Monday, April 11, 2011

Reading to pass the time

I'm twiddling thumbs and trying to make the time pass in a multitude of ways, waiting for results to arrive. Books are the best in this kind of scenario for occupying one's mind in pleasant ways. Here are a few I've just read or am reading.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, Vintage International. A novel by a Swedish writer set in Sweden. A terrific story. Translated from the Swedish. Published c. 2005. The author is dead now, what a pity.

The Bostonians by Henry James. Had this in the bookshelf for aeons, never read it. In fact I never got past the first few pages of any Henry James novel before. This one is going well so far, I'm on page 126. Writers have to be observant and be able to interpret what they observe and therefore they know a lot, and Henry James knows a lot. That plus flashes of brilliant imagery keeps the pages turning.

From the library (first visit in months):

Complete Photoshop CS3 for Digital Photographers by Colin Smith and Tim Cooper -- I wanted to find out how to do something in Photoshop. Found it out from this book and probably won't read any more. It looks pretty good if you have Photoshop (I don't).

Theories of Art Today, edited by Noel Carroll, University of Wisconsin Press. Twelve philosophical essays about the definition of art. One of the essays is about how art can't be defined. I'm planning to read two or three of them or at least try.

Assessment: Case studies, experience and practice from higher education, edited by Peter Schwartz and Graham Webb. London, Kogan Page, 2002.  Libraries are wonderful for books like this that you would never buy. On the blurb it says among other things: "Offering a compelling series of case studies, this book brings together a variety of assessment techniques. By taking the reader into real-life situations, it focuses on showing how assessment can provide a transparent and meaningful link between learning activities and desired learning outcomes".  I had high hopes for the book but have to say they were dashed. The "real-life situations" were often chatty anecdotes and there was not a lot of concrete information.

Under the Net, by Iris Murdoch, Penguin, first published by Chatto & Windus in 1954. An odd story, comic in places. The first part is dodgy, the second moves along at a brisk pace with many laughs.


The bike shed said...

Some good books there. I'm currently reading The True History of The Kelly gang by Peter Carey which won the Booker prize years ago - it is fantastic; best book I've read in ages..

Mary Adam said...

Hi Mark, the 'Kelly gang' looks great, checked it out on Amazon. Will try our library for it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

A nice eclectic mix Mary. I've just enjoyed 'Sacred Hearts' by Sarah Dunnant. Set in Italy in 1570 and about the life of a Convent and all those who live there (willing and unwilling, rebellious and pious). A 16 year old girl lands up there due to family outrage over a love affair.

Mary Adam said...

Will look out for 'Sacred Hearts", thanks!