Saturday thoughts

  • I am resolutely ignoring the fact that I will be racing tomorrow, and, even worse, riding in two races. I find that denial is the best way to manage nerves. So — tomorrow will be a quiet day where I sleep in, spend lots of time reading, see some friends, and that’s it. Yes, it is.
  • I am the kind of dork who does homework on Saturday nights. I just spent a good bit of time reading through material for the online class I’m taking on how to teach online classes. It was interesting, although now my head is spinning with educational and technical jargon, including ugly words like “chunking,” which refers to the practice of breaking up text into manageable bits.  Apparently in an online class you are not supposed to simply upload your lecture notes for students to read, but instead are supposed to break the material up into separate shorter pages that are easier to process and then to intersperse activities and assignments and such to help students understand and remember everything. Makes sense to me.
  • I finished the book for my next mystery group meeting, Chester Himes’s The Real Cool Killers. I’ll post more on it later, but in the meantime, I’ll say that I liked it, although it’s very different from the sort of thing I usually like. It’s fast-paced and focused on the action, without a whole lot of character development or analysis. But the style fits the subject it covers — the dark, crime-ridden side of Harlem in the 1950s. What interests me about the book is the fact that Hobgoblin read a chapter or two and declared he couldn’t stand it and thought the writing was horrible. I picked it up thinking I’d probably agree and found I didn’t at all. So now I’m really looking forward to the discussion next week.
  • I couldn’t resist wandering over to the town library the other day and there I found a few nonfiction books I’ve been meaning to read, including Geoff Nicholson’s The Lost Art of Walking and Steven Nadler’s The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Story of Philosophers, God, and Evil. What I brought home, though, is Julian Barnes’s book Nothing to Be Frightened Of, which is sort of a memoir, sort of an extended essay on death. So far (I’ve read maybe 30 pages), it’s rambled around and touched on his family history, his relationship with his brother, his religious history, and his fear of dying. So far, so good — this is exactly the kind of book I like, and Barnes is such a great writer.
  • I’m looking forward to picking up Stefan Zweig’s The Post-Office Girl very soon for the Slaves of Golconda discussion beginning at the end of the month. As usual the group has chosen a book that sounds great and is one I’m happy to read although I probably wouldn’t have gotten to it soon on my own. That’s precisely why I’m so happy to be a part of that group — it gets me reading things I might not otherwise.
  • I’m going to try to finish the William Cowper biography I’ve been working on before I begin the Zweig, though — I don’t want to have too many books underway at once or I might start to feel overwhelmed.
  • And no, I’m not racing tomorrow … no, really …


Filed under Books, Cycling, Fiction, Nonfiction, Reading, Teaching

6 responses to “Saturday thoughts

  1. I’m really looking forward to reading the Zweig book, too. I’ve been reading one of his other novels, which I had really hoped to finish this week, but that didn’t happen. I will have to put it on the back burner while I read The Post Office Girl. I wanted to read them both this year–just not at the same time! Is the Hobgoblin in your mystery book club as well? Out of curiosity do you tend to read/like similar books? Either way it could make for some very good book conversations. Good luck on your races tomorrow, or alternately–enjoy sleeping in and reading! 😉


  2. I remember reading this Zweig book years ago, but if was ages before blogging and I don’t remember much of it except “great”. So I’ll be following the discussion at the Slaves with much interest.


  3. Hah! I vacuumed yesterday evening. Now that’s an exciting night life.

    How did the races go?


  4. I’m sure the racing went great. Can’t wait to hear about it. Don’t feel bad about doing homework on Satruday nights. I do it all the time! And that’s interesting about the chunking. Now I know why all my professors do their lectures in outlines or powerpoint slides. I’m still waiting for my turn with the Barnes book. I think I am now number 11 of 20-something holds.


  5. I really want to read the Barnes book, too. Can’t wait to hear your further thoughts on it! Good luck on the…not racing.


  6. How was the race you didn’t have?


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