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nerd teacher [books] Locked account

Joined 2 years, 2 months ago

Anarchist educator who can be found at where I muse about school and education-related things, and all my links are here. My non-book posts are mostly at, occasionally I hide on, or you can email me at [they/them]

I was a secondary literature and humanities teacher who has swapped to being a tutor, so it's best to expect a ridiculously huge range of books.

And yes, I do spend a lot of time making sure book entries are as complete as I can make them. Please send help.

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nerd teacher [books]'s books

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2023 Reading Goal

27% complete! nerd teacher [books] has read 11 of 40 books.

The Ballerina and the Revolutionary (Paperback, 2016, Carmilla Voiez) 1 star

Incredibly dull despite all attempts to be otherwise.

1 star

The worst crime of this book is how exceptionally dull it is. It's taken so many topics and smashed them into one short novel, and it barely makes any sense or even tries to deal with anything.

The protagonist is aesthetically an anarchist, though most of their actions aren't characterised through any anarchic principles. They are characterised through the most common stereotypes of anarchist actions. They live in a squat (and the squat is stereotypically not taken care of, with the author at some point acting as if you should just mistreat a squat because it's monetarily free rather than do what you can to maintain it... which, from my conversations with people who've lived in squats? the latter is more common than just trashing it, especially as it helps to keep more attention off you... also it creates a realm of responsibility for the space, rather than just treating …

The Anarchist Expropriators (2016, AK Press) 4 stars

Osvaldo Bayer's study of working-class retribution, set between 1919 and 1936, chronicles hair-raising robberies, bombings, …

Drags on, for as short as it is.

3 stars

I can't tell if it's because of the translation or if it's just... not great. Or maybe it's both? But either way, it really is quite tedious for something that you think would be engaging and interesting. It really was a struggle for it to hold my attention, which was... weird considering expropriation is a topic that I'm rather interested in.

There's also little real commentary about expropriation and the ways of doing it. It's more like a bit of a story of individual events that all were, to some extent connected. Which is fine, but that wasn't really what I was sold. And it comes off as being a bit... obnoxious because it refuses to really acknowledge that there is a place for expropriation, though we need to have less of a masculinist tendency behind it (which would've been an interesting point to engage with, since it was also …

Dr. STONE, Vol. 1 (2018, VIZ Media) 4 stars

One fateful day, all of humanity turned to stone. Many millennia later, Taiju frees himself …

Interesting concept.

3 stars

I love the concept: Some huge event practically (but not really) wipes humanity out for years by petrifying them. One day, thousands of years later, a handful of teens start ... de-petrifying? Effectively putting them back at 'square one' for the Modern Stone Age.

My biggest issue is that the characters feel a bit flimsy throughout the first volume. They immediately take on specific roles without growing into them. Senku's probably the most fleshed out, being given a bit more characterisation prior to the petrification of humanity. However, because they focus the most on making him a know-it-all rather than building a lot of his personality or his relationships with others? He's not really that engaging as a character. Taiju is a bit more interesting, but he also slips into just being stereotypically daft.

The same thing happens with Tsukasa who has about five seconds of being really interesting! Until …

Independent Diplomat 3 stars

Although diplomats negotiate more and more aspects of world affairs--from trade and security issues to …

Most of this is obvious, but it's still good to say.

3 stars

The book details a lot of the author's growing discomfort working in the UN and with international diplomacy through formal organisations. Each essay focuses on slightly different topics, though most of them are interconnected and refer back to each other.

A lot of it is pretty interesting from an 'insider' perspective, but it also doesn't really go far enough. Perhaps it was because I was introduced to Carne Ross through It's Going Down, but I was expecting something... more.

It completes with an essay about their Independent Diplomat organisation, which is... I guess useful. But I don't think it does what the author's pointing out is the problem. Just because Ross helps the government of Kosovo in the UN, it doesn't mean that they're helping Kosovars in the world. Perhaps it's making it slightly easier, but it's also still maintaining the hierarchies that people still suffer under. Maybe the context …

The God Delusion (2007) 4 stars

A preeminent scientist—and the world's most prominent atheist—asserts the irrationality of belief in God and …

This book wouldn't have even aged well in 2006.

1 star

Content warning Discusses apologia of rape, abuse, and CSA; includes conversations of various bigotries (spin a wheel, and I promise it's there).

The Ignorant Schoolmaster 4 stars

The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation is a 1987 book by philosopher Jacques …


3 stars

I'm baffled by this text and how often it floats around spaces filled with "radical pedagogues," how often it's cited as something that has shown people what they didn't know. That's fine. I'm not against texts that make people aware of something, nor am I against people finding something in places where I do not.

But this book is baffling. Its construction is confusing, and much of it feels apocryphal while told as fact. It swims between multiple perspectives without really claiming any beyond seeking to reform the school system, and that's the part I take most issue with. It is a reformist text, seeking to make it clear that what we're doing is wrong but not so completely wrong that we can't salvage it. At best, I think it was misguided when it was published, and its philosophical discussions have been outdated since before then.

I also cannot figure …