How is your reading going? We have posts from Nell, and are awaiting the rest.
I started my summer by finishing ‘The 100 Year old Man who climbed out of a Window…’. While my son and wife really enjoyed this, in the end, I thought it was just silly and was very disappointed 1 it didn’t really say anything – I like a book to have a great ending that makes you re-evaluate life and keep you thinking for days and days.
My next read did just that: Mr Hindmarsh gave me Sebastian Faulks’ latest book, ‘A Possible Life,’ which is five short stories, all containing the story of a whole life. The opening story is gut-wrenchingly stunning, but the next three were not so strong and I did not really enjoy the opening of the final story, but it hen gripped me and ended on a real high note. Faulks is a master of his art and his theme often is, ‘what makes us human?’ This book is thought-provoking, deep and emotional. I loved it.
I’m now reading a couple of cycling books; one is the autobiography of Tour de France winner, Fignon, and the other a hilarious collection of articles lent to me by Mr Bowles called, ‘Compulsive Cycling Disorder’ – my sister’s just given me a book on Lance Armstrong too – all great motivation for the cycling!
Keep reading, keep learning, send in a review.

8 thoughts on “SIX BOOK CHALLENGE

  1. Tara Bashford

    Rescue me-my life with the battersea dogs by Melissa Wareham,
    Rescue me is based on a true story about the Melissa the author, and her life at battersea dogs home.
    Melissa always wanted to work with dogs, after failing her biology O-levels she realised she’d have to start from the bottom, cleanings out kennels at the battersea dogs home.
    This heart warming and compulsively readable, rescue me is Melissa’s memoir of her fifteen years at Britains most-loved dogs home.

  2. Tara Bashford

    The nine lives of montezuma by Michael Morpurgo.
    Everyone knows the saying ‘cat with nine lives’ but this book follows a cat called montezuma who experiences every life. Theres thrills and there’s spills, happiness and sadness, but this book really grabs your attention and there is always another adventure waiting on the next page. This book is great for animal lovers and adventurous people.

  3. Tara Bashford

    The lost islands of tamarind by Nadia Aguiar.
    This book is based on three children who get separated from there parents in a storm. These children, maya, Simon and penny now face a wild rescue adventure that will lead them to a really magical place. Whilst reading this book you feel as if you are the characters in the story and you can imagine all the scenes, you feel their pain, you laugh with them, you experience every moment throughout the story. The main aim in the book is for the children to get to a precious stone that holds a power that is both wondrous and terrifying this is the only thing that will help them get home. This book grabs your attention and you don’t want to put it down, you just carry on reading and don’t realise your reading it feels like a film. This book Is aimed for adventurous readers, people who like a challenge and for anyone who loves fantasy.

  4. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

    I took a trip to London and took Roddy Doyle’s ‘Bullfighting’ with me, which was lent to me by Mr Meek. As well written as the prose is, and it is superb in capturing the voices of the mid-life male narrators, this series of short stories was just too depressing for me (especially the one about the disillusioned, alcoholic teacher!)
    On the way home, I read a play I bought from the National Theatre, ‘The Last of the Haussmanns’ which is written by a local author and set in Dartmouth – I really liked it – very Totnesian in its allusion to ageing hippies!
    In preparation for next term, I’m also reading the complete works of Wilfred Owen and it was great to see some examples of his manuscripts in the British Library during my trip.
    I read David Walsh’s book on Lance Armstrong, ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’ in a couple of days as I was fascinated by the story and the issues that doping in sport throws up – thoroughly recommended for cyclists!

  5. Mr Legowski

    I regularly return to books I’ve read and love as a source of comfort and familiarity (I outgrew a comfort blanket years ago!). They will evoke memories of a particular time and place and I will occasionally wish to revisit that time. This is what I did over the summer – revisited books I love at the places I read them for the first time.

    I love PJ O’Rourke’s irreverent, often cynical take on…well, pretty much everything. ‘Republican Party Reptile’ is a collection of essays, articles and observations covering a wide range of topics, not just politics. He is daring, challenging, controversial and, despite his attempts to cover it up, intelligent. Ferrari Refutes the Decline of the West finds him taking a road trip across America and I wish I were his co-pilot; Just One of Those Days is brilliantly descriptive and witty, while Ship of Fools gives O’Rourke the chance to flex his Republican Party attitudes in an hilarious account of West-East openness.

