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capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books]

Joined 1 month, 3 weeks ago

8 followers, 4 following

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.


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2021 Reading Goal

5% complete! capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books] has read 2 of 40 books.

User Activity

avatar for whatanerd capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books] reviewed Howl's Moving Castle

I still prefer the movie.

4 stars

I first learned of this novel because of Hayao Miyazaki's film of the same name. To be fair, I love the movie more than the book. This is something that's a bit rare for me because I don't often say that; there's only one other novel where that's true (and god, it's a novel I hate). But I digress!

This …

Howl's Moving Castle cover (2009)

4 stars

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

"How about making a bargain with me?" said the demon. "I'll break your spell if you agree to break this contract I'm under."

In the land of Ingary, where seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, Sophie Hatter attracts the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste, who puts a curse on her. Determined to make the best …

avatar for whatanerd capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books] reviewed Macbeth #killingit

I mean, they tried?

2 stars

I like what this book attempts to do? And it's a really interesting way to make people, especially younger audiences, interested in Shakespeare and interpreting the play into a more 'modern' way. However, there are a few issues:

  1. It's already dated, and I read this in 2018. As someone who still interacts with teenagers (as a teacher) and participates in …

Macbeth #killingit cover (2016)

2 stars

Macbeth #killingit by Courtney Carbone

Macbeth, one of the greatest stories ever told in texts?! Imagine: What if that tragic couple, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, had smartphones? A classic is reborn in this fun and funny adaptation of one of Shakespeare s most famous plays!

avatar for whatanerd capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books] reviewed Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence

Beautifully written.

5 stars

One of the things that non-Australian (possibly non-Aboriginal) people may struggle with is getting into the dialect that is used, but that's part of what makes this book beautiful. It's told about Aboriginal people and using language that is, largely, the common vernacular for them. It forces you to understand it, and that's a message that often gets left out …

Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence cover (Paperback, 2004)

5 stars

Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington

This extraordinary story of courage and faith is based on the actual experiences of three girls who fled from the repressive life of Moore River Native Settlement, following along the rabbit-proof fence back to their homelands. Assimilationist policy dictated that these girls be taken from their kin and their homes in order to be made white. Settlement life was unbearable …

avatar for whatanerd capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books] reviewed The Princess Bride

You could delete the whole "prologue" and be fine.

3 stars

First things first: In a lot of ways, the movie sets it up to be better and more interesting narrative. Instead of being told by the author (as you are in the book) what's he's doing, you have a grandfather telling the young boy the story. The connection between the person 'reading' the story to someone else (grandfather to sick …

The Princess Bride cover (Paperback, 1999)

3 stars

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride is a timeless tale that pits country against country, good against evil, love against hate. This incredible journey and artfully rendered love story is peppered with strange beasties monstrous and gentle, memorable surprises both terrible and sublime, and such unforgettable characters as...

Westley, the handsome farm boy who risks death (and much worse) for the woman …

avatar for whatanerd capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books] reviewed The Giver

Still holds up well.

5 stars

I still remember the feeling I had of reading this while in school, when it was about five years old; I loved it almost immediately, and I credit it with being one of the first novels to make me question the world around me, even if it wasn't apparent at the time. I mean, honestly, I first read this when …

The Giver cover (2014)

3.7 stars

The Giver by Lois Lowry

This novel is set in a future society where a young boy named Jonas lives in a seemingly perfect world. But when Jonas is selected to be the "Receiver of Memory" he starts to see the cracks in the carefully constructed society. The Giver won the Newbery Medal in 1994.

avatar for whatanerd capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books] rated Conan Doyle for the Defense

3 stars

Conan Doyle for the Defense cover (2018)

3 stars

Conan Doyle for the Defense by Margalit Fox

"In this thrilling true-crime procedural, the creator of Sherlock Holmes uses his unparalleled detective skills to exonerate a German Jew wrongly convicted of murder. For all the scores of biographies of Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the most famous detective in the world, there is no American book that tells this remarkable story--in which Conan Doyle becomes a real-life detective …

avatar for whatanerd capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books] reviewed Adequate Yearly Progress

A wonderful satire.

4 stars

If you've ever wondered what it was like to be a teacher, this is a brilliant example. While it's satirical, sometimes it hits too close to home. Inept administrators that have no idea what they're doing or what the point of learning is, nonsensical tests, and ridiculous professional development courses with people who know nothing about most people in schools. …

Adequate Yearly Progress cover (Paperback, 2020)

4 stars

Adequate Yearly Progress by Roxanna Elden

Roxanna Elden’s satire is a brilliantly entertaining and moving look at our education system.

