Sunday, 5 September 2021
I have been enjoying 'For love of classics' Youtube channel for a while now and I find her very enjoyable to watch. Most of her book hauls and reviews cover classical literature. I like the way that she manages to make 'classics' sound like a new piece of literature. No matter what she is reviewing I always end up thinking, "I must read that".
Well, if that isn't a good enough reason to check out her Youtube channel, then you really need to take a look at this clip. She has two young ladies helping her bring to you some children's books. They do a fantastic job and they made me smile the whole way through. Together they made reading sound like sound so much fun.
These two young ladies might just get to help bring you more children's books in the future if you give them a little support. Lets keep the kids encouraged and take a look in on the choices they have shared.
Great work ladies!
Friday, 27 August 2021
Author: Tania Blanchard
- An ever evolving world war
- Arranged marriages
- Arranged/acceptable occupations
- Family expectations
- The dynamics of the medical system
- No internet - they used written correspondence
In a remote farming village nestled in the mountains that descend into the sparkling Ionian Sea, young and spirited Giulia Tallariti longs for something more. While she loves her home and her lively family, she would much rather follow in her nonna’s footsteps and pursue her dream of becoming a healer.
But as Mussolini’s focus shifts to the war in Europe, civil unrest looms. Whispers of war are at every corner and her beloved village, once safe from the fascist agenda of the North, is now in very real danger.
Caught between her desire to forge her own path and her duty to her family, Giulia must draw on the passion in her heart and the strength of her conviction.
Tuesday, 24 August 2021
We are in lock down again here!
But before lockdown I went on trip to Dunedin with my lovely daughter. We did loads of shopping and I have to admit that she needed to drag me out of Dunedin's University Bookshop, twice! You don't have to be a university student to shop there! Next bonus - they had 15% off everything 😃. This shop is the most beautiful bookshop that I have been into - ever. Yes I have to say - ever. I long to take a stroll around some of the bookshops that I have seen on the internet but that is not going to happen anytime soon (hopefully one day though), so yes, it is I loved every moment of being there. I could have taken up a comfy seat and made myself at home for the day. Of course my daughter probably could have too because in reality she almost out did me shopping wise, I just took longer 😂
So, what did I come home with?
Iliad - Homer
I have been wanting to read this one for a long time. Let's hope that I enjoy it. I am looking at it wondering what I have done! Oh well, I am up to the challenge.
Ex Libris - Michiko Kakutani
I couldn't resist this one. It was the first to be in my arms and it never got put back down. It is a beautiful book. I have no regrets keeping this one.
On writing - Steven King
I picked this one up and then put it back down. Then I picked it back up, second guessed it, and put it back down. Then I saw that it was in Ex Libris and decided I actually 'needed' it, and picked it back up and kept it 😄
How to write like Tolstoy - A journey into the minds of our greatest writers
This one just took my interest. I judged a book by its cover and took it home
~ I also went Young Reflections in Invercargill ~
These ones are for my students to read, analyse, converse over and enjoy:
Little people big dreams - Audrey Hepburn
Written by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Illustrated by Amaia Arrazola
Some of my students have read this one already and it has their approval
The wise little girl
Written by Alexander Afanasyev
Illustrations by Alice Sinkner
A beautiful early reader that had to be added to my collection
Dinostars and the planet plundering pirates - Ben Mantel
How could I not have this in my collection, it makes me smile.
Out of Bubblo
Written by Jill Eggleton
Illustrated by Rod Kiely
Okay, I only got this because of the pictures 😁 I am always drawn in by illustrations! The story is good though and so far my students like it just as much as I do.
And I am done!
Now to go read them. There has to be some benefits to being in lock down.
Sunday, 22 August 2021
Author: Susan Brocker & Raymond McGarth
Who is Mrs Chippy?
Mrs Chippy is Chippy McNeish's tomcat that journeyed on the Endurance with Shackleton and his crew to the Antarctic in 1914. Based on the true story of the expedition, your children will enjoy this picture book as they not only learn about a much loved cat but also they ships experience as it got trapped in the ice of Antarctic.
