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The Wind in the Willows
The Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.99
14 used & new from $2.29

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A classic, but hard to place an age group, May 11, 2012
The Wind in the Willows is, of course, a classic, and deservedly so. There are so many reviews that I'll leave those to speak to the content. It is a beautiful book, but it's "classic" nature can make it challenging to find the right age to introduce to your kids. By the time a kid can read it independently, many of them will no longer be interested in a quaint-yet-majestic animal adventure tale. The younger age-set that would enjoy the animal-themed adventure tale will have a tough time with the language, perhaps even as a read-aloud. I tried it with my 5-year-old. He was completely engrossed at times. At other times, there are flowery digressions and tangents that, unfortunately, had him lose interest in the book altogether. In hindsight, I wish I had read ahead to know what parts to skip over to keep his interest. A beautiful book which, sadly, is becoming dated in our modern culture.


Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville: A Lifelong Passion for Baseball
Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville: A Lifelong Passion for Baseball
by Stephen Jay Gould
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.71
55 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little something for every kind of baseball fan., May 11, 2012
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Published at the end of his life, Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville is a collection of essays by renowned anthropologist, Stephen Jay Gould. The essays are grouped thematically and offer something for every kind of baseball fan. Love history? He extolls on monumental moments in the past seven decades of baseball. Love memoir? He reflects on his childhood growing up as a Yankees fan in New York City during the golden age of late 40's and 50's baseball and the varied games of stickball played on the streets of his neighborhood. Love sabermetrics? He applies his scientific prowess to explaining why Lou Gehrig's 56-game hitting streak is such a statistical anomaly that it will never be matched again, or why we'll never again have a .400 season batting average. Love books about baseball? He's read and reviews a host of them for you.

Since this is a book of essays, there's little coherence to the whole. A die-hard baseball fan will likely not care. For the less committed fan, it'll probably be an enjoyable "snack" book - read bits here-and-there as suits your tastes.


Tashi (Tashi series)
Tashi (Tashi series)
by Anna Fienberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.17
76 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing exceptional, but a good entry into chapter books for preschoolers., May 11, 2012
This review is from: Tashi (Tashi series) (Paperback)
Recycles a lot of standard fairy tale tropes (kid knows more than parents, innocent yet also devious fantasy friend of human child, blustery yet harmless monster duped into its own demise by attacking its reflection in the water, etc.). Nothing terribly objectionable while nothing terribly inspiring. It's a fairly safe entry point into chapter books for pre-readers, as there is more space devoted to pictures than text.


Across a Hundred Mountains: A Novel
Across a Hundred Mountains: A Novel
by Reyna Grande
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.71
97 used & new from $3.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful story of families torn by borders, March 23, 2012
A powerful, but at times difficult to stomach, read about two young women from either side of the U.S.-Mexico border. Their lives become so enmeshed that, at times, it becomes difficult to distinguish who is whom. It is a moving story about identity, perseverance and family loyalties. At times, I wished it had had a little more nuanced portrayal of "good" characters vs. "bad" characters, which verged on caricatures. The main characters are done really well, though. I found the descent of one of the characters from piousness to alcoholism particularly keen.


Lunatics
Lunatics
by Dave Barry
Edition: Hardcover
130 used & new from $0.01

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars At least it read quickly, February 25, 2012
This review is from: Lunatics (Hardcover)
Pretty dumb. Tons of racist, sexist and homophobic stereotyping, mixed with an abundance of farts and diarrhea. Ironically, it seemed to pander to the same baseness as the people it seemed to ridicule.


Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart
by Chinua Achebe
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.62
1651 used & new from $0.37

4.0 out of 5 stars Inevitable tragedy, January 23, 2012
This review is from: Things Fall Apart (Paperback)
Read it a couple of times 20+ years ago. I can't remember what I thought of it then, but reading it this time just made me sad. Even if I hadn't read it before, it was just so clear the tragedy that was to unfold. So much has been written about this book, I'll just leave it that.


Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
by David Allen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.88
641 used & new from $0.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Not just for the businessman..., January 9, 2012
I feel weird raving about a business book. In fact, the business-ese (e.g. "deliverables") and business context of most of the examples deters me from giving it five stars.

That said, I think David Allen completely nailed the psychology of how I deal with "stuff" in my life. While I probably will use his principles/processes/systems (See what I mean about "business-ese"?), I'm really looking forward to how I imagine it will help me deal with all the literal and metaphorical clutter in my life. I've starting implementing it and do feel the greater ease of being less preoccupied by all the things I feel are "un-done."

Check back in with me in six months. That's when it'll be really clear whether the book is one to rave about...


Transforming Classroom Grading
Transforming Classroom Grading
by Robert J. Marzano
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.64
159 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting beyond A through F, December 13, 2011
A practical approach to moving to a system of assessment and evaluation without grades. I've always said that I'd love to eliminate grades from teaching, but this is the first time I've seen how it could be realistically done. Two concerns that Marzano didn't completely resolve for me: 1) convincing the community of teachers, parents, students, etc. to try it, and 2) making it manageable for teachers. He acknowledges both challenges, but I don't think he admits to just how significant they are. Nevertheless, he provides everything necessary to make the transformation happen.


Paradise (Oprah's Book Club)
Paradise (Oprah's Book Club)
by Toni Morrison
Edition: Paperback
480 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and compelling, December 13, 2011
I wish I weren't so uncomfortable with ambiguity, as there is much of it in this book. I love Morrison's writing, though it humbles me, too. It was a very challenging book to read in the snippets I get riding the train to/from work. I feel like I need to (and want to) flip back to the beginning right away and read it all over again. Nevertheless, like her other books (of which Song of Solomon is one of my all-time favorites), her prose is beautiful and haunting. It's a compelling exploration of race, gender and belonging.


Ender's Shadow (The Shadow Series)
Ender's Shadow (The Shadow Series)
by Orson Scott Card
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
116 used & new from $0.01

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the one that hooked me on the whole Enderverse thing., December 13, 2011
Liked it even more than Ender's Game. While Ender is the über leader, Bean is the brilliant (and cold) mastermind. Fantastic companion!


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