License to Read
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License to Read
Literary links and commentary / Click my name for License to Play and License to Tech
Curated by Enid Baines
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Inappropriate Children's-Book Titles, #tnyquestion

Inappropriate Children's-Book Titles, #tnyquestion | License to Read | Scoop.it
You know that old saying: if you ask a bunch of adults for inappropriate children’s book titles, they’ll never stop. Well, this week’s Questioningly was like that. We asked people to invent inappropriate children’s book titles, and they did,...

 

Sigh, none of my five entries got a mention. Still love the game, though. One of these days I'm going to get a mention in The New Yorker's weekly Questioningly.

 

At least my favorite one won: "You'll Be Wrinkled, in Time."

 

 

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The Complete American Gods Mix Tape

The Complete American Gods Mix Tape | License to Read | Scoop.it
Listen to an epic mix tape of songs that evoke and inspired Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

 

Perfect timing, as usual. I've just finished a unit on Norse mythology, and I was thinking I need to reread "American Gods" now that I am a whole lot more familiar with Odin, Loki, et al.

 

And even more coincidentally, just today I was researching mythological references in pop culture as I began planning an assignment. Now I have background music as I prep.

 

This compilation really should be named "Ragna-rock."

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What Should Children Read?

What Should Children Read? | License to Read | Scoop.it
Shakespeare vs. menus: The battle over public school reading lists.

 

It's nice to see the promotion of my current favorite book, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," in this "fiction versus nonfiction 'smackdown,'" and I am the one who wrote "The Tipping Point" into our current curriculum, but I miss the fiction. I understand the arguments for nonfiction texts, but I side with education researcher Diane Ravitch who states, “I can’t imagine a well-developed mind that has not read novels, poems and short stories.” Cultural literacy doesn't develop from reading charts.

 

Maybe, though, if we offer less literature, people will want to read it more. 

 

 

 


Via Les Howard, John E. Love
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What's The Word On 'Life Of Pi'? Ang Lee Film Hailed By Critics

What's The Word On 'Life Of Pi'? Ang Lee Film Hailed By Critics | License to Read | Scoop.it
Two months after premiering at the New York Film Festival, Ang Lee's anticipated adaptation of "Life of Pi" is out in theaters.

 

'Life Of Pi' Reviews: Ang Lee Film Hailed By Critics

 

So glad to see it remained true to the book. First movie I've found worth seeing in 3-D. If you like the movie, you'll love the book.

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Classic Books on T-Shirts

Classic Books on T-Shirts | License to Read | Scoop.it
Your favorite classic books on t-shirts and other merchandise...

 

Dear Santa, my first choice is "Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel" followed closely by "Harry the Dirty Dog." Even as a kid I got the metaphors. (Not that I knew what a metaphor was.)

 

"Wuthering Heights" and "The Bell Jar" are grinch gifts.

 

I don't think I could even begin to figure out how to wear  "Ulysses" -- fashion is so complicated.   

 

And now three Gatsby shirts? One for each season, I guess.

 

Since I don't have time to read them, maybe I could just wear them. 

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Applause points in The Gettysburg Address (1863 article)

Applause points in The Gettysburg Address (1863 article) | License to Read | Scoop.it

Seeing where the crowd applauded during this speech kind of brings it more to life.

 

Fourscore and seven years ago our Fathers brought forth upon this Continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. [Applause.] Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We are met to dedicate a portion of it as the final resting-place of those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate. We cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract. [Applause.] The world will little note nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. [Applause.] It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the refinished work that they have thus so far nobly carried on. [Applause.] It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died in vain; [applause] that the Nation shall under God have a new birth of freedom, and that Governments of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from the earth, [Long continued applause.]

 

Three cheers were then given for the President and the Governors of the States.

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Teach the Books, Touch the Heart

Teach the Books, Touch the Heart | License to Read | Scoop.it
Teaching English simply for test preparation rather than to develop a love of literature is a mistake.

