johnpierce.us Blog

May 19, 2011

About Strauss-Kahn

Filed under: Books — Administrator @ 9:52 am

“A 2010 book entitled DSK: Les secrets d’un présidentiable (DSK:Secrets of a presidential contender) by an anonymous French author who goes by the pseudonym ‘Cassandre’, alleges that IMF head and accused rapist Dominique Strauss-Kahn raped a maid in a hotel in Mexico while on a business trip.”–guanabee.com

Mexicana, entre víctimas de agresión sexual de Strauss-Kahn — eluniversal.com.mx

May 16, 2011

Must you go?

Filed under: Books — Administrator @ 11:18 am

I finished skimming through the book Must You Go? My Life with Harold Pinter by Antonia Fraser. Famed biographer Lady Antonia Fraser has put together a book about her relationship with playwright Harold Pinter from 1975 (when they met) until 2008 (when Pinter died). Most of the book consists of diary entries.

Both were married to others when they met. After divorcing their spouses, they eventually married, in a civil ceremony. When several years later both ex-spouses had died, the couple solemnized their marriage in a Catholic ceremony. The book is not especially interesting, but it it is worth borrowing from a public library to read some of the pages and to skim over others. I would not recommend buying the book. Not much substance. Not much explanation. A certain amount of name-dropping. These people don’t have lunch or dinner with just anybody! But if the other diners are untitled, that’s OK. Lady Antonia will expect the best seat as an earl’s daughter.

April 27, 2011

Heresy: an Elizabethan Thriller

Filed under: Books — Administrator @ 12:12 pm

Heresy: an Elizabethan Thriller by S. J. Parris is a mystery novel set in the reign of Elizabeth I. Giordano Bruno, a philosopher and former Catholic monk who has fled the Inquisition, is visiting Oxford University, secretly in the employ of Elizabeth I’s secretary of state Sir Francis Walsingham. Bruno is to spy on scholars who may secretly be Catholics who are plotting treason. Mysterious murders occur, and Bruno becomes involved in the investigation. I enjoyed reading the book, but would characterize it as OK and less than great.

March 24, 2011

The Lincoln Lawyer

Filed under: Books — Administrator @ 10:52 am


The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

I recently read The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly, a novel about a criminal-defense lawyer in Los Angeles who works out of his Lincoln Town Car. He is hired to represent a rich young man accused of beating a woman he met in a bar. Complications ensue, some of them improbable. The author seems to have a general knowledge of the criminal justice system, but when a trial finally takes place, he writes a little bit like a non-lawyer not completely familiar with the rules, some of them self-imposed, that lawyers follow when questioning witnesses on the stand. The book offers little development of character. It is a quick book to read, despite its length, and could be described as a page turner.

Having read the book, I don't feel interested in seeing the movie. Maybe I'll watch it some day when it is on television.

Paperback, amazon.com

February 25, 2011

February 25, 2011

Filed under: Books — Administrator @ 7:00 pm

Unschooling Rules: 55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know about Schools and Rediscover Education by Clark Aldrich

A pleasant brief read, this thought-provoking book provides fifty-five rules for unschooling. It will be of especial interest to those interested in the home schooling of children.

Product Description

While most schools continue to resist change, homeschooling families have abandoned the K-12 system and identified new, powerful, commonsense methods and goals for childhood education.

Education expert Clark Aldrich has explored the practices of homeschoolers and unschoolers (those who eschew the structure or curricula of schools) and distilled a list of 55 ”rules,” like the following, that are changing both the way children are taught and our vision for schools.

* Learn to be; learn to do; learn to know.
* Tests don’t work. Get over it. Move on.
* What a person learns in a classroom is how to be a person in a classroom.

* Animals are better than books about animals.
* Internships, apprenticeships, and interesting jobs beat term papers, textbooks, and tests.
* The only sustainable answer to the global education challenge is a diversity of approaches.

This accessible book provides you with a path forward, whether you’re a parent or teacher, a school administrator, or a national policy decision maker.

amazon.com

About the Author

Clark Aldrich is a global education thought leader, labeled a guru by Fortune Magazine. He works with corporate, military, government, and academic organizations at both the board level and as a hands-on implementer. His projects have been patent winning and earned millions globally. He is the author of four earlier books and scores of articles; is the recipient of numerous industry awards; created dozens of educational simulations (including the most popular leadership simulation in the world); was the founder of Gartner’s eLearning coverage; and has a degree in Cognitive Science from Brown University. His work has been featured in hundreds of sources, including CBS, ABC, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, NPR, CNET, Business 2.0, BusinessWeek, and U.S. News and World Reports.

amazon.com

Paperback, amazon.com

Kindle edition, amazon.com

February 18, 2011

Faith, a book by Sharon Salzberg

Filed under: Books — Administrator @ 1:13 pm

I have read about a third of the book Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience by Sharon Salzberg. The author is described on the back cover as “a renowned meditation instructor who has been practicing and studying Buddhism for more than thirty years.” I would not normally write about a book before finishing it, but I suspect I may never finish this book even though it is not very long, 176 pages. The book is somewhat rambling, without any clear focus, at times autobiographical. The author’s main idea seems to be that meditation can make one’s life less uncomfortable. The idea may well be true, but the book does not present the idea or make the case for it in a way that I find interesting. To equate such an idea with “faith” somehow seems like a trivialization of the concept of faith.

August 9, 2010

Die Oper kocht

Filed under: Books,Simon Keenlyside — Administrator @ 7:53 am

A new book, published in Austria, Die Oper kocht, contains recipes from various stars of the world of opera.

July 19, 2010

July 19, 2010

Filed under: Books — Administrator @ 11:59 pm

How to beat depression — without drugs

A healthier lifestyle could banish the blues, says a new book

Article at guardian.co.uk

Book at amazon.com and at amazon.co.uk

The suggestions

Take 1,500mg of omega-3 daily (in the form of fish oil capsules), with a multivitamin and 500mg vitamin C.

Don’t dwell on negative thoughts – instead of ruminating start an activity; even conversation counts.

Exercise for 90 minutes a week.

Get 15-30 minutes of sunlight each morning in the summer. In the winter, consider using a lightbox.

Be sociable.

Get eight hours of sleep

June 15, 2010

June 15, 2010

Filed under: Books — Administrator @ 1:42 pm

My current reading:

May 25, 2010

Oprah: A Biography

Filed under: Books — Administrator @ 6:30 pm

Today I finished reading Oprah: A Biography, by Kitty Kelley. It took me about five weeks to read it, and so I guess I’d have to say I didn’t find it a page turner, but it was interesting enough that I did get through it.

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