Writing this book had to be quite a challenge. How do you address a group of people known for their ability to get lost inside themselves and in books...moreWriting this book had to be quite a challenge. How do you address a group of people known for their ability to get lost inside themselves and in books by writing a boo that tells them what's going on inside their own heads?
The author does an excellent job addressing, explaining, and clarifying her subject matter. She takes a collection of research and brings it effectively to life in understandable ways.
She didn't really include information I didn't already know from years of experience working in high-school classrooms. The temperaments she describes and contrasts in meaningful detail are clearly evident and helpful to understand in a classroom.
This is a useful book, particularly for those unfamiliar with the strengths of their own personalities. I'd like to see this text used in first-year classes in college, for both intro- and extra-verted students so they could better conceptualize the interactions and strengths of the two. Those in their early 20s would benefit most from reading this.(less)
Good lord, this story was offensively and shallowly written. Any time a new character appears, we get a brief description of that character's clothing...moreGood lord, this story was offensively and shallowly written. Any time a new character appears, we get a brief description of that character's clothing, followed by an assessment from another character of the newcomer's potential as a sex partner. And no, it's not subtle suggestions, either. The men are brazenly crass, and the women are sheepishly coy. Writing to stereotypes is bad enough. Writing to old stereotypes that people are working to move beyond, then expecting that to pass as characterization? It's counter to the progressive views generally espoused in Sci-fi, and it's offensive to read.
The action, though not as stereotypical, is unfortunately just as trite. Events happen because the author needed something to talk about, not because they're necessary to let the story progress. What's painful is the pacing. Between minor events, we're stuck with the shallow characters and their repetitive thoughts. All they do is worry about the same goddamned things every time we see them. For some, it's a Nobel prize. For others, it's job security. For Trudy, the damsel in distress, it's whether she looks good for the "hunky stud" (actual phrase) who's more interested in impressing those in power than being a real person we can care about.
And that brings me to the crux of the trouble with this book: after the climax (such as it was), I found that didn't give two shits about anything that happened to any of the cast of characters. But I suppose that brings balance: twice during the story, Bova described characters dealing with defecation. I guess they gave theirs on behalf of the readers, knowing we'd be empathically constipated.
This book is clearly designed for corporate training managers who are interested in exploring first steps and getting guided assistance in planning an...moreThis book is clearly designed for corporate training managers who are interested in exploring first steps and getting guided assistance in planning and implementing a blended learning program. The approach is rather simplistic, extremely straightforward, and very deliberative. The reader is given plenty of support to understand the process (and where each discussion fits within that process), yet the text is typically an overview, rather than specific details of how to implement suggestions provided. It works very effectively as an introduction and a guide.
Unfortunately, I was expecting me to deal a little more thoroughly with the theory behind the learning process. I recognize that I am not the target audience of this text, so my disappointment should not be held against it; however, I felt that the text lacks a bit of rational support for its argument that went beyond the "we tried this, and it worked" approach.(less)
I will openly knowledge that I pulled a text titled "Blended Learning" from the shelf because I am researching the effects of mixed-mode delivery on p...moreI will openly knowledge that I pulled a text titled "Blended Learning" from the shelf because I am researching the effects of mixed-mode delivery on post-secondary education, and this text is designed for people in the private sector interested in deploying blended training models to their employees. Our goals are considerably different, and what the author considers relevant to the intended audience is a little bit off from my needs.
That said, I can't imagine this book being effective for the intended audience, either. It is such a content-free overview that attempts to lightly treat a broad span of knowledge without any meaningful detail that I don't understand how the private sector could pull value from the pages of this book. Quick mentions of different theories of learning styles and personality types and multiple intelligences allow the author to check boxes on reviewer sheets saying, "yes, I included that, as well." However, none of the material is covered with any reflective depth, and readers can expect to only know that things exist, rather than better understanding them. This drastic approach to light treatment would be forgivable if the things mentioned included footnotes for in-depth study, but the nearest thing to a reference list provided is a two-page "for further reading" list. Yes, the listed texts would provide additional information, but so many of them focus on learning theory that I don't understand how they would be relevant to private-sector implementors of training programs.
