I've been trying to reinvigorate my language skills, so I've started reviewing some of the languages I've studied, switching to a different one (Spanish, French, German, Italian) each week.
I thought music might help reinforce the vocabulary I was picking up, so I trawled the library for pop CDs in other languages. I had no idea what any of these bands would sound like; I figured I'd just check them out and give a few repeat listens to anything I enjoyed.
I've been quite surprised to realize how much there is to this story, and how little I knew. I was delighted to learn about the newly-discovered early correspondence.
I was inspired to read this by the Teaching Company's Medieval Heroines, which I borrowed from the library.
I'm skimming most of this, but paying closer attention to the chapters defining deliberate practice.
I grew up on top 40 radio with minimal knowledge of jazz. I've come to really enjoy a lot of jazz, but I often feel like I barely speak the language. So far, this is giving me a lot of new understanding - a lot of pathways into appreciating the music more.
Background: "Nature Publishing Group told the University of California that next year subscription prices would increase 400 percent, with the average annual cost of a journal increasing to $17,479. UC Libraries fought back with a combative letter to UC faculty suggesting that faculty should consider boycotting the journals, and cease submitting or reviewing articles for these journals." via Metafilter
Somebody recommended A History of the Modern World over on Ask Metafilter and I leapt over to the San Francisco library's website and requested it.
It's 936 pages. Not counting the (excellent-looking) appendices and bibliography.
I don't know what I was thinking.
I love cheap books. I go to thrift stores and library book sales and come home with boxes full of books I have no room for. Half my books (honestly, well over half my books) are in storage, waiting for me to bring them back home where I can read them.
And yet, I'm surrounded by books.
I daydream about reading all these wonderful books. I take small paperbacks to the bus stop with me - Teach Yourself French, A Brief History of Japan, The Portable Greek Historians.