Each new school year brings familiar challenges to Brae Hill Valley, a struggling high school in one the biggest cities in Texas. But the teachers also face plenty of personal challenges and this year, they may finally spill over into the classroom.

English teacher Lena Wright, …

avatar for whatanerd capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books] rated Pedagogy of the Oppressed

5 stars

Pedagogy of the Oppressed cover (Paperback, 2018)

4.5 stars

Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire

First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in English in 1970. Paulo Freire's work has helped to empower countless people throughout the world and has taken on special urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers …

avatar for whatanerd capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books] reviewed Becoming a Revolutionary

It was hard not to fall asleep.

2 stars

The readability of this book is... minimal. If you've ever wondered what an inventory (or a budget, a list of quotes, or a CV/resume) would look like if someone had turned it into a narrative, it would be this. It becomes cumbersome to even focus as you're told the individual wealth of each deputy, of their so-called qualifications, of their …

Becoming a Revolutionary cover (2014)

2 stars

Becoming a Revolutionary by Timothy Tackett

Here Timothy Tackett tests some of the diverse explanations of the origins of the French Revolution by examining the psychological itineraries of the individuals who launched it--the deputies of the Estates General and the National Assembly. Based on a wide variety of sources, notably the letters and diaries of over a hundred deputies, the book assesses their collective biographies and …

avatar for whatanerd capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books] reviewed Anarchism and Education

Unfortunate that the author is a transphobe.

3 stars

Initially, I really liked this because it was one of the first introductions to anarchism and education that I'd had. It often feels like no one is talking about it, and it's sometimes hard to find information in a range of disparate sources.

I can't totally dislike this because it did send me on my own path towards finding projects …

Anarchism and Education cover (Paperback, 2010)

4 stars

Anarchism and Education by Judith Suissa

Anarchism and Education offers a philosophical account of the neglected tradition of anarchist thought on education. Although few anarchist thinkers wrote systematically on education, this analysis is based largely on a reconstruction of the educational thought of anarchist thinkers gleaned from their various ethical, philosophical and popular writings. Primarily drawing on the work of the nineteenth century anarchist theorists such …

avatar for whatanerd capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books] rated David Bowie

4 stars

David Bowie cover (2019)

4 stars

David Bowie by Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Ana Albero

New in the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of David Bowie, the starman who dazzled audiences with his music. As a child, young David had a head full of songs and ideas. He was inspired by the pop and mod scenes in Britain to pick up the saxophone. After earning his stripes in some of …

avatar for whatanerd capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books] reviewed Dracula

It's meh.

2 stars

I like Dracula; I like Bram Stoker. But this is so incredibly boring. You can tell this wasn't something that the writer really wanted to do, which seems to be a common issue with many of the commissioned books put out by Usborne.

Dracula cover (2017)

2 stars

Dracula by Russell PUNTER

This new Graphic Stories series from Usborne provide a great gateway to potentially difficult stories for young readers to learn to enjoy. Specifically designed to be readable by children aged 7 +, with vocabulary and sentence structures that match their ability, these stories are entertaining, and the fun, action-packed illustrations are a great way to initiate reluctant readers, in particular …

avatar for whatanerd capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books] reviewed The Crossover

Siblings and growing up.

4 stars

This book was lovely. The structure really made it interesting, forcing you to reread things to get the right flow because sometimes lines played double duty.

The effects of growing up on a sibling relationship was such a wonderful background to this story, though I think it might have too much of a sports focus for me. It was really …

The Crossover cover (2015)

4 stars

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

12-year-old Josh and his twin Jordan have basketball in their blood. They’re kings of the court, star players for their school team. Their father used to be a champion player and they each want nothing more than to follow in his footsteps. Both on and off the court, there is conflict and hardship which will test Josh’s bond with his …

avatar for whatanerd capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books] reviewed Inside Out & Back Again

I've read this a dozen times.

4 stars

I absolutely loved this story. The verse actually adds to a lot of the elements, pointing out things that I wouldn't have considered before and making me reread sections in order to get it through with the different possible rhythms.

It's such a gorgeous story that there's not much to say about it. I adored this so much, and I …

Inside Out & Back Again cover (Paperback, 2013)

4 stars

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai

For all the ten years of her life, Hà has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In …

avatar for whatanerd capricious nerd / nerd teacher [books] reviewed Lean In

Nothing like a girl boss.

1 star

The more I think about this book, the more annoyed I get about its advice. This is particularly true in the current social and political climate. It's frustrating to be told that people who aren't white men need to 'lean in' more when it's not really the problem, and it has never been the problem (even when this book was …

Lean In cover (Hardcover, 2013)

1 star

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, Nell Scovell

Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women's voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women's progress in achieving leadership roles has …