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9 Books That Make You Undateable

9 Books That Make You Undateable | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
There's a lot of red tape to cut through before completely committing to a relationship: There's the ex talk, the meeting of the parents, and if you're a literature nerd there's the unavoidable conversation about your respective favorite books.

 

 

__________

Bibliophiles will get a kick out of this.

 

Haven't been single in "several" decades, but there's something intriguing about this article. On the surface, it appears to be rather light in intent, but there's much to think about at the same time. 

 

There is some truth in it's premise that our literary lives might truly play an interesting role in our search for that Mr. or Ms Right.

 

Can't help but wonder what titles would be included in an article that lists books that make you truly dateable or worthy of serious consideration as that Mr. or Ms Right someone is looking for.

 

Also wondering what variations of this concept might be engaging for not only pre- and neo-bibliophiles but also for reluctant readers.

 

Anything to encourage pausing and thinking about what makes reading a go-to activity in this "anything goes" world of ours.

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

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Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading
An Educator's Reading List of Contemporary Literature, Literacy, and Reading Issues. Visit us at http://www.GoogleLitTrips.org
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NEW! The Catcher in the Rye Google Lit Trip

NEW! The Catcher in the Rye Google Lit Trip | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

We're celebrating the publication of the Google Lit Trip for The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

26 January 2016

 

        "Gin a body meet a body, comin thro' the rye, 
            Gin a body kiss a body, need a body cry; 
              Ilka body has a body, ne'er a ane hae I; 
      But a' the lads they loe me, and what the waur am I.
 

Only hours after the celebration of Robert Burns Night (http://goo.gl/5RRb7B), we are proud to announce the publication of the long awaited Google Lit Trip for The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger!

 

If you haven't yet, it would be a great time to visit our newly redesigned website. Same URL GoogleLitTrips.org 

 

The other good news? We've added a one-time member registration so you won't have to fill out the download survey every time you download a resource.

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips a 501c3 educational nonprofit

 

 

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32-Second Video of a Hardback in a University’s Rare Books Collection Goes Viral — See What’s ‘Hidden’ in Its Pages

32-Second Video of a Hardback in a University’s Rare Books Collection Goes Viral — See What’s ‘Hidden’ in Its Pages | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Look at this book. Seems like just an old-fashioned hardback with gilt pages, right? If you were to shift the closed pages of the book just so, you'd see ... well, take a look at the video posted by Cornell University Library's Rare Books...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

2 December 2015

 

This is so cool. I won't spoil the surprise. Let's just say great books held treasures to be discovered. In these rare cases, the treasure is hidden in the gold.

 

TEASE: Notice the 32 second video has had over 5 MILLION views!

 

But, don't miss the video lower on the page. It's a historical gem. 

Wouldn't I love to have one of these in my collection! 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED (dba Google Lit Trips) an educational nonprofit

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Welcome to the New Google Lit Trips Website!

Welcome to the New Google Lit Trips Website! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

"We hope you like our new look. The "new and improved" website streamlines navigation, introduces a one-time Member Registration, and provides faster and easier access to our resources."

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

16 November 2015

After nine glorious years, the Google Lit Trips website has finally been completely redesigned and updated. We're still the same people, and we're introducing several new features and resources.

 

A one-time initial member registration replaces the annoying download survey we asked for every time people wanted to download a lit trip. Once registered, subsequent downloads will only require the title desired and a confirming email address. Submitting a Lit Trip request triggers an immediate email with direct automatic downloads for the requested resources.

 

We're also looking to expand our "Literary Locations" projects whereby people can explore a Literary Location near them and build a virtual visit to share with others who may not have nearby access to those locations. Think iconic book stores. Think author homes. Think literary public statuary and sculptures. Think any place that celebrates the literary experience.

 

Check out the 360° 3D walking tour of the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site featured on our new home page.

 

We're looking to expand the Google Lit(erature) Trip concept to parallel personal stories in our  new "Our Own Stories" section. Think personal narratives of place-based experiences that changed our lives. 

 

By the way, don't be afraid of the section labeled GLT Store. We're still not expecting people to pay for our resources. We do however, hope to encourage many of you to consider supporting our work with a modest or maybe not so modest tax-deductible donation. We are making an amplified appeal for donations to those who  are accessing the lit trips for larger distribution (beyond use by a single classroom). We're 100% volunteer. All generated funds go towards defraying the costs associated with development, maintenance, and distribution of our resources.
 

There is a lot on the horizon. Join us in sharing the journeys of our lifetimes.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED (dba Google Lit Trips) an educational nonprofit

 

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Please, no more brainstorm sessions. This is how innovation really works.

Please, no more brainstorm sessions. This is how innovation really works. | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

17 November 2015

 

I''ve always been a fan of  the following Dick Cavett quote...

 

"It's a rare person who wants to hear what he doesn't want to hear."


Given the popularity of brainstorming in classroom practice, I can't help but wonder what proponents of classroom brainstorming make of this article.


If I might, I'd suggest that while reading the article use the informational reading skills you might be teaching. Aside from verifying the credentials and of the author, or should I say in addition to verifying the credentials of the author, I would ask myself the following three questions while reading:


1. What elements of the article do I absolutely agree with?

2. What elements of the article do I absolutely disagree with?

3. What elements of the article make points that cause me to at least pause to re-consider or refine my existing opinions on the subject?

