Introduction to a Book Nerd

Every summer goes by so quickly... but this summer disappeared the fastest of all. What's up with that? I thought it would be just the opposite: for the first time in years, this was my summer WITHOUT A PROJECT. My plan was not to have a plan: I would just get up, have a coffee, and do whatever I felt like doing — read, write, listen to music, color (I love coloring books!). No agenda, just... enjoyment. Ahhhhh...

But somehow, even though I wasn't doing anything in particular: POOF, the summer was all gone. How did that happen? Here it is, August, and I am writing my Introduction for the new semester. Quick version: I'm an online instructor at the University of Oklahoma, and I've been teaching fully online courses since the year 2002, which is basically since the dawn of time for online courses. I love my job! I teach the same courses every year — Myth-Folkore and Indian Epics — and I never get bored. In fact, I am more excited about the courses with each passing year. Which means I am VERY excited as this new school year begins.

And now... back to this summer:

The main thing that happened during the summer-that-ran-away was books. And more books. Lots and lots of books. I read so many great books, and I also built the Freebookapalooza, a huge library of free online books for the Myth-Folklore and Indian Epics classes. THAT was exciting. I also built a randomizer for the books here: Random Books. It is weird but also comforting to know that I could actually spend the rest of my life reading the books I collected here already (over 800 so far), and of course there are still hundreds of books I want to add.

I also read lots of books too. Here are five of my favorites, not listed in any particular order. And these are just some of the books that I read... so many books! I think I want to have exactly this kind of summer again next summer too. After all, my reading list is now LONGER than it was at the start of the summer, since each new book gives me ideas for more books I want to read. Here are some highlights:

The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh. This is one of the best science fiction books I have ever read. I actually read this one twice and am tempted to read it one more time before school starts.

Me, Myself, and Us by Brian Little. I learned so much from this book, especially the chapter on curiosity!

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. I love this book, and I reread it often. This summer was the first time I listened to it as an audiobook.

The Secret of God's Son by Usha Narayanan. This is the sequel to her novel Pradyumna which I read last summer. Both books are excellent, and together they make a perfect pair.

You're It by Alan Watts. Alan Watts is one of my all-time favorite writers/speakers/thinkers.

Except for Usha's book (which I read as a Kindle book), these are all audiobooks that I listened to at Why audiobooks? Because I love to color in coloring books while I listen. Here's one of my coloring book pages:

O Summer of 2016! I will miss you. :-)