Gift Idea: Educational Box Set

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by Iravati, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    I thought this might be useful. After scratching my head for gift ideas on education, and scrolling a raft of Amazon pages, I finalised on this Penguin 20-book box set titled "Great Ideas" to gift a geeky teenager. I liked the variety in the compilation. Each book is around 100 pages which is a decent introduction to classic and modern works. And the price for the bundle is reasonable. I lightly skimmed and reviewed (not read) and was satisfied with the collection. Also, Hazlitt's essay on "On the Pleasure of Hating" and Berger's "Why look at animals" were very unique. That Perpetual Race of Achilles and the Tortoise - Jorge Luis Borges and On the Nature of War - Carl von Clausewitz would introduce to fascinating authorial voices.

    I have trawled the Net to gift a world-class referential collection with must-read works before one finishes studies so that they do not grow up like their boorish aunt who struggles much to understand all those literary references of her friends. In return, I might hear "wow, Aunt Ira" or "you are so boring, Aunt Ira."

    I loved the collection so much that I wish someone had gifted me when I was in school/college. Thought it might be useful if anyone is searching for fun and intense gift ideas for kids. In case you know other publications, please add to the thread.

    Shanvy, sweetsmiley, Laks09 and 2 others like this.

  2. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    Series One

    01. On the Shortness of Life - Seneca
    02. Meditations - Marcus Aurelius
    03. Confessions - Augustine
    04. The Inner Life - Thomas à Kempis
    05. The Prince - Niccolò Machiavelli
    06. On Friendship - Michel de Montaigne
    07. A Tale of a Tub - Jonathan Swift
    08. The Social Contract - Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    09. The Christians and the Fall of Rome - Edward Gibbon
    10. Common Sense - Thomas Paine
    11. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman - Mary Wollstonecraft
    12. On the Pleasure of Hating - William Hazlitt
    13. The Communist Manifesto - Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
    14. On the Suffering of the World - Arthur Schopenhauer
    15. On Art and Life - John Ruskin
    16. On Natural Selection - Charles Darwin
    17. Why I Am So Wise - Friedrich Nietzsche
    18. A Room of One's Own - Virginia Woolf
    19. Civilization and Its Discontents - Sigmund Freud
    20. Why I Write - George Orwell

    Series Two

    21. The First Ten Books - Confucius
    22. The Art of War - Sun Tzu
    23. The Symposium - Plato
    24. Sensation and Sex - Lucretius
    25. An Attack on the Enemy of Freedom - Cicero
    26. The Revelation of St John the Divine and The Book of Job
    27. Travels in the Land of Kublai Khan - Marco Polo
    28. The City of Ladies - Christine de Pizan
    29. How to Achieve True Greatness - Baldesar Castiglione
    30. Of Empire - Francis Bacon
    31. Of Man - Thomas Hobbes
    32. Urne-Burial - Sir Thomas Browne
    33. Miracles and Idolatry - Voltaire
    34. On Suicide - David Hume
    35. On the Nature of War - Carl von Clausewitz
    36. Fear and Trembling - Søren Kierkegaard
    37. Where I Lived, and What I Lived For - Henry David Thoreau
    38. Conspicuous Consumption - Thorstein Veblen
    39. The Myth of Sisyphus - Albert Camus
    40. Eichmann and the Holocaust - Hannah Arendt

    Series Three

    41. In Consolation to his Wife - Plutarch
    42. Some Anatomies of Melancholy - Robert Burton
    43. Human Happiness - Blaise Pascal
    44. The Invisible Hand - Adam Smith
    45. The Evils of Revolution - Edmund Burke
    46. Nature - Ralph Waldo Emerson
    47. The Sickness Unto Death - Søren Kierkegaard
    48. The Lamp of Memory - John Ruskin
    49. Man Alone with Himself - Friedrich Nietzsche
    50. A Confession - Leo Tolstoy
    51. Useful Work versus Useless Toil - William Morris
    52. The Significance of the Frontier in American History - Frederick Jackson Turner
    53. Days of Reading - Marcel Proust
    54. An Appeal to the Toiling, Oppressed and Exhausted Peoples of Europe - Leon Trotsky
    55. The Future of an Illusion - Sigmund Freud
    56. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction - Walter Benjamin
    57. Books v. Cigarettes - George Orwell
    58. The Fastidious Assassins - Albert Camus
    59. Concerning Violence - Frantz Fanon
    60. The Spectacle of the Scaffold - Michel Foucault

    Series Four

    61. Tao Te Ching - Lao-Tzu
    62. Writings from the Zen Masters - Various
    63. Utopia - Thomas More
    64. On Solitude - Michel de Montaigne
    65. On Power - William Shakespeare
    66. Of the Abuse of Words - John Locke
    67. Consolation in the Face of Death - Samuel Johnson
    68. An Answer to the Question: What Is Enlightenment? - Immanuel Kant
    69. The Executioner - Joseph de Maistre
    70. Confessions of an English Opium-Eater - Thomas de Quincey
    71. The Horrors and Absurdities of Religion - Arthur Schopenhauer
    72. The Gettysburg Address - Abraham Lincoln
    73. Revolution and War - Karl Marx
    74. The Grand Inquisitor - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    75. On A Certain Blindness in Human Beings - William James
    76. An Apology for Idlers - Robert Louis Stevenson
    77. Of the Dawn of Freedom - W. E. B. Du Bois
    78. Thoughts of Peace in an Air Raid - Virginia Woolf
    79. Decline of the English Murder - George Orwell
    80. Why Look at Animals? - John Berger

