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If you love to read, chances are you know the delight of serendipitous associations between books. Time-bound entanglements of phrases, attitudes, metaphors, images, and sensations, they're the trails of waves readers surf when we're not on the Web. I call them connectives, and they're here for you to enjoy, extend, and use as you please.

Current Reading  (11 April 2002)

Frames of Mind, by Howard Gardner, came into the world in 1985 as a monograph in the field of developmental psychology. I'm reading it in the 10th anniversary edition, with a new introduction by the author in which he discusses a broader context for his idea. The idea itself is that human intelligence comes in several forms, most of which are not recognised, let alone measured, by "intelligence tests". He identifies them as linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, and personal. The book describes them, and discusses how people learn and train each other to use them.

I've spent the last year working almost full time in music, mostly to do with singing. One book that's been an obsession for much of that time is Conducting Technique For Beginners and Professionals, by Brock McElheran. I bought it shortly after I'd agreed to conduct an adult community choir, and studied it with fearful concentration through the first tentative weeks while the choir and I developed some trust in each other's good will and ignorance. There's room for argument with what McElheran says, and I haven't yet seen a choral conductor who works as he recommends, but the book is clear, sensible, brief, and practical. What's more, it's in better shape than most of my music, although it's travelled further and lived rougher. Warmly recommended, if you happen to be interested in conducting musical ensembles.

For details, see the Connectives booklist entries:

Frames of Mind
Conducting Technique For Beginners and Professionals

To see what Connectives was reading in the past, go to Once Current Reading.

Current Connective  (December 2000)

Thus Strunk the Prophet

Where do you turn for help when writing gets difficult? To a book of course, but which book? Strunk and White's Elements of Style is among the best known of hundreds of books about English writing and English language, but not necessarily because it's the most useful to a reluctant writer. Steven Pinker, a cognitive scientist, and Thomas McCormack, an editor of fiction, offer deeper information about how writing works, and Gary and Glynis Hoffman's Adios Strunk and White is a handbook of writing for the 2000s. More...

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Thanks to Ian, who's aching for the day books build their own shelves and climb into them. ILUVU

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