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Shin the Scholar - 2021

Last update: January 2, 2022

Books, DVDs and Other Scholarly Pursuits

~ DVDs ~

Current DVD(s)



Native Peoples of North America (D. M. Cobb) Somewhat of a companion course to the below, basically covering what happened after European contact, concentrating on clearing up misconceptions.


Ancient Civilizations of North America (E. Barnhart) I've become interested in the people who were in North America before the Europeans. This is the first of two courses on the topic. I was very pleased with this one.


The Federalist Papers (J. L. Hoffmann) As noted before, I've read the originals, but want perspective. (5/29 - Restarted having finished How to Sing. Two at once didn't work!) I thought it could have been much better.


How to Sing (D. Pierce) This took awhile. There is a problem with a course like this one covering a subject like this which needs constant feedback. I also found the operatic style of the instructor a bit distracting, though one of the students was quite similar to me. I may go back and revisit certain lessons, especially posture, breathing and enunciation.

~ Mo' Books ~


The Time Traveller's Wife (A. Neffenegger) This had been back-burnered for some time, but the same person who recommended "The Passions or Artemisia" recommended it. Looks like fun.



Biography of Oliver Cromwell (E. Ross) I've always been a bit curious about this piece of England's past. This is a short bio (about 130 pages) which was about the depth I was seeking. Rather dry, and it was digitized through an imperfect character reader, but still worth it for me.


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (J. K. Rowling) Still fun stuff for the kid in me.

John Lennon - The Life (P. Norman) I liked his McCartney bio, time for the earlier one. How two such people ever got along is amazing, but put 'em in the studio together - magic!


Fragrance (D. Boughton) Dave was one of those at PG&E who had the difficult task of supervising me. He has been a poet since I've had the pleasure of knowing him, and he's shared much of it with me, for which I am grateful. The poems are accompanied by some wonderful photography.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (J. K. Rowling) Yeah, that's right, I'm an unabashed Harry Potter fan and decided to go to the source. Coming to the end of 2020, I needed this. I was told the writing was outstanding, and it is. I'm a kid again.

~ Books ~

Current Read(s)

Nothing Is Promised - You Knew the Price (S. K. Quinn) Gotta find out who done it and why. Looks like the four books are about the size of a good novel.


Nothing Is Promised - When You Had Power (S. K. Quinn) Another recommendation from my niece Linda, this appeared to be a short (126 page) sci-fi who done it about large scale energy theft. As I cruised into the final chapter, I realized the story had no way of ending. Though not on the scale of Harry Potter or LOTR, there appears to be three more book in the series.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (J. K. Rowling) Finishing. This time, two movies came from the one book. And whew! Done. Glad I did it.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J. K. Rowling) I said that two in a row was too much, but I just couldn't help myself! And in the end, I was enjoying it more and more so...


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J. K. Rowling) Yeah, time for another.


Here If You Need Me (K. Braestrup) I love reading books that others recommend. This was recommended by Cherie from my writing group. Autobiographical series of essays about the life of a chaplain of the Maine Warden Service, a UU minister by training. Very revealing about how life is in an often misunderstood profession. Thanks, Cherie!

Misc - Read an article from the New Yorker on Critical Race Theory. Also, D. Boughton has added to his work "Fragrance (see February) and sent me the new pages. Nice!



Humans of New York (B. Stanton) I gave up on Den of Thieves, Hard to say, perhaps too depressing!  I turned to last year''s Christmas gift from my nephew Keith. Great photographic essay of selected people of that city. THANKS, KEITH! Can't wait to peruse the sequel, Humans. 

Den of Thieves (J. B. Stewart) The saga of Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky et. al, and the huge junk bond scandal. I thought it would be absorbing, but found it to be a plod and gave up on it about 100 pages in. Go figure.



Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (J. K. Rowling) What can I say, but two in a row is a bit much.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J. K. Rowling) Still havin' fun.


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