Thursday, October 29, 2009
Check out this video of a fundraising spelling bee--featuring some very smart and famous authors. I found it comforting to know that I'm not the only one who has lost her spelling-bee chops.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner on Behavioral Economics and Climate Change at New York City's Symphony Space
In terms of format, SuperFreakonomics bears much resemblance to its predecessor. Each chapter discusses everyday occurrences by examining economic incentives as a way of explaining human behavior. Some topics include prostitutes, terrorists, and climate change.
At Symphony Space, Levitt and Dubner talked about the history of their collaboration (both had thought the Freakonomics book advance should be split 60/40, agreeing on a 50/50 split when they realized each believed the other should get 60%), the title (until the last minute they didn’t have a title, settling on Freakonomics because it was the “least bad”) and taking questions from the audience, most of which related specifically to content in the sequel (the section on climate change proved by far to be the most controversial).
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
Monday, October 26, 2009
Though the original Halloween is very different than the one we’ll be celebrating this weekend, many of our current traditions are derived from the pagan holiday. To learn more about the hidden history of Halloween, including the origins of trick-or-treating, why Jack-o-lanterns are carved from pumpkins, and why mischief is such an integral part of the evening, please watch the video below featuring Kenneth C. Davis, author of the Don’t Know Much About® series and America’s Hidden History.
If you’re interested in adopting this book for a class, please order an examination copy. If you’ve already adopted it, please order a complimentary desk copy.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
The new HarperCollins Publishers Writing Guides catalog is now available online here and also under the "Academic Catalogs" header to the right of this blog post. Featuring classics for your students such as William Zinsser’s On Writing Well and Babette Deutsch’s The Poetry Handbook to current favorites like Francis Flaherty’s The Elements of Story and Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer, the catalog also includes links to related resource content on the web to provide a fluid interactive experience that goes beyond the traditional printed catalog. Please feel free to let us know what you think about this exciting informational tool.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Until now, few have known the story of this remarkable, yet reluctant, public figure. In Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters, the author shares his thoughts on leadership, responsibility, and commitment to hard work – the traditional American values that have made him who he is. Though his account of his life and the events of January 15th are truly remarkable, Captain Sullenberger’s tone throughout the book is humble and relatable.
*Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The article also addresses the problem of using video in books to enhance its entertainment value by pointing out that publishing, which is not in the business of creating video, simply can’t compete with Hollywood. “I can buy a paperback romance novel and in my mind's eye cast Clive Owen as the lead, while a vook is only able to deliver a struggling unknown from the dinner-theater circuit.”
In an academic context, I actually think that videos in books can be detrimental to students’ learning. The act of imagining a new world is what makes books unique for young readers, especially compared to other, more passive forms of entertainment like television or video games. Reading, as opposed to watching, inculcates in young minds the critical and analytical skills that are important both in and outside of the classroom.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
As Francine Prose explains, teachers often find that this ubiquitous text does not “teach itself.” In her new book, Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, Ms. Prose approaches Anne’s diary as more than simply the inner thoughts of a girl, but rather the literary work of a young artist. A teacher herself and author of a number of critically-acclaimed literary works as well as the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer, Prose delivers a thoughtful and in-depth analysis of this book and its legacy. Part literary critique, part historical analysis, part author biography, Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife is an illuminating study of the legacy of one of the most enduring books of the 20th century.
“A lively and illuminating disquisition....an impressively far-reaching critical work, an elegant study both edifying and entertaining. In a book full of keen observations and fascinating disputes...Ms. Prose looks in all directions to find noteworthy material...This is a Grade A example of what a smart, precise and impassioned teacher can do.” –New York Times
“Prose is commanding and illuminating...definitive, deeply moving inquiry into the life of the young, imperiled artist.... Extraordinary testimony to the power of literature and compassion.” —Booklist (starred review)
In 1996 my first book, Life Without Water, was published and chosen as a New York Times Notable Book. It was followed a few years later by Home Across the Road. In spite of this success I still had to keep my day job. I worked for years as a self-employed house cleaner.
Monday, October 5, 2009
The story follows Shep Knacker and Glynis, his wife of twenty-six years. Shep has long saved for “The Afterlife:” an idyllic retirement on a tropical island in the Third World where a nest egg can last. His plans are disrupted, however, when Glynis announces that she’s sick and desperately needs his health insurance. Lionel Shriver enriches the story with three other medical subplots that explore the human side of the healthcare system. Despite its dark subject matter, So Much for That is a page-turner that asks important questions about the value of human life with a surprisingly upbeat ending.
Although this book won’t be published until March 2010, I have four advanced reading copies for anyone who would like to read it. To get yours send me an email with the subject: "Free Galley Monday."
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Yesterday, Larry Kaseman, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Parents Association, called me to ask about our Collins Outline series--which is perfect for homeschoolers who are preparing for college. As I put together the list for Larry, I remembered how terrific these books are. Written by educators in the field, these outlines summarize the material in the major textbooks on the subject in a way that makes it easy to understand and to remember.
Here's the complete list:
- Abnormal Psychology
- Basic Mathematics
- College Biology
- College Chemistry
- Constitution of the United States
- Elementary Algebra
- English Grammar
- History of Western Music
- Introduction to American Government
- Introduction to Business
- Introduction to Calculus
- Introduction to Psychology
- Music Theory
- Organic Chemistry
- Spanish Grammar
- United States History from 1865
- United States History to 1877
- Western Civilization to 1500
- Western Civilization from 1500
- World History to 1648