Fascinating characters are the dominant trait of any Lewis book, but somehow this book is chilling whereas its sequel Boomerang was charming, perhapsFascinating characters are the dominant trait of any Lewis book, but somehow this book is chilling whereas its sequel Boomerang was charming, perhaps because the emergent crisis seemed one or two removed by going overseas. Like the classic book "The Jungle," watching the proverbial sausage get made is nauseating, but perhaps also like that book it will lead to real reform as in at minimum a reinstatement of Glass-Steagall.
After finishing the book, my daughter noted a funny look on my face and asked why. I told her when she was a little older, I would talk to her about this book and (in my mind) the kinds of economic bubbles that seem all but inevitable. She says back to me (perhaps spurred by the cover with a large wad of cash on a hook) "what if I took a dollar and ripped it in half? Then, I go to the bank and they replace it with two dollars, and I did it again and again?" Wow, that is as close an analogy to leveraging as I could think of myself, but told her that in the end, the bank gets to keep all those manufactured dollars. The conclusion was that just doesn't sound fair at any age....more
Timothy Egan has a wonderful way of dropping you directly in a historical situation and giving you the grand tour, with just enough information aboutTimothy Egan has a wonderful way of dropping you directly in a historical situation and giving you the grand tour, with just enough information about the time and place to put you there, but not so much as to bog down. As in "The Worst Hard Time" the tale is full of interesting characters, and at least as important, we see how these people directly and indirectly influenced political policy that has come to us directly today. The book format on my Nook left me wanting a hard version as the black and white photos in the center of the book that show the devastation are a bit hard to see well. Luckily, Egan's words are worth a thousand pictures. ...more
As my English prof. succinctly put it, Shakespeare (Shakspere, or nearly however you like to spell it) can reduce grown men to hissy fits and tears. BAs my English prof. succinctly put it, Shakespeare (Shakspere, or nearly however you like to spell it) can reduce grown men to hissy fits and tears. Bryson takes takes you on a necessary tour of the nature of the English language, the and the political environment of the time to reveal why we all know and are at the very least are told to revere the Bard even without often knowing much about his individual plays. You will feel rewarded for the time spent reading this brief but enlightening book. ...more
Not all history teachers make us wonder how the topic could possibly be interesting or helpful. But if you have had one of these rotten teachers and hNot all history teachers make us wonder how the topic could possibly be interesting or helpful. But if you have had one of these rotten teachers and have always suspected that it could be better, make Mr. Egan your at-home professor. For one thing, he would just be flat out fun to look at, but more importantly he has a way with non-fiction that reads as lyrically as a good novel.
See if you don't feel like you've just discovered long lost relatives who lived through the dirty Thirties. You'll sympathize with their common belief that this last bit of Panhandle homestead dirt was their last best chance to get a stake in America, and you may even see how they continued to hope they could outlast the hard times despite constant dust storms. Lastly, you will be fascinated to discover that one of your newly discovered relatives played a part in the historically important movie called "The Plow That Broke the Plains" funded by the FDR administration. And, when you get to that part about the movie, go to Wikipedia to watch the movie online via the hypertext link at bottom to "The Internet Archive." The bottom line; you'll care about these people and what happened to them the way Steinbeck made you feel for the Okies trying to escape to California.
Kirk Johnson captures the inveterate geekiness of a hard core paleontologist who started young and never veered from his love of rocks or redheads witKirk Johnson captures the inveterate geekiness of a hard core paleontologist who started young and never veered from his love of rocks or redheads with rock tumblers.
Illustrator Ray Troll, the Ketchikan artist who is responsible for all the "Spawn Til You Die" t-shirts and many other fin (sic) art renditions of Alaskan humor, does an impressive job of filling the pages with more stuff than you can possibly absorb. When trying to follow maps of their adventures, I would veer off road (much like my geologist husband is wont to do on similar treks) due to some tricerotops in the way. But, that is the point of the book. The fanciful drawings stoke the imagination, and Johnson's big circle way of writing (start in one place and wander all over to make a bunch of interesting points, to arrive back at an original thought with an fun twist) will make you want to fill your car with dino juice and hit the road for your own rock hound adventure.
If you have kids wild for dinosaurs, this could be a fabulous off-beat way for them to experience what it really is like to be a flesh and blood guy who never grows out of it. It may charm them or scare them away, and I'm not about to say which way is best. ...more
My daughter's kindergarten teacher recommended this book as a help for understanding emerging reading and beyond. Despite being geared for teachers, aMy daughter's kindergarten teacher recommended this book as a help for understanding emerging reading and beyond. Despite being geared for teachers, along with the requisite jargon, the book is decipherable and Routman delivers some great ideas a parent can use.
Three things from the book I took to heart. Most importantly, a child absolutely must believe he can read. Routman tours schools, and where she finds children who are beginning to give in to the notion they can't and won't read, she finds something, anything (even a few letters) that they can read. It is a notion in a child that must be creatively and immediately reversed to encourage their efforts. Second, let the child arrange their own books in their own order . . . mine chose fiction and non-fiction. It was a fun exercise to divide the books up accordingly. The last to expose the child to book reviews, as well as encourage them to create their own share with friends or classmates. Thus, we have the Roz picks bookshelf along with Mom's books. I asked her to pick her top five books, and there you have it.
One thing this book recommends for any serious reader, particularly one who is serious about helping children love to read is to start a personal reading journal, which can can at least partially be answered by using goodreads to track. ...more