 

I can't help but think that if we are serious about teaching both creative thinking and critical thinking, that we make certain we are asking our students to go beyond the first two questions above. If our students do not proceed to questions three, then we are enabling cherry picking as a means of defending the status quo of  both our existing opinions for as well as our existing opinions of the ideas opposing our own. 

Dare I say that we need only pay attention to the level of cross-idea evaluation that is being avoided in the public discourse during our current campaign season where candidates from both parties and from within a party can be attacked as having taken a position previously that they now do not hold.

The attack is that they are flip-flopping and are pandering to the polls.

 

The defense is that they are evolving as they continually reconsider their opinions in light of new information.

 

Dick Cavett had it right in my mind. I want to be receptive to at least considering elements of opposing arguments that might give me pause. 

In my mind, that's a requirement of truly "critical thinking."

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED (dba Google Lit Trips) an educational nonprofit
 

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EdTechTeam Global Summits featuring Google for Education

We invite you to join us for the EdTechTeam Marin County Summit Featuring Google for Education
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

12 October 2015

 

Google Lit Trips Founder Jerome Burg will be presenting Place-Based Storytelling with Google's TourBuilder and Intro to Google Lit Trips (Level 1) at the EdTechTeam Marin County Summit at Tamalpais High School Marin, CA on October 18.

 

The Place-Based Storytelling with Google's TourBuilder will focus upon our efforts to expand the Google Lit Trips vision to the telling of our own stories and other place-based stories from across the curriculum.

 

Hoping to see Google Lit Trips fans in attendance.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit

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Incredible Literary Jack O'Lanterns

Incredible Literary Jack O'Lanterns | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
What's better than jack o'lanterns? Bookish ones, of course! Check out these incredible literary jack o'lanterns!
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

10 October 2015

 

For the love of books! Wow!

 

Which is your favorite? Have to admit I was blown away by all of these. But, truthfully, can you believe the The Wizard of Oz jack o'lantern????

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit

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Google Doodles

Google Doodles | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
See more doodles at google.com/doodles!
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

8 September 2015

 

Another International Literacy Day Scoop-it.

You've probably noticed that Google often features a notable historical or cultural event with special Google Doodles on their search page. They've often turned their attention to featuring author birthdays. These Doodles are often quite clever. I am very fond of the Google Doodle about John Steinbeck. Thinking this might be a great idea for a possible scoop for International Literacy Day, I went to www.google.com/doodles and used the sites search box to search for "authors."  

 

Check out this archive of Google Doodles dedicated to authors. Clicking on any Doodle takes you to an enlarged version of the Doodle and to the article published at the time about the author.

 

By the way, did you know that clicking on any Google Doodle celebrating anything takes you to a page of search results specific to the featured event?

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit

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13 People Who Are Definitely Reading Books, Not Just Posing For A Painting

13 People Who Are Definitely Reading Books, Not Just Posing For A Painting | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
"Quick, everyone, the painter's here. Read feverishly!"
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

16 September 2015

 

WARNING: Do not share with students without reading my commentary.

 

How do I describe the "frame" around this collection of incredibly intriguing paintings of people reading? First speak positively. The headline caught my eye and I have to admit that each painting does seem to capture a intensely engaged readers reading or attempting to read in spite of other potential distractions.

 

Fortunately I scrolled past brief bits of text to see all 13 of the paintings; my first thoughts being that these images would make a wonderfully uplifting topic for this scoop-it commentary. For those who do contemplate each image, enjoy.

 

However, upon reaching the last image, I noticed that, as is often the case with Huff Post, the article was followed by a slide show. entitled "Art History's Most Erotic Artworks." 

 

I won't venture any opinions about the role of erotic art in art history. My first thought had nothing to do with that controversial discussion. My first thought was, "Darn, how do I share the wonderful images of engaged reading with my followers, most of whom are teachers looking for wonderful reading-related scoop-it articles that might be valuable to share with their students.

 

There is however no controversy over the appropriateness of. of sharing the URL for this article with students given the extremely explicit nature of a few of the Erotic Artworks in the slide show. 

 

Then thinking, that if I did decide to scoop the article, it would definitely require a mention of the juxtaposition of such a wonderful collection of images of engaged reading with a slide show that would have parents and a good number of students marching for the principal's office demanding the firing of "the kind of teacher who would send students to a webpage with such a slide show." And, I'm pretty certain those parents and students might use an adjective a bit more explicit that "Erotic Artwork" to describe the "offense."

 

Yet, I stumbled around trying to decide how I might recommend the engaged reading painting that "so capture" the beauty of being absolutely captivated by the reading experience..

 

I put that aside, thinking that maybe I should read the text between the paintings that I had originally skipped over. Maybe, some inspirational text alongside the inspirational paintings would provide inspiration of some sort to encourage those who love reading to view the paintings "in spite of" the unfortunate juxtaposition of the paintings of engaged readers with the "Erotic Artwork" slideshow.

