Sunday, April 3, 2016

Tending to the Past by Jim McGinnis

The subtitle of this book is:  Reflections of an American History Teacher.  I'm not big on non-fiction but this book was interesting.  It's one man's belief in the original values of democracy and the way of the world today.  I find it hard to be optimistic about the way modern life is lived.  Heritages and lessons learned in the past have gone by wayside.  Read this book and you'll understand what I mean.

The author sent me a copy of this to read for review (thank you).  You can buy a copy on Amazon now.

One of the reasons I related to this book is that I am not one who fits in a box well.  I do things my own way, like books more than people, I'm content alone and quiet and other people do not understand this.  The character in this book is a bit like that, too.

The discussion of the authors of the past that Mr. McGinnis uses to make his points are all commonly known and loved authors.  Many said controversial things, even in poetry.  The facts of his case he's making are written like a term paper with lots of quotations and references.  I agree generally with what he's trying to say.  I'm no teacher but I don't like the "common core" method of teaching either.  We're all individuals and we all learn in different ways.  Choosing one path won't work.

My favorite part of the book are the little side tales about his friends, dogs, and life.  They told me more about the man of the story than the dissertations.

All in all, this a contemporary read with lots of nuances.  It will make you think.  I even found a poem that talked to me:

Today

There is something good in today;
Something unique and particular about today.
In the face of fear and uncertainty;
Frustration and sadness;
Tedium and worry;
There something that makes this a day like no ohter.
So I keep my head up and my eyes open...

Keep those eyes open and look for the good.  It's there, you just have to find it. 

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