issues through specific anecdotes and research. The book contains a lot and definitely recommend taking it in (get ready for a b

Review: The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?

The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? by Michael J. Sandel My rating: 4 of 5 stars In general, Sandel's book is a powerful examination of the ways merit and the U.S. (and world at large) purports to be a meritocracy. It's a damning critique in where the concept of merit and meritocracy come from (a mixture of Horatio Alger and also a satire by Michael Young in the mid-20th century).  The crux of his argument is that any society that invokes the ideas of meritocracy means that any time people do not succeed, the inevitable message is that they did not try hard enough and that is why they themselves are failures.  That message has a crippling effect on people because it is often not true and ignores the fact that a capitalist system such as ours is structured on the inequality of resources and advancement.  To unquestioningly present merit as the centerstone of society has contributed to much of the division and politic

Review: A World Without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload

A World Without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload by Cal Newport My rating: 1 of 5 stars As someone with a good critical grasp of technology, Newport's latest book felt like a great disappointment and a case where he misses the point significantly to a degree that can feel negligent. His argument is that email is one of the primary sources of inefficiency in work and while it served a purpose at one point, it has been a detriment to productivity at work. He spends the first half of the book trying to prove this point that email is the problem. For the second half, he spends a lot of time identifying other tools (Trello, Kanbans, and other project management software) within particular case studies to show how they are doing well without or with little email. In the end, he has a technodeterminist approach that would have us believe that eliminating email will make us much happier and much more productive at work--it's the t

This Is 42

Estimated Reading Time: 10.5 minutes So it's that time again. On my birthday each year, I do a share out about the year and think about what is ahead. This is apparently year #5 and you can see the others below. 38 39 40 41 Let's start with some of the numbers, shall we? Home :  Arlington, Massachusetts Relationship status :  Married (7+ years) Cats Owned :  2 (Bear and Pumpkin) Other Pets :  1 mud turtle (MJ, 35'ish years old) Degrees earned : 5 (3 masters, 1 bachelor, 1 associate) Degree working on :  PhD in Higher Education Credits Completed Toward Dissertation : 72 out of 72. Reading since Sept 2020 : 298 books, graphic novels, and audiobooks (Latest reads can always be found on Goodreads ) Work : Director of Digital Pedagogy at College Unbound (full time)  Adjunct Academic Partner at Southern New Hampshire University Teaching courses at  North Shore Community College Weight :  243 pounds Longest Distance Run This Year : 14 Fastest Pace This Year : 9 minutes per mile (

Review: Later

Later by Stephen King My rating: 2 of 5 stars Jamie can see dead people--but he swears it's not like that kid in the movie.  Still, it happens and when his mother realizes it and comes to believe him, he swears her to secrecy. He's fine with keeping it quiet but his mom, during a more economically desperate time in her life betrays that trust and leans on her girlfriend, Liz, a dirty cop, to capitalize on Jamie's ability.  That should have been it, but Liz has decided there are more opportunities to benefit from with Jamie's ability proceeds to prey on him, and this ultimately results in a darker and more evil being coming forth from the dead that now Jamie must face.   This is standard Stephen King with a young person with special abilities, single parent, smarter than many around him, finding a mentor in an older quirky male, and a willingness to name and confront evil. Of course, it also includes some of the typical points o

Review: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan My rating: 2 of 5 stars Mr. Penumbera's 24-hour bookstore is clearly not your average bookstore. It may not even be your average "weird" bookstore but Clay Jannon needs a job after he's hit hard by the Great Recession of the late 2000s and Mr. Penumbra is hiring. He soon discovers the bookstore does not sell many books but there are a series of odd customers who show up and request books from a special collection. The itch to understand why pulls at Jannon until he begins to scratch and scratch and scratch. Before longe, he's stumbling into a strange society of book-seekers who are attempting to find a secret code that may lead to immortality and has been around for hundreds of years. Jannon has realized that he might know how to hack the code and relies upon a band of misfit but highly successful friends to solve the mystery. As a story, the novel is fun and goofy and h