Not only will they enjoy a lovely story book they will learn a little history. At the back are photos of the real Mrs Chippy and Chippy McNeish and an extra snippet of history.
I have read this now with quite a few of my young students - or rather they have read it to me - and they are so many talking points to encourage the comprehension of the reader. Not only have we read the story, we have had to venture further and look up the ship and the crew to see what else could be found. The avenues for extra learning, from just one little 'picture flat' book, are enormous. The opportunities to stop and talk whilst encouraging the comprehension of the young reader are immense. This book has been a great investment to my reading collection.
I recommend books like this one, simply for the history and extra avenues that you take as your young reader enjoys what they see as a enjoyable little story book.
Mrs Chippy, trotting along the ship's railings, was the first to spot the pack ice. It spread out before the endurance like floating white chunks of a gigantic jigsaw, penguins and seals watched the ship from the ice floes as they sailed by, and whales and orca popped up to spy on them...
This is the tale of Mrs Chippy, a tom cat who was a loyal and loved companion to the crew on Ernest Shackleton's 1914 expedition to the Antarctic aboard the Endurance.
Mrs Chippy was the best mate of the ship's carpenter, Chippy McNeish. A statue of the cat lies on his grave in Karori Cemetery, Wellington.
Sunday, 1 August 2021
Author: Anthony Doerr
This book will take you down a path of history, in a way that is uniquely eye opening. We have all heard snippets of this time in history and there are lessons to be learnt from it. I don't think that we should close our eyes to the past, only to risk being ignorant enough to let things happen again. In this writing, although fictional, I was taken into the lives of so many individuals. I followed every character for different reasons. I sat hour after hour turning the pages, unable to close the book.
I was firstly taken into to the life of a little orphan boy who just wanted to make things and learn. I have a little boy (sorry he is young man now 😄) who also pulled everything apart with the mission to make it go or make it better. He too wanted to know everything about everything. Here I sat reading about a boy who was clever beyond his years but it was taken and used in a way that he couldn't escape. We can't close our eyes to the fact that not everyone was evil but rather many were surviving. This young man was one of the many surviving, but he did find a way to follow his heart and do the right thing. Did he remain a survivor ...?
Then I was enticed into the life of a little girl who was blind. And her wonderful father who was able to teach her the city via little wooden models so intricate, each containing a puzzle, uniquely made for her with his own hands. I was fascinated by these two characters. I was drawn into their world and walked with her throughout the pages. She couldn't see the world visually but in reality she saw more than anyone else. She was courageous and strong. She was survivor.... or?
Every other character had a special part to play in the book. I think I wanted to know more about everyone of them. I closed the book wanting to know more about the survivors? And in some cases if they survived. Really, pick up the book and follow the lives of the these individuals and see how connected we all are. See how every little thing that we do can be influencing someone that we know little about. Interesting concept really.
I want to talk a little about the symbolisms in this book. There are replica's and models, secrets, and radios. Together they all intertwined the lives of everyone. I was left thinking about these upon closing the final page. The little houses that Marie-Laure's father made sounded wonderful to me. They held a puzzle and a gift. They need knowledge to open them. But one would harbour a secret. Same with radios that Werner would make. They started as a joy and thrill of the ability to find a away to create. It was also a way to gain knowledge as the children listened to the stories on them, when fixed. But.... in secret. Everything a secret. Werner ended up seeking radios which were hidden. Secret after secret revelled in the things that were once treasures. If I was given an assignment to write an essay on this, I think I could go down so many rabbit holes. This books holds many answers but at the same it leaves me with questions.
Put this book on your 'To Be Read' list if you want a page turner.
For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic layers within the invaluable diamond that her father guards in the Museum of Natural History. The walled city by the sea, where father and daughter take refuge when the Nazis invade Paris. And a future which draws her ever closer to Werner, a German orphan, destined to labour in the mines until a broken radio fills his life with possibility and brings him to the notice of the Hitler Youth.
In this magnificent, deeply moving novel, the stories of
Marie-Laure and Werner illuminate the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.
Sunday, 18 July 2021
It has been a while since I gave you a Booktuber of the the month. Reason being that many of the Booktubers started to sound the same. They presented to me the same content and reviewed that same books. I wanted to see a Booktuber giving me what they were passionate about. Reading what they wanted to read and being able see that in their content.
