Category Archives: books

The Trouble with Textbooks

College students outraged over $999  online textbook (channel3000.com) One of the primary guiding principles of my teaching career, if not my whole life, is to never forget where I came from. While I could cite many examples of how that principle guides my non-teaching life, my bad experiences as a K-12 student have done a lot to shape how I approach my work as a teacher. Even when I was still a student in those classrooms, I could see how some teachers were inflicting misery…

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Post-Pyrrhic and Punch-Drunk

Five weeks ago, I blogged about a very problematic turn of events for me. On the one hand, the leading book review organization Kirkus Reviews had posted an incredibly positive review of my first novel, The Prostitutes of Lake Wiishkoban. For many authors, getting this kind of a review can be career-making , and it was coming as I headed into a summer where I didn’t have any teaching work. Getting this review in front of as many people as possible became a top priority for me,…

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The New P-Word

A little over a week ago, I received one of the best pieces of news I’ve gotten in several months. Kirkus Reviews, a very prominent book review magazine, posted an online review of my first novel, The Prostitutes of Lake Wiishkoban, that was highly complimentary of my work (to say the least). Quotes like “Shannon’s … fiction debut is an entertaining, provocative bildungsroman that successfully turns an unconventional premise into a thoughtful exploration of freedom and identity” are the kind of thing that authors like me dream…

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The Sweet Spot of (Intellectual) Stimulation

‘We’re sex workers and we vote’: Women’s March event shines light on a marginalized group (yahoo.com) I released my second book of classroom exercises, 50 Critical Thinking Exercises for Humanities Classes 2, a few days ago. As with the first book in the series, it’s an extension of my efforts to find ways to reach modern students, to stimulate their minds and get them to think about a variety of issues from various perspectives, to help them develop the critical thinking skills that will help…

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Monument to My Ego

Conceptualizing three-dimensional space has always been an issue for me. While I’m somewhat good at designing things in two dimensions — the graphical elements of my website and my book covers, for example — my brain has always had a very difficult time wrapping itself around the most basic elements of three-dimensional design. Anyone who has seen my laughable attempts at drawing can tell you just how messed up my head is in that regard. I have depth perception and two good eyes; I just…

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