About time…well waves really!

If you spend anytime in the library, and many of you do, chatting to me about which book to read next, you’d know that my favourite genre is science fiction. So I am a little excited that there is a new trilogy out by Rick Yancey. The first book – The 5th Wave is an action packed read that has a bit of everything; it is end of the world disaster meets alien invasion, boy meets girl, girl tries to rescue younger brother type scenario. If you enjoyed Ender’s Game, Hunger Games and Divergent – then this is a must read. A little more action packed – if that is possible – and the actual writing is rather good.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the 
lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 
4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway,Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the 
countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last 
survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she 
meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’sonly hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender. 
http://www.the5thwaveiscoming.com/books

There is even a film – just released – in case you were wondering.

Best get to the library quickly and grab it before anyone else…

Written by

Lisa Trundley-Banks

 

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The Rights of the Reader

7. The Right to Read Anywhere

What is the strangest place that you have been known to read a book? Perhaps best to answer this internally…In Daniel Pennac’s book – The Rights of the Reader – on which this blog has been based – he describes a certain soldier who volunteered everyday for the most awful duty in the barracks – “shit-house duty.” Pennac then describes the young man going off with broom in hand, nobody thinks to question him as no-one else wants to clean the latrines. He has a secret. 1900 pages of Gogol.

You probably have not heard of Gogol – and no matter. The point is that he volunteers for the worst job so that he can lock himself in the cubicle and READ. He left behind the following message:

Yes, I can honestly say – sit down, pedagogue

That I’ve read all of Gogol, right here in this bog.

So exercise your right to read anywhere, except perhaps whilst crossing the road. I like to read whilst eating and whilst watching TV – yes I can do all three at once!imgresThis soldier is a certainly exercising his rights to read…As are the gentlemen below.holland-house-bombed-ww21

Lisa Trundley-Banks

RUN – The Lydiard Way

Book weeding, appropriately termed  as it can be as difficult and dreary as weeding your back yard. I crawl around the shelves on my hand and knees pulling out the obvious ones and then going back and digging in-between for an unsuspecting victim. I then viciously condemn the book to death, removing it from our shelves and hence the collection forever, never to be picked up, thumbed through or read again. It is a sad job. But long before I decide a book is no longer of use, the boys at school have decided this, as it is they that have stopped reading it. This happens for a variety of reasons; fashion and popularity, new books come out that surpass it, its cover becomes old fashioned, it looks tatty and dirty. It is part of our job in a school library to keep the collection current and useful, and it certainly must have up to date information that supports the curriculum.

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Today, as I scanned the shelves I came across, Run The Lydiard way, written by Arthur Lydiard with Garth Gilmour. It was published  in 1978 and bought by the library on 1 February 1979. It looks really old!

I cannot possibly get rid of it. So are we in the business of running a museum? Partly, I do think that there are certain books that the College library needs to preserve and our collection of books on Canterbury history are particularly impressive and need to be preserved.

However, this book is a must. In fact I have just shown it to Henry Smith, one of the PE teachers and he visibly got excited.

If you have never heard of Arthur Lydiard ONZ OBE, he is lauded as one of the outstanding athletics coaches of all time. He is credited with popularizing running and making it commonplace across the world. He is also responsible for new records being set in every event from 800m to marathons.  At the time that the book was published, Lydiard had spent the last thirty years in testing the limits of human physiology against hard exercise, testing theories and formulating successful training methods from his own experiences in middle and long distance running.  The book also includes a guide to health, diet and injury cure and prevention.

Lydiard left quite a legacy. There is a marathon and 1/2 marathon named after him – taking place on the 12 September this year, if you are interested:  http://thelegend.co.nz/

After he died in 2004 his running schedules were reproduced online by his co – author and friend Garth Gilmour. I have also attached them here for you: http://thelegend.co.nz/legend_pdfs/static_pdfs/Lydiard_schedules_for_Legend.pdf

Lydiard’s story is fascinating,

At the age of 27, when many athletes were preparing to retire, he started competitive running. He began with one to three mile races, continuing to further refine his training and increase the distances he was running. He became a provincial cross-country representative and his training frequently consisted of runs of up to 50km. Getting older but also fitter: he set his sights on the marathon. By the start of the 1950s, Lydiard was New Zealand’s top marathon runner. He competed in the 1950 Empire Games (finishing 13th, a placing he described as “poor”) and took the national title in 1953 and 1955. (http://www.nzedge.com/arthur-lydiard/)

His basic theory was,

“…that long, even-pace running at a strong speed produced increased strength and endurance – even when it is continued to the point of collapse – and was beneficial, not harmful, to regular competition.”

