Tag Archives: reading

Gone With The Wind Part 1

Today I was looking through my Goodreads “currently reading” list and realised that I have around 10 books on that list! I am chronic in starting a book only to take a break from it for a while, a LONg while it seems, and then have to pretty much start from the beginning because I’ve forgotten what it was about! I am also chronic in reading/re-reading books in a series in an effort to pad my Reading Challenge (Deltora and Series of Unfortunate Events, I’m talking to you!) for the year, which now sits at 78/85 books,  but having all those unfinished books on my list does get to me at times.

I don’t know quite what it is that makes me put books down after starting them. Obviously being busy at work has had an impact – I rarely want to read at home after my brain is wired all day – but other than that I am curious as to why. The books that are on my “currently reading” list are a range of classic and non-fiction books, some of them library books that I started but never got around to finishing. I know that with books like Kavalier and Clay and All Quiet on the Western Front the reputation of them being “classics” can feel daunting at times. I know that I have Anna Karenina, The Iliad and Heart Of Darkness among many others sitting on my bookshelf for years, waiting for the right time for me to read them. Whether that time is when I’ve had my fill of puff, chick-lit/mystery books or when I’m in the school holidays ready to be challenged OR simply when I have the motivation to want to tackle one of these mighty works.  Continue reading Gone With The Wind Part 1

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Top Ten Books That Should Be Movies

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme brought to  you by The Broke and the Bookish, which I endeavour to participate in regularly!

In my last week of summer holidays before going to work at a new school, i have been catching up on books, TV shows and movies that I have missed throughout the year. A lot of these movies in particular have been very much not worth the wait, or adaptations of much loved books that have not had that same level of love translated into their big screen outings. So for this week’s top ten, I thought I’d go with books that should be adapted (but only if they are done so exquisitely).

 

Continue reading Top Ten Books That Should Be Movies

Holiday Reading and Educating

My Goodreads challenge (of reading 100 books in 2014) currently sits on 76, meaning I have just under three months to read 24 books. If you know me in the slightest, you will know that this is a very achievable feat. My new job as an English teacher means that not only do i have access to an absolute plethora of texts (my reaction to being shown the book room: Why yes, I can see a use for these *drooooling*) but I also need to be sure to stay current and diversify my reading choices. So when school holidays came a callin’, I packed my school bag not just with marking and planning, but also what I believe is known as a “buttload” of books:

Pictured/on my list:

  • The Monogram Murders – Sophie Hannah
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (currently reading)
  • Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn (not pictured but just finished read, and OH My GOOOD I love it)
  • Batavia’s Graveyard – Mike Dash
  • The Thebean Plays – Sophocles
  • Blackrock – Nick Enright
  • Macbeth
  • Stone Cold – Robert Swindells
  • The Old Man And The Sea – Ernest Hemingway
  • About A Boy – Nick Hornby
  • Rumble Fish – S. E. Hinton

Some of you may think “Happy Potter? Some diversifying missy!” and you would be right; however I am reading these (mostly) when my class is in the library doing silent reading, modelling successful reading practices to kids who would rather be on their phones.

I love going to the library for reading, and I’m very proud of the fact that I have recommended books to some of my years tens successfully (thank you Matthew Reilly!). Being a new teacher I feel like I’m still filled with a large amount of idealism and naivety about how much of an impact I can have. I get a lot of satisfaction from watching kids reading, and even more so from talking to them about their books. One of my year 11 boys is full of energy, a handful when he wants to be, and yet very sweet and helpful. He gets through a Half Blood Prince-sized book nearlly every day, according to his teacher from last year, and he is the last person who anyone would expect to be pestering me to go to the library, and yet he does! Just one of the things I love about my job, seeing that love and overwhelming appetite for reading in kids that I teach.

One more week of holidays left (not long enough), but I can’t wait to get back. I teach one class each of years 9-11, and am picking up the top year 11 class in about a month when my colleague goes on holiday. So far my broad plans for them are: Year 9: Introduction to Shakespeare (using an episode of Doctor Who and Macbeth, being a class of all but 3 girls), Year 10: Sports as a genre of film and books, starting with Friday Night Lights and touching on rite of passage and creative writing, Year 11: Comic books and superheroes, exploring the moral identities and representations in the genre.

Any advice is well welcome, as well as any thoughts on my holiday reading! Teachers out there,  what text types would you use with classes that are 95% male? My previous experience has been exclusively girls, so I have been struggling a little with what to engage the boys with. Hope you had a great weekend!

