Over the last two decades, reading groups have become increasingly popular in the UK and the USA. More and more people seem to be interested in sharing their reading experiences and hearing other readers discuss their views on books, whether this is online, through the mass media, or in face-to-face contexts.
In light of this explosion in popularity of reading groups, this ethnographic study focuses on several reading groups based across a variety of settings: public libraries, public houses and in readers' homes. A range of methods are used to investigate the practices of the individual readers and the groups, including participant observation, interviews, and audio-recordings of meetings.
Reading groups are found to be highly ritualized and potentially competitive places in which matters of identity and taste are often at stake. The groups studied are conceptualized as communities of practice, and the literary interpretations and evaluations offered within each group are shown to be a product of shared norms established by this group.
This volume is about the book itself, as shaped and made by medieval scribes and as conditioned by the cultural understandings that were present in the world where those scribes lived. Questions relating to the provenance, compilation, script, function, and use - both medieval and modern - of manuscripts are raised and are resolved in a fresh manner. The focal point of the volume is Anglo-Saxon England, approached as a cultural crossroads east and west, with attention given to English manuscripts produced both before and after the Conquest. The book thus contributes to a reassessment of early English culture as complex, emergent, and multi-stranded. A number of different literary genres and types are explored, ranging from devotional materials (e.g. psalters, sermons, and illustrated gospel books) to texts of a more worldly orientation. A number of plates illustrate the work of particular scribes. While some beautiful codices are showcased, the emphasis falls on plain books written in English, including the Vercelli Book, the Exeter Book, and the Blickling Homilies. Analyses of the history of palaeography and the theory of editing raise the point that whatever we know from old books is conditioned by the tools used to study them.
This work represents an important contribution to the history of medieval books, providing full scholarly description and discussion of an otherwise very little known category of written artefact in quasi-book form, but one that the 60-odd identified examples suggest was relatively common. This volume will be of interest not only to medieval book-historians and codicologists but also to historians of medieval science and of the liturgy, and of medieval written culture and cultural practice more broadly. Although a large proportion of the volume takes the form of a catalogue, the information and explanatory material presented in the introduction to the catalogue as a whole and to each of the sections into which the catalogue is divided give the volume the coherence and value of a historical and codicological survey of this form of artefact, the kind of texts they contained, and how and by whom they were made and used. The way in which the catalogue is structured in chronological and thematic sections, each with their own introduction, also contributes to enhance this aspect of the volume.
The Chicano Movement is not dead. It lives on, fierce and passionate, in the voice and person of Gloria Velasquez. Challenging our complacency, her resonant cries for justice "refuse to be silent/to be buried in obscurity."
Netbook computers are now the fastest selling segment of the PC market. This book will help you choose a Netbook that is best suited to your needs and then show you how to set it up and use it effectively, especially by utilising the concept of 'cloud' computing.
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