Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Documentary Based On A People’s History Of The United States To Air On The History Channel This Sunday
Combining lucid, lively prose with scholarly research, Howard Zinn’s book approaches American history from the perspective of traditionally underrepresented groups like women and minorities, as opposed to a more traditional study of great men in power.
“The People Speak,” a documentary based on Howard Zinn’s book will air on The History Channel on this Sunday, December 13th at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time/7:00 p.m. Central time. It features performers such as Marisa Tomei, Josh Brolin, Viggo Mortensen, and Sandra Oh recreating many of the historical moments that Zinn describes in his book.
If you are interested in adopting this book for a class, you may order an exam copy. If you have already ordered the book for a class, please order a complimentary desk copy.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Using minimal text, this book offers different ways to visualize data on almost every conceivable subject. The Visual Miscellaneum presents an immense variety of graphics including bubble diagrams, treemaps, flowcharts, wordclouds, coxcombs and many, many more. These illustrations cover topics from the serious to the frivolous, among them:
- The popularity of certain world religions
- Which animal species are most endangered
- The most commonly cited reasons for breaking up with someone (featuring the surprisingly popular “I don’t clip my toenails enough”)
- The answer provided by different theories to the question “what is consciousness?”
With its highly engaging visual style and informative presentation of data, The Visual Miscellaneum can be a great addition for classes on media, information, graphics, and visual studies. (It would also make a great gift for fellow nerds and data junkies.) To see a few excerpts from the book, be sure to look at the author’s website.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
And, here's a clip from Bernardo Bertolucci's film to further whet your appetite.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Mixing a love of her home country with a socially responsible project is a great venue for Ms. Ung. Aside from being an accomplished memoirist, she is a human rights activist and spokesperson for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, where she continually works to raise awareness about issues affecting many Cambodians.
PEPY Tours has posted information about this trip on their website. They are excited to welcome Loung to the team, as she will bring further insight and education to the group about the issues that have shaped Cambodia and the realities in the country today.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Between 2007 and 2009, Rich Benjamin, a journalist-adventurer, packed his bags and embarked on a 26,909-mile journey throughout the heart of white America, to some of the fastest-growing and whitest locales in our nation. The result was Searching for Whitopia.
By 2042, whites will no longer be the American majority. As immigrant populations--largely people of color--increase in cities and suburbs, more and more whites are moving to small towns and exurban areas that are predominately, even extremely, white.
Rich Benjamin calls these enclaves "Whitopias" (pronounced: "White-o-pias"). His journey to unlock the mysteries of Whitopias took him from a three-day white separatist retreat with links to Aryan Nations in North Idaho to the inner sanctum of George W. Bush's White House--and many points in between. And to learn what makes Whitopias tick, and why and how they are growing, he lived in three of them (in Georgia, Idaho, and Utah) for several months apiece. A compelling raconteur, bon vivant, and scholar, Benjamin reveals what Whitopias are like and explores the urgent social and political implications of this startling phenomenon.
The glow of Barack Obama's historic election cannot obscure the racial and economic segregation still vexing America. Obama's presidency has actually raised the stakes in a battle royale between two versions of America: one that is broadly comfortable with diversity yet residentially segregated (ObamaNation) and one that does not mind a little ethnic food or a few mariachi dancers--as long as these trends do not overwhelm a white dominant culture (Whitopia).
A sought after speaker, Rich Benjamin lectures on contemporary American politics and culture in the U.S. and Europe and has spoken at esteemed venues such as University of Pennsylvania Law School, Stockholm University, Sweden, the Fulbright Program/Institute for International Education, Brown University, the Exeter Academy, Seattle’s Town Hall, and California’s Commonwealth Club. To book Benjamin for a speaking engagement, contact Jamie Brickhouse via email or by phone (212 207 7136).
Thursday, November 5, 2009
These novels about a young girl named Betsy and her friends Tacy and Tib growing up in Minnesota at the turn of the 20th century have inspired the dedication of legions of fans. There are yearly Betsy-Tacy conventions in Lovelace’s hometown of Mankato, Minnesota organized by the Betsy-Tacy Society, a community of women dedicated to preserving the spirit of these books. Harper Perennial editor Jennifer Hart is also an avid fan.
Reading these books recently, I felt myself really wishing that I had read them when I was younger. Growing up, my absolute favorite book was Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan. In high school, Willa Cather’s O Pioneers! was the book that made me love writing about literature. The Betsy-Tacy books appeal to the same sensibility as MacLachlan and Cather’s works, all of which feature Midwestern settings and strong and independent female characters.
Even though it’s barely November, the year-in-review articles have already started to pop up. Just this week Amazon released a list of the top books of 2009.
We’re happy to note that two Harper titles made the editors’ top ten lists, Crazy for the Storm, the true story of an eleven year old boy, Norman Ollestad, and the harrowing plane crash he survived, is on the list at number six.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
To help you incorporate Crush It! into your class, Gary's team has developed teaching materials that you'll find here. In order to make the book even more powerful, any teacher who assigns the book as required reading in a class of 15 or more students will also receive a 15-minute Skype video call to their class from Gary so he can expand on the principles and answer questions. To learn more about this offer, send an email to the Crush It! team.
Meanwhile, read the first chapter--and let us know if you need a desk copy.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Aside from being the author of three other prize-winning novels, Ron Rash is the John Parris Chair in Appalachian Studies at Western Carolina University. Thanks in part to the author’s reputation and the book’s North Carolina setting; Serena has been very popular in colleges in the Southeast. Last week, in fact, I received the good news the Serena has been adopted for ALL reading and English classes at Caldwell Community College in North Carolina!
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
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Are you happy? Are you given to wondering if others are happy? Do you know the distinctions, empirical or theoretical, between moss and lichen? Do you cut slack for the crime of passion as opposed to its premeditated cousin?
Why do I find myself trying to answer all of Padgett's questions? Why are there no easy answers?
Can you use The Interrogative Mood to inspire your students? Is it filled to the brim with writing prompts? Do you want to read the first chapter?
Would you like to watch this video of Padgett Powell reading from The Interrogative Mood?