My #reading: May 2016

Schopenhauer argued that the best books deserved two readings. The second allowed for finer, more reflective interpretations, as the beginning was read in light of the end and the whole work in a new mood.   Damon Young Last month was spent in the USA; my first visit. Travelling alone, on my study tour, there was […]

March 2015: My Reading

“Science fiction is a literature that belongs to all humankind.”  Liu Cixin March has been an exciting month of science fiction reading and some progress has been made finding novelists writing in languages other than English. The trick, of course, is to be lucky enough to find novels superbly rendered by their translators. A tip from […]

January 2015: My Reading

It is not a New Year’s resolution but I intend to write one blog post a month about what I’ve been reading. Usually I write a roundup of books enjoyed twice a year but these posts do not tend to say much in the sense of being reviews. They are more lists with a few […]

Charging Windmills: My Reading in 2014

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” George R.R. Martin “I wanted to crawl in between those black lines of print, the way you crawl through a fence, and go to sleep under that beautiful big green fig-tree.” Sylvia Plath “I don’t remember ever […]

Iceland: North of the Wall

It rained incessantly and the wind was fierce but our time in Iceland was rewarding. The light, the landscape, the relaxed ambience and the people were all worth a journey to what is probably the furthest point one can travel from our home in Kiama. It felt well ‘North of the Wall’. There is a […]

My Reading in 2013: Favourite Books

He didn’t want a television, he had no need of a radio. He didn’t want the world to come in….He couldn’t stand the false hysteria of soap operas, the forced hilarity of sitcoms, the feigned outrage of commentators and the hosts of current-affairs shows. He didn’t own a computer. He didn’t need its temptations. He […]

What has Miss 9 read in 2012?

After posting about my reading in 2012 I asked my eldest daughter, who is in 3rd class and 9 years of age, what she read this year. She did not look up from her book and turned a page. She clearly had no interest in telling me and I did get a “there’s 100s, I can’t […]

What have you read this year?

How many adults, especially teachers and parents, discuss their own reading or passion for literature with children? How much reading for professional or personal pleasure do adults actually do? How central is reading to their busy days? Every year, especially as I witness the growth and development of my own daughters’ ‘imaginary lives’, reading seems […]

How to live

‘Montaigne liked to present himself as an ordinary man, distinguished from others only by his habit of writing things down’. I am halfway through Montaigne’s essays  and recommend them as great reflections to keep on your bedside table. If you are interested in the seismic shifts we have experienced in our hyperconnected age – the rise of the […]

Reading…

I can still see the poster on my own childhood primary school classroom wall: Kids who read succeeed The Conservative politician and current British Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, has recently said that, ‘children should read 50 books a year’. Who could possibly disagree? In my (not so) humble (on this issue) opinion […]

Twitter Literati for English Teachers

Australian English teachers have not flocked to twitter in the way I envisaged back in early 2008. I have been guilty of spamming email distribution lists, evangelising at conferences and publishing traditional print based articles in professional journals, all with very limited success in convincing my colleagues, in any great numbers, to tweet. There are some notable exceptions, tweeple I admire greatly, […]

My Spines

@LiteraryMinded asked about ‘our spines’ today and I have obliged below. However, it is my Kindle that has the most titles, especially chapter samples to read.

Whatever Happened to the Book is Happening Now!

At great risk of appearing unneccesarily sycophantic, I need to say that Mark Pesce‘s post, Whatever Happened to the Book,  is clever, unusually clever, even for Mark. Everything that currently intellectually interests (read obsesses me) about literature and our hyperconnected age is explored. Please read it closely and tell your friends, especially if they are teachers still learning. […]

Anthill: A Novel

“The cycles of other species can be destroyed, and the biosphere corrupted. But for each careless step we take, our species will ultimately pay an unwelcome price – always” I have just finished Anthill, set mostly in Alabama and occasionally underground, by two times Pultizer Prize winner and first time novelist, aged 81, E.O. Wilson. Pre-ordered ages ago, it arrived […]