Books

Books I found helpful during the first year of law school (1L)

Last summer and fall, I did a bit of research to try and identify books and study aids that might be helpful during my first year of law school.  There are hundreds of products out there, and some are considerably more useful than others.  I wanted to put together a list of the books I found to be most valuable for any incoming law students (or self-educators interested in reading about law) who might be interested:

Recommended books and media

Here is a list of the books and media I’ve read over the years that I have either (a) enjoyed the most or (b) learned the most from. Within each category, authors are listed alphabetically. Where more than one book is listed for an author, I’ve listed the books in order of preference. Fiction/Literature/Literary Nonfiction: Dante Alighieri, Inferno Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine; Fahrenheit 451Willa Cather, O Pioneers!; My Antonia Albert Camus, The Stranger

Book received: 'The Crimean War: A New History'

Thanks to Henry Holt and Company for sending a review copy of Orlando Figes’ The Crimean War: A History.”  I look forward to reading it.

Authors and publishers interested in sending review copies of books in the social sciences or humanities - especially education and international relations - should contact me by email at ryan (dot) mccarl (at) wideawakeminds (dot) com.— Ryan McCarl Homepage: http://ryanmccarl.com Wide Awake Minds: http://www.wideawakeminds.com Blog: http://blog.

A vacation and a reading list: a personal update

It’s hard to believe how quickly things happen. My summer term - roughly six hours a day, five days a week of education classes - is drawing to a close, and as of Friday afternoon I’ll be free for an entire month (the life of a student is good - certainly beats two or three weeks of vacation over the course of a year). I’ll be in Colorado (Boulder, Telluride, Denver) for almost two weeks, in Chicago for one, and in Muskegon for one - as well as a few days of camping in Northern Michigan with friends.

Should we finish the books we begin? It depends.

In an article published in Friday’s Washington Times, economist Tyler Cowen makes several interesting and provocative arguments about reading and books. 1. “What should you do when, 20, 50 or 100 pages in, you realize you just don’t like a book?” Cowen says: “Give up.” 2. “We should treat books a little more like we treat TV channels,” (Cowen) argues. No one has trouble flipping away from a boring series.”

Farewell, Shaman Drum

Shaman Drum of Ann Arbor, MI, one of the best independent bookstores in the Midwest, permanently shut its doors today. It is a major loss for Ann Arbor and for book-lovers everywhere. Independent and used bookstores need your support. Shop at them. Go to their events. Buy their gift certificates as holiday gifts. Independent bookstores must fight back against the challenging economic environment by doing everything they can to improve their businesses.

Transitions: A personal update

No more than three weeks after making my final decision to move to Ann Arbor to pursue an M.A. in Education at the University of Michigan and become a high school history teacher, it is happening: my furniture is being sold or moved, my possessions are being sorted into boxes. Yesterday was my last day at the bookstore I’ve worked at as a manager since August. On Friday I’ll be on the road to Muskegon with a stuffed car and another empty apartment behind me, and on Sunday I’ll be in Ann Arbor to begin the next stage of my life.

Becoming a teacher and a Michigan Wolverine

I’m excited to report that I have decided to enter the University of Michigan School of Education’s Secondary MAC (MA in Education with Secondary Certification) program in mid-June. The program is 12 months long and includes over 1,000 hours of classroom experience as a student teacher and substitute teacher, resulting in full certification. I look forward to finding unique ways to show my students the importance of learning and reading as well as the value of informed engagement with current events and politics.

Wendy Doniger's 'The Hindus: An Alternative History'

I recently picked up Wendy Doniger’s new book The Hindus: An Alternative History. Doniger, the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of Religions at the University of Chicago Divinity School and America’s foremost scholar of Hinduism, set out to challenge many prevailing notions of Hinduism and argue for a more inclusive, broad view of the tradition, a view that recognizes the diversity of folk religions in the Hindu world as well as the contributions of women, Muslims, and people of the lower castes to the Hindu tradition.

2008 Reading Recommendations

Happy New Year! At the end of each of the past three years, I’ve written a post listing the best books I’ve read over the course of the year in order to bring these books to the attention of others. My lists from 2007 and 2006 are available here and here. As usual, I’ve put the titles of the five books most important to me this year in bold, and I’ve linked each book to its Amazon.