Category Archives: Bookshelf

The Education of Fear

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I just finished reading Natalia Ginzburg’s book of essays, The Little Virtues. The title essay is her meditation on education and parenthood, both of which she believes are far too focused on instilling small virtues such as thrift, caution, prudence, tact and success. Better, she believes, to attend to the larger virtues… Read more »

Don’t Judge a Book… oh, go ahead.

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One of the most delightful aspects of working on The PhDictionary was receiving a copy of the proposed cover design. I was just delighted by every bit of it. (If you look on the back cover, down by the edge of the spine, you’ll see “Book and cover design: Matt… Read more »

Home Cultures

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A friend of mine just sent a link to a very nice piece at the new York Times, by a writer with whom I’m not familiar, Annie Liontas. She was discussing the ways in which some families have artists within them; other families introduce their kids to fine art and… Read more »

Bookshelf—The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

It’s been a month or so since I recommended a book. This edition of Bookshelf features The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, by Alain de Botton (2009, Pantheon). For those of you who haven’t read de Botton’s other work—and he is prolific—you can think of him as a British version… Read more »

Relatively Undisciplined

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The world works in funny ways. I sent out a number of e-mails to friends in the past week, letting them know of the birth of the book, and have subsequently received dozens of lovely notes that remind me of why they’re my friends. But none among them was more… Read more »

Unseen Work

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I tend to mistrust “how-to” books. I think they’re too sanitized to be trustworthy, reducing complex and contextual circumstances to linear recipes. Much more interesting are the “how-it-happened” books, in which some person talks about how their amazing life got to be so amazing. Filled with stories and accidents and roads… Read more »

Bookshelf—Becoming an Ex

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Occasionally, I’d like to highlight a book that I think that you’ll benefit from, whether you’re a prospective or current grad student, a prospective or current faculty member, or an advisor of either of those two communities. Today’s book, a recommendation of a kind and smart friend, is Helen Rose… Read more »