A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

It begins with absense and desire.

It begins with blood and fear.

It begins with a discovery of witches.

Meet the main characters, have a little background and lots of mystery in the first 50 pages.  From there the narrative just explodes with plots and so many things to explore.  I was intrigued throughout the entire book.  It is the first in the All Souls Trilogy and full of fast paced action and romance.  I am trying not to do a spoiler in the review.  There was a ton of magic and lore, as the title suggests it is about a witch and her discovery of supernatural… things. The “what ifs” and “wouldn’t that be cools” abound in the journey of the main character.  Diana  is aware of what she is as well as the existence of vampires and daemons.    This was a story for me to get lost in; I have read it twice now and the first time I couldn’t put it down.  The second time around, after the first 50 pages I was back into the tale.  The author does a fantastic job of giving her characters life and realism.  It is pretty long, as it is considered a novel. For me this was a bonus.  I read a lot and this is pure entertainment so it was a fast read.   In short, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to the release of the next in the All Souls Trilogy: Shadow of Night in July 2012. 

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New TED Book asks: can changing how we teach make our kids smarter, more creative?

This is a very interesting blog. I like the theory and (working at a college) can see where the application of this learning method would be tremendously beneficial for college students. Let alone anyone who is not in school. Even children who are home-schooled have a varying set of criteria to follow. They (home-schooled children) are expected to be on par with other children in their age range. Lets all start thinking about the BEST way to teach people rather than the Easiest/Typical ways.

TED Blog

Ten years ago, educator Sugata Mitra and his colleagues cracked open a hole in a wall bordering an urban slum in New Delhi, installed a networked PC, and left it there for the local children to freely explore. What they quickly saw in their ‘Hole in the Wall’ experiment was that kids from one of the most desperately poor areas of the world could, without instruction, quickly learn how the PC operated. The children also freely collaborated, exploring the world of high-tech online connectivity with ease. The experiment (which provided the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire) was the dawning of Mitra’s introduction to self-organized learning, and it would shape the next decade of his research. Beyond the Hole in the Wall: Discover the Power of Self-Organized Learning is an important update to Mitra’s groundbreaking work, and offers new research and ideas that show how self-directed learning can…

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