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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

My Beloved WorldMy Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Supreme Court justices are often closed individuals to the public. They don't hold news conferences, get out and press the flesh, or campaign in their home districts. So I found it refreshing to read this highly readable autobiography of Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, which traces her life from her birth to a working class Puerto Rican family in New York City up to the time she takes the oath of office for the Supreme Court.

Her account of her life is very descriptive and attempts to reveal her loves and ambitions. I did not find out much of her political or judicial philosophy, but I learned a great deal about how she has been influenced through her (extended) family, her education, her work ethic, and her various positions in the legal profession.

I plan to turn this book over to our school library and encourage the students at our school to read it. I hope it will inspire them to do the hard work needed to achieve their dreams.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Paul Morphy: The Pride and Sorrow of ChessPaul Morphy: The Pride and Sorrow of Chess by David Lawson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book will be of interest only to chess enthusiasts and probably not to most of them. Use of long block quotations and a rather turgid style of prose made getting through this book a bit of a slog. Still, it was interesting to read about the first American champion, born long before Bobby Fischer who, like Fischer, lead a rather troubled life.

I would have like to have seen more description of the sites where the events happen, especially ofLa RĂ©gence, the chess cafe in Paris that exists to this day.

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Boris Spassky's Psycho Rook Sacrifice

Oh Myyy, this was fun to read

Oh Myyy!Oh Myyy! by George Takei
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Highly enjoyable book about how George Takei, Star Trek's Mr. Sulu, became a social media phenomenon. His breezy, readable discussion covers the causes he's become involved in, how he got over 3 million followers on his Facebook page, the problem with FB trolls, and his life after Star Trek.

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