New cartoon on reading

And here is a link to a cool cartoon about online reading by The Guardian’s Tom Gauld, from September 8.


New article on college reading

Here’s a link to another piece from the New York Times about reading, from the September 10, 2017 issue of the paper.
In this piece, Harvard economist Gregory Mankiw talks about assignments he gives in his first year economics seminar, requiring students to read classic books in economics and discuss them. Students in the class have been chosen to create a group that is diverse on gender, political perspective and various other factors. It makes for very interesting reading! Enjoy!

End of summer update

Here’s a new post…I’ve been on a bit of a summer hiatus with trips and golf and bike rides and whatnot…But over the past months, a few items have appeared that may be of interest to readers of this blog.
Here’s a story that appeared July 9, 2017 in the Detroit Free Press about Little Free Libraries.
Check it out–you may have one near you!

From the NY Times on July 2, 2017, a story about what students are being asked to read on college campuses:

And, a cartoon about critical reading and thinking, which appeared in the Detroit Free Press (my hometown newspaper, which I still read on paper, 7 days a week). This “Pearls Before Swine” strip was published on June 25, 2017.

Now more than ever, we need critical thinking and critical reading!

Travel advice for critical readers 6/30/2017

So, where to go to find books for critical reading if not traveling or wanting to use a device for reading? Two recent articles from the New York Times provide some wonderful starting points, depending on where in the world you happen to be going. Ann Patchett’s choices appeared in this article:

And if your adventures include Italy, David Laskin discusses libraries to die for:

Good reading while traveling is always a good thing!

News items of interest on reading

There is a new book out by Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse called The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming of Age Crisis and How to Build a Culture of Self-Reliance that might be worth a look. He’s got a section devoted to the importance of reading.

Also, in the June 18, 2017 Sunday Review section of the New York Times the Corner Office column by Adam Bryant presented an interview with Jay Walker, founder of Priceline and Upside. Among other interesting points, Walker offers advice to new college grads that includes continuous learning and MUCH more reading across fields and disciplines to add value to whatever jobs they might have. Here’s a link to this piece:

I always enjoy seeing stories in the media that support the need for more and better reading.

New items of interest

Two new items have appeared that may be of interest to readers…
On June 6, 2017, the PBS Newshour aired a segment on media literacy, featuring a legislator in Washington state who is trying to get legislation passed requiring all schools to teach media literacy. This goal is not explicitly about improving students’ reading, but to the extent that interaction with media usually entails reading, it IS about reading. So, hooray. Here’s a link to the segment, on the PBS website:

Thanks to fellow scholar Ellen Carillo, I have learned that James Paul Gee has published a new book that should be of interest to everyone:

Teaching, Learning, Literacy in Our High-Risk High-Tech World
A Framework for Becoming Human
From Teachers College Press, April 2017.

Both items definitely worth a look!

Why Critical Reading is Important

Here’s a link to a recent piece in the NY Times Sunday Review about reading. The article is an opinion piece by Pamela Paul, the current editor of the Times Book Review section. I think it offers some useful insights on critical reading and on ways to avoid the trap we all get into of reading or watching or following only material we agree with; Paul suggests reading opposing views to sharpen your critical faculties.

My new icon

I added an icon to my blog–it’s an image of the cover of my all-time favorite book, Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes. It’s beautifully written, and I have found something different in the story every time I’ve read it. And I have read it over and over since second grade. I’ve also listened to the audio version of the book, even though I practically have it memorized. It has everything: history, drama, romance, friendship, war. It seemed like a great icon for the site.

Adults and Reading

Margot Kinberg in Confessions of a Mystery Novelist recently posted a question about how we define what it means to be an adult. Increasingly, in fictional characters (she gives a number of examples from recent books) there are behavior patterns that suggest young people who nominally should be adults but don’t act that way, or characters who are too young by the numbers to be adults, but take on adult responsibilities anyway. This question is apparently also addressed in a new book by Ben Sasse (junior Republican senator from Nebraska). There’s a chapter or section devoted to the importance of reading in what makes a person an “adult.” I haven’t read the book, but it is certainly on my list. He discussed the book recently on the NPR show Marketplace. Interested readers might want to have a look, too.