Reading Roll Call! – 10/12

What are you reading? Other folks want to know. 

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27 comments on “Reading Roll Call! – 10/12

  1. Shane says:

    “On the Road” – Jack Kerouac

    Since I’m basically crunching my dissertation data, I feel like I should read things that are non-archaeological so I don’t lose my mind.

  2. Eugene says:

    I like this site it’s a master piece! Glad I found this on google.

  3. Meg says:

    Good for you, Shane! I think it’s important to keep that reading brain engaged even when you get to that spot in your dissertation research when reading really isn’t the thing to be doing! In a similar vein, there is one thing I am reading that I wanted to share with you all…

    I just started reading a book called “How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing” because it was suggested to me by a friend who recently defended her dissertation. I have not finished it yet, so maybe I will comment again with some of the most important things I learned once I am finished. For now though, I’ll say that the book is short, easy to read, and not overwhelming. It’s realistic and has some concrete ideas and suggestions that I am definitely going to try!

    The rest of my reading time has been spent studying up on bear ceremonialism. Expect a longer post about that sometime today or tomorrow. I’m a little bit obsessed now. 🙂

    • victoriagd says:

      I am a huge fan of motivational texts on writing and I blame the forums on the Chronicle of Higher Education for this obsession. Over the past couple of years I’ve enjoyed “On Writing Well”, “Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day”, and any and all posts that Rachel Toor published with the Chronicle. I also want to read “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamont and “On Writing” by Stephen King for some broader thoughts on the writing process that work beyond academic texts.

      Also, bring on the bear ceremonialism! I can’t wait! 🙂

  4. Shane says:

    Last month I read Thomas Schelling’s “Micromotives and Macrobehaviors.” Pretty nifty read from a guy who won a Nobel Prize for his work in economics and game theory.

    http://www.amazon.com/Micromotives-Macrobehavior-Thomas-C-Schelling/dp/0393329461

  5. Alice Wright says:

    I’ve been working my way through some of the chapters in the volume Least Cost Analysis of Social Landscapes, edited by Devin A. White and Sarah L. Surface-Evans (2012, University of Utah Press). Picked it up in the hopes that it would show me the light for the (super preliminary) paper I wrote up for SEAC this year, and I haven’t been disappointed. Although many of the chapters justifiably emphasize that LCP analysis, like any kind of modeling, has some major challenges, including but not limited to assumptions about past behaviors, it is really exciting to see regional data and ancient landscape use being investigated in a systematic way. If we are to follow up on some recent takes on Southeastern prehistory that emphasize continental-scale processes and interactions (I’m thinking here of Sassaman’s The Eastern Archaic, Historicized, among other things), we’ve got to take advantage of rigorous techniques for regional analysis — and it could be that LCP analysis is one such method.

    • David G. Anderson says:

      And if you are interested in examples that deal with the Eastern Archaic, Alice, read my chapter in that volume, as well as pp. 284-287 in Thomas and Sanger’s 2010 volume on the End of the Archaic! But shameless plugs aside, it is a great book, and Devin White is a new colleague here at UT, working at Oak Ridge!

      As for light reading, try Startide Rising by David Brin.

  6. Alice Wright says:

    Also, I just finished Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Trippy business, but highly recommended for non-arch reading.

  7. cranford104 says:

    I’ve been rereading chapters from Jon Marcoux’s diss/book “Pox, Empire, Shackles, and Hides” (2010, University of Alabama Press), as well as a recent article from Charles Cobb and Chester DePratter in American Anthropologist, “Colonowares and the Paradox of Globalization” (I’m going to save my reactions to this one for a longer post TBA soon). I’m in the process of analyzing the ceramics from an early Federal period (ca. 1780-1800) Catawba site in South Carolina and these readings are helping me to keep large scale processes such as colonialism and globalization rattling around in my head as I become lost in my sherds (trees for the forest kind of thing).

    I’m also making my way through a bit of non-arch reading “Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War” by Tony Horowitz (1998). Its been on my bedside table for a while and just recently got back to it. Definitely recommended.

  8. victoriagd says:

    Nice suggestions, ya’ll!

    I picked up “Material Minds, Material Cultures: The Impact of Things on Human Thought, Society, and Evolution” by Nicole Boivin (2008, Cambridge University Press) over the weekend. This is my first academic text since finishing quals and I was inspired to read it because 1) Boivin’s arguments were highly praised Ann Brysbaert’s edited volume, “Tracing Prehistoric Social Networks through Technology: A Diachronic Perspective on the Aegean” (2011, Routledge), and 2) I need more background on the concept of materiality and how it is more than simply a human-thing relationship. I’ve only worked through the introduction thus far, but I find the text to be an approachable frank essay on the history symbolism and material culture in the post-processual archaeological critiques from the 1980s and forward.