 

To my dismay, the text turned out to be a rather pathetic attempt to be amusing by making inanely juvenile "jokes" about the paintings; a second unfortunate juxtaposition. The text, like the slide show, left me saddened. 

 

Now what to do? The paintings are so interesting, so uplifting, so beautiful... what to do?

 

In weighing the benefits of the engaged reading paintings, in my mind are so worth sharing compared with the annoyance of the article's silly attempt to be funny and the sharing of the awkwardly uncomfortable juxtaposition of the "Erotic Artwork" that I chose to respect my audience's ability to overlook any discomfort they may experience.

 

If I have erred in this decision, forgive me. Personally, I'm choosing to download the engaged reading images to disengage them from the issues associated with the text and the "erotic artwork" slide show, so that I can revisit their wonderfulness without having to revisit the "frame" within which they were published.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit

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Updated Lit Trips: 53 and Counting!

Updated Lit Trips: 53 and Counting! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

4 September 2015

 

We're continuing our effort to update all existing Google Lit Trips. With the addition of  Author's Homes, a special Literary Locations Lit Trip of 28 authors' homes; The sisterhood of the Traveling Pants;our very first student created Lit Trip, and Magic Eyes: I Spy New Zealand History, another student created Lit Trip we're up to 53 completely updated and revised Lit Trips.

 

Remember: All Lit Trips downloaded prior to May 7, 2015 will become obsoleted due to changes in the media archive location once our new website is launched. Please update to avoid broken links in older files.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit

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More refreshed Google Lit Trips!

More refreshed Google Lit Trips! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

21 August 2015

 

Three more completely refreshed Lit Trips uploaded today bringing the total of refreshed Lit Trips to 46! Click image above to see most current list of updated Google Lit Trips.

 

Reminder: ALL Lit Trips are scheduled for updating. Older versions will not work properly once we launch the newly redesigned Google Lit Trips website.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

Brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit

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Tim Parks says importance of literature overrated

Tim Parks says importance of literature overrated | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
English novelist, literary critic and translator Tim Parks offers a new perspective »»
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

9 August 2015

 

I have to admit this article's title caught my eye. 

 

In a "mindful moment," I recognized that I'd gone into an instant auto-reject mode based upon a flood of negative expectations resulting from the title.Yet, I read it though with significant skeptical anticipation. 

 

Though I'd prefer to let you decide whether or not you find value in the article, I did find the following Question and Response a valuable confirmation of one of my own core beliefs regarding the way reading literature sometimes works and sometimes does not work. That belief being that reader readiness is the real key to whether a particular piece of literature works.

 

[The CAPS are mine]

__________

"There is a crucial question at the beginning of your book: “Do books, after all, change anything?” Have you been able to reach a concise answer for that?

Well, W.H. Auden famously thought they didn't. My own feeling is that in our personal lives, books, like all kinds of other encounters, can change things, for better or worse. I think of books like meetings. Anything can happen. Usually a new acquaintance is quickly forgotten, but SOMETIMES A PARTICULAR MIND AND AND ATTITUDE INTERSECT AT A PARTICULAR MOMENT WITH YOUR DISPOSITION.  And in this case, a book can shift your vision of the world and change the way you think. Beckett did this to me, as did Bernhard and a lesser-known British writer named Henry Green. BUT THESE ARE VERY PERSONAL THINGS. IT DOES NOT ALWAYS DEPEND ON THE QUALITY OF THE BOOK, BUT THE NATURE OF THE TWO MINDS MEETING.

__________

 

 The way I have phrased the concept has been,

 

__________

No two people ever read the same book and no person ever reads the same book twice.

__________ 

 

Ironically, I remember precisely when I first came to this understanding. Not surprisingly, it was a result of a literary reading experience. And even more ironically it was a book I only found slightly intriguing at the time. In fact, it was a book I've never bothered to be interested enough in to re-read. But it is a book that included two sentences that somehow struck an incredibly receptive moment at that intersection with my life at that time. The book was Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. I was a college freshman at the time; was just beginning to suspect that I might be emerging from "some sort of' youthful cocoon of blissful ignorance when I came upon this passage,.. 

 

__________

“But out of all secrets of the river, he today only saw one, this one touched his soul. He saw: this water ran and ran, incessantly it ran, and was nevertheless always there, was always at all times the same and yet new in every moment!"

__________


Worth remembering when 30 students are sitting on the bank of the river of literary wisdom.
 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit

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Jen O'Connor's curator insight, August 14, 2015 8:24 PM

The title caught my eye... and piqued my interest.  

 

I agree - no two people read the same book and have the same experience.

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Amy Winehouse, Allen Iverson, and the Importance of Seeing Our Students

Amy Winehouse, Allen Iverson, and the Importance of Seeing Our Students | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Two documentaries I saw recently got me thinking a lot about teaching, even though neither focuses on education: "Amy," about acclaimed British singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse, who died in 2011, and "Iverson," about 11-time NBA all-star and 2000-2001 Most Valuable Player, Allen Iverson.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

5 August 2015

 

I seem to have found myself noticing a ton of articles that would go right to the top of my list of great Informational Reading experiences in a classroom. 

 

This one would go to the top of two lists; those that would be great in the classroom and those that would be great in the faculty room.