    Series Five

    81. The Tao of Nature - Chuang Tzu
    82. Of Human Freedom - Epictetus
    83. On Conspiracies - Niccolò Machiavelli
    84. Meditations - René Descartes
    85. Dialogue Between Fashion and Death - Giacomo Leopardi
    86. On Liberty - John Stuart Mill
    87. Hosts of Living Forms - Charles Darwin
    88. Night Walks - Charles Dickens
    89. Some Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Charles Mackay
    90. The State as a Work of Art - Jacob Burckhardt
    91. Silly Novels by Lady Novelists - George Eliot
    92. The Painter of Modern Life - Charles Baudelaire
    93. The 'Wolfman' - Sigmund Freud
    94. The Jewish State - Theodor Herzl
    95. Nationalism - Rabindranath Tagore
    96. Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism - Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
    97. We Will All Go Down Fighting to the End - Winston Churchill
    98. The Perpetual Race of Achilles and the Tortoise - Jorge Luis Borges
    99. Some Thoughts on the Common Toad - George Orwell
    100. An Image of Africa - Chinua Achebe
  3. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Whooo. I want one for myself. Wonder where I can find one at!
    I found this on amazon and it isn't the same but I would buy the kindle version if that was available!
  4. sweetsmiley

    sweetsmiley Platinum IL'ite

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    Hi Iravati,

    I always admire your language skills and general knowledge . can you please suggest some good books for english grammer and written communication.

    Thanks in advance
  5. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    Whoo hoo hoo to you! The "Great Ideas" box set may not be available in your region. Don't go for the classics set. Is anyone reading classics like the Dickens and Eliot these days? In the past, we skimmed those books because of populism. You must read Dickens, from a bespectacled teacher karke! Then in some book club everyone raves about Olive Schreiner, ken? I wanted a collection of books whose characters and premises are a trite in social discussions. Books whose themes and tropes are still softly prevalent and not too pretentious. I liked this ragbag because of the variety. Not too starchy, not too frivolous. I don't know how to put it. Say books which will lend themselves very well with resounding liners that can be ingratiated in nice-sounded college essays for B-schools. Crooked Aunt Ira!
    Laks09 likes this.
  6. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    Hello, sweetsmiley!

    First, not out of humility, but of candour, let me refute your impression of me. I am the loud cockatoo who writes pretentious and Erasmian tracts in a social forum. My language is noticed not that it is fetching but it is rattling. When others sensibly foregather, I howl in a corner in a swoonish tongue. I appropriated this social forum as my wanton slate to dump my erratic thoughts. So the difference in language is imputed to my intent. I scratch wild whereas others are sober and discreet. My language froths and welters and whatnots ...because ...because I write gibberish stuff and you can write such stuff only in a possessed tongue. My language skills stand out because they are feral and unglossy.

    Re: Grammar, I don't know many Grammar books. I was NOT a studious kid. I passed, good enough. However, I enjoyed and learnt from television — be it language or trivia or a bad joke. In general, I would not recommend dry grammar books to the kids of this generation. Rather invest in broadsheet media like Slate and Guardian which are renowned for good language. Cultivate the habit of scanning good blogs and responsible media in kids. Language is rarely instilled, but absorbed. Read good stuff to mirror the good language acquired with selective indulgence. Also, grammar books flash all the rules and guidelines and make me giddy. I use grammar books only as a reference when in doubt. That way I would remember the consulted rule with a context. 476 rules in one go will fry my brain! For adults, I would recommend Daily Writing Tips as a lazy activity. Swish ..swish ...during the commute.

    The English I learnt back in India was formal and stodgy. I dub it "customer service" English because only customer service crew use the flat and formal English. I fancy the lively and hopscotched corporate English where one is not beheaded for a missing punctuation mark or a grossly inflected noun. Corporate English in my firm is vibrant and fluid. Language should avoid enslavement by the grammar rules written by dodgy mavens as a rigid baseline but be seeded in contemporary vibes and fluent standards.

    I don't want to mislead you hence I have fewer recommendations on language at large.
    sweetsmiley and Laks09 like this.
  7. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    Keeping an eye on the release of plausible box set of Steven Isserlis. Loved both this witty books on grand composers. Across both these books, he spills beans and stew about Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Stravinsky, Haydn, Schubert, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Faure. I loved the structure of each chapter.

    Section 1 - Introduction
    Section 2 - What to listen to
    Section 3 - Facts of life (trivia and fun facts)

    ... the reason I favored these books over other children's books is the narrative. The facts are not strewn incoherently but are held together by a narrative which makes those facts easy to recall.

    upload_2018-5-1_7-55-50.png upload_2018-5-1_8-3-0.png

    I wish the mewling babies in my family grow up soon as their Aunt is readying to spank them: 'listen you punters, it is pronounced moats- art and not moz-aart! Got it?

    Why Amadeus?

    "Mozart’s parents took their choice of names seriously; Mozart’s full name was –take a deep breath –Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. So that they wouldn’t waste hours just calling him in for tea, his parents just called him ‘Wolfgang’ –or ‘Woferl’ for (even) short( er). Later, Mozart replaced the Greek name ‘Theophilus’ with one meaning the same (‘ Beloved of God’) in Latin, ‘Amadeo’. From about 1770, he made himself sound Italian by calling himself ‘Wolfgango Amadeo’, and then from 1777 he went a bit French, styling himself ‘Wolfgang Amadé’! Nowadays he’s usually referred to as ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’…"

    -- "Why Beethoven Threw the Stew: And Lots More Stories About the Lives of Great Composers" by Steven Isserlis
    Last edited: May 1, 2018

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