I found one!
Introducing - *e m m i e *
I have to showcase her today because she has in this video..... 'Anne of Green Gables' by L. M. Montgomery. She is girl after my own heart. When I listen to her passion for what she is reading and how she goes so deep into the novels, I can't help but want to hear more from her.
So, *e m m i e* keep reading and bringing us more videos and stay true to what you bring us.
And to everyone else, click on the link above and take a look in at what she is bringing the world. You may like her and I am sure she will inspire and teach us all to look deeper into the novels we are reading.
Sunday, 11 July 2021
Author: L. M. Montgomery
I have been so blessed to be given the opportunity to read some really old books! Now, when I say old I mean a treasure! This one was published in 1926. I have read it and been transported in time. In more ways than one. To hold and read this book, knowing the owner and their age; knowing the story behind them receiving it: knowing the joy that they got from reading; knowing... just knowing the history I hold in my hand, is a gift.
Then there is the history written on the pages. It's like being transported back 95 years to a time well before mine. I read this seeing Anne and her friends living in a totally different time to ours but also knowing that in some aspects things have changed very little. The world around us is continually changing and so are people, but reading this I and see people unchanged in many ways too. There was a certain connection still available to today's reader, that I grasped with every breath. I feel like I have been on a roller coaster ride between the 'Oh No!' moments and the 'shear laughter' moments, and there was even a moment that I wanted to cry.
I was taken by the importance of good character. Considering this was a children's book in it's time, I was impressed by how much I myself, learnt of the expectations of good character which was placed within the writing of this children's book. There was not one perfect person in the story, but good character was defiantly intertwined within the pages. I am sure just reading these books would have had children learning of the moral and social expectations of their time, and they were interesting to read about.
I was also intrigued by the age in which Anne started teaching. Sixteen. I think of our sixteen year olds today, they are still the student and still have a few years of education before them. Anne was a first year teacher and she took on the challenge like a professional. Sometimes we think we have come so far, but reading 'Anne of Avonlea' I am left questioning some things? That has to be a sign of a book worthy of being called a Classic.
As I finish the final pages I am reluctant to put the book down, knowing that I put down more than a book. I put down a book full of history and memories. In between the tattered cover lies thick pages entailing more than Anne's story, it tells of history. I am left thinking that there is more history in these books that the history text books can show us.
Lucy Maud Montgomery (1974-1942)
A school teacher and minister's wife, Montgomery became a writer of popular juveniles almost by accident. Asked to prepare a short serial for a Sunday school paper, she drew on her girlhood memories of Prince Edward Island to produce the enormously successful 'Anne of Green Gables' (1908), to which she wrote six sequels. Her ventures into adult fiction were not a success.
Taken from: Benet's Readers Encyclopedia - Fourth Edition
- 'Anne of Avonlea' is book two of the 'Anne of Green Gables' series
Monday, 5 July 2021
I hope you all find the joy in reading. It took me too many years to discover that there was a joyous world in the imagination that a book gives us. Today, we all deserve the simple pleasure that a story can bring. If there is a child you know who struggles to read.... read aloud to them. It is a gift that they deserve.
It's fast approaching the school holidays again, so I set a challenge for the holidays:
- Take your kids or a child to the library
- Read aloud at least one book - even a picture book counts, they don't take long to read
- Enjoy some reading time for yourself - you're important too
Monday, 28 June 2021
This edition: a verse translation by Keith Harrison
Grammar Fix It! Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Author: Pamela White
(Institute for Excellence in Writing)
I have two things here for you today. 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' is a book I studied, a few years ago now, and it still remains a treasure piece of literature in my mind. Now I am taking a student on a literary journey, using the novel and this curriculum.
Let's start with Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Written in the 14th century, by an unknown author, and this gem of poetry which still graces our book stores, universities, schools and homes today. Now that to me says "Must Read!". This is the second time that I have read this and I still loved every bit of it. I have a confession to make... I love poetry and verse. That said, I may be a little bias on the fact because this is a long work of poetry. It could be called a story or it could be called poetry. Whichever way you look at it, I without a doubt encourage you to pick up a copy and try it.
