Susperia de Profundis

images.jpgI read so many different titles last month that adding a listof suggested reading seems like overkill. Then again, I have myself read few of the suggested books so maybe I should take my own suggestions.

Right now, however, I am torn between three basic avenues of reading: first I am having a lot of fun reading all that genre fiction I have eschewed through the years, specifically detective and mystery stories; second, as my remaining years beckon, I find there are so many classical or otherwise challenging books I have yet to read; and finally there are just so many books and stories out there that I know I will never come close to catching up and promise me get a taste of an almost limitless variety of literature—a veritable smorgasbord of reading.

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Is Digital Democratic?

images.jpgFOR SEVERAL DECADES, textbook publishers followed the same basic model: Pitch a hefty tome of knowledge to faculty for inclusion in lesson plans; charge students an equally hefty sum; revise and update its content as needed every few years. Repeat. But the last several years have seen a shift at colleges and universities—one that has more recently turned tectonic.

In a way, the evolution of the textbook has mirrored that in every other industry. Ownership has given way to rentals, and analog to digital. Within the broad strokes of that transition, though, lie divergent ideas about not just what learning should look like in the 21st century but how affordable to make it. …

This article in Wired Magazine  by Brian Barrett develops and comments on the recent transformation of school textbooks.

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Big Fat Books Need Love Too

il_794xN.1183744805_8g27You may have noticed that I whizzed through an uncharacteristic number of novels the last two months. It was easy and usually a great deal of fun reading detective thrillers, mystery stories, and an occasional example of contemporary fiction. Unlike my doubts expressed after reading Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, I found I actually could read a book a day, as long as I was selective as to size or content.

It’s quite a different thing to zip through a Mike Shayne mystery in a day than it is to read a novel such as Mysteries of Udolpho slowly and carefully.

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