My ‘weeding’ then, unearthed a gem and it has inspired me to carry on running – even though I dislike it! I would also like to point out that the book has been popular over the years and it hasn’t been sat there gathering dust.

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As a last word, I’d like to mention my brother, Tony, who on Saturday 12th June ran a 100 mile race across the South Downs Way. He came a stunning 39th out of over 400 runners, many of them a lot younger than he. I wonder if he trains the Lydiard way?

Lisa Trundley-Banks

 

 

Dearest Boys…

Dearest Boys

It is with great excitement that I am writing to tell you that the library has managed to avail itself of a new series of books. Knowing how much you all race and clamber through the library doors  in a bid to be the first to read the latest release in your favourite series, I went shopping for some more books.

Whilst standing amongst the towering shelves of the latest releases, I spied from the corner of my eye, a series by an author that I am not acquainted with. So without pausing to think, I pounced upon the titles, surveyed the blurb on the back of the book and hastily made my way to the cashier.

So gentlemen, you will find, on the table of ‘New Books’ three novels by a Peter. F Hamilton, writer of science-fiction. This British author has sold over two million books worldwide. This will be due to the fact that he uses the classic mixture of teenagers, love, politics, religion, and armed conflict. Mr Hamilton also uses an abundance of fantasy, combined with astronomy and physics, including many elements from classic horror writing.  So as he has obviously ticked all the correct boxes, he should be a hit with the majority of you.

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The extremelyScreen Shot 2015-05-26 at 6.01.16 pm good news is that this is not the only series that he has written. There are at least five more! I had best go back to the shops…

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Yours faithfully,

Mrs Trundley-Banks

eBook Extravaganza

The library eBook collection has just expanded by a whooping 50 books! I didn’t go mad and start randomly purchasing – Pan McMillan, a major publisher of YA novels decided to sign up with the company who run our eBook platform.
EBooks are a funny business! Many people assume that because I have ‘purchased’ a book online, that I can then loan it to several people. However, it is just like the real thing, and can only be loaned to one person at a time. Added to this is the fact that publishers are very sensitive over who can buy their eBooks and sadly Amazon seems to be controlling the market.
Luckily for us Pan Mcmillan have some brilliant titles. So sitting waiting for you on our carefully dusted virtual shelves are:
Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 1.30.09 pm There are 6 books in the Young Sherlock Holmes series. Death Cloud is the first in  the series in which the iconic detective  is reimagined as a brilliant, troubled and engaging teenager – these unputdownable detective adventures  remain true  to  the spirit of the original books.

 

 

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There are 7 books in the Tomorrow When the War Began Series. The series follows a group of Australian teenagers who ‘go  bush’ for the holidays. They return from the wild, to discover that their whole town has been rounded up and are being held hostage by an enemy invasion.

These fast paced novels will appeal to the most reluctant of readers.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 8.59.37 am  THE DISCOVERY OF A LIFETIME! This book is set at a remote ice station in Antarctica and a team of US scientists have found something buried deep within a 100-million-year-old layer of ice. Something made of metal! A LEADER OF MENA and his  team of marines are sent to the station to secure the discovery. They are a tight unit, tough and fearless, their call sigh is:  SCARECROW. They would follow their leader into hell.  In fact they just did…

 There are four books in this series – they will appeal to young and old alike.

 

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Douglas Adams is a bit of a comic genius. If you have not read his trilogy of 5 books – then get reading The Hitchhiker’s  Guide to the Galaxy.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s an ordinary Thursday lunchtime for Arthur Dent until his house gets demolished. The Earth follows shortly afterwards to make way for a new hyperspace bypass and his best friend has just announced that he’s an alien. At this moment, they’re hurtling through space with nothing but their towels and an innocuous-looking book inscribed with the big, friendly words: DON’T PANIC. The weekend has only just begun…

 

If the above series are not enough to wet your appetite, then we also have a few more ‘serious’ reads:

The Road and No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

Into Thin Air and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

The Book Thief  by Marcus Zusak

Pillars of The Earth by Ken Follet

And the historical trilogy that starts with,  Here be Dragons by Sharon Penman

We now have 432 eBooks for you to choose from.