When I first got handed a copy I was far from convinced. I probably wouldn't have read it if I didn't need to write an essay on thing. Today, I am thankful that I have enjoyed reading it for a second time. It re-opened my eyes to a genre that often goes left on the back of shelves, neglected. I would love to see a world of this genre re-opened up, for this generation to enjoy. Then again, maybe there is more out there that I am to discover, so if anyone knows of some modern versions of poetic book then please let me know. I want more!
You will find many resources online to accompany this book such as Spark notes and of course there is the one I am highlighting here for you today - Grammar fix it (if you live outside NZ then try EIW.com ). Of course there is a good write up over on Wikipedia and if you put 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' into Youtube there are multiple links to videos and reviews.
To Grammar Fix It...
What exactly is Grammar Fix It?
It is a curriculum that takes the student through 32 weeks of fixing grammar using a story. In this instance, 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' is used. Each week there are four days of a couple of sentences that need correcting. Each one is clearly written in the student book. The teacher book has a copy of each student page along with notes and corrections. In the back of the student book there are flash cards which can be cut out; an excellent glossary; a completion certificate. By the end of the year the student has a corrected story of their own - Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
I like to use the curriculum along side the novel as a supplement course in grammar and English. The student gets a taste of the novel, poetry, analysation and grammar - all in one when used together. Fantastic.
Grammar Fix It comes in 6 levels and this edition is the 6th level.
Overall, 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' remains a brilliant piece of literature in my views. I would highly recommend experiencing the read if you can pick up a copy.
"Middle English poem in Alliterative verse written by an unknown called Peral Poet. The poem is one of four (possibly all by the same writer) which appear in a single manuscript of the collection of Sir Robert Bruce COTTON.
Perhaps the greatest single Arthurian legend in English, this masterpiece of Middle English writing concerns the ordeal of the ideal knight, Sir Gawain. ... Into the midst of New Year festivities at King Arthur's court burst a green giant on horseback. he dares any of Arthur's knights to chop off his head on condition in one year he be allowed to return the blow... " Taken from: Benet's readers Encyclopedia - fourth edition"
Tuesday, 11 May 2021
Author: Terry Pratchett
I became interested in this book when a friend's husband told me I had to read this series. I had heard about it 20 odd years ago when a work mate read the series and waited religiously for the next book in in the series to hit our city bookstores. Hence, when all of sudden out of the blue the series was being talked about again, I thought it was about time I took a look at what all the interest was about.
I started by looking at Goodreads to see if it really was worth my time. There were 20,234 reviews! As for the ratings:
- 5 Stars - 36%
- 4 Stars - 26%
- 3 Stars - 21 %
- 2 Stars - 5%
- 1 Star - 2%
Thursday, 6 May 2021
I am reading a book by Charlotte Mason and this grabbed my attention. I like the way it is written and the thought that it quietly provoked. I put it onto my worthy of repeating list because somethings just need to be repeated and not lost within the covers of a book.
The weekend is fast approaching so I wish everyone a great weekend. This weekend is Mothers Day here hence a shout out to all the great mum's who are doing the best they can.
Enjoy your weekend and happy reading
Wednesday, 28 April 2021
Author: Jillian Cantor
What if we could write the story of our life as reality and how it could have been if we had just taken the other path?
Have you ever thought about how things would have been if only you had taken the other path?
Said "Yes" where you said "No".
Or, not got on the train and moved to another part of the world but stayed with the one person you really loved?
Life is full of options and we are often left analyzing the "what if's".
Jullian Cantor has written such a novel that answers the "what if" to Marya Sklodawska. She could have stayed Poland and lived a life way different from the life she lived in Paris and in this novel she does both. You will read chapter by chapter the parallel happenings of her life in Paris had she got on the train, and her life in Poland had she not got on the train.
I was gripped into both stories. I had the "No!" moments, where I thought "What are thinking?" and then was enticed back into the supportive reader who agreed with her choices. It was a roller coaster ride as I flicked from chapter to chapter and one life to the other.
It was a fantastic read like none other that I have encountered. It was the most brilliant concept put into written word and I want more novels like this one.
