Friday, August 31, 2007

News and bits

OK I finally finished Enduring Love and watched the film version as well. Bad idea, it was a good film but I kept screaming at the screen 'no that's not in the book!' Oh dear. Anyway I am going away for a couple of days (nowhere exciting:)) and wanted to wish everyone a happy weekend!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Enduring Love, Miss Read and nearly back to school

Bookish stuff first. I am just over half way through Ian McEwans Enduring Love and I can't decide if I love it or hate it if that makes sense. I find the main character so blimmin' annoying but I am fascinated by how the story will pan out. Oh well I will keep plodding on! I got a copy of Brave New World through Read It Swap It today in preparation for my next read on the Dystopian Challenge. I also went to the charity shop and picked up three of the Miss Read books (example here), have never read any of them before but she apparently details an idyllic village life with some school stuff in there.

And so on to school. Just under a week left until term starts. I popped into my new classroom today and it feels more like mine every time I go in there. It is starting to look great with all the displays and bits I have up on the walls. There is very little blank space and I got loads of really great resources over the summer. I still have so much to get ready and I feel nervous about getting a new class but am excited too.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

McCarthy wins award for The Road

BBC News Article

"Pulitzer Prize-winning US author Cormac McCarthy has won the UK's oldest literary award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction.

The Road, McCarthy's tale of a father and son in a post-apocalyptic America, was named the best novel of the year"

This is a great book, especially for those post-apocalyptic fans out there!

edited to say here is an article that tells of other nominees

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Song of Susannah by Stephen King

So tired but had to rejoice because finally finished Song of Susannah. It has taken me about a year to get that blimmin' thing finished, goodness knows why because I love the series but phew! One more to go and then the Dark Tower series is complete.

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

Strangely my local library had this and I read it in about two settings. I thought this book was brilliant but probably a little old for my Year 3 class. It tells the tale of some feisty young girls and their holiday to a cottage with their father. The sisters have differing personalities that get them into a variety of scrapes! If I was of a younger age I am sure I would have chosen a favourite sister, probably the writer of the eldest sister who kind of takes over the role of mother. This was a nice easy read that made me wish I could roam around a huge estate getting into mischief! It has I guess an old fashioned charm, I don’t know whether that is just me but it reminded me of books from my youth. It was a pleasant change from some of the books I have read recently aimed at children
I think what struck me about the book is the love and friendship of the family and their new friend Jeffrey, made me wish I had siblings to share things with! It is the kind of family ideal I would have relished (in some respects obviously) for example a father who loves his children dearly and supports them entirely but leaves them to their own devices.
I am so pleased to have read this book, I will certainly be getting my own copy for my classroom!

This is actually one of the books from my Something about Me challenge so yay one down!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Post 2 of the day - Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday
I had seen this on several people’s blogs and finally checked it out today. OK so I am not strictly starting on Thursday but I will from next week! This seems like a great idea and it is really interesting seeing everyone else’s responses!

When growing up did your family share your love of books? If so, did one person get you into reading? And, do you have any family-oriented memories with books and reading? (Family trips to bookstore, reading the same book as a sibling or parent, etc.)When I was a child it was just me and my mum. From what I remember my dad wasn’t a big reader and neither was my mum but she says she read to me quite a bit. I can’t remember this at all! All I remember is having a love for books, I enjoyed nothing more than sitting inside reading and I know my mum wished I would go outside more and play with everyone else! I remember the thrill of getting new books, trips to the library where I would take ages to pick. I loved when I was old enough to go on my own because this meant I didn’t have to rush.
I think my maternal grandma is a book reader but mainly crime and horror books and I don’t remember seeing her enough for it to have an impact on my own reading, but perhaps subconsciously it did! What I do think is she was th eone who introduced me to more adult books, Virginia Andrews and Shaun Hutson! I know she was definitely the one who gave me my first Hutson but I am not sure about the Virginia Andrews. All I remember is that I devoured her from about the age of 8 to .. well I can’t remember! I was still in primary school at this point and I don’t think the teachers approved or thought I was really reading it!

Ok this is the last post for the day, promise!

Challenges and a Meme

OK Finally catching up with my challenges- the two I have are the Something about Me and The Dystopian Challenges. While I was offline I had missed the linked email to join the Book Awards challenge so I won’t bother the organiser and ask to join again!

