I was at the NELA fall conference yesterday. It is in Manchester this year, which makes it super convenient. I helped set up the silent raffle, it benefits the various professional education endeavors that NELA puts forth. I was happy to help set this up since it will give others the opportunity to take part in NELLS as I did this past summer. After helping with the set up I went to a program on genealogy, and I visited the vendor exhibits and the video game system demonstrations.
The highlight for me apart from catching up with my peers was the speaker at the banquet. The author Simon Winchester was there to speak about his latest book, The Man Who Loved China a biography about the Cambridge scholar Joseph Needham. Winchester details this remarkably, colorful, and brilliant character in world scholarship and his life's work to show the Western world China's enormous role in the development of human civilization. The presentation was very interesting and I think the book would be well worth the read if you are interested in world history, and the re-emergence of China on the world stage.