I have a pile of books that I've read but haven't blogged yet, so in an effort to make some space on my desk top, I'm going to do a short blurb about each one. If you have an interest in any one book in particular and want to discuss it, leave me a comment.
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton - Somehow I managed to graduate high school without reading this one. It is an interesting character study, but awfully depressing.
The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success by Rodney Stark - I've read other books that make a historical argument such as How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill and How Capitalism Saved America: The Untold History of Our Country, from the Pilgrims to the Present by Thomas Dilorenzo, both of which I highly recommend. Maybe it is just my mommy brain, but this book, unlike the other two I mention, does not make its point. There is some great information in this book about the origins of capitalism, and the effect that personal, economic, and religious freedoms have on progress. We learn why some countries prospered and why others are a big mess, and why the dark ages weren't really dark. There is a lot of really good material here, unfortunately it does not add up to the promise made by the book's title.
A Mind at a Time by Mel Levine, M.D. - Forgive me if I just quote from the book jacket. I won't let it happen again:
Different minds learn differently, writes Dr. Mel Levine, one of the best-known education experts and pediatricians in America today. And that's a problem for many children, because most schools still cling to a one-size-fits-all education philosophy. As a result, these children struggle because their learning patterns don't fit the schools they are in.This would be a great book if I were a teacher or the parent of a child who was struggling in school or had been diagnosed with a learning disability. I am neither, so I did not get as much out of the book as I had hoped.
In A Mind at a Time, Dr. Levine shows parents and others who care for children how to identify these individual learning patterns. He explains how parents and teachers can encourage a child's strengths and bypass the child's weaknesses. This type of teaching produces satisfaction and achievements instead of frustration and failure.
Sharkproof: Get the Job You Want, Keep the Job You Love . . . In Today's Frenzied Job Market by Harvey Mackay - another winner by Mackay, although unlike Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty, it is not the only book on job hunting you will ever need.
Desecration: Antichrist Takes the Throne by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins - Believe it or not, I may be the only person in the English-speaking world not to have read any of the Left Behind novels, until now. I am now wondering whether I should go back and read the entire series, or if it would be a complete waste of my time. Probably. It was slow moving, the characters were shallow, and I don't agree with the authors' eschatology.