Complete clauses 1-5 and one other.
Clause 1 Continue to practice good care of books. Make another bookmark! (Can you ever have too many - if you can't use it yourself give it away!)
I still treat my books with care
Clause 2 Read at least 15 more books for pleasure. Choose books from at least 8 different categories, with at least one book from a category you didn't read last time, or a type of book you normally choose not to read.
Book Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Author: J K Rowling Section:
The book starts with the quidditch world cup but as well as the world cup (which incidentally is won by Ireland) there is a dark and sinister omen which is displayed in the sky after the cup final, which is linked to Voldemort and the death eaters. Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione are now in their fourth year at Hogwarts school of magic. The new teacher for the defence against the dark arts this year is Madeye Moody. This year the quidditch tournament has been cancelled and instead there is to be a revival of the triwizard contest. Students over 17 are invited to enter by putting their names into the Goblet of Fire, no under age students will be able to enter their name, or so we are led to believe. However Harrys name is entered and is selected along with Cedric Digory to represent Hogwarts against two other schools of magic. A number of challenges are set of which the students are supposed to have no previous knowledge, inevitably some information is leaked. The first task is to rescue an egg from a dragons nest, Harry uses his broom flying skills for this. Other tasks include rescuing someone from beneath the lake and finding their way through a maze. Harry and Cedric find themselves at the centre of the maze together and jointly lift the goblet of fire, which has now been changed into a port key. Harry and Cedric are transported to where Voldemort and his death eaters are. Cedric is instantly killed and Harry has to do battle with Voldemort. He eventually outwits him and returns to school via the port key with Cedrics body. When Harry explains what has happened only Dumbledore believes that Voldemort is back.
Book Title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Author: J K Rowling
This book takes a while to get going and I did wonder if they would ever get back to school and study for their OWLS. During the holidays Harry and Dudley are attached by a couple of dementors which he manages to dispel, he is then whisked off to Sirius family home where he spends the rest of the holidays with his usual gang. Once back at school they find as usual there is a new defence against the dark arts teacher, Professor Umbridge. The professor comes from the ministry of magic and sides with Cornelius Fudge, the Minister who firmly believe that Harry is lying and that Voldemort is not back. The defence against the dark arts now becomes so boring and contains no practical that Harry sets up his own classes in the room of requirement known as Dumbledores Army. Umbridge is appointed High Inquisitor and sits in on all lessons to assess the quality of teaching. Professor Trelawny is sacked and Hagrid is on probation. Dumbledore is also sacked for the DA. Harry is having strange dreams in the first one Arthur Weasley is attacked, through recounting his dream to Dumbledore Mr Weasley survives. Voldemort realises that Harry is able to tune into his thoughts on occasions and leads him to a room through a series of dreams in the ministry of mysteries and that Sirius is being attacked. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville and Luna go to the ministry to find that Sirius is not attacked but Harry finds his prophecy (though he does not know it at the time). Enter the death eaters and battle commences. All ends with Sirius being killed and the death eater rounded up. On a happier note Dumbledore is reinstated, the Minister believes the truth about Voldemort and Umbridge gets her come upance and leaving the defence against the dark arts post vacant yet again. On the Quidditch front Ron is elected as the new goal keeper, though is not very good. Harry, Fred and George receive life bans for assaulting Malfoy. Ginny Weasley replaces Harry as the seeker. Ron pulls through in the end and Gryffindor win the cup. Fred and George leave to open a joke shop in Diagon Alley. I'm afraid I found it hard to be brief about such a long book, there is plenty more going on besides this.