 

I can't help but wonder what might happen if a teacher shared this article with his/her students sometime in the first week of the school year.

 

I might start off by saying something like...

 

"I'd like to try an experiment."

 

"I'm going to ask each of you to read an article I found online. After everyone has had a chance to finish the article, I'm going to sit down and simply listen to any stories you'd like to share with each other about favorite teachers who've made a difference in your life BECAUSE THEY CARED ABOUT YOU. 

 

"The only rule I'd like to impose is that today I want to be inspired by stories of teachers you appreciated because you knew they cared about you as a person. So today I'd rather not hear about teachers who didn't seem to care about you as a person as much as they could have." 

 

It would probably feel a bit risky, but hey, don't we frequently expect my students to be willing to take a risk and try something new?

 

I'm reminded of another of my favorite quotes ...

 

"The only thing that costs more than caring is not caring."

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit

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Dan Corkery: Reading the first draft of literary history

For many high school students, Harper Lee's
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

2 August 2015

 

Like many I suppose, I've struggled with formulating my thoughts about the publication of Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman. When I came across this article, I was immediately struck by the title emphasizing two of my main concerns; it is a FIRST DRAFT and it is referenced as LITERARY HISTORY.

 

My hope was that the potentially irreparable damage caused to the reputation of Harper Lee and to the reputation of To Kill a Mockingbird, could be pre-empted.

 

It became clear in the anticipatory frenzy for the publication of Go Set a Watchman, that much misdirected and negative commentary would dominate the headlines.

 

It was never a secret that Go Set a Watchman was a problematic rough draft. Yet it was also quite clear that the focus of critical review would treat it as a scandalous revelation about Atticus Finch as though Go Set a Watchman was an intended sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. It isn't, wasn't and was never intended to be a sequel. The character called Atticus Finch in Go Set a Watchman is NOT the same character as the character named Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. To assume that they are the same character, to intentionally or unintentionally lead students to the assumption that Go Set a Watchman is a sequel or that the two very different Atticus's were intended by Harper Lee to be the same person is irresponsible to use a more sedate adjective than I might have used.

 

To even assume that Harper Lee actually and knowingly approved of publishing Go Set a Watchman is an ill-informed assumption leading many to assume that she has given tacit approval to a belief that the two Atticus's are one and the same.

 

To even reference Go Set a Watchman as "this new book" is misleading. First it is older not newer. This is not nitpicking. It is addressing the issue of literary history for what it is a document of historical value when studying the writing process. Calling Go Set a Watchman a "new book" will lead too many to neglect to remember that it is a rough draft that Harper Lee recognized with the help of an editor as not being the book she really should have written. 

 

When I read Go Set a Watchman (by the way, those of us who pre-ordered the iBook version were able to read the book the day before the actual paper-based publication), it became clear fairly quickly that Go Set a Watchman would run into problems even making its way into a classroom. After all, how many works of literature have met with serious objection to a book's content that would be found far less objectionable than 28 year old Scout's telling a childhood flame that she would consider having an affair with him but that she would not consider marrying him?

 

Personally, I think Go Set a Watchman's value is limited to literary scholarship interested in its revelations about Harper Lee's writing practice. I fear that its use as if it were actual literature intended to be shared by its author, would seriously misdirect attention away from an exquisite work of literary achievement by an author who chose herself not to publish her early draftings.

 

I don't know if this metaphor works, but to me it would be like judging a meal created by a chef by the mess that was made in the kitchen and not sufficiently cleaned up.

 

My challenge...

If you choose to incorporate Go Set a Watchman into your study of To Kill A Mockingbird, be prepared to craft its inclusion in such a way that students, many of whom may not be astute enough to avoid leaving the experience believing that Atticus turned into a racist after To Kill A Mockingbird ended. He didn't. And, Harper Lee deserves better.

 

btw.. My guess is that Harper Lee wanted to include a character unlike the easy to distinguish the easy to dislike racist characters such as the Ewells as racist. The more subtle issues arise when the racist is family. My guess? Making Atticus this character simply did not work. The solution? Shift the family racist character to Aunt Alexandra. 

 

For what it's worth:

When you read Go Set a Watchman, Aunt Alexandra doesn't really play a well-conceived role. Giving her the role of the family racist in To Kill A Mockingbird makes her an important dilemma for Scout, Jem, and Atticus while leaving Atticus and Miss Maudie, who has no role in Go Set a Watchman, to represent the more admirable traits of good people in a "not-so-good" society in To Kill A Mockingbird. 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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High School Removes ‘Huckleberry Finn’ Over Portrayal Of Blacks

High School Removes ‘Huckleberry Finn’ Over Portrayal Of Blacks | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Racial slurs in Mark Twain's 1885 classic are said to make some students uncomfortable.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

14 December 2015

 

WHY??? Officially because Mark Twain's insistence upon using the N-word "makes some students uncomfortable."

 

My question and challenge is, "Why isn't The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn taught in every single high school?"  Why in the world would I take that position? 

 

Because "Black Lives Matter too!"

 

What??? Consider...
Ever notice that the only "good" character from beginning to end is Jim, the runaway slave?

