Nov - Dec Yikes! I forgot to update this last month! Anyway, I finished "Governance and Ministry," great if you need that sort of thing which I do. Also read "John Marshall - The Chief Justice Who Saved the Nation" (Harlow Giles Unger.) Very pro-Marshall, anti-Jefferson and, like one of the reviewers said, talks more about the times than Marshall himself. Still, it was worth my time. Finally, I read "It Can't Happen Here" (Sinclair Lewis) - This is a 1935 work of fiction that discusses the rise of a Fascist dictatorship in the United States and the resistance to it. It is, of course, a classic, and recommended by Graham Parks in light of the rise of Trump. It is, of course, a classic. I would have liked more on the antecedent events of the rise, but I'm glad I read it.

Oct

Started Governance and Ministry (Dan Hotchkiss) Now that I'm on a church committee, I'm trying to learn a bit about how churches function as organizations. Our pastor recommended it. It's been a bit uneven - I like some parts, others not so much.

Finished A Godly Hero - what a strange character.  A progressive who got out progressived by Teddy Roosevelt before being vilified in the film "Inherit the Wind."

Sep

Started A Godly Hero - the Life of William Jennings Bryan (Michael Kazin) I love historical biography. I had to replace my Nook Book, hopefully this will justify it! Populist politicians scare me, this guy was one of the more popular.

Finished Alexander Hamilton (Ron Chernow) What an epic! But it was worth it. Twisted genius, and a wife dedicating her life (she outlived him by 50 years!) to his legacy. At least it's his pic on the ten dollar bill, not Aaron Burr's!

Aug

Alexander Hamilton (Ron Chernow) Still on it!    

Jul

Alexander Hamilton (Ron Chernow) An epic biography (over 750 pages) about one of the more fascinating characters in our history. I'm only about 100 pages into it, and it may get tedious, but for now his was a fascinating life. Twisted genius! 

Curious Currency (Robert Leonard) A short survey of different kinds of money (from shells to ATM's) that have been used through the ages. Kinda fun! 

Finished The Age of Turbulence. Note to all, though still worth reading, the second half was far more technical as he makes observations and recommendations about various topics.

Jun

     The Age of Turbulence (Alan Greenspan) This guy's utterly brilliant! The former head of the Federal Reserve gives his insights and experiences. I'm glad I know enough economics to follow his train of thought. And he was an excellent sax player as well. (I'm about half done.)

    Lost Car Companies of Detroit (Alan Naldrett) Doubly cool because the author is a friend of mine from Michigan State! He talks about the early days of the auto industry and the fates of the many car companies that are no longer. I wish it had been longer so as to give more depth to the many stories, but an excellent job!

Finished The American Vice Presidency. 

May

The American Vice Presidency (Jules Witcover) I actually started this in late April and it's been a bit of a plod. I was curious about this strange job and how it's evolved. This book presents this through a short biography on each, focusing on the events leading up to their handling of the office. I'm up to Nixon! 

Apr

Getting Great Guitar Sounds (Michael Ross) Chris Barnett (my guitar tech) recommended this to me. It describes electric guitars and effects, and how they work and work together to give desired (or undesired) sounds. Very high level (only 76 pages) but very worthwhile for me.

John Adams (David McCullough) Some time ago I decided to read this book in two chunks, since it's fairly long (656 pages) but I forgot to finish it! Now I have. Because Adams wrote extensively himself, his biographers have lots of material to work with. In my quest to read a biography of each president, I counted a book about the election of 1800 as sufficient but felt a bit guilty about it. Now I don't!

Mar

Founding Brothers (Joseph Ellis) The stories behind the stories: The Burr/Hamilton Duel, Washington's farewell, the Jefferson/ Hamilton/Madison dinner, the general non-discussion about slavery, the Adams/Jefferson rift, Pulitzer Prize winning stuff! 

Stories from Spain (Genevieve Barlow, William Stivers) The third book of short stories written in both Spanish and English, side by side, to learn the language.  Good fun!

Finished 1776

Jan - Feb

1776 (David McCullough) Unlike the "People's History" above, this is about some of the greats of the revolution, most notably George Washington, Nathaniel Greene and Henry Knox. It focuses on the first year of the war which was not the greatest start for us. Yeah, George is the big hero in this one.

The Housekeeper and the Professor (Yoko Ogawa) This was also a Christmas present. My northern relatives give me books that often I would NEVER get for myself. This is a short novel about a housekeeper who works for a former professor of mathematics who, due to a brain injury, remembers nothing more than 80 minutes in his past, since the time of his injury. It's actually a real condition, extremely rare. The translation from Japanese to English (Stephen Snyder) is very good. Loved it, very touching.

An American Underwater Odyssy (Charles Ballenger) My friends write books! Chuck is currently the drummer in my band Void Where Prohibited" and also an avid scuba diver. Much as I set out to visit all 50 states and do / see something in each, this book covers a quest to take a dive in each of the 50 states. North Dakota? He took a river dive with the governor! Lots of fun!

A People's History of the American Revolution (Ray Raphael) This was a Christmas present. It was the Revolution not from the standpoint of the great names like Washington, Adams, etc. but from the common folk - women, slaves, farmers, loyalists, etc. Sadly, most of these folk were illiterate and left no records, but many did. Very worthwhile reading. It appears to be one in a series and I may do another.

Shin the Scholar - 2016

Last update: January 10, 2017

Books

Nov - Dec Did start the Economics DVD's in December, but not much progress due to the holidays.

Oct Actually, the Economics start was more an intent that didn't happen.  Maybe November.

Sep Started Economics.

Aug Got out of Argumentation. Will move on to an Economics course I had but never got into.

Jul Bogged down a bit, but making progress on "Argumentation."

Jun Finished "The Late Middle Ages", Started "Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning"

May

Finishing "The Late Middle Ages"

Apr

Finished "The High Middle Ages", Started "The Late Middle Ages" Still a good series!

Mar

Finished "The Early Middle Ages", Started "The High Middle Ages" (what were they growing on those fiefs?)  Good series!

Jan - Feb

Got out of DVD's, but in late February started The Teaching Company's 24 lecture (12 hours) set "The Early Middle Ages", presented by Prof. Philip Daileader. I'm about halfway through and enjoying it. Good thing, I bought "The High Middle Ages" and "The Late Middle Ages" at the same time!

DVD's

Other

Nov - Dec For Christmas I got two "musicology" DVD for Christmas. Watched "The Wrecking Crew" in late December, a great story well told. Also, watched Scorsese's much lauded "The Last Waltz" in early January. It's the story of The Band's farewell concert. There were parts of it, in particular the connections between the guest artists and The Band that warranted inclusion. Other parts (member Garth Hudson giving the others lessons) were fun and insightful. Some great music!

Oct

In addition to the book on church functioning, I've researched several issues on the internet. Also, I've researched some musical concepts.

Sep

Nuthin' special.

Aug

Nothin' special.

Jul

Nothin' special. By the way, no Español. Tsk tsk.

Jun

Nothin' special.

May

Nothin' special.

Apr

Nothin' special.

Mar

Nothin' special.

Jan - Feb

I abandoned formal lessons, but I still would like to learn some Spanish. As of my 65th birthday, I'm starting to get back into it.