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Author Topic: Help me find a good book for my freshpeeps to read . . .  (Read 12841 times)
catherder
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« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2011, 11:09:53 AM »

Lawrence Hill's The Book of Negroes, published in the US as Someone Knows My Name

We used it here during orientation seminars for 1st years.
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changinggears
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« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2011, 8:19:02 PM »

I was thinking about some of the suggestions today and trying to determine a common thread that I could pick up that would be relevant and interesting to my freshpeeps.  I like the idea of addressing higher education and a few books came to mind, specifically My Freshman Year and Reading Lolita.  It might be interesting to have students read about and consider the purposes of/views on higher ed. in the U.S. and then compare that to other countries/student pops, like Iran.  I know of selections I could throw in from Richard Rodriguez's Hunger of Memory and Mike Rose's Lives on the Boundary.  Unfortunately, my knowledge of world lit. is very narrow.  Does anyone know if there are other books/articles/essays that address higher ed. in other countries?  Or any that deal with the U.S. to supplement what I've brainstormed so far?
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helpful
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« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2011, 8:26:28 PM »

About Education in general: To Teach: The Journey, in Comics
William Ayers , Ryan Alexander-Tanner
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changinggears
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« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2011, 9:15:30 PM »

Sorry I didn't clarify: I'm thinking specifically of first-person narratives/memoirs/confessionals/critiques based on personal experience.  For example, Rodriguez writes about being a Hispanic "scholarship boy" who feels he doesn't deserve the "free pass" that the affirmative action movement has granted him.  Rose deals with the transformative power of education in the lives of low-income students.  I especially like the idea of juxtaposing some the student behaviors/attitudes/beliefs brought to light in My Freshman Year (how to get the minimum necessary return for the least amount of effort) to how students like Rodriguez and Rose (representing minorities and the poor) view higher ed. and how student attitudes and behaviors differ in countries like Iran, where students voluntarily sit in on popular teacher's classes and start book clubs so they can continue to read and discuss ideas outside of school.
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Quote from conjugate:
I am impressed at the level of self-awareness you show in describing your posts as "digital diarrhea," however.
elsie
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« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2011, 1:24:12 PM »

I'm using My Freshman Year this fall, and at this point, I'm planning to supplement with various articles and position statements. I like the idea of pairing it with something from another part of the world though.
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beccalynn2010
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« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2011, 1:37:21 PM »

One I forgot until now is Nickled and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenrich.  I actually read this in my junior year for an honors sociology colloquium.  Its coming out in a new 10th anniversary edition where Ehrenrich revists the time she spent trying to make it on minimum wage, and how the people she knew then are doing now.  Given the economy and how many students have worked these kinds of jobs, it might be an eye opener.
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nezahualcoyotl
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« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2011, 1:47:38 PM »

I realize this is far too late for this semester, but for others you might want to consider (though it might be too long) Markus Zusak's The Book Thief. Though formatted as a YA novel, it is very good and certainly fit for adults, and it sugarcoats nothing (the titular Book Thief grows up in Nazi Germany). It's very accessible though not simplistic. It allows for some discussion of narrative techniques (the narrator is Death), and it deals with, among other things, the importance of books and words.
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alleyoxenfree
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Countin' all these posts as publications


« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2011, 12:56:39 AM »

A Lucky Child, by Thomas Buergenthal, one of the very few children to survive Auschwitz.  Later, he became chief justice of the World Court and a human rights investigator.  Such an amazing story on so many levels, family, history, culture, children in war, refugees, post-war forgiveness, interfaith and intercultural relationships, good and evil, human agency and choice.  In paperback and not at all a difficult read.  The opening scene alone is stunning.
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ega110
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« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2011, 6:03:45 AM »

Deep Economy by Bill McKibben might be a good idea. It is about not one but two relevant topics, climate change and the economics of communities. Basically, he writes about how we can reconstruct our communities to make ourselves more connected with our neighbors and to live more ecologically as well. The students would have a fun time examining and debating these issues from new perspectives.
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ega110
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« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2011, 6:16:34 AM »

If you are feeling intensely cruel, you could always assign Nova Express by William Burroughs. One of my professors assigned that for one of my survey courses. It is actually a book designed on purpose to be unreadable. My peers were uniformly and simultaneously confused, disgusted and angered by the book.
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whatmeworry
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« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2011, 12:00:19 PM »

I've had great success with Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, about the experience of a Syrian immigrant during and after hurricane Katrina. Best reviews of a book I ever had in an interdisciplinary class.
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spork
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« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2011, 9:10:17 PM »

Ditto on Zeitoun.
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