 

Ever notice that pretty much everyone else in the story is white and each for a variety of reasons represents the hurt caused to blacks by their unquestioned assumptions that slavery is perfectly acceptable? 

 

Ever notice that Mark Twain creates an episodic tale that includes the obvious evil behaviors of those who would in one way or another profit from slavery?

 

Ever notice that even the characters who are considered "good people" within their society do not question their acceptance of the preachers and judges who use the Bible and the law to justify slavery?

 

Ever notice that Huck is the only white person in the story who becomes uncomfortable with the way Jim is treated?

 

Ever wonder why the book ends with Huck recognizing that he "can't go back" to the brand of "black lives don't matter" civilization that he knows Aunt Sally will attempt to impose on him?

 

Ever notice that Mark Twain was a southern writer who wrote a story about the vices and follies of the slave holding south? 

 

Ever notice that everything Mark Twain wrote after Huck Finn was calling into question the wisdom and virtue of the wide variety of behaviors that were common among those who assume without doubt that they have privilege beyond those they assume do not?

 

Ever notice that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn could not have  been written as an anti-slavery novel. It wasn't published until nearly a quarter of a century after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. 

 

___________

 

I believe Mark Twain's intentions were sharply focused upon the vices and follies NOT addressed by the Emancipation Proclamation. That residual ugliness descended from 200 years of treating blacks as though their lives did not "really" matter even a quarter of a century after the end of slavery. And, any student who pays any attention today to how we still live in a world, both beyond and within, our borders where there is much work to be done in addressing the 21st century parallels to the vices and follies Mark Twain "put in our faces" will know that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn may never have been more relevant than it is today.  

 

Black, Muslim, LGBT lives matter every bit as much as all lives. And, any one treating ANY group, muslim, LGBT, police, gun owners, liberals, and conservatives included, as though the bad represent the whole, is part of a very serious and inadequately attended to problem. 

 

Could it be possible that Twain was using the N-word to intentionally disturb those readers who either see themselves as treating blacks in ways very similar to the despicable characters in his story AND/OR to disturb those readers who who are fed up with being victimized.

 

Finally, a request to those who do teach The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

 

Please do not make excuses for Mark Twain's use of the N-word by "explaining" that we can't blame Twain since this was a commonly used word when Twain was writing. It was not the commonly used word by the "wise and/or virtuous." 

 

Maybe, just maybe, Twain's whole point was to  intentionally disturb the ignorant and/or evil who continued, nearly a quarter of a century after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. to use the despicable word and to behave in the despicable ways as those who Twain criticizes had done. 

 

There's still work to be done. What 21st century Informational Reading might be a perfect match for proving that there is still work to be done.


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Does Anne Frank Copyright Extension Rewrite History?

Does Anne Frank Copyright Extension Rewrite History? | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
The foundation that holds the copyright to The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank plans to add her father as a co-author to extend the term of copyright.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

20 November 2015

 

There is something terribly sad about this article. In my oft-odd way of thinking, I am reminded of the recent publication of Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee's apparent very rough draft for To Kill A Mockingbird. 

The "connection" that comes to mind revolves around the damage that can be done to a book when some historical tidbit becomes sensationalized in ways that threaten the author's reputation.

 

In the case of Harper Lee, the publication of Go Set A Watchman, even in pre-publication, immediately became sensationalized pointing all attention to the possibility that Atticus Finch was actually a racist and that Harper Lee could also be a very mediocre writer. While at the same time playing down the more important serious questions about whether Harper Collins had actually secured the rights to publish Go Set A Watchman. It is not difficult to become suspicious that Harper Collins' decision to consider very thin evidence "proof enough" that Harper Lee somehow, maybe in a sort of way, was probably okay, with the publication. Potential damage to Harper Lee's literary reputation and to the reputation of one of literature's greatest protagonists be damned. There's profit to be made in publishing Go Set a Watchman. 

 

Harper Lee, like virtually all published authors, had taken the advise of a professional editor, and recognized that serious revision was in order, leading to the much improved To Kill A Mockingbird. And, I suspect like virtually all published authors, she kept the first draft of her first novel as a personal keepsake. 

 

As to The Diaries of a Young Girl, the idea of changing the authorship to include Otto Frank as a co-author raises concerns and suspicions that threaten the importance of having Anne Frank's tragic story available to touch our hearts and to influence our moral compasses. 

 

The article points at two sad possibilities that may become the focal point of sensationalistic misdirection. The first being that the primary purpose of changing the authorship might be to work around copyright laws that would put the work into the public domain. The second being that there is something disreputable about the possibility that Otto Frank acted as an editor for the diary. There are acceptable defenses in both cases.

 

In the first case, particularly since the diary is a work relating to the horrors of the Holocaust, the end of copyright protection puts the work in the hands of Holocaust deniers who have ceaselessly taken every opportunity to spread their vile intentions. We can be sure they will be loud and unreliable in their exploitation of the end of copyright protection.

 

In the second case, changing of the authorship to include Otto Frank as a co-author shifts his role from having a degree of acceptibility as an editor to what the anti-factual haters can sensationalize as being proof of the story being little more than a deceitful fabrication; discrediting the essential truth of the story.

