Monday, October 12, 2009


Now that I'm not longer as academically active as I used to be, the time has come for thinning out the library. (This, partly just to "simplify" my life; partly in case we have to move, for health reasons.)

Thought I would start with something fairly "light"; Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and then perhaps graduate to something more challenging. A younger friend is using Freire for her post graduate work. She's read it and would like to read some of it again; so, why not give it to her? A win-win situation. Interesting; Ivan Illich says, "This is truly revolutionary pedagogy." Sounds like a darned good recommendation.

So I'll read, have a cuppa tea, and let Sadie puppy sleep at my feet. Things will be as they should (except my eyesight is getting poor and I have problems with books using "small" print.) I'm not deterred (though a bit frustrated).

What are you folks reading these days? And what are you enjoying about it, or find annoying about it?


Rosaria Williams said...

I'm reading Arthur Schlesinger Jr.'s A Life in the 20th Century. History was never a favorite subject of mine until recently. This is both a memoir and a history.

Rob-bear said...

® Rosaia: Thanks for sharing that. I was a history major in University, and have been writing the "rough draft of history" for decades as a journalist. I'll check on the book you're reading.

The Blog Fodder said...

I am reading older books writen about the USSR (usually be American journalists) trying to get a feel from whence we came. Lenin's tomb by David Remnick 1993 is an excellent history o the demise of the USSR. Down the Volga in a Time of Troubles by Canadian Marq de Villiers 1991 tells the adventures of a journalist in the final days of the Soviet Union trying to travel the length of teh Volga river from source to mouth. Wonderful people sketches. Winter Dreams by Jay Martin 1979 tells of his five months as visiting Professor of American Literature at Moscow State University in the mid-late 70's. I have two others to read The Soviet Union, a view from within by Franklin Folsom 1965 which tries to see things from the eyes of a young person in the USSR. also Russia Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams by David K Shipler 1983.
Tanya criticizes me for reading anything written by Americans and says I must read history writen by Soviet Dissidents to get a true picture. Roy Medvedev comes to mind and I need to find his work in English. Actually the American journalists books I have read simply recount their adventures and the people they have met. All history is biased to some extent. Hence the need to for continued research (which Putin's Russia is in process of denying).

French Fancy... said...

I'm going through a John Irving phase. I recently blogged about how I came to read' Garp' very late, years after everyone was raving over it. Then Dumdad and Carol (fellow bloggers) recommended 'A Prayer for Owen Meany', which I finished last night and positively adored. I've just ordered 'The Cider House Rules' and now I'm marking time with an old A S Byatt book called Still Life.

I really shouldn't order any more books - there are dozens and dozens here that I've not got round to reading yet.

Rob-bear said...

® FF: Considering all the reading you've been doing for OU, something just a touch lighter. Haven't read Garp or Owen Meany (thought I know about them). Saw The Cider House Rules a decade ago; it was a very compelling movie.

® BF: You're reading rings around me! Still, I'm with Tanya; read the locals. Have you read any of Solzhenitsyn, particularly The Gulag Archipelago? Reminds me of "The Reign of Terror" during the French Revolution. I find it an emotionally difficult read, which is why I'm making slow progress. That's why I'm also making slow progress with some of Bonhoeffer's writing.

The Blog Fodder said...

I started Solzhenitsyn's Gulag years ago and never got past the third chapter. There is only so much graphic detail of man's inhumanity to man that I can take. I'm sure there was more to it than that but I simply could not go on. Tried reading The Grapes of Wrath with the same result.
Oh, and add to the list I have read Casino Moscow by Matthew Brzezinski 2001. It was both hilarious, eye opening and disgusting.

Rob-bear said...

® Yeah, BF: Solzhenitsyn is a tough read. I HAD to read The Grapes of Wrath in high school. I Bearly managed to do it. I'll see if I can track down Brzezinski's book at some point. Happy reading in the meantime. And glad to know you survived your trip to Canada. I'll visit your blog in due course; I'm just beat right now.

CAMILLA said...

Hi Bear.!!

Thank you for sharing info of the books, oh books.... just love them but sadly I have neglected of late. Lots more rest needed for the Bear and what better way than with a good book.

I am reading between two at the moment Rob-bear, first is....TEN THOUGHTS ABOUT TIME by BODIL JONSSON (how to make more of the time in your life). The second book is....THE POWER OF LESS by LEO BABAUTA (the 6 essential productivity principles that will change your life)

Trouble is I am a slow reader, but I get there in the end. Happy reading Rob-bear, thank you for your kind messages. Please say hello to the pups for me, look after that back dear Bear.

Reasons said...

A friend mailed me a copy of Alan Bennett's "The Uncommon Reader" - a simple little gem of a book which works on many levels.

Sounds like you have good medicine there Rob Bear - puppies and tea. Take care. xx

Rob-bear said...

® Reasons: never heard of the book, but I'm glad you're enjoying it. Pls. say more.