If I had a million dollars, I'd build you a school.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What I'm Reading Next--Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

I just finished reading El capitán Alatriste. I wrote yesterday about how I may have discovered in it a whole new unit for my Spanish 5 class, so today I'll limit myself to a brief recommendation of the book itself. First of all, for those of you who don't feel up to reading a 200+ page book in Spanish, there is an English translation (Captain Alatriste). It's a very fun read. At the heart it is an entertaining adventure story. Captain Alatriste is a veteran of the Spanish wars against the Netherlands in the early 17th century, now back in a decadent and declining Madrid trying to get by as a sword for hire. He takes a job to ambush and kill two unidentified Englishmen, and soon finds himself way over his head in the middle of major historical and political events, just trying to get out with his skin in tact. Layered over the story is the historical and cultural context of one of Spain's (and Europe's) most interesting periods, as it comes out of the Siglo de Oro and finds its power and influence in the world declining. Lope de Vega, Quevedo and Velázquez all appear as characters, as do various kings and princes. It's just fun all around, especially for fans of historical fiction. Enjoy!

Next up: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
Sometimes all it takes to get me to read a book is to hit me over the head with it enough times. I first encountered Carol Dweck's name during our faculty development day back in February. The presenter was Harvard neuropsychology professor Jane Bernstein, and she made extensive reference to Dweck's research at Stanford on achievement and success. Largely because of that presentation, Mindset is one of the two summer reading books for faculty. Then there was this NYT piece about the book, which my wife forwarded to me a couple weeks ago. In the end, I got the message, and I'm reading the book. I'll let you know how it is.

Posts about previous titles:
Watership Down
Three Cups of Tea
True History of the Kelly Gang

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

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