Anytime, anyplace – available for you 24/7

Lisa Trundley-Banks

 

Have you read Pillars of the Earth?

I am often asked ‘what is my favourite book?’ It is either Wuthering Heights or Shadows of the Wind – in case you are wondering. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is for me the one book Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 12.26.58 pmthat I think everyone should read. I know that this is quite a big claim. But I stand by it. In the College library this book has reared its head again because it is one of the books that I wrapped up in brown paper. Young Christopher Nye guessed what it was because Thomas Nye had just finished it! And in the middle of our conversation, trying to explain to several boys that,’Yes, it is really about the building of a cathedral…’  Jane Teal the archivist made off with it, as unbelievably she had not read it.

The building of a cathedral is an unlikely subject and many boys look at me askance when I tell them to read it. However, there is always help at hand in the form of another boy who says, ‘Yeah, my whole family have read it!’ or ‘I have seen that on our bookshelf…my dad loves that book.’

It brings to life the Middle Ages in an epic tale that does indeed centre around the lives of those involved with the building of the most amazing Gothic cathedral ever built. It has all the ingredients required – a struggle between good and evil, political intrigue between the church and state, and strife between brothers. Of course there is an enduring love story and even a ‘witch’ that casts a spell in the opening lines. The cathedral was based on Salisbury – pictured below.Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 12.13.45 pmIt is indeed magnificent.

When I was twenty odd and had just finished the novel, I happened to be in Devon and noticed a place called Kingsbridge on the map. I excitedly drove off thinking that this must be the place, hoping to see the cathedral. When I arrived, I discovered the smallest village that barely even had a pub to have lunch in! Apparently there are several places called Kingsbridge and the cathedral is actually all fictional!

Ken Follett says of the novel:

This is my most popular book. It still sells about 100 000 copies a year in paperback in the US, it was number one in the UK and Italy and it was on the German best seller list for six years. It’s overwhelmingly the book that readers talk to me about when I meet them in bookshops. It’s becoming a cult.

http://ken-follett.com/bibliography/the_pillars_of_the_earth/

I believe he is right. It has been turned into a board game and a mini-series and Oprah has a whole website dedicated to it!

Mr Leese has often mooted the idea that ever boy and staff member in the school should read the same book. (Hopefully not at the same time!)

Obviously, I believe that this book should be it. And not just because it is a great read. With our very own cathedral’s life in the balance, it would be an entertaining yet informative insight into the drama that can surround the building industry – even in the 12th Century.

Here is a link to the prologue if you want a taster:http://ken-follett.com/bibliography/the_pillars_of_the_earth/prologue.html

Lisa Trundley-Banks

Have you read it?

 

Blah, blah, Reading…

New Year, big ideas, goals to set, things to achieve, and what better place to start than the library. Obviously, I read a ridiculous amount in the holidays – both eBooks and the real thing. I was the sensible person in my family and loaded my iPad with several books before setting off to Rarotonga. They – my family – all had to share Department 19 and stalked eachother until the ‘reader’ had managed to devour it in superhuman time.

Anyway, what better time of year is there to start a reading challenge. I’m doing it, my Year 10 class is doing it, they just don’t know it, and the English Department is doing it! So why don’t you?

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I can email you the printable version – just contact me in the College Library.

Another one for the College mums!

I have had amazing feedback from College mums everywhere – the sidelines of the football field, New World Supermarket…as to how much they enjoy my blog. So here is my second one purely for the mothers of our darling boys. Now you just have to get said boys to make you a cuppa whilst you put your feet up in the school holidays and read.

I have been in temporary accommodation for the last eight weeks – feels like a lifetime of being stuck in a show box. The result is, I have read a lot.

I started by reading The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. The plot centres around a newly married couple  who live totallyScreen Shot 2014-06-24 at 9.59.39 AM isolated on Janus Rock – off the coast of Western Australia, half a day’s journey from the shore. The protagonist, Tom Sherbourne is lighthouse keeper. One April morning a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and an infant. They make the decision to keep the baby and therein lies the mystery. This is a moving story about love and longing for a child and about good people and what happens when they make a bad decision.

 

“Sometimes life turns out hard, Isabel. Sometimes it just bites right through you. And sometimes, just when you think it’s done its worst, it comes back and takes another chunk.”