    Reading John Irving’s ‘The Hotel New Hampshire’ found me in a confused state of mind. For so long Irving has been my favourite writer and THNH was one of the first of his books I’d read; I just remember it being better than I now find it. Full of typically unconventional characters and situations, and with the checklist of Irving features (familiar settings in New England and Vienna , death, sex, relationships, …bears!), it started as I expected a John Irving novel to. However, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I did the first time. Perhaps I was reading it with a ‘teacher’s head’ on as opposed to just enjoying the book but I quickly found Irving’s non-stop use of italics patronising – I am a practised reader and I know where to put the stress on words, I don’t need it pointing out for me in every sentence! Also, some of the characters’ dialogue was just too unrealistic for their age, Lilly being the worst offender. I don’t think I’ve ‘outgrown’ John Irving as I still love ‘A Prayer for Owen Meany’ (my all-time favourite), ‘The Cider House Rules’ and almost everything else he’s done; I just think that he is often too literate (and I’m an English teacher!) and is prone to making IMPORTANT OBSERVATIONS that aren’t as profound as he thinks they are.

    I’m reading ‘Regeneration’ at the mo’ in preparation for the new academic year and I’ve another book on the go so I’ll post another couple of reviews in the next week.

  6. Jordan

    127 hours (Between A Rock And A Hard Place) by Aron Ralston.
    This book is a true life account of an extreme sport enthusiast who is trapped by a large boulder while climbing in Utah. He is forced to spend 127 hours with his arm pinned between the boulder and the canyon wall with little food and water. While he is trapped, he thinks about many of his life’s events, such as climbing many mountains and travelling to exotic places around America. After a few days, he starts to accept the fact that he will die and begins to go delusional. But he ends up taking drastic measures to stay alive (read the book, I don’t want to spoil it!). It is interesting learning about how he survived for so long with so little, but some of the parts about his past are a bit repetitive at times, as most of these parts are about how he climbed a mountain. The ending of the book is very inspirational, as even after everything he goes through, he still manages to maintain his active lifestyle.

  7. Charlie

    Week 1

    The Tales of Beedle The Bard by J.K.Rowling, is a book about wizardry. No surprise there then with J.K.Rowling. This book was interesting as the stories in the book all rolled into each other. But the book was sought of like a review in newspapers, after each story Albus Dumbledore would talk about the stories. I really liked this feature as the author involved characters from other series of her books (Harry Potter).

    Would I recommend it? Yes, the stories used great descriptive language, that would be my first point if somebody asked me about the book.

    Week 2

    Itch by Simon Mayo, is a bit like mayonnaise (ironically). Some like it, some don’t. A 13 year old student going to secondary school who enjoys science, would love this book. The rough outline of the book goes as follows. A boy called Itch finds experimenting the best thing in the world. When he finds a new element to test, it is like Christmas to him. One day he steals a new element in the form of a highly reactive rock; and when the owner of the rock (Itch’s Science Teacher) realises it is missing, he goes on a rampage and the first person he turns to is Itch.

    Would I recommend it? If you enjoy science, and you are a teenager, PICK UP THE BOOK AND START READING.

    Week 3

    iBoy by Kevin Brooks is a must have book for any bookshelf. It is simply brilliant. Words cannot describe how good it really is. The storyline alone is a 10 out of 10 in my eyes and put together with the adjectives it would be a favourite to anyone. Before his attack, 16 year old Tom Harvey was just an ordinary boy; but now fragments of a shattered iPhone are embedded in his brain and it is having extraordinary effects because now Tom has powers….. And those powers are his curse.

    The plot then continues and the consequences are terrifying. Want to learn more, pick it up and have a read. You won’t be sorry.

    Week 4

    A Falcon’s Malteser by Anthony Horowitz is the first in a trio of books based around the Diamond Brothers. It is a spoof of the film The Maltese Falcon. This is also an essential book on any bookshelf. The humour that has been added really complements the storyline. The book is witty, fast paced and that is perfect for any teenager going to secondary school. It is probably a book fit for all ages in any family.

    If you cannot manage an Agatha Christie book yet, then this is a starting edition for any crime book lover.

    Week 5

    A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket is the third instalment of the Boudalire family’s orphaned children and the unfortunate events that follow. The book is full of action, puzzle solving, crime and adventure. Lemony Snicket records all of the events surrounding the orphaned children in various books. I found that this particular storyline was the one I enjoyed the most out of the series of books.

    If you have never picked up a Lemony Snicket book, then you have never been a true book reader.

    Week 6

    Some may say I am addicted to Anthony Horowitz as I am reading another one of his books. The Three of Diamonds is a book with three stories in it. The French Confection, The Blurred Man and I Know What You Did Last Wednesday. All of these stories follow the life of 14 year old Nick Diamond and the worlds most defective detective Tim Diamond. In most stories Nick does most of the problem solving, solving crime. My favourite story in the book is I Know What You Did Last Wednesday. It was just how witty and fast paced it was. I found it hilarious

    If Alex Rider is your thing, then you should try this series out. You will love it.


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