I was left questioning the choices I have made in my life. I have journeyed many options and chosen many paths that I may or may not chose now that I am older and wiser. As I lay the book down each night I was left thinking about our parallel opportunities and the options that we take. I came to the end of the book, and the end of my own questions, and agreed that Maria (Marya) chose the right path at the right time and so have I. Life is a journey of possibilities and we make choices that make the journey interesting. I wonder how many times Maria wondered about her choices? I still have many to make, but so far life's choices have put me on a journey that I am happy to have taken.
If you get the opportunity to read 'Half Life' then pick it up and take the journey with Maria. Take the journey with yourself too.
In Poland in 1891, Marie Curie (then Marya Sklodowska) was engaged to a budding mathematician, Kazimierz Zorawski. But when his mother insisted she was too poor and not good enough, he broke off the engagement. A heartbroken Marya left Poland for Paris, where she would attend the Sorbonne to study chemistry and physics. Eventually Marie Curie would go on to change the course of science forever and be the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.But what if she had made a different choice?
What if she had stayed in Poland, married Kazimierz at the age of twenty-four, and never attended the Sorbonne or discovered radium? What if she had chosen a life of domesticity with a constant hunger for knowledge in Russian Poland where education for women was restricted, instead of studying science in Paris and meeting Pierre Curie?
Entwining Marie Curie's real story with Marya Zorawska's fictional one, Half Life explores loves lost and destinies unfulfilled--and probes issues of loyalty and identity, gender and class, motherhood and sisterhood, fame and anonymity, scholarship and knowledge. Through parallel contrasting versions of Marya's life, Jillian Cantor's unique historical novel asks what would have happened if a great scientific mind was denied opportunity and access to education. It examines how the lives of one remarkable woman and the people she loved - as well as the world at large and course of science and history--might have been irrevocably changed in ways both great and small.
Description taken from: Book Depository
Book available from Book Depository
Friday, 23 April 2021
Sunday, 11 April 2021
Author: Chloe Frayne
Even though you are an ocean,
you could pour yourself out
and there would still be
who would see nothing
but a half-empty cup of sand.....
To read the rest of this poem you will need to get a copy of The Gravity Inside Us. It will be worth the investment. I know, I love any poetry so maybe I am not the best person to be telling you that this book is worth the investment. The thing is.... I only review what I believe 😀 and I have enjoyed every part of the book.
The first section remains my favorite. Most of poems captured my imagination and left me thinking, which is what all good poetry should do.
The middle selections of poems I would recommend taking your time reading. I read them one after another one morning over breakfast and then found that I spent the rest of the day a little sad-ish. It could have just been the day but the poems got me thinking of people and events from my past, whereas the first selection had left me pondering life.
The last third of the book perfectly wove every ounce of the book together and I was left pleased to have been given a copy of The Gravity Inside Us.
I think I will always enjoy poetry and I am thankful to my year 13 English teacher for introducing me to genre and the treasure that every word holds. I was given gift by that teacher (unfortunately I don't remember her name, I can still see her but her name is gone). She showed me how to take piece of literature and read between the lines. Before being introduced to poetry I hated reading. That particular teacher gave me one genre of literature that I could love and treasure for the rest of my life.
Anyway..... before I go any further down my schooling years, I will give credit to Chloe Frayne for the words, metaphors and thoughts that she has connected together into beautiful pieces of poetry for the world to enjoy.
Gathering inspiration from a life of travel, hope, long-distance relationships, healing, and adventure, Frayne invites readers into her world. is an ode to whatever it is we carry that pulls us in and out of place, and speaks so insistently of fate. Through writing about her own experiences, this book is a reach into that space.
