Unfortunately for many, school will be back in session soon, if it isn’t already. Reading textbooks and memorizing facts isn’t very interesting, we know (unless you’re Hermione Granger). On the bright side, there are lots of people looking into textbook alternatives and looking for new, creative (and hopefully more fun) ways to learn. For instance, Amplify Learning is working on all kinds of electronic learning projects, you can read a little about it here and at their website.
There’s also a lot of great open source education out there, like Khan Academy, Open Culture and websites like MathTV.
The library has tons of books on teaching and learning as well. Come in and check out the 370s.
Stay connected: Facebook, Twitter, blog.
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown is this week’s staff pick. Our staff member said she was totally absorbed by the book and learned about rowing, or crew, while immersing herself in Joe Rantz’s (one of the rowers) story. While the story mostly focuses on Rantz, it goes into the personal history of the entire team and sets their quest for Olympic gold against the backdrop of Hitler’s rise to power and the propaganda machine. This balance of personal history and world events makes a riveting story. We have it in several formats, so check out a copy today.
“Daniel James Brown’s robust book tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.
The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. The crew is assembled by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious team. They remind the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together—a perfect melding of commitment, determination, and optimism.
Drawing on the boys’ own diaries and journals, their photos and memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, The Boys in the Boat is an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate story of nine working-class boys from the American west who, in the depths of the Great Depression, showed the world what true grit really meant. It will appeal to readers of Erik Larson, Timothy Egan, James Bradley, and David Halberstam’s The Amateurs.”–Taken from Goodreads.com
Don’t forget you can search our catalog or place a hold on your smartphone! Learn more and get the app here. Follow us on Facebook to get all our updates!
Come in and check out one of our great programs like Topics in Microsoft Word 2007 or Job Search: Returning to work. There’s also our upcoming Jewelry: Knotwork classes (Autust 18 and 25) or Adult Chess Club. We always have a lot going on, so check out the calendar and sign up for one of our great events today!
This week’s staff pick is Lexicon by Max Barry. And it’s a doozy. Our staff member read this a year ago and still can’t’ stop talking about it.
“At an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington, Virginia, students aren’t taught history, geography, or mathematics–at least not in the usual ways. Instead, they are taught to persuade. Here the art of coercion has been raised to a science. Students harness the hidden power of language to manipulate the mind and learn to break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts. The very best will graduate as “poets”, adept wielders of language who belong to a nameless organization that is as influential as it is secretive.
Whip-smart orphan Emily Ruff is making a living running a three-card Monte game on the streets of San Francisco when she attracts the attention of the organization’s recruiters. She is flown across the country for the school’s strange and rigorous entrance exams, where, once admitted, she will be taught the fundamentals of persuasion by Bronte, Eliot, and Lowell–who have adopted the names of famous poets to conceal their true identities. For in the organization, nothing is more dangerous than revealing who you are: Poets must never expose their feelings lest they be manipulated. Emily becomes the school’s most talented prodigy until she makes a catastrophic mistake: She falls in love.
Meanwhile, a seemingly innocent man named Wil Jamieson is brutally ambushed by two strange men in an airport bathroom. Although he has no recollection of anything they claim he’s done, it turns out Wil is the key to a secret war between rival factions of poets and is quickly caught in their increasingly deadly crossfire. Pursued relentlessly by people with powers he can barely comprehend and protected by the very man who first attacked him, Wil discovers that everything he thought he knew about his past was fiction. In order to survive, must journey to the toxically decimated town of Broken Hill, Australia, to discover who he is and why an entire town was blown off the map.
As the two narratives converge, the shocking work of the poets is fully revealed, the body count rises, and the world crashes toward a Tower of Babel event which would leave all language meaningless. Lexicon is a brilliant thriller that explores language, power, identity, and our capacity to love–whatever the cost.”–Goodreads.com
If you have a phone or tablet that runs on Android, and iPhone, iPod, iPad, or anything else that lets you download apps, download Bookmyne today! Bookmyne is a mobile app that allows catalog searching, placing holds, barcode scanning and more! You can learn more about it here. We like it because the new version is easy to use and simple.
You will need your Library Card Number and PIN to register.
Below are the QR codes that you can scan and download with a QR scanner. Or you can click on “Android” or “Apple” and it will take you to the respective app store, where you can also download it.