 

Did Anne Frank actually write the diary with intentions to publish? That may be unlikely. She was a young girl keeping a diary. Had she survived would the diary have taken on an importance that might have led her to polish the story a bit, perhaps with an editor? I would like to think so. Can Otto Frank be faulted for recognizing the importance of the content of his daughter's diary? I don't think so. 

I do not know how much liberty Otto Frank took when editing the diary. I do not know to what degree he trimmed or enhanced the story. I do know that the essential narrative has served humanity in very important ways. 

 

The questions raised in this article are fair. Are there ulterior motives at play? However there are responsibilities associated with raising those questions lest in pursuit of answers run the risk, exemplified by the article's title, of misdirecting attention towards what can be sensationalized as sharing negative assumptions similar to  the distortion of the historical record often associated with the code phrase "revisionist history." 

If we care, we must be careful. 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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Rare Kurt Vonnegut Interview from 1970

Rare Kurt Vonnegut Interview from 1970 | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Watch Vonnegut talk to a class at NYU at his family life, writing, man-eating lampreys, and the Big Space Fuck. Vintage Vonnegut.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

 

Call it serendipity. I was not destined to become an English teacher until I was a senior in high school. I've written about Mr. Kay, my senior English teacher often as he was the teacher who turned my head around on the power of literature. I won't go into that again here. Suffice it to say that starting his poetry unit with a field trip to see Bob Dylan in Berkeley CA which led to a receptiveness to the possibilities of giving the likes of e.e.cummings, Woody Guthrie, T. S. Eliot, and a few others I rather quickly began to let go of the fortress of resistance to all those "old dead white guys" that had been given too large a role in the curriculum in previous English classes. 

 

Ironically I was actually a pretty enthusiastic reader in my youth. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy reading; as in Mad Magazine, World Almanac, every James Bond novel (in the days when they were all written by Ian Fleming), and baseball biographies. I just couldn't find a way, primarily because I wasn't looking, to give Shakespeare, Stephen Crane, and Homer a chance. Well, I sort of was intrigued by Edgar Allan Poe, even though he had been introduced as not really being all the well respected among literary scholars.

 

In my first year of college, along came a teacher who introduced us to Voltaire, Kafka, and Kurt Vonnegut. Holy Mackerel! Who knew there were authors like these who actually were respected by English teachers? 

 

So when my search for an article to scoop today led me to this search result, I jumped to see it.

"Watch A Rare, Hilarious Kurt Vonnegut Lecture"

One think led to another and I tracked down this goldmine of interesting Vonnegut information; much of which was new information to me, despite the fact that I had taken a deep dive into Vonnegut's background over the 30+ years that I had taught Cat's Cradle in one of the very few Satire courses offered anywhere. 

 

At the time I discovered Vonnegut actually wasn't necessarily considered a "respected" writer by the  mainstream literati. He was thought of by many as a sort of an odd-ball science fiction writer who'd captured a huge college readership. I often wonder what trajectory my career options might have taken had I not discovered Vonnegut when I did. And, over the many years that I shared Cat's Cradle with students, I have long lost count of the number of students who have and continue to touch base with me via various social media, who have taken it upon themselves to let me know how much they were positively affected by having read Vonnegut, Voltaire, Swift, and Orwell in their Satire class. 

One lesson I've learned is that only teaching literature that has "stood the test of time" is perhaps well-intended if the goal of teaching literature is to generate English majors. However, turning one's nose up at authors who break the mold as Vonnegut had done does a great disservice when the goal is either to promote a life long reading habit among those who may not major in English or those who would have been turned off at the thought of considering becoming English majors had they only been given opportunities to study the dead white guys.

 

I can't help but wonder who the Vonnegut's of today might be whose work would have reached many students in the way Vonnegut reached me who are being overlooked for having brought incredible but paradigm shifting impact to contemporary literature. 

 

Don't be mistaken, I do believe in the classics. But, discovering their wisdom was, in my case, a matter of working from my zone of proximal development towards the great literatures that were beyond my zone of proximal development at the time. Asking students to begin "way back then" hoping that they'll all be ready to be receptive is fraught with potential disappointment for those of us hoping to keep the flame of literary wisdom alive.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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A 3D Walking Tour of the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site

A 3D Walking Tour of  the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

Take a Virtual Field Trip to the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

10 November 2015

 

We’re taking our Literary Locations Lit Trip concept to a whole new level with the publication of our walking tour of Eugene O’Neill’s Tao House in Danville, California. The tour has been constructed from 43 constellation photographs taken throughout the home and around the property.

 

What makes these 360° spherical images unique is that while “virtually standing” in any of the locations where the constellation images were captured, you can look in any direction by simply dragging the image on your screen in any direction. You can look up to see the sky; down to see the earth, and anywhere to your left, right, ahead or behind you.

 

The images are “linked together” in such a way that by clicking the screen in the direction you’d like to move, you can virtually walk from one constellation to the next as thought you were moving through the house and around the grounds seeing the site as if you were actually there.

 

By clicking the title or image at the top of this entry, you will be taken to the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site Place page in Google Maps. On the left will be the image of Eugene O’Neill’s writing desk. Further down are three smaller thumbnail images.

