The Library Basement
Reading under ground

Readings for February 2014

This month: pops!

The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan

I completed the fourth of umpteen novels in the Wheel of Time series. This installment was a bit longer than the preceding, but hopefully the length will not continue to increase on a linear scale. Jordan does a decent job presenting some core conflicts in this novel which give some immediacy to the conflict I know will not be ultimately resolved for ten more subsequent installments. I do not feel weary on the journey thus far, so I will continue reading these one every few months. Recommended.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

I started a re-read of the Harry Potter novels in September of 2008. Let's just say that it has been a fairly slow burn. But having completed the sixth installment, I rush right on to the ultimate, as you, dear reader, will see in my subsequent readings post.

These novels are really enjoyable. In this read-through I am particular enjoying the themes of Harry Potter. Rowling wrote some novels which are interesting to adults not just in a popcorn fashion, but because they appeal to some complex emotions. Which is good! Also: Snape kills Dumbledore. I figure after all this time, I should not need to give a spoiler warning for that. Recommended.


  • Scientific American August 2013 - This issue covers several angles of MOOCs - massively open online courses. I took one on natural language processing through Coursera and liked it quite a bit. The numbers are not great in terms of students completing the course, but even the few who progress all the way represent a large group learning from a single course.