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Djouce (Dublin Ireland)

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Alone in Berlin (Penguin Modern Classics)
Alone in Berlin (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Hans Fallada
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alone in Berlin - Well worth reading, 26 July 2011
A gripping account of life in war-torn Berlin for ordinary Germans. The main characters are a middle-aged couple who lose their only son and start to engage in low level resistance. They drop postcards with anti-Nazi messages at public places around the city. Other characters living in the same apartment block include a family of Nazis, a Jewish woman, a sympathetic judge, a petty criminal and a prostitute. All characters are convincingly portrayed. The book was written in German shortly after the war. The translation is so good that you don't know it is a translation.


A Bend in the Nile: My Life in Nubia and Other Places (Non-Fiction)
A Bend in the Nile: My Life in Nubia and Other Places (Non-Fiction)
by Chris McIvor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Bend in the Nile -- Living in Sudan, 25 July 2011
Chris McIvor gives an insightful account of his time teaching in Sudan, how he learnt the local language, discovered Islam and made friends with many local people while teaching English in a girls school in Muslim Sudan. 'The Importance of Being Earnest' was on the syllabus - to engage the students he got the class to spend half their time discussing and writing about their own interests. During a school strike he travels slowly by boat and in the back of a lorry, giving him the time to explore the country and its people. He plays chess with a colleague in his home and starts to develop a relationship with his lively, 20 year old daughter.

After a short visit home to Scotland, he decides to return and is posted to Darfur. Signs of famine are beginning to appear. The book ends with his risky trip across war-torn Chad to meet his sister in Nigeria.

Chris McIvor travels with open eyes and an open mind. He shows considerable empathy and insight into the lives of the people he meets.


Who Are We - And Should It Matter in the 21st Century?
Who Are We - And Should It Matter in the 21st Century?
by Gary Younge
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who are we - Identity and Society, 19 July 2011
This book is a thoughtful examination of race and identity in countries ranging from Britain, France, US, Ireland, Belgium, Rwanda, South Africa. The writer is himself a black Briton, living in New York. He tells how he failed to explain his background in Sudan and ended-up describing himself as Jamaican (as they had heard of Bob Marley). Black kids in New York could not understand why he had an English accent. We all have accents and identities. Test this out by moving to another country! The dominant group in any society assumes its identity is normal and others are judged in comparison to it.

Among the many excellent points he makes is that identity is constantly developing. There are no authentic identities but plenty of people trying to enforce a standard identity.


A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change
A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change
by Douglas Thomas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cultivating the Imagination to Learn in a World of Constant Change, 14 Jun. 2011
The new culture of learning comes from applying the boundaries and structures of a virtual or `real world' environment to harness the vast information resources on the web. A structured environment (which can be a classroom) provides the context where learners are motivated to make use of these resources, exchange information with people with similar interests and develop their own skills and talents. The authors cite the example of massive multiplayer online games such as World of Warcraft where a collective of users meet online, organise themselves to engage in challenges and aim to increase their proficiency in the game. The participants are motivated by imagination, challenges, feedback on their performance and rankings compared to others. This type of learning thrives on change and encourages learners to ask better questions to find out what they do not know.

John Seely Brown is well-known as a scholar and writer. He is the co-founder of the Institute of Research and Learning and director of the Xerox Parc Research Centre. His colleague Douglas Thomas is a professor with research interests in games and culture, interactive media and the intersection of technology and culture.

The book is easy to read. It would be interested to see some case studies of how the new culture of learning has been applied to formal education.


Overnight to Innsbruck
Overnight to Innsbruck
by Denyse Woods
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have read in a long time, 21 May 2003
This review is from: Overnight to Innsbruck (Paperback)
This is a compelling and intelligent book. It tells the story of a couple who accidentally separate on a train journey and meet again on another journey years later. It is an insightful account of relationships - how they grow and end, the misunderstandings and failures of communication that can arise on the way.


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