 

Clicking the image labeled “Street View” takes you to an exterior view of the home. Simply drag the screen in any direction to “look around.” Hovering your mouse in the image reveals arrows indicating directions of the next image. Clicking the screen  moves to the next view. Keep clicking and you will eventually enter the home where you can continue to walk around the entire first floor.

 

Clicking the  “See Inside” thumbnail takes you directly to the second story room where Eugene O’Neill wrote several of his most famous works. While on the second story you can explore the rest of the second floor. 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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13 Creepy Bits of Bookish Trivia

13 Creepy Bits of Bookish Trivia | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Get in the Halloween mood with some creepy bookish trivia.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

12 October 2015

 

Creepy Indeed! Perhaps it is no coincidence that there are 13 Creepy Bits of Bookish Trivia.

 

Though obviously Halloween inspired, you won't get past Number 2 without understanding why there is good reason to check the suitability of sharing with younger children.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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The Amazing Way Teens Are Protesting A New Dress Code Policy

The Amazing Way Teens Are Protesting A New Dress Code Policy | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

On Sept. 23, [student Reese] Fischer wrote an Instagram post explaining the issues with the new code, and suggesting a way for students to show their opposition to it. Inspired by The Scarlet Letter, she encouraged students who were against the new code to incorporate a red "A" or the phrase "not 'A' distraction" into their outfits the next day.

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

3 October 2015

 

An interesting predicament. Dress Code enforcement vs The Scarlet Letter.

 

To be clear, the protest at the heart of this article is NOT a protest against the school dress code but rather against the specific means by which the dress code is implemented.

 

Following the quote above, Fischer subsequently posted the following:

"The dress code is important as it promotes a comfortable and professional learning environment," Fischer wrote in a subsequent Instagram post. "However, there is nothing comfortable or professional about being told you're 'asking for it' or 'selling yourself in the wrong way' or being told your body is 'gross.'"

 

What is interesting it is a heartening to know that the protesters found "real world relevance" in The Scarlet Letter.

 

Wouldn't it be intriguing to have high school students consider  whether how one dresses is a legitimate issue of "public decency" and if so, is public humiliation an effective deterrent?

 

OR, whether how one dresses is an issue of "freedom of expression" and if so, are there good reasons to limit the kinds of clothing worn at school?

 

It's a topic that teens would have strong connections to. 

 

So, possible reasons to bookmark this article...

1. A great "into" activity prior to reading The Scarlet Letter

 

2. After reading The Scarlet Letter, have students discuss the pros and cons of Dress Codes and the reasons and ways they are enforced.

 

3. Have students select a position that they would choose to defend IF THEY were assigned an essay. Then tell them that they don't have to write the essay. They just have to write a concession paragraph demonstrating that they have given serious consideration to the best arguments put forward by those who would defend the opposite position from the one they would have defended had the essay actually been assigned.

 

 

 ~ GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global Ed dba Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit

 

 

 

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What is BookBub - BookBub

What is BookBub - BookBub | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Get free and bargain bestsellers for Kindle, Nook, and more. Sign up for free today, and start reading instantly!
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

8 September 2015

 

Was getting ready to search for Scoop-it article to celebrate International Literacy Day, and serendipity struck when I ran across the BookBub site. Great concept. They don't sell anything. They focus upon identifying various eBook sellers who are offering extreme discounts of books on a limited-time basis. Sort of a Groupon for eReaders. 

Publishers give away or drastically reduce prices hoping to introduce readers to some of their authors' works. Yes. There's an entire section dedicated to limited-time offerings for free books.

 

What I like is the initial survey of one's reading interests that is used to refine deals being offered to your general reading taste. Though at any time you can also peruse categories beyond your specified interests.

You can identify your preferred retailers from Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Kobo.

 

 Seems to me that any literacy/literature/history/... well any educators with access to tablets would be interested in generating a library of interesting titles. Any parents interested in making certain their kids always had the chance to read based upon engaged interests, would do well to consider setting up some parameters within which their kids could have nearly free range to build a personal library. 

 

It would certainly be easy enough for parents to buy some pre-paid cards so their kids could shop BookBub deals. 

 

And just for you teachers... They have a BookBub Blog which happens to be featuring a post named, "7 Fictional Teachers from Literature That Continue to Inspire" (http://media.bookbub.com)

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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Does Reading Literature Really Beef Up Your Brain?

Does Reading Literature Really Beef Up Your Brain? | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
A new study offers hints.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

4 September 2015

 

Every educator, tasked with the responsibility of preparing students for standardized tests in literary reading or the responsibility for defending the importance of literary reading would be wise to consider author Christian Jarrett's contentions in this challenging article.

 

I found this article to be incredibly thought provoking in spite of its dangerously misleading title.

 

The first consideration in my mind was the implied intention of the article title. My immediate assumption was that the article might support or challenge the belief that reading literature is beneficial.  Seemed an obvious assumption.

 

However, a close read, revealed no answer to the question in the article's title. What it did reveal is that assumptions made by those defending the benefits of literary reading have relied upon inadequate evidence for their assumptions.

 

Perhaps a better title might have been something to the effect of, "Can we design research studies that adequately documents the relationship between literary reading and its assumed benefits?