It is descriptive and gorgeously written in the way that only Aussies can – think Tim Winton.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 10.33.41 AMA teacher at school recommended The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. I could just say  – sigh – what a remarkable narrative. It is an enthralling saga that spans decades and lives, twining the personal and the political into an epic novel of love, magic, and fate. I was delighted with Clara the clairvoyant and fell in love with the rebel boy Pedro. If you are a fan of Spanish writing and magical realism with a bit of quirkiness thrown in, then this is a must read. It is layered, it is complex, and beautiful. It is the story of three generations of strong women, in a world where women are not supposed to be strong.

 

I then moved swiftly onto Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This is a much quicker read – in fact I read it in about Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 10.13.57 AMthree days. However, this is partly because after I had got used to the writer’s style, (it feels a bit YA at times), I simply had to get to the end and find out what had happened to the wife. Nick Dunne’s wife, Amy, disappears on their 5th wedding anniversary. Obviously, the police think the husband has something to do with it. But it is not as simple as that, for one thing there is no dead body. This book is fun – a mystery/crime with a few laughs. It is certainly not high literature but great for the beach and it takes you on some clever twists and turns along the way.

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 2.31.54 PMAt the moment I am just coming to the end of The Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield. It was first published in 1933 and is a based on the real life of a upper middle class lady who has literary aspirations.  I don’t normally like diary type books. But think of this as the original blogger.  The writing is delightful –  scattered, chatty, with often wry observations on her husband (perpetually hidden behind The Times), two children, nanny (“Mademoiselle”) and the line-up of village ladies that she is quite rude about. Her accounts of the daily doings, struggles with money and her perpetually sick children is the most humourous book that I have read in years. Delafield presents quite a dark take on British country life that makes me wish that I lived in Devon in the 1930’s.

Notice, and am gratified by, appearance of large clump of crocuses near the front gate. Should like to make charming and whimsical reference to these, and to fancy myself as ‘Elizabeth of the German Garden’, but am interrupted by Cook saying that the Fish is here, but he’s only brought cod and haddock, and the haddock doesn’t smell too fresh, so what about cod?”

It is a naturally satirical work that had me laughing out loud at the fate of the winter bulbs but saddened at her sorrow each time her son goes back to boarding school. (Who can resist owning a book with such a beautiful cover!)

My July reading list:

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein – written from a dogs perspective

Perfect and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry both by Rachel Joyce – because everyone has been reading them and I feel like I am missing out…

A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler – the story of the woman behind F.Scott Fitzgerald. (I am secretly hoping for lots of scandal.)

Lisa Trundley-Banks

Teacher Librarian

 

 

 

 

 

The Rights of the Reader

1. The right not to read.

“You can’t make someone read. Just like you can’t make them fall in love, or dream…”Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 11.43.05 AM

Daniel Pennac from Rights of the Reader

I have just discovered this gem of a book and I can’t put it down. I am very much exercising my right to read it anywhere, dip into it, skip sections, laugh out loud and read sections again. I have resisted the urge to read it out loud to boys in the library! Another teacher today, asked me, ‘What are you doing reading a book?’

‘Well,’ I replied, ‘I do work in a library…’

As teacher/librarian, my mantra is that Reading Matters. I am concerned with what boys read, how they read it, when, why and how much. I know that parents are most certainly concerned with their sons reading ability, their lack of reading and what – when they are – reading. I know this because as an English teacher this issue is raised at every parents evening I have ever been involved in.

This book has reminded me that you can’t make a boy read. You can provide them with material, deny them T.V. and send them to their rooms. But you can’t make them read a book. A wonderful extract from the novel captures how many a boy feels when faced with such a daunting task;

Look at them now…in their bedroom, with a book they’re not reading. The urge to be somewhere else is a murky screen between them and the open page, blurring the lines. There they are, by the window, behind the closed door. Page forty-eight. They don’t want to think about how long it’s taken them to reach this forty-eighth page. The book contains exactly four hundred and forty-six of them. Call it five hundred! The pages are crammed with lines, squeezed between tiny margins; black paragraphs stacked on top of one another; here and there the relief of a conversation – speech marks, like an oasis, denoting one character talking to another. And then there’s a run of twelve pages. Twelve pages of black ink! It’s suffocation. Totally suffocating…If only they could remember what those first forty-eight pages were about.

Funny as this may be, many boys find reading physically painful. Luckily, in the library, we know this and we are armed with strategies to entice boys in. Next week is Easter week. Our strategy is chocolate.

So, send your boy to us, and we will send him away with a book and a chocolate egg!