Monthly Archives: April 2012

Monday Musings

This week the Monday Musings question is the following: Do you listen to audiobooks? If not, why not? And, if so, what has been one of your favorites, so far?

In a word…no.  The long answer is that audiobooks drive me crazy because the narrator reads so much more slowly then I do!  Although I occasionally consider using audiobooks when driving and a book isn’t an option (at least not a good one :-P) I dislike being in the middle of multiple books too much for the idea to really appeal to me.

Feel free to answer the Monday Musing question yourself, either here or on the blog of the memes host, Should Be Reading.  Do you listen to audiobooks?  What do you like or dislike about them?

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April BAND Discussion

This month I’m excited to participate in my first Bloggers’ Alliance of Non-fiction Devotees (BAND) discussion.  Each month, this group poses an interesting question related to our common love of non-fiction.  This weeks’ question comes from Care’s Online Book Club and she asks the following question:

I like to read nonfiction on odd subjects. I define quirky as a book about a single subject that at first thought might prompt a question of how anyone could find enough stuff to write an entire book.  How do you define quirky? and do you read it?

I personally would usually define quirky as off-beat or odd – the sort of book I might have a hard time explaining to a friend how I ended up picking it up.  Out of my current reading, I think the book which most exemplifies my definition of quirky is The Joy of Cheesemaking.  It’s kind of an esoteric topic and not something I would have had reason to stumble across if not for my Doing Dewey project.  A book I recently saw which definitely fits Care’s definition is a book yet to be published but available on Edelweiss called American Tuna: The Rise and Fall of an Improbable Food.  I’ll admit, I may have been waiting for a chance to share that one with you, since I really do have trouble imaging there’s that much to write about tuna!

Your turn!  Feel free to answer the BAND question here or at our host Care’s blog.  How would you define quirky?  And do you read many books that meet your definition?

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Bookends About Economics

Economics: A Simple Twist on Normalcy is an approachable introduction to some basic concepts in economics.  The author Kersten Kelly focuses on everyday examples of economics at work in order to make the concepts more relatable for the everyday reader.  Although the book is neither as dry nor as comprehensive as an economics textbook, I think it has the potential to be a good introduction to an economics course in order to get students more interested.
Continue reading

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Photography Friday

A few days ago I was walking to work on campus and spotted this butterfly, enjoying the sun as much as I was!  The weather here in Iowa has been absolutely gorgeous lately, although today was a little chilly because of the wind.  I hope the rest of you are enjoying the summer weather too :)  Although I’d love to get out and enjoy the weather more, I think I’ll mostly be studying for finals this weekend.  How about you?  Any exciting plans for getting out and enjoying the sunshine this weekend?

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Author Interview with Kersten Kelly

Hello all and welcome to our first author interview!  Today I’m excited to share with you some questions I got to ask Kersten Kelly, the author of Economics: A Simple Twist on Normalcy.  If her book sounds like something that might interest you, you can read on to hear about her inspiration, check back on Saturday for a review, and find out more about her at the links given at then end of this post.  Now, without further ado, the interview…

First, could you tell us a little about your book?
The book is a unique compilation of examples of pop culture, history, social media, business, sports, and education all explained through an economic lens. It uses current market trends and examples that can be applicable and enjoyable for anyone. It is written in a narrative non-fiction format so it flows easily and does not read similarly to a textbook. Economics is part of daily life, and this book challenges readers to question how and why people make decisions by adding a simple twist on normalcy. Continue reading

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On Reading Historical Non-Fiction

I’ve been putting off really digging into Tycho and Kepler because I’m a little intimidated by it – not a feeling I usually have about books!  I don’t know much history and I’d really like to learn more.  However, as I learned at a “how to be a good TA” lecture, people learn best when they can connect new knowledge to information they already know.  This has been making my first attempt to dig into some historical non-fiction difficult, especially since I’m not happy to just read past things I don’t get.  At risk of sounding completely hopeless, I’m going to give you some of my impressions reading the first paragraph of Tycho and Kepler (my thoughts in Italics):

“On January 11, 1600 (ok, so after the Magna Carta, after Christopher Columbus, before the American Revolution…wow, my knowledge of history is really sparse) the carriage of Baron Johann Friedrich Hoffmann, baron of Grunbuchel and Sterchau (Germany? maybe Denmark, the map at the beginning was of Denmark, but nope these places aren’t on that map) , rumbled out of Graz… Having fulfilled, for the time being, his occasional duties as a member of the Styrian Diet (some sort of ruling council?) in the Austrian (ah, apparently we’re in Austria) provincial capitol, he was returning to court in Prague (hmm, I know that city, but what country is it in…).

I could go on, but you get the idea!  Currently, I think my best bet is just to read with wikipedia open, but if anyone has any other suggestions for a (historically and geographically inept) first-time reader of historical non-fiction, I’d appreciate the advice :)

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Monday Musings

This week the Monday Musings question is the following: Other than working at a job, what is your biggest interruption to reading? What takes you away from your book(s)?

For me the biggest interruption is definitely school, although to be fair, that’s basically a job.  I still think it counts though because it’s a job which is excessively easy to take home with you, particularly spending forever reading the ridiculous number of papers out there on your subject in the unending quest to become an expert.  And for me, nothing gets me out of the mood to read non-fiction for fun like reading a ton of non-fiction for school!  Other than that, I spend a lot of time skyping with the boy and a decent amount of time with friends or exercising while watching tv.  Despite what the tone of the question may suggest though, I (almost) never begrudge taking time away for reading for these things since they’re all things I’ve chosen to fill my time with – even the papers :)

Feel free to answer the Monday Musing question yourself, either here or on the blog of the memes host, Should Be Reading.  What are some of the biggest time commitments in your life?

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