 

To that question, the author builds a rather convincing case that no such study to date has adequately evidenced such a relationship. Suggesting that no such study has yet to be done however, is quite different from drawing a conclusion that "therefore a negative conclusion about Literary Reading's benefit" is an appropriate conclusion. 

 

And to be clear, the author is making this distinction very clearly. It is the headline that makes an ambiguous and therefore potentially misleading statement about the article's focus. 

 

The author cites a conclusion from one of several cited studies that he does like. And, it is a conclusion that I not only agree myself, but also incorporate as a primary premise for the design of Google Lit Trips. That conclusion being...

 

_____

"We draw a parallel between the non-linear process a reader goes through in reading a complex text, and the mix of uncertainties, choices, blunderings, successes, and insights that we all live through on a daily basis.” 

_____

 

It is the bridge between the static text and the infinite variables brought to the text by the reader that plays a large role in whether or not the reading of the text does or does not "beef up" our brains. It's Vygotsky again. Where was the reader's zone of proximal development at the time of the reading? 

 

The author's point is more along the lines of, the assumptions of research studies in this area may be flawed as evidenced by conclusions that are "largely speculation." The evidence being that researchers can not be certain that there are not other mundane explanations for a study's conclusions, such differences in "intelligence" between one reader and the next. 

 

And, then the author adds another variable not considered in existing research...

 

_____

"And they (the researchers) know nothing of the students’ well-being, outlook, or coping skills in real life."

_____

 

Again the infinite variables brought to literary reading by the reader, are... let's just say it, virtually impossible to control in a research study.

 

I can not help but suggest that a careful reading of this article provides sufficient reason to wonder if there is a parallel relationship between the article's serious concerns and concerns associated with current educational attempts to assess student skills in literary reading in circumstances that ask students to read under pressure not normally associated with literary reading in the real world, and to read excerpts from literature "old enough" to be in the public domain, thereby generally speaking written in styles not nearly as familiar as more contemporary writing styles for which more students could find themselves able to make the important connections to the literature ala Vygotsky's zone of proximal development.

 

To put it simply, has there yet been a research study about how to determine direct evidence that current literary assessment structures actually do provide evidence linking the assessment structure and conclusions drawn from the assessment to whether or not student's are deriving the benefits of literary reading?

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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Refreshed Lit Trips Reaches 50!

Refreshed Lit Trips Reaches 50! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

25 August 2015

 

With the refresh of the Lit Trips for Blood on the River, Chasing Lincoln's Killer, Bonyo Bonyo, and the refresh of the Literary Location Tour of Jack London State Historic Park we've now reached a total of 50 refreshed Lit Trips since May of 2015.

 

Click image above to see most current list of updated Google Lit Trips.

 

Reminder: ALL Lit Trips are scheduled for updating. Older versions will not work properly once we launch the newly redesigned Google Lit Trips website.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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Did Shakespeare Smoke Weed? The Evidence Is Doobie-ous

Did Shakespeare Smoke Weed? The Evidence Is Doobie-ous | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
A slew of recent headlines suggest that William Shakespeare smoked marijuana, but an acclaimed Shakespeare scholar finds some of the evidence a little half-baked. “Was William Shakespeare high when he
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

13 August 2015

 

For what it's worth. Does this have any role in a classroom?

 

Just for the heck of it, can you come up with <aribtrary number> advantages and the same number of disadvantages for considering its role in a classroom?

 

Or, using Go Set a Watchman in a classroom for that matter.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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Martin Luther King Jr. and the Common Core: A critical reading of “close reading”

Martin Luther King Jr. and the Common Core: A critical reading of “close reading” | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

7 August 2015

 

A must read, as is viewing the video upon which  author Daniel E. Ferguson bases his concerns. 

 

The video is available here: http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/engny.pd.ccvs.ela10/close-reading-of-text-mlk-letter-from-birmingham-jail/&nbsp;

 

I'm going to forgo my usual verbosity and say, read the article. Watch the video.

 

Read Martin Luther King Jr's Letter from a Birmingham Jail. 

 

And, then, read Sir Ken Robinson's "The Global Search for Education: More Arts Please " here. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/c-m-rubin/the-global-search-for-edu_9_b_932670.html ;

 

Read them closely and then read them critically. 

 

Which way does your scale tip?

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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Here's Why Walter Palmer Keeps Saying He 'Took' Cecil The Lion

Here's Why Walter Palmer Keeps Saying He 'Took' Cecil The Lion | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Used commonly among hunters, the euphemism reveals a culture of Orwellian doublespeak prevalent throughout the hunting world.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

4 August 2015

 

A most important informational reading skill is BiaS detecting.

 

An exquisite piece of Informational Reading focused upon the subtle, ways in which euphemism is used to disguise disinformation as unbiased information. 

  

   Cherry-Picked argument

+ euphemism

_____________________________

= powerful tool for fooling "way too many of the people way too much of the time.

 

If students "get it" here, it should be an easy bridge towards finding how euphemism is used by politicians, advertisers and others to paint a rosier than real picture of their position and a darker than real picture of opposing positions.

 

But don't let your students off the hook too easily. Challenge them to find examples where those representing positions they happen to agree with, who also have stooped to use euphemism for deception.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

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