Literary New To You February 2017 => Books you read this month
Andy Howell
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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100 Years of Coast Guard Aviation!
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Those dang kids just keep growin'
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Bookish types love nothing more than a bibliography, especially book lists generated by like-minded (or not so like-minded) readers.

Please share what you've been reading with your fellow gamers!
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1. Board Game: Carcassonne: The School [Average Rating:6.91 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.91 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne: The School
Andy Howell
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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Background - My kids are doing perfectly well in school, they really are. Grades are good, test scores good, teachers are great, and their school is great. But I still get frustrated with school in general. I worry that at the macro level schools are not getting better.

Somebody recommended this book to me - Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto.

The author reaffirms in each chapter that he's a crank with an axe to grind, which is pretty refreshing. He postulates that our American education system was brought over from Prussia and optimized by the elite class to provide a homogeneous workforce for the industrial revolution. That's kind of interesting I guess, though I don't really believe that there's any conspiracy at work in our education system today. He points out some interesting things, like a significant drop in literacy measured at each major 20th century draft. Why did that happen? Who knows.

The theme that many of our geniuses, tycoons, and entrepreneurs are successful in spite of school rather than because of it is appealing to me (mainly since I never did very well in school), but it often reads like a screed.

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2. Board Game: Lucky Cake [Average Rating:4.21 Unranked]
Board Game: Lucky Cake
Recently re-emigrated to the Netherlands, I need to get my idiomatic Dutch going again. None better for that than the caberetier/national curmudgeon Youp van 't Hek. One hundred and sixty-six short articles ought to do it.

From gallery of tommynomad
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3. Board Game: Cards Against Humanity: Fascism Pack [Average Rating:6.27 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.27 Unranked]
Board Game: Cards Against Humanity: Fascism Pack
Sweetgotham
United States
New York
New York
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I saw pale kings and princes too, Pale warriors, death-pale were they all; They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci Hath thee in thrall!’
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I have been a fan of Sinclair Lewis for several years do to this send ups of 1920s/30s middle American life which still feel fresh. So when It Can't Happen Here https://www.amazon.com/Cant-Happen-Here-Signet-Classics/dp/0... started making the rounds again due to the current political climate in the US, I thought it was time to finally read that one a well. It has been compared to 1994, though I find it has more in common with Animal Farm. Still a fascinating read.
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4. Board Game: Iron Chef Board Game: The Ultimate Cooking Challenge [Average Rating:4.56 Unranked]
Board Game: Iron Chef Board Game: The Ultimate Cooking Challenge
United States
Redford
Michigan
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I finished the Silmarillion in February, and after that slog, I decided that was the end of my non-Hobbit/LOTR books about Middle-Earth. After that, I read through my Official Iron Chef book (that I got signed by Iron Chef Morimoto when I went to his restaurant on Philadelphia) that came out during the heyday of the original show on Food Network. It makes me want to watch through the original series again.

Then I decided I would go through Madeleine L'Engel's time quartet, reading through the first three: A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, and A Swiftly Tilting Planet. I am currently reading the fourth one.
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5. Board Game: Port Arthur: The Russo-Japanese War [Average Rating:5.68 Overall Rank:16068]
Board Game: Port Arthur: The Russo-Japanese War
Ivan
Russia
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Alexander Nikolayevich Stepanov - Port Arthur

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The book about one of large episodes of the Russo-Japanese war (1904-1905) - defense of Port Arthur. The author picturesquely painted pictures of city life, life of military and seamen, fights on the land and fights at the sea. Treachery and cowardice of certain heads of defense and certain officers are shown. Courage and heroism of simple soldiers and officers of the Russian army and fleet are described. In case of bigger determination and responsibility of heads fortress could longer maintain defense against Japanese, whose troops were substantially bloodless. In general, of course, negative impression of representatives of the "elite" of the Russian Empire which led the country to military collision with the Far East neighbor, but didn't prepare properly its armed forces and economy.



Ernest Hemingway - The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories

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The interesting collection of stories - gloomy and tragic (there are separate comic inserts which only shade dramatic nature of the book). From savannas of Africa to Southern Europe. Stations of Italy and Madrid under firing. Courage, cowardice, self-confidence, human warmth.


In Russian:

Степанов Александр Николаевич - Порт-Артур

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Книга об одном из крупных эпизодов Русско-Японской войны 1904-1905 гг. - обороне Порт-Артура. Автор живописно нарисовал картины городской жизни, быта военных и моряков, боёв на суше и баталий на море. Показаны предательство и малодушие отдельных руководителей обороны и отдельных офицеров - сухопутных и морских. Показаны отвага и героизм простых солдат и офицеров русской армии и флота. При большей решительности и ответственности руководителей крепость могла дольше выдерживать оборону против японцев, войска которых были в значительной степени обескровлены. В целом, конечно, негативное впечатление от представителей "элиты" Российской империи, приведшей страну к военному столкновению с дальневосточным соседом и не подготовившей должным образом вооружённые силы и экономику.

Хэмингуэй Эрнест - Снега Килиманджаро

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Интересный сборник рассказов - невесёлых и трагических (есть отдельные юмористические вставки, которые только оттеняют драматизм произведения). От саванн Африки до Южной Европы. Вокзалы Италии и Мадрид под обстрелом. Мужество, трусость, самоуверенность, человеческая теплота.
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