In short, I fail to see the value of this book.(less)
Not much new or of value here. This book contains mostly reprints of previously published material, and at this point, the conversation seems trite or...moreNot much new or of value here. This book contains mostly reprints of previously published material, and at this point, the conversation seems trite or dated. If you want to label yourself a baby boomer and feel old about it, this book will help. Otherwise, a general awareness of social trends relating to Internet use will go a long way toward alleviating the need to read this book.(less)
Clear, concise, and helpful. Saldaña says there's no need to read cover-to-cover, but for inexperienced qualitative researchers, there's a degree of c...moreClear, concise, and helpful. Saldaña says there's no need to read cover-to-cover, but for inexperienced qualitative researchers, there's a degree of comfort that comes from his thoroughness.
This should be required reading in any qualitative-methods course, especially if applied practice is involved.
I was particularly impressed by his ability to balance electronic/database-driven tools and more traditional manual tools. He is clear to point out when one becomes essential in contrast to another, but elsewhere, he acknowledges how each method views particular constructs he introduces.
Handy, flexible, and thorough. I'll be referring back to this one regularly.(less)
It's an interesting story, for sure, and the universe Brin created is fascinating—definitely worthy of a continued series. My main frustration with th...moreIt's an interesting story, for sure, and the universe Brin created is fascinating—definitely worthy of a continued series. My main frustration with this book is the suddenness with which the solutions to the mystery are revealed. Whereas other authors help readers piece things together as they go, Brin takes us along for the action and mystery, only revealing the key detail that solves the mystery after the case is cracked. I rather prefer being given the chance to figure things out along with the protagonist. Whether I do or not doesn't bother me, but I want the chance. Brin doesn't work that way.
But really, that's a minor point. He tells a fun, imaginative story and uses creative and intriguing characters to do it. An enjoyable read. (less)
Instead of needing a new review, this book is so formulaic that the review I wrote of its predecessor still applies, with one unfortunate change: all...moreInstead of needing a new review, this book is so formulaic that the review I wrote of its predecessor still applies, with one unfortunate change: all the good parts (the subplot chapter starts) were absent here.
The rest is a tedious walk with an ever-growing cast of characters who seem created only to annoy one another so they can all spend countless pages thinking about why the others annoy them and why they need to let the annoyance go because of the inevitability of everything. There's a lot of debating only to reach the same conclusion we held before the debate started. It's wearisome.
Oh, and my comments about the ending of Pathfinder? Yeah, same trouble here.
Save yourself the chore of reading Ruins. Go grab yourself a copy of Treason by OSC, and enjoy it. Mystery, intrigue, special powers, wunderkind, time travel. It's all there, and all in one book. None of this I-need-to-fill-a-trilogy-for-my-publisher drawn-out droning that is the substance of Ruins.(less)
Card has, I believe, found his niche/formula/strategy for writing Sci-fi books, and the inventiveness has suffered as a result. This book feels tired,...moreCard has, I believe, found his niche/formula/strategy for writing Sci-fi books, and the inventiveness has suffered as a result. This book feels tired, as though it's simply running through the motions one must run through when one is a book written by this author. Card hasn't always been like this. I read Treason recently, and I find the Pathfinder series is the same story with different tricks and more people. It jumbles, rather than enhances, a story that was fun and experimental in Treason.
The exception to this is the beginning section of every chapter. Here, Card follows a secondary plot/time line and tries to keep the reader guessing WTF is going on. It works great. He gives us interesting conversation without much vocalized deliberation. The tease of these parts made them rewarding and compelling.
Unfortunately, the other parts of the story are drawn out and oftentimes tedious. When characters start doubting their own actions, the story stalls out, and it takes forever for the novel to kick itself back into gear. I think Card promised a certain number of pages/chapters, and he's realized it's easy for him to get characters to rationalize their thinking before acting. While that may be the case, it doesn't make for a story that moves well, especially when the characters deliberate over the same actions multiple times.
One final thought: I don't think it's possible to ruin the ending of this book, because I don't feel like it has an ending. The subplot reaches a destination (physically and metaphorically), but the main story pretty much ends at a random page-turn. It's an odd ploy to get people to expect Book 2 because it's not a cliffhanger. It just stops. I'm not left thinking I need to read part two and can't wait to see what happens. Instead, I'm left thinking I need to read the rest of this book and can't wait to get the guy who tore out the final chapters. There's no "I've reached an end point" payoff here, no congratulations or tease. That's a risky approach to take because when people stop reading partway through a book, they begin to think of it as a book they didn't care enough about to finish. That's Pathfinder for you, but it's a thought imposed by the author, not the reader. Not cool, Card.(less)