_______________

Rescooped from the founder of a great website:  ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

He makes a great point in this post, as does the writer of the attached article. 

_______________

Call it serendiptiy. Call it Irony. I dunno. I've had this article open in my browser for days while I've been busy struggling to figure out how to measure the impact that the Google Lit Trips project has on engaging students in literary reading so that I can better position the project to be attractive to philanthropic funding sources. 

 

This article's author nails the dilemma. Current assessment structure do NOT address the important data, because the true value of literary reading can not be reduced to selecting a "correct answer" on a multiple choice question.  Current assessment structures as Sir Ken Robinson has pointed out, "...have a tendency to make the measurable important versus the important measurable."

 

Like many of my literary loving colleagues, I am concerned about the Common Core Standards' 50% devaluation of literary reading. Though, I support increased attention to informational reading.

 

But to pit one important set of reading skills against another seems more than counter productive; it may well have destructive, perhaps devastating impact on one of humankind's longest lasting and most universally cherished modes of passing wisdom from one generation to the next; that of storytelling.

 

From Aesop's Fables to biblical parables; from Zuess to Dr. Seuss, the greatest truths of the human condition have been passed through the generations of every culture since the beginning of time via the ENGAGING power of FICTION. 

 

However, unlike many of my literary loving colleagues, I am not opposed to the desire to hold both students and educators accountable. Truth be told, I was taught to hate Shakespeare before I was taught to love Shakespeare. In retrospect I realize that at times I was a bit more of a challenge to reach than other students and that I certainly could have done more to improve my receptiveness to what I had not previously been receptive to. But, there were teachers who worked much more effectively with "that me" than others who in too many cases assumed that expressing scorn and disappointment was an effective mode of opening my eyes, my mind, and...if they cared, my heart. Looking back, though admittedly I was a large part of the problem, I realize that too many of my teachers had much to learn about learning. 

 

Neither do I object to funders expecting to see results from their philanthropic generosity. 

 

The question is how do we who teach the great questions through fiction assess our effectiveness? This article articulates the dilemma fairly effectively. though the author's proposed solutions seem as "unviable" as they have always proven to be. 

 

Much of our current data driven assessment structures do not measure what we hope to accomplish through literary reading. And much of those structures, well-intended as they may be, not only measures the measurable but less important, but in not measuring the truly important, misdirect student learning and teacher efforts away from the actual values of literary reading.

 

My concern?

 

How CAN we measure the truly valuable aspects of literary reading? If we who love literature do not help meet the need for quality assessment and accountability, then perhaps, as I once learned through literary reading, we are as guilty as Nero.

 

And for those of you who may not remember the details of Nero's choice to fiddle while Rome was burning (IF the story is even true) might find it ironic that Nero apparently was more interested in promoting culture than taking care of business.

 

Are we fiddling while Rome is burning?

 

 Perhaps we ought to be figuring out ways to truly measure the IMPORTANT value of literary reading before there are only the ashes of literary reading left in the curriculum.

 

Dare I ask if complaining about the status quo of assessment needs is merely fiddling?

 

Can we do better at helping those who need to know whether literary reading education is valuable or effective, find a better way to measure that value or effectiveness?

 

   ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

 


Via GoogleLitTrips Reading List
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Everything is a Remix

Everything is a Remix | License to Read | Scoop.it

Most of the video embedded in this article is about ripping off music, but it does give a shout out to author William Burroughs.  Apparently he coined the term "heavy metal" in his literal literary mashup, "The Soft Machine," a book he created by chopping up and rearranging existing writing. I'll have to put that on the "someday when I have a life" reading list.

 

And at 7:07, the rapping granny takes the stage, so that's fun. 

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LOTR Balloon Replica Will Blow You Away!

LOTR Balloon Replica Will Blow You Away! | License to Read | Scoop.it
"It's probably been awhile since you've last experienced balloon animals and face painting, but rest assured, you have not grown too old for the art of balloon creations."

