Cheery Friday e-mails

Every Friday I send a “Cheery Friday” email chock full of insights about learning and changing to a million registered learners from the massive open online course (“MOOC”) Learning How to Learn.  To receive these emails, just register for the course here (it’s free, and registration takes only a few seconds).  “See” you on Friday!

In A Sunburned Country

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners! Book of the Month In A Sunburned Country, by Bill Bryson. In years past, Barb has occasionally looked with concern at her husband as he would suddenly double over with a paroxysm of—well, she wasn’t sure what, but it didn’t seem healthy.  Gradually she came to learn that these paroxysms came …

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The War of Art

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners! Book of the Week The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Steven Pressfield. This short book reframes your creative work, whatever that might be, as war. The battle goes to the most cunning! Pressman has the street cred to write a book of this sort—it t …

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Dakotas, gardens, and procrastination

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners! Books of the Week In the past few months, we dipped back and forth between two completely different books about local history—one book centering on the Caucasus, and the other set in the Dakotas. Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War, by Thomas de Waal. What a revelation …

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Digital Minimalism

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners! Book of the Month Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, by Cal Newport. We have to start out with an admission of bias—we have always loved everything Cal Newport has ever written. (Cal’s most recent book before Digital Minimalism, Deep Work, is one of the best books o …

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The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners! Book of the Week The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain, by Dr. Steven R Gundry M.D. We stumbled across this book several weeks ago, when we were reading some of the other books on neuronutrition. That this is a “most read” book on Amazon, …

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners! Book of the Month The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot.  Skloot spent ten years unearthing the story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor—and consequently poorly educated—black woman who had pieces of her cervical cancer tumor taken without her consent.  Those cells lived on, and on, …

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No Easy Answers

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners! Books of the Week In keeping with the Quillette article below, we did some background reading this week into dysfunctional people and school environments. School environments (and people!) in many parts of the US are admirable, but even supposedly well-to-do environments can have problems if …

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Victoria’s Daughters

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners! Book of the Week Victoria’s Daughters, by Jerrold Packard.  Historians and writers understandably like to focus on Queen Victoria, whose lengthy reign had such an impact on Great Britain and Europe. (Long ago, we read and enjoyed Stanley Weintraub’s Victoria—many a biography has come out sinc …

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Genius Foods

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners! Books of the Week This week, we read two different books on how diet can improve your brain’s health.   Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life, by Max Lugavere and Paul Grewal M.D. This is a well-researched and beautifully-written book …

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Coddling of the American Mind

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners! Books of the Week This week we read two related books on movements that are emerging from college campuses and affecting society as a whole—and not necessarily in a positive way. The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars, by Bradley Campbell and J …

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