Getting to Know You

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Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
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Getting to Know You

Post by Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:19 am

If you wanted someone to get to know you better, which book would you recommend they read?

Have you read a book and said 'that's me' or 'this explains me'.

Which book is this? Who is the author?

Why would you recommend someone to read the book in order to learn about you? Is it because of a character, or characters, in the story? Or is it the story itself? Is it a history book or a fantasy or a science fiction or what?

Do you like this book?

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Maxim Trevelyan
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Re: Getting to Know You

Post by Maxim Trevelyan » Sun May 13, 2018 12:28 pm

I think that whoever wanted to know me a little better should read Bridge to Terabithia by the very talented Katherine Paterson. Why this book though? Mostly due to the story rather than characters themselves. It parallels perhaps the most important relationship I ever had in my life and its tragic end. When I read the aftermath of Leslie’s death and feelings surrounding it, I remembered my own experiences and emotions just exploded out of me. You will certainly need a tissue on hand if you read this book.

It is certainly a sad, but beautiful story that deals with heavy themes, but presents them quite well in my opinion.
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Shiloh Adlar
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Re: Getting to Know You

Post by Shiloh Adlar » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:02 am

In order to understand my love for science, one should read The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean. I am in awe with this book which is a non-fictional account of all the elements on the periodic table and their history. There are fascinating stories that are told, some I had heard and others that were completely new to me because there is rarely time in the classroom or textbooks to discuss such things. However, these stories truly brought the elements to life, almost humanizing them.

There are scientists that I had never heard of for good and horrid reasons, backgrounds that were never properly shared, and even information on some advanced study work that I would be interested in researching some day for fun.
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Shiloh Adlar, Seventh Year
"Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world." -Voltaire
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Shiloh Adlar
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Re: Getting to Know You

Post by Shiloh Adlar » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:41 am

As a follow up to my above post, I also read The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean. Perhaps this is an even better book to understand more about me. As the last one focused on the periodic table of elements, this one focuses on genetics and specifically our DNA. Once again, Kean goes through explaining how genetics works and of course the thing we all probably know as genetic code. In story form, he goes on to discuss how DNA was found and about all of the scientists, even those we do not hear of today, had a part in discovering this code or perhaps discovered it accidentally and didn't even realize it.

The history is still astounding to me, especially the fruit fly experiment told in this form rather than just saying, "This is what happened when they did this." No, there's a whole background to the experiment that is never told in class or in science books simply because there isn't enough time or it isn't required to understand the subject at hand. But then again, in a way, it is. This information when applied to scientific study is very useful for researchers because now we know the stories of other researchers and how it's possible to stumble upon something and never realize it until much later or that calling a press conference too soon could literally be the end of one's career.

Kean has a selection of other books, one on neuroscience, that I plan to read later this year. I have been very impressed with his books (and of course getting to communicate with the author directly through social media was ONE of the highlights of this month).
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Shiloh Adlar, Seventh Year
"Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world." -Voltaire
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Maxim Trevelyan
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Re: Getting to Know You

Post by Maxim Trevelyan » Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:55 pm

I might have mentioned this fact a few times in my HOL life, but I love to bake. I bake when I am happy, sad, stressed, or just because I feel like it. Therefore, I would like to think that I am rather good at it. However, interestingly enough, I mostly suck at cooking. This is a mystery that baffles me, and many others, and I have yet to discover why.

Although, I do know how to cook basic meals, the fact that I started to enjoy cooking them is mostly thanks to Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. I got that book as a goodbye gift from my auntie and it was a great help.

I mostly appreciate the precise instructions. Sometimes, especially with older cookbooks, the authors just assume that you know the complicated cook terms. This is not the case here. The book provides clear, thorough and illustrated instructions so you immediately know whether you did something wrong or not.

My favorite part is, of course, the desserts, but all the recipes are worth trying at least once.
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Emily Spencer
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Re: Getting to Know You

Post by Emily Spencer » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:20 pm

If I had to pick a book to describe me it would be The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. The book's central theme is the typecasting of people because of financial status and what 'family' they are born into. The book itself revolves around the conflict between the greasers (aka poor kids) and the soc (socials aka rich kids) and what happens when their worlds collide. The story is told through the eyes of the youngest greaser, Ponyboy Curtis, maybe not my favorite character in the book the but one I identify with the strongest.

Ponyboy was everything a greaser was not supposed to be. He did well in school, he was inherently kind. That is not to say he couldn't be tough when the situation warranted, but you always got the feeling that he didn't quite belong. He had a sense of hopefulness about him despite everything, and that alone, set him apart from the others.

Like all of the greasers, he was judged by his looks (think James Dean with longer hair) and his living situation (the rough side of town). It didn't matter how many good grades he got, or how intelligent he was, he was lumped in with all the others as a trouble making thug. His gang's crimes were his own, no mater if he was the one who committed them or not.

One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Ponyboy is told to 'stay gold'. The character (Johnny) speaking to Ponyboy quoted this poem by Robert Frost:

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.


Why it represents me:
No, I didn't grow up in a gang, nor was my family inherently poor. But like Ponyboy, I never seemed to quite fit in with those around me. I had much different dreams and ambitions, which made them regard me as 'uppity'. In a family full of gregarious, outgoing personalities, I was dubbed as 'snooty'. I actually wasn't; I was shy.

I, like, Ponyboy, know what it's liked to be judged by your looks. Wearing coke-bottle lenses to school and being nerd 'smart' doesn't exactly scream popularity. It didn't matter that I was nice or funny, people often didn't bother to look beyond the surface to find out anything about me. I didn't, as you can imagine, have very many friends.

People make bad choices. And again, like Ponyboy, I was judged by what my older sisters and brothers had done or what they were. Hardly fair, but that was the reality. For the longest time, I tried desperately to prove myself to those judging me, until the day I said 'forget that' and walked away.

But like Ponyboy, I was able to look past all that and see the good in things. My husband still gets a kick out of my childish exuberance about things, such as Christmas lights or a new sonic screwdriver (Doctor Who). In that regard, I have tried to 'stay gold'. It's a lesson I've tried to pass onto my daughter as well.

And there you have it; me in a book.
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