Don't miss his kids at the end of the video who help turn the whole room into pop art.
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Bram Stoker books: a Google doodle that really sucks

Bram Stoker books: a Google doodle that really sucks | License to Read | Scoop.it
Irish novelist who created the best-known vampire in literary and film history was born 165 years ago...

 

Best-known, that is, until Edward... 

 

Blame Bram for "Twilight."

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A Wealth of Wealthy Characters in Literature

A Wealth of Wealthy Characters in Literature | License to Read | Scoop.it
Like Mitt and the president, wealthy fictional protagonists vary in that some are "to the manor born" while others become affluent from their own hard work.

 

"And when rich fictional characters are good, charitable people, we admire them for those qualities. Maybe we're a bit jealous, but we don't begrudge them their fortunes. Heck, maybe they can even give us some tips on getting rich ourselves -- which can help us buy ... more novels!"

 

Gatsby's not such a bad fellow, but the most likeable, certainly, is Jeeves, created in 1915, the same year T. S. Eliot published "The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock." Not all writing from that time was tragic, after all.

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Scott Kim’s symmetrical alphabet

Scott Kim’s symmetrical alphabet | License to Read | Scoop.it

This is one of those "good timing" discoveries that mirrors what I'm doing for my day job, reading through one of the most perfectly crafted novels, "The Great Gatsby."  Astonishing artists, both Scott Kim and Scott Fitzgerald. (Fitzgerald's editor actually used that word to describe a late draft of his novel months before publication.)

 

I'm a mirror writer myself, both in print and cursive. I've always been able to write backwards with my left hand just as quickly and with no more effort than writing forwards with my right. Leonardo da Vinci was one too, and until I researched it, I didn't realize it was a rare ability.

 

Ambigrams are not to be confused with anagrams (rearranging letters in words or phrases to make entirely new ones) or palindromes (words and phrases that read the same both forward and backward)

 

Anagram from literature: Tom Marvolo Riddle = I am Lord Voldemort

 

Palindrome for Tuesday: "Rise to vote, sir." 

 

The full gallery of Scott Kim's ambigrams can be found on his website: http://www.scottkim.com/inversions/

 

 

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Midnight in Paris: The Jazz Age

Dear Lost Generation,

 

You have been found, thanks to Woody Allen.

 

Sincerely,

 

English teachers and book lovers everywhere

 


Via Eric Stockholm
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Studio 360 - English Class: Hold the Literature?

Studio 360 - English Class: Hold the Literature? | License to Read | Scoop.it
Many teachers are afraid classic works of fiction are about to lose ground to nonfiction in English classes, replaced by historical documents, newspaper articles, and even instruction manuals.  That fear is a result of the Common Core Sate...

 

 

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Bookstore Installs Random Book Dispenser (Video)

Bookstore Installs Random Book Dispenser (Video) | License to Read | Scoop.it
Bookstore Installs Random Book Dispenser...

 

"Everyone's a winner. Bargains galore." (Video soundtrack)

 

Someone really hit the jackpot: "Wunnerful, Wunnerful! The Autobiography of Lawrence Welk" 

 

Write on. 

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How to Use Your Turkey Leftovers: 13 Ideas from F. Scott Fitzgerald

How to Use Your Turkey Leftovers: 13 Ideas from F. Scott Fitzgerald | License to Read | Scoop.it

If anyone knew how to make a turkey cocktail, it would have been Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald. And I'm pretty sure they had been drinking quite a few before writing these recipes.

 

Too bad I need the washing machine this weekend for actual laundry.