This was available from: Book depository
Sunday, 4 April 2021
Author: Jay Shetty
There we go! That was a lot. As you can see there is plenty to sink your mind into with this book and I am sure you will find something worthy of putting this on your reading list.Train your mind for peace every day ~ This was a good one. When I get up in the morning, I like to get up earlier than everyone else and get my breakfast. I did like to read the news headlines on my phone, check out any subscriptions to ensure I wasn't missing anything, and the other normal morning things that we all tend to do. Now, I get up and have my breakfast (I love breakfast it is the best meal of the day), I take time to sit in the quiet, reflect what the day may hold and how I can present the best me to the world for the day. Then I read until it is time to face the day.Learn to stop living based on people's opinions and start living on your terms ~ Okay, this is going to take a while to prefect but I am willing to start. It is not something that I have major issues with but I know that I can do better.Remove negativity and overcome toxic relationships and habits ~ This is a process that has been happening all by itself over the last couple of years. I have to agree with Jay Shetty on this one. It is so easy to keep people in your life that are just... toxic. The thing that hit me most is that sometimes you don't even realize that the relationship is based on time rather than growth and encouragement, friendship and understanding. Not an easy thing and don't be ruthless but... worth thinking about, especially if the person has already distanced and you can't let go.Heal your anxiety, fear and pain from the past ~ When I searched this one, I came back to the idea that there was a lot to be happy about with my past and I choose to continue to remember those times. I am one of the lucky ones that had a Mum that talked to me; a lot. I love her for that. Maybe I have already dealt with more than I know or maybe I have faith that everything is for a reason. Whatever my maybe's I am happy to remember the good, especially the talks with my mother (all you mum's out there, talk to your children they will remember).Uncover your true passion and purpose ~ I believe I have, at least for this time of my life. For any of you reading this, uncover your true passion and run with it... you owe it to the world.Create effective morning and evening routines that transform your daily habits ~ I am a routine person and if you aren't then find a routine! It is much easier on your mind to have a few routines in your life, it is just one less thing to have to think about 😉Stop overthinking and procrastinating and train your mind to focus ~ I am a work progress on this one. I don't tend to procrastinate but I do think about everything and not only for myself but for everyone else as well. I am a fixer! Well, at least I use to be - as my kids get older I am realizing that I don't have to think for them any more - phew!!Put aside your ego to clear the path to success ~ Something we can all work on.Develop an impactful gratitude practice that goes deeper than a list ~ The more that I think about what I have to be thankful for the less I think of anything as an issue. There is something good in most things if we look. Sometimes it is after the events that we can see what there is to be thankful for but there is more than we see when our mind is shut.Find and develop true compatibility in relationships ~ When you delve into this idea remember that all relationships are about both people not just you 😀
When you think like a monk, you’ll understand:
- How to overcome negativity
- How to stop overthinking
- Why comparison kills love
- How to use your fear
- Why you can’t find happiness by looking for it
- How to learn from everyone you meet
- Why you are not your thoughts
- How to find your purpose
- Why kindness is crucial to success
- And much more...
Shetty grew up in a family where you could become one of three things—a doctor, a lawyer, or a failure. His family was convinced he had chosen option three: instead of attending his college graduation ceremony, he headed to India to become a monk, to meditate every day for four to eight hours, and devote his life to helping others. After three years, one of his teachers told him that he would have more impact on the world if he left the monk’s path to share his experience and wisdom with others. Heavily in debt, and with no recognizable skills on his résumé, he moved back home in north London with his parents.
Shetty reconnected with old school friends—many working for some of the world’s largest corporations—who were experiencing tremendous stress, pressure, and unhappiness, and they invited Shetty to coach them on well-being, purpose, and mindfulness. Since then, Shetty has become one of the world’s most popular influencers. In 2017, he was named in the Forbes magazine 30-under-30 for being a game-changer in the world of media. In 2018, he had the #1 video on Facebook with over 360 million views. His social media following totals over 38 million, he has produced over 400 viral videos which have amassed more than 8 billion views, and his podcast, On Purpose, is consistently ranked the world’s #1 Health and Wellness podcast.
In this inspiring, empowering book, Shetty draws on his time as a monk to show us how we can clear the roadblocks to our potential and power. Combining ancient wisdom and his own rich experiences in the ashram, Think Like a Monk reveals how to overcome negative thoughts and habits, and access the calm and purpose that lie within all of us. He transforms abstract lessons into advice and exercises we can all apply to reduce stress, improve relationships, and give the gifts we find in ourselves to the world. Shetty proves that everyone can—and should—think like a monk.