Club Admiralty

v7.0 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Club Admiralty Blog

A blog about life in general, in as many languages as I can manage. Ενα ιστολόγιο περι ζωής, πολυγλωσσο - σε όσες γλωσσες εχω μεράκι να γράψω.

2020 Year In Books

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 I usually post these a bit earlier in January, but here is my 2020 Goodreads year in review 🙂. I guess I met my minimum reading for 2020, even in a pandemic lockdown ;-)


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Review: How to Be Black

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How to Be Black How to Be Black by Baratunde R. Thurston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I won this book at a conference a few years back (Baratunde was one of the keynote speakers) and I finally had a chance to read it.  For someone who didn't spend all of my formative years in the US, I think the subject is approached in a humorous and approachable manner. Heck, in some segments, Baratude's narrative might as well describe growing up Greek-American ;-)  Definitely worth a read. Obviously, there is a lot more under the surface to explore, but this was a good intro.

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Review: The Last Best Hope

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The Last Best Hope The Last Best Hope by Una McCormack
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a prequel novel that takes place before the first season of Star Trek: Picard.  The story shows us the other side of the preparations to save Romulans (and Remans?) from their fates which are doomed due to the Romulan Star going supernova.  I was hoping for some more congruence between the ST09 Countdown comics and this (given the same production folks) but there are things that are different. The ST09 Countdown comics focused on Spock, the Jellyfish, and Red Matter, while this focused on refugee relocation and the internal politics of the federation (as well as some internal Romulan politics that really screwed up the rank and file Romulans). It's amazing how much the Tal Shiar f*cked things up for their people (and how selfish some federation worlds can be).  It seems amazing that the Federation lasted this long given all the me-me-me worlds...


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Review: Assassin's Creed: Revelations

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Assassin's Creed: Revelations Assassin's Creed: Revelations by Oliver Bowden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a good ending to the Ezio storyline (and it wrapped up the Altair line as well). It follows the events of the game with the same name, but I think the author adds some more details to fill out the story. I like that they've also added the events of the short film "embers" in this book, but again - lack of modern-day timeline is a big miss for me :-)

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Review: Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade

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Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade by Oliver Bowden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I actually enjoyed this one more than the previous two in the series. This book follows the story of Altair through the events of the first Assassin's Creed, as well as the follow-up game Assassin's Creed Bloodlines (for the PSP). The thing I appreciated about this novel is that it fills in Altair's story between the end of the Bloodlines game, and what transpires at the end of his life (which I think we see glimpses of in the third Ezio game). It's a nice wrap up of Altair's story.
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Review: Assassin's Creed: Renaissance

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Assassin's Creed: Renaissance Assassin's Creed: Renaissance by Oliver Bowden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not a bad adaptation of Assassin's Creed 2. It's been over 10 years since I played the game, so this was a fair memory jogging device of things that occurred in Ezio's timeline in that second game. The writing wasn't bad, the main characters we good, and (if you're like me) you were reminded of some of the happenings of minor characters. My main issue with the book was that it doesn't address any of the modern-day elements of the game, which is disappointing. I think it was a missed opportunity to expand a bit on the lore and the happenings of modern-day assassin/templar dynamics. This would have made the last chapter or so a little more friendly to people who have not played the game when Minerva says things like "I am speaking to you, and through you" to Ezio.

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Review: Blended Learning: Research Perspectives, Volume 2

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Blended Learning: Research Perspectives, Volume 2 Blended Learning: Research Perspectives, Volume 2 by Anthony G. Picciano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Interesting read. It's the next volume in the series on Blended learning.  This one was easier to find, but I still got it via ILL - same research project as I mentioned in my blog post yesterday.  I've often wondered why books like this exist in this day and age. Each chapter is basically an academic article.  They are grouped in categories that make sense, but there isn't necessarily a thread throughout the book.  I wonder if something like this would make sense for a journal special issue.

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Review: Blended Learning: Research Perspectives Vol. 1

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Blended Learning: Research Perspectives Vol. 1 Blended Learning: Research Perspectives Vol. 1 by Anthony G. Picciano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not a bad read if you want some historical info on Blended learning.  I had a hard time finding this book, so I got it via interlibrary loan. It may seem a little dated, but I think it's useful for setting the scene for Blended learning.  I went through this with a specific research topic in mind.  Now to just find time to work on that research topic.  For now, it's on my Trello list ;-)

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Review: Star Trek: Discovery: The Enterprise War

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Star Trek: Discovery: The Enterprise War Star Trek: Discovery: The Enterprise War by John Jackson Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I rather enjoyed a glimpse into what happened to the Enterprise during the year that they missed in the Klingon War. They were involved in another war, albeit, without really wanting to be in it. There were quite a few moments where I said: "oh man, I wish I could see this on-screen!" This novel also fills in what happened to Spock and why he's institutionalized himself when we first see him in Discovery.

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Review: Greek America At Work

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Greek America At Work Greek America At Work by Dan Georgakas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I came across this short book as a reference on a Greek website. It was actually quite informative as a short introduction to Greek migration to North America (specifically focusing on migration to the USA). It's obviously not comprehensive, but it should be a must-read for Greek Americans.

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