Friday, March 2, 2012

Not a Friday post

It looks likely that we'll be packing up the computer tomorrow, and so won't have internet access until Wednesday, probably. So you'll have to wait until then for the review and such.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Library Wednesday?, 2/29/2012

Happy Leap Day!

Two books from the library on Monday:

Walter Mosley - Devil in the Blue Dress

I heard an interview with Mosley, and said "y'know, I've enjoyed the Mosley that I've read, why haven't I read more?," so I picked up this one, the first of his Easy Rawlins mystery novels.

Cassandra Clark - A Parliament of Spies

Another mystery novel, set during the reign of Richard II of England.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lenten Project

Eeep! Surprisingly Nude Bookcase!
This is the big bookcase today. There are two small stacks of books there on the next to top shelf - one is a stack of text books* and the smaller stack is library books.

Anyway, the semi-nude bookcase is courtesy of the relocation we're in the process of. Currently, there is a huge stack of boxes in the living room of the new apartment - I should really take a photo of that for you too. Which brings me to my Lenten project this year. Each week of Lent, I will read (at least) one book that I already own, and I will then assess whether I'll keep the book or get rid of it. (ouch!) The whole process of moving has already resulted in 5 (count them!) grocery sacks of books which we've donated to the local library sale. Potentially, I will offer my discards to you, my readers, if there's interest - otherwise, to the library they will go.

*The text books - as a a professor, text book companies see me as a gatekeeper for my students' wallets. If they can convince me to choose a book for my class, then my students are compelled to buy that book, which is, obviously, good for the text book companies. So, they mail me (and every other professor with the power to choose books for their classes) free copies of their books. And I mostly ignore them, because I've already chosen my texts.** So, that stack is a stack of free text books that is on it's way back to campus to get deposited in the text book room in the department - the department has a room full of text books that they can give out to new professors trying to decide what books they want, or to students who need a text but can't afford them and etc. Which is pretty cool, frankly.

** My texts this semester:

Cultural History
Political History
Military History

I'm using a lot of Bedford/St. Martin readers this semester, because I like their selection of primary sources, and I like the way that their editors frame the material. And because the readers are fairly cheap individually. My students only need to buy one of these books each. I also recommend they pick up this one:
This is the single best text on studying history I've ever read - it's just amazing what Benjamin packs into it; instructions on taking notes, ideas on how to write basic papers, how to do comparisons between different types of sources, how to write essay type tests, how to write multiple choice type tests, how to do footnotes ... it's brilliant, and you really need a copy. 

Students who want a traditional text are advised to consider this one. It's fairly unremarkable as far as text books go, but it's a Bedford/St.Martin - consistency isn't always a bad thing. I advise students to find three or four fellow students to split the cost of the text book - I have no idea how many, if any, students do as I advise, but it's good advice.

I believe my footnote is now officially longer than the post it's a footnote for.