 

An excerpt--

Turkey Hash: This is the delight of all connoisseurs of the holiday beast, but few understand how really to prepare it. Like a lobster, it must be plunged alive into boiling water, until it becomes bright red or purple or something, and then before the color fades, placed quickly in a washing machine and allowed to stew in its own gore as it is whirled around. Only then is it ready for hash. To hash, take a large sharp tool like a nail-file or, if none is handy, a bayonet will serve the purpose—and then get at it! Hash it well! Bind the remains with dental floss and serve.

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Go Back To The '20s With The Plaza's Great Gatsby Holiday Tree

Go Back To The '20s With The Plaza's Great Gatsby Holiday Tree | License to Read | Scoop.it

"To say we have Gatsby fever would be a total understatement."

 

"The 18-foot mega-tree, the brainchild of Gatsby production designer Catherine Martin, was assembled with 100 pounds of glass, sparkling snow flakes, and gold and silver ornaments, to evoke a 1920s sense of glamour."

 

I really, really hope they decorate it with all green lights.

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Eat This: Book Cakes!

Eat This: Book Cakes! | License to Read | Scoop.it

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." Jane Austin

 

The typewriter makes me laugh since I still instruct students to hit "return" and they don't know what that means. 

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Home of the Book Genome Project

Home of the Book Genome Project | License to Read | Scoop.it
BookLamp is a book analytic engine powered by the Book Genome Project. BookLamp's technology has applications in book discovery, reader advisory, and book suggestions similar to how Pandora.com analyzes music.

 

I tested a few titles and was surprised to find books I had read come up as near matches. 

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ESPN's "Princess Bride" References (Video)

ESPN's "Princess Bride" References (Video) | License to Read | Scoop.it
The host's of ESPN's NFL Kickoff show tried to see how many Princess Bride references they could drop.

 

“He held up a book then. 'I'm going to read it to you to relax.'
'Does it have any sports in it?'"  

 

Well, yes, and now the book's in sports as well. It's only a 1:38 video--watch as many times as you wish.

 

I'd make more time to watch COUS's (Corners of Unusual Size) if the announcers would do more of this! But I don't watch much, since as I tell my kids, “When I was your age, television was called books.”

 

“This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.”

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Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Books: The Definitive Version

What about books like Dracula, or Sherlock Holmes, two of the most adapted novels/characters in literature AND cinema, not to mention plays?

 

Have you ever come across an adaptation that overshadowed the original work? What do you think makes something a "definitive version"?


Via Mary Daniels Brown
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How Metaphors Change Our Thinking

How Metaphors Change Our Thinking | License to Read | Scoop.it
With a metaphor we may "switch on a light" and realize that we have been trying to "plant flowers in a tornado" or have been "drifting aimlessly at sea." These simple images can help us change our automatic thought patterns to healthier and more...

 

I miss the show "House." The metaphors were a breath of fresh air.

 

 

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Why Fiction Writers Should Learn Math

Why Fiction Writers Should Learn Math | License to Read | Scoop.it
What ballet is to football players, mathematics is to writers, a discipline so beguiling and foreign, so close to a taboo, that it actually attracts a few intrepid souls by virtue of its impregnability.

 

“The laws of prose writing are as immutable as those of flight, of mathematics, of physics.” - Ernest Hemingway

 

What surprised me most about this article wasn't the connection between English and math, after all, I was a math major myself until my second year of college before I switched to English. No, it was that football players Herschel Walker and Lynn Swann studied ballet. 

 

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Books That Everyone Should Read At Least Once

Books That Everyone Should Read At Least Once | License to Read | Scoop.it
Based on 27,686 votes: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, 1984 by George Orwell, Pride and Prejudice, etc.

I've read most of the top 100. Not too surprised, really. Maybe I would have time to read the last baker's dozen if I didn't play around so much on the computer.
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Eckleberg's Lair: A Walk Through F. Scott Fitzgerald's Valley of Ashes

Apparently George Wilson's gas station lives on, as does, quite ironically, a sign manufacturer.  In fact, according to this article, T.J. Eckleberg's eyes may have been meant to look over somewhere else. 

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