Here are a few books I am currently reading or just read during the Christmas break. I usually love historical fiction so Brown's new novel is perfect. I was so intrigued with the way Brown weaves philosophical, theological and scientific topics among a typical murder mystery. It is full of art, history, science and metaphysics a creative teacher could use it to teach philosophy. I wanted to visit DC after reading this story of freemasonry!
My other favourite genre is the contemporary culture themes in non-fiction. There are so many threads of meaning for progressive educators. Brain research, psychology, economics and sociology writers are almost always controversial yet often contain provocative and stimulating views of best practices applicable to learning.
JUST FOR FUN
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.
Interview with Dan Brown.
In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world's most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol
is a masterstroke of storytelling—a deadly race through a real-world
labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths . . . all under the
watchful eye of Brown's most terrifying villain to date. Set within the
hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.
the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned
unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol
Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a
bizarre turn. A disturbing object —artfully encoded with five
symbols—is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the
object as an ancient invitation . . . one meant to usher its recipient
into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.(Mosaicbooks)
BRAIN FOOD -for the teaching librarian
Linchpin-are you indispensable (not yet released) by Seth Godin. Blog: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/
Although I have not yet read this title, he does discuss the content in an interview by Nora Young of CBC Spark. A very worthwhile listen. Follow along with the transcript. As school libraries in BC are quietly being eroded and even dismantled, naturally teacher-librarians are acutely interested in their program and services. Godin's new book reflects on the concept of creative value-added service in his usual provocative style. Also check out a very strong analysis of his new free eBook, What Matters Now.
Learn more about Seth Godin.
Video:TED– Learn more about Seth Godin as he talks about Tribes
Also Video:TED-Tribes We Lead-Seth Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and
revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on
shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead
and make big change. He urges us to do so.(TED.com)
Drive by Daniel Pink. The author of the groundbreaking bestseller "A Whole New Mind" is back
with a paradigm-changing examination of how to harness motivation to
find greater satisfaction in life. This book of big ideas discusses the
surest pathway to high performance, creativity, and well-being.(Mosaicbooks)
Opposable Mind by Roger Martin.
If you want to be as successful as Jack Welch, Larry Bossidy, or
Michael Dell, read their autobiographical advice books, right? Wrong,
says Roger Martin in The Opposable Mind. Though following “best
practice” can help in some ways, it also poses a danger: By emulating
what a great leader did in a particular situation, you’ll likely be
terribly disappointed with your own results. Why? Your situation is
Instead of focusing on what exceptional leaders do, we need to
understand and emulate how they think. Successful businesspeople engage
in what Martin calls integrative thinking—creatively resolving the
tension in opposing models by forming entirely new and superior ones.
Drawing on stories of leaders as diverse as AG Lafley of Procter &
Gamble, Meg Whitman of eBay, Victoria Hale of the Institute for One
World Health, and Nandan Nilekani of Infosys, Martin shows how
integrative thinkers are relentlessly diagnosing and synthesizing by
asking probing questions—including “What are the causal relationships
at work here?” and “What are the implied trade-offs?”
Martin also presents a model for strengthening your integrative
thinking skills by drawing on different kinds of knowledge—including
conceptual and experiential knowledge. Integrative thinking can be learned, and The Opposable Mind helps you master this vital skill.(Mosaicbooks)
Googled by Ken Aulatta. There are companies that create waves and those that ride or are
drowned by them. As only he can, bestselling author Ken Auletta takes
readers for a ride on the Google wave, telling the story of how it
formed and crashed into traditional media businesses — from newspapers
to books, to television, to movies, to telephones, to advertising, to
Microsoft. With unprecedented access to Google's founders and
executives, as well as to those in media who are struggling to keep
their heads above water, Auletta reveals how the industry is being
disrupted and redefined.(Amazon.ca)