 

Love,
Andrea

 

Ten Books I Own But Have Never Touched (Yet…)

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Today’s top ten is a freebie, so because I am currently struggling with about three books at the moment, I thought I would dedicate this week to those books that are on my perpetual “gonna read” list. This is also only the ten that I know of, the majority of my books are packed away in boxes in my garage due to a lack of space inside my house so there are at least 15 more I own but have not read.

  1. Love In The Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez
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  2. The Aeneid
  3. The Odyssey – Homer
  4. The Beautiful and the Damned – F Scott Fitzgerald
  5. Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case
    I have made the decision not to read this (even though I know the major plot twist of it) until I have read and own every other Agatha Christie work.
  6. That Summer At Boomerang – Phil Jarratt
  7. The Book of Basketball – Bill Simmons
  8. Puberty Blues – Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette
  9.  Shakespeare – Bill Bryson
  10. City of Heavenly Fire – Cassandra Clare
    To be fair, I only just bought this (physical copy) today! Probably will be read by this time tomorrow though.

Hopefully get onto some of these soon! What are some of your “forever owned, never read” books?

Love,
Andrea

Life Updates and Literature

Long time no speak!

Just a quick one for now, life has both treated me fairly and unjustly in the past month or so. I have been fortunate enough to get some English relief work for the end of term one, only to be rejected for that very job when I applied for it. It has been a very emotional, gruelling period. I put everything I had into those students for the short time I taught them, which only served to remind me that this makes me so happy, that it is what I love doing, and that I am excellent at it no matter what. And for the record, I was rejected for the job due to my “lack of experience.” Bogus excuse but one that will rear its head time and time again until someone decides to give me the very experience I seek.

All my fantastic teaching has left my “to read” list growing higher and higher, so I thought I would share a few that I am hoping to tackle while in between jobs.

 

I’m currently in the last few chapters of the most recent Sue Grafton, so hopefully get that done tonight and get stuck into the next one on my list! I am looking forward to getting back in touch with my books, even if it isn’t technically touching them (I predominantly use an ereader now). My Goodreads Challenge goal for the year is 100, and so far I am sitting on 36 which is eight books ahead of schedule. Not bad, but by my usual standards fairly average!

Hope you are getting some good reading in too!

Love,
Andrea

The Casual Vacancy (Day 29)

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I promised myself that when I read this book I would come at it with an open, un-Potter-encumbered mind.

I’m a huge fan of multiple perspectives in narrative, first and third person, and I think that they were employed well here to fully immerse the reader in the minutiae of small town life. I like how all the characters’ lives intersect, and that there are things you hear in one section that then pay off in another character’s story.

I kept waiting for something to happen with Andrew’s EpiPen, but I was surprised at where it ended up. I was expecting something to happen with Andrew having to use it, but I liked how it was tied back to Krystal at the end. The story of her being the only one who realised Andrew was having an allergic reaction, and Andrew’s recollection of it, for me epitomises her character. The placement of the anecdote within the narrative (and the unexpected way it was then linked to the reason for the Mollisons’ opinion of her) made it resonate and bring the story to a bittersweet conclusion.

Krystal for me is one of the most nuanced and complete characters I have read in a long time. Having different characters’ perspectives on her helped craft her better I think compared to any other character. Samantha for example to me seemed nothing more than a bored housewife, though in saying that I think that each character was given something as a sort of justification for their behaviour, whether a valid justification or not.

Overall I really enjoyed The Casual Vacancy. There were Potter-esque tones to it at times in the depth of character and setting descriptions and in the ability Rowling has to immerse readers in a world, but not so much that you were constantly reminded of it.

I’ve also managed to read the Divergent series of books this holidays, which I also enjoyed and shall write about at a later date.

Hope you had a great weekend!
Love,
Andrea

27 Signs You Will Always Love The Harry Potter Books (Day 12)

Again, another Thought Catalog list by Ella Ceron that reflects part of my life. I’m currently reading “The Casual Vacancy” and there is a lot tonally that mirrors Harry Potter. And as we know, Harry Potter is everything.

Love,
Andrea

Thought Catalog

1. Few things make you feel as old as the fact that the first book was published 16 years ago.

2. But few things make you feel as young as the opening line that “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say…”

3. You can recite the rest of the opening line by memory.

4. One of the best things about having kids will be when you can read the books to them at bedtime.

5. You have fond, fond memories of waiting until midnight at a bookstore to get your copy of the latest book.

6. You still remember how many hours (not days) it took you to read each new book, and that it was a badge of honor to be in the 8 hours or less club when The Order of the Phoenix went on sale.

7. Any orange cat not named…

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