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Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

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Authors & publishers:
I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Millington, Mil: A Certain Chemistry | Main | Blanc, Nero: Another Word for Murder »

Leveen, Steve: The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life

  

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Levenger Press © 2005, 123 pages [amazon]
3.5 stars

In his little book on the "well-read life" author Steve Leveen (the CEO and co-founder of Levenger) offers readers advice on how to get more mileage from their reading. His book is divided into five chapters. The fifth is given over primarily to concluding remarks. The third and fourth have to do with the rewards and history of, respectively, audiobooks and reading groups. The meat of Leveen's argument lies in the fifty-odd pages that make up his first two chapters, "Uncovering the Books That Will Change Your Life" and "Seizing More from Your Reading."

Readers with less serious goals in mind probably won't find that particular idea--which is, after all, one of the main points of the book--pertinent to their own situation.Leveen argues that readers will gain more from their reading by approaching the business of books systematically. The usual "accidental and ad hoc" means of selecting titles to read is unfortunate, he believes, because it is more likely to lead to unfulfilling reading experiences that "may dampen your enthusiasm, causing your reading to languish, sometimes for long periods." He advocates developing an extensive list of "candidates for your attention," that is, a list of books in which one is interested, either because of their subject matter or author or because they were recommended by friends or in reviews. The list is to be organized by subject headings and augmented throughout one's life. As a second step, Leveen suggests that readers acquire a great many of the books on their list. He is fully in favor of possessing a personal library that contains more books than one could possibly read so as to have a wide selection of quality books always at hand. (That sentiment may go some way toward alleviating the guilt of compulsive book buyers over their purchases.)

In his second chapter Leveen distills the recommendations of earlier authors on the art of reading and retaining information. He discusses, for example, Mortimer Adler's advice on approaching books as if from a high altitude: one scans a book first to get an idea of its structure, then reads it superficially to pick up its main arguments before sitting down, finally, to a serious analytical reading of the book. Leveen also discusses a variety of note-taking practices.

The reading approach Leveen advocates will not be for everyone. His suggestion that readers direct their reading by developing an organized list of book candidates will be of use almost exclusively to those who are interested in pursuing a course of private study through the reading of nonfiction. Readers with less serious goals in mind probably won't find that particular idea--which is, after all, one of the main points of the book--pertinent to their own situation. Leveen should perhaps have made more of this distinction between fiction and nonfiction reading in his text. His cursory look at the subject of engaged reading won't satisfy those who are serious about becoming more active readers themselves. But Leveen provides a great service in introducing his audience to the subject and pointing to books that will provide further information. His quick read will definitely be of interest to the readers on your shopping list.

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Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Comments

1.

Long time no see a physical book




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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.