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capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books]

Joined 4 months, 1 week ago

Anarchist educator who can be found at where I muse about school and education-related things. Currently looking for more cozy anarchist-friendly Mastodon server that I feel comfortable on (for a non-book Mastodon account). Suggestions or invitations welcome ( [they/them]

I'm a secondary teacher (on hiatus), so 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.

capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books]'s books

Currently Reading (View all 7)

Picture Books (View all 87)

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2021 Reading Goal

10% complete! capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books] has read 4 of 40 books.

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Zahrah the Windseeker (Paperback, 2008, Graphia)
5 star

Zahrah, a timid thirteen-year-old girl, undertakes a dangerous quest into the Forbidden Greeny Jungle to …


5 star

God, I loved every aspect of this book. The storytelling is wonderful, and it only makes me want to read more by Nnedi Okorafor; it was so beautiful in every way, and I literally couldn't put it down unless forced to do something besides read.

There are so many topics discussed in the book: friendship, loyalty, finding one's self, etc. It weaves together a tale so fantastical but also so very real; it's beyond gorgeous, and I don't want to write more for fear of genuinely spoiling it.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (Paperback, 2007, Oxford University Press)
1 star

The story of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is very difficult to describe. Usually …

I have one word for this novel: Rubbish.

1 star

Here are my main issues with this book:

  1. The protagonist is 9-years old at the start; he's the child of a high-ranking Nazi official. Despite the fact his SISTER, who starts as 12-years old, knows what's happening, he has zero clue. Now, having worked with children, I'm about 100% certain if ONE child knows what's going on, then the OTHER child knows; it also makes no sense how he's so clueless about what his father does.

  2. His lack of knowledge makes his friendship with Shmuel feel absurd, not just because of the fact that his father is a high-ranking NAZI OFFICIAL (which also makes it feel ridiculous). He's making false equivalences that, even at 9-years old, he'd know are false equivalences. "Gee, I wish I could wear an armband! No one ever gave me one!" As if he'd have no clue what the Star of David is? Or the Nazi …

Henri Matisse (Paperback, 2002, Grosset & Dunlap)
4 star

Keesia and Henri Matisse have the same birthday—New Year’s Eve! That’s why she picks him …

Super adorable.

4 star

Fictional stories in picture books about artists are... oddly common, but this one is so well done! Instead of fictionalising the life of the artist, it combines a non-fiction element of who Henri Matisse was and what he did with the story of a fictional young girl who seems to be doing a biography about him.

This is a wonderfully creative way to treat a biography of a person or a story of an event.

Batman (Paperback, 2007, DC Comics)
3 star

"A man doesn't live forever-- a legend does. From the moment he declared war on …

Frank Miller is garbage.

1 star

This book is boring, and the issues it brings up? It doesn't even address them. It's strange because this is one of those books (or collections) that is held up as being part of 'the best' of Batman.

It makes me wonder if anyone could even conceive of an interesting Batman, if that's the case.

Like, here are some issues brought up:

  1. Adultery and figuring out how to deal with emotions and relationships. It's not really addressed. Only handled as a "This was going to be a secret, but I had to tell my wife because someone threatened to out my cheating." Vague mentions of the marriage counsellor. The other half -- dealing with it -- isn't even done at all; it's just the typical Men Writing Men Who Think of All Attractive Women As Objects of Sexual Desire (and not quite as people). Even by the mid-1980s, this ... …

To Save Everything, Click Here (2014, Penguin Books, Limited)
3 star

Our gadgets are getting smarter. Technology can log what we buy, customize what we consume …

Mostly still relevant.

3 star

Despite the fact it was published in 2013 (and there are companies mentioned that most people would've forgotten about by now -- Zynga, Zagat, and Gawker), there is still a lot in this book that can be useful for thinking about what's going on today. In fact, whole chunks of it work nicely to reflect on issues that we've already seen today (the first example that comes to mind are "fact-checking" institutions and how many people are often oblivious to the problems behind the scene, believing them to be "non-partisan" or "ideologically moderate"). More than a few times I was like "Oh, this is actually something we're seeing now."

And I'm kind of sure that's not a good thing, especially in a world where we're throwing 'advanced technology' at problems instead of trying to understand the problem. (I mean, if we were to throw any other technology at a problem, …