    I have Chapter 2, “Representation and Matter slated for my lunch break today. I can’t wait because there photos in the book range from dew on a leaf to Maasai jewelry to a young boy trying to catch a baseball on a beach. This should be wonderfully abstract! We’ll see, however, if there is more relevance than an exercise in philosophical thought. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

  9. victoriagd says:

    Oh yeah, and I finished the third book of “Games of Thrones” last night. Got to keep up with the kiddos! Plus, it has been a fantastic distraction over the past couple of months. Any other readers out there??

  10. Tanya Peres says:

    Non-academic reading: just finished “The Importance of Being Seven” (44 Scotland Street Series) by Alexander McCall Smith — I am a lover of all things Scottish. Up next “Lacuna” by Barbara Kingsolver.

    More scholarly pursuits: “Hiwassee Island” (Lewis and Kneberg) and ” Anthropologists and Indians in the New South”, edited by Rachel Bonney, J. Anthony Paredes, Raymond Fogelson (2001)

  11. DuVal Lawrence says:

    The new Terry Pratchett book, “Dodger”, a highly fictionalized version of Victorian London. Terry brings together Dodger, a German princess fleeing her husband, Charles Dickens, Robert Peeler (the father of the modern London police force), Sweeney Todd, Disraeli, and many other historical characters in a great read. While known as a satirist, this book strays from Mr. Pratchett’s normal genera and explores the seamier, dirtier side of London during the time of the Artful Dodger. Recommended for a good read, you’ll like the characters and the ending.

  12. In-the-field reading (that isn’t journal articles and/or book chapters related to my dissertation): AJ Jacobs’ “My Life as an Experiment” – so far amusing but not as good as “The Year of Living Biblically”. And re-reading Harry Potter books because they are my go-to comfort book, the way mac&cheese is my go-to comfort food. Planning to read “Always Looking Up” by Michael J Fox after I finish Jacobs’ book because I figure field work is a time when optimism is key.

    Meg, I started to read “How to write a lot” a few months ago and had to put it down because it stressed me out too much to qualify as bedtime reading. Still, the bit I read was written well and there were some good tips that I’ve been trying to incorporate. Maybe I’ll try again post-fieldwork, but make it morning reading instead!

  13. Just found, bought, and am reading an original hardcopy of Michael Trinkley’s PhD dissertation “Investigation of the Woodland Period Along the South Carolina Coast” (and just to show off how nerdy I am, and how cool this is, it has the signature page and is signed by his advisor Joffre Coe). And when I am not reading archaeology, I am reading Brandon Sanderson’s “Way of Kings.”

  14. Erin Nelson says:

    Am I the only one who is ambivalent to Game of Thrones? Fine for field reading but recently stressed me out so much I had to put it down. I’m with Caroline–HP is my go-to for “I’m stressed so my reading shouldn’t be.” I did recently read “Turning Your Dissertation into a Book.” Even though I felt like I was getting ahead of myself it had lots of good ideas for not making your dissertation too dissertation-y. Also found “The Clockwork Muse” had lots of good tips for staying on task with writing projects.

    • Tanya says:

      Nope, I can’t get into that or the Hunger Games. Huge Bill Bryson fan — read his “At Home: A Short History of Private Life” while in the field. Interesting take on everyday items — some from an archaeological perspective.

      For writing, my go to book is: “Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success” by Wendy Belcher. I like breaking things up into steps (and to-do lists).

      • Tracy says:

        Try listening to the audio version of the book. I did that with Hunger Games and Game of Thrones. I feel like it made it easier for me to get into the story. And it is easier to multitask, I like to listen to Game of Thrones while working on a map for my Raster class. I listened to the entire first book of the Hunger Games while going through a museum collection last spring. And, Yes, I did cry while sorting artifacts at the museum when I was listening to the part of the story where Rue dies.

  15. Tracy says:

    I am reading a book that my good friend Andrew Weidman gave me(after he finished it) over this past summer. It is Tom Robbins “Still Life with Woodpeckers.” From what I have read already…. it is amazing. I may have found my new favorite author. I was also reading the book “Jumper” by Stephen Gould, but it got boring(Sorry Dave!). I will probably pick “Jumper” back up once I have free time. .

  16. Bennie Keel says:

    If you like Southern writers a couple of my favorites are “A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole, and “Southern Fried Plus 6” by William P. Fox.

    I just finished “Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman” by Robert E. Massie and before that “Cro Magnon” by Brian Fagan.

    Since I retired I am catching up on a lot of non-anthro/archy literature.

  17. jayur says:

    Peter Fellezs, “Birds of Fire”, its about the birth of the fusion genre in the 1970’s, Herbie Hancock, John MacLaughlin, etc. also just finished 11/22/63 by Stephen King, neat book about time travel and changing the past. i’m only a chapter or so into cloud atlas, i started it on the streetcar a while ago, i’ll let ya’ll know how it goes.

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