Something About Me
I cannot find my list of books chosen from other peoples books so I am thinking maybe I didn’t get that far, especially as I didn’t post them on my blog, only the ones chosen for other people to pick from. If I have the go ahead I am going to choose another 5 books for the challenge. These are
- Enduring Love by Ian McEwan (F) chosen by Kristin. I have also wanted to read another McEwan after enjoying Atonement so this seemed a perfect time to try another.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (F) chosen by Pattie. I have started a restarted this book several times and really want to finish it, so this will help me along.
- The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (F) chosen by Julie. As a teacher I am always looking out for new children’s books and I really liked the sound of this one.
- Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote (F) chosen by Lucca. After reading To Kill a Mockingbird recently and looking up the life of Harper Lee I was interested by her friendship with Capote.
- The World According to Garp by John Irving (F) chosen by Dewey and Chasida. I have seen Irving mentioned a few times on other people’s blogs and again thought this would be an ideal time to try him out!

Dystopian Challenge Books
The Road
Animal Farm
Brave New World
The Handmaid's Tale

I have also spent some time browsing other blogs, linked from some of the regular ones I visit. The thing is my list is getting so long now, there are some really interesting ones out there but my life will be spent looking through them! How does everyone else manage it?

I have also come across this meme in about a million blogs so thought I would also give it a go. I have lost track of who started it and where it is from!

What are you reading now?
I am restarting Song of Susannah by Stephen King and also various teaching books.

Do you have any idea what you'll read when you're done with that?
I will try and get started on one of my challenge books but I am also eying up my recent library haul including Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood and The Laments by George Hagen.

What magazines do you have in your bathroom right now?

What's the worst thing you were ever forced to read?
Some new educational government initiative probably.

What's the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?
There isn’t really one, I recommend different books to different people!

Admit it, the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don't they?

Not by name, well apart from one but that’s because I go to her book group! Some of the others know me by face only.

Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don't like it at all?

Years ago it was The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy but cannot think of anything recently.

Do you read books while you eat? While you bathe? While you watch movies or TV? While you listen to music? While you're on the computer? While you're having sex? While you're driving?

Yes for eating, computer and music. I only have a shower in the flat so until someone invents a waterproof book that’s a no. I don’t have a TV but we watch films on the computer and if I am getting bored I slyly read a book. I don’t drive but get the bus and I try and read on there (unless it is one of those days that it makes me feel sick!) And sex, no. OH would kill me.

When you were little, did other children tease you about your reading habits?
Not really but they all knew I was a shy little thing anyway and left me to my books. My mum couldn’t (and still can’t) understand why I read so much and used to use that as a punishment

What's the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn't put it down?

The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

That reminds me, better do my review for The Road!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Spelling Mississippi

by Marnie Woodrow

Just finished this book, one I picked up at the library just because I liked the cover lol! Really great read. Many attempts to write a review have stalled because I just cannot find the right words but I think some of this, lifted from, says it all
“Spelling Mississippi begins with a visually stunning drama that lingers ‘like the ghost scent of fine perfume’ over all the pages to come…. The narrative shifts smoothly between Cleo and Madeline, suspensefully unfurling their pasts, troubled childhoods, backstories ripe with longings and secrets, like the mini-cities of the dead, haunting the present…. Woodrow is a delicious tease, offering cool quenching sips of information, but spiked with intrigue. The story swirls compellingly on, at times funny, wise, erotic, always precisely detailed and vivid. A kind of romantic melancholy permeates the pages…. The charm and strength of the telling is the intimate reality created, the bang-on dialogue and characters [are] fully flesh and blood…. Spelling Mississippi, in the best way, is alive, both spirited and haunted.” -- Eliza Clark, The Globe and Mail


...that was either a very long sleep or I lost the internet for a while! But I am back and have spent time catching up on some people's blogs but still have more to do! I wanted to have a brief read of everything I have missed on people's blogs so it is taking a while. But what I have to say is that people still seem lovely, they are still reading a lot and already I have a new list of books to read! It's good to be back.

Now I also have to catch up with my challenges, I can't even remember the deadlines to some of them so hope I havent missed them!