kitchen table math, the sequel: Christmas & Chanukkah books: late edition

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas & Chanukkah books: late edition

Getting to this way too late----

The Statue of Liberty: A Translatlantic Story by Edward Berenson - near and dear

Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate - Debbie Stier says this is the one, and I believe her. My copy came yesterday. Here are Gordon Neufeld's courses.

Beat This! by Ann Hodgman - it's been updated!

Norton Annotated Christmas Carol - fabulous!

Norton Annotated Brothers Grimm - fabulous!

Norton Annotated Anything - fabulous no doubt!

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm by Philip Pullman - getting it for Christmas

The Bible and Its Influence - Wonderful, worked extremely well in my class. Here's an excerpt on the Book of Genesis, which pairs beautifully with this excerpt from a Paula Reimer article about the Greek gods.

The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version - this is the edition my pastor told me to get. I'm on page  547.

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman - boring but indispensable

The Procrastination Equation by Piers Steel - yesssssss! Plan to re-read soon. (Here's an old post on projects & procrastination & Piers Steel.)

1491 and 1493 by Charles C. Mann - haven't read either book, but Ed says they're great

A Short History of England by Simon Jenkins - our friend Herb is reading it twice

Bloomberg Best Books of 2012

The Great Recession: Market Failure or Monetary Disorder? by Robert Hetzel - wonderful, and reasonably readable by nonspecialists

Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield - one of the funniest books I've ever read

The Secret Diary of Adrien Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend - the other funniest book I've ever read

Nobody wants grammar books for Christmas, so that list can wait.


On the other hand, if you're homeschooling or teaching, and really do need a grammar book for Christmas, then Grammar for Teachers by John Seely is a highly compressed, clear, and useful distillation of Quirk and Greenbaum. There's a Workbook, too, and sample pages posted on Seely's website. Any decoder of English grammar who characterizes adverbs as awkward customers is A-OK with me.

Also, I recently finished reading Greenbaum and Nelson's An Introduction to English Grammar and liked it very much; the short chapter on style is excellent. However, if you're as new to formal grammar as I was, and you want a companion book to Seely's, I think Mark Lester's English Grammar and Usage Second Edition might be the choice. I've just discovered it myself, and haven't read it yet, but I've moved it up to the top of my list, bumping Huddleston and Pullum to number 2. Lester is a specialist in ESL, which means the book is keenly aware of the particular confusions and mistakes non-native speakers make.

Thank God for non-native speakers. The rest of us can free-ride on their books and classes.

Lester provides numerous "constituent tests," too. I like constituent tests.


kcab said...

Thank you! I'm headed to the bookstore this morning and was looking for a few ideas. I loved 1491 and it turned out to be a great gift for my father. I haven't read 1493 yet.

portland_allan said...

I've also read 1491, or at least a non-trivial amount. It's quite the door stop. I don't think I finished it before gifting it to my father, but the few hundred pages I did get through were very interesting.

Unfortunately, that's the only one from your list I've read.

I haven't read very much this year. About the only thing I could recommend is Twain's classic "Life on the Mississippi," which I find as a nice elixir when the world feels like it's falling apart, and "10,000 Year Explosion," which would be in the same section of the book store as "1491."

Catherine Johnson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Catherine Johnson said...

Oh that's interesting!

10,000 Year Explosion

Catherine Johnson said...

My next acquisition from the Norton's Annotated Edition series is going to be Wizard of Oz, I'm sure.

After 3 years of obsession with monetary policy, I feel I'm in a position to understand the references to the gold standard & I bet the margin notes on that subject are going to be fantastic.

Catherine Johnson said...

Speaking of the gold standard, poor Ed. He's writing a textbook for Oxford, and I bought him a copy of Barry Eichengreen's Golden Fetters ---- which is NOT something he had on his list...

The book is more technical and way less physically attractive than I was imagining in my mind's eye...

I am pretty sure I'm getting a copy of Ben Bernanke's essays on the Great Depression.

That's my fault ... Ed told me he had almost bought me the book as a joke and I said I would have liked getting the book, which wasn't exactly true, but was more in the nature of a white lie.

Come Christmas day, Ed will have an ugly green book on the gold standard and I will have a book filled with Ben Bernanke's credit-channel theory of the Great Depression.

We have to do better next year.

Barry Garelick said...

I'm sticking with my old standard of a gift: The electric Saran Wrap dispenser. Never gets old, and never gets returned!

Catherine Johnson said...

I've always been partial to those electric vacuum packer thingamabobs --- you know, the ones that will store you sweaters in plastic and suck all the air out ----

Barry Garelick said...

Oh, yeah, those too! I want one of those vacuum packers! Good gift for kids who like to torture insects by suffocation, by the way.

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