Book Title: Bleachers
Author: John Grisham
Section: Modern Fiction (written in the last 2 years)
This book is completely different from all his other books with the exception of A Painted House. The book is centered around a American Football coach who is dying. The coach was such a local hero that ex players were returning the ground and reminising of the days when they played for the coach. When the coach passes away the players attend a memorial service where various eulogies are read and the coach asks for forgiveness for his two greatest regrets which lead to the death of a player and a fight between himself and another player. This is a book I wouldn't normally choose to read but as it is by one of my favourite authors I did and although I did not understand any of the technical terms I quite enjoyed the book
Book Title: Split Second
Author: David Baldacci
Section: Mystery, crime or horror
Brilliant book, David Baldacci has to be my favourite author at the moment. The plot is complicated, you think you know who did it but I found out near the end I didn't. In 1996 a college lecturer shoots a presidential candidate dead in a hotel. The secret service agent guarding the candidate shoots the assassin but loses his job. Eight years later another presidential candidate is kidnapped, the secret service agent nearly loses her job. The cases are linked, the secret service agents involved investigate and reveal a love story, though there is nothing slushy in this book. There are two other murders and another kidnap as well as a couple of attempts on the main characters by the villain before the final show down in the hotel where it all started.
Book Title: Every Second Counts
Author: Lance Armstrong
Amazing book, amazing man. Must try and read the prequel to this book (Not about the bike). This book details the first five Tour de France victories for Lance Armstrong after fighting a very virulent form of cancer which invaded his entire body. On diagnosis he was only given a very slim chance of getting through to remission. Winning the tour is an amazing feet in its self having to complete a number of stages over three and a half weeks climbing mountains that are almost vertical in some cases and completing time trials. As well as the victories the book talks about the random drug testing that takes place and the intrusion it causes, Lance had to complete one test while his wife was in labour and about to be rushed to hospital. Lance believes that he is one of the most tested people in any sport and I can quite believe it as people refuse to believe that he is clean
Book Title: Eats, Shoots and Leaves
Author: Lynne Truss
This book has been recommended by a number of people. Found this book amusing though had I been taught punctuation properly I may have found the book funnier. I am at the moment more conscious about my punctuation though I still may use it incorrectly. Long live the pickled-herring merchant (or maybe he's a pickled herring merchant).
Book Title: Sharpe's Tiger
Author: Bernard Cornwell
Section: Historic fiction, or a true story of a historic character
This is the first Sharpe book and is about the Siege of Sherrapingtum in 1799 and the defeat of the Tippoo (the ruler of that part of India). Some of the characters in this book were actually involved in the siege others are fictional Richard Sharpe is a Redcoat and private in the 33rd. Sharpe's arch enemy is Obediah Hawkeswill who is unfortunately his sergeant, Hawkeswill continually tries to catch Sharpe out and eventually provokes him into hitting the Sergeant, this is conveniently witnessed by other officers. The punishment is 2000 lashes. After receiving 200 lashes Sharpe is saved and sent on a mission along with Lieutenant Lawford to obtain news about McCandless, a British spy. Once inside Sherrapingtum Sharpe and Lawford manage to join the Tippoos army after passing a number of tests to ascertain whether they are true deserters, one test was to shot a British man who turns out to be McCandless. Sharpe manages to find out some information before they are betrayed by Hawkeswill who has been captured. They manage to escape after Sharpe shoots a tiger using a gun that was smuggled in and avert a British disaster by blowing up a large land mine. The British are victorious and Sharpe kills the Tippoo, when he is buried he is covered with the skin of the tiger that Sharpe shot.
Book Title: Twopence to cross the Mersey/Liverpool Miss/By the Waters of Liverpool/Lime Street at two
Author: Helen Forrester
Section: Two or more books from a trilogy or series
This is a series of four books detailing the deprivation of one family during the 1930's. Helen is 12 and the oldest of seven children the others being Alan, Fiona, Brian, Tony, Avril and Edward. This first book chronicles the first three years of the depression. The family arrived in Liverpool in the clothes they stood and nothing else with little assistance the family survive on rice, bread and potatoes and a daily pint of milk for the new born Edward. The mother finds the odd job selling goods and there are a few treats but these are few and far between. Helen is mortified that she can no longer continue her education as she is needed at home to look after Avril and Edward though she does manage to borrow library books on her mothers card. The father eventually the father manages to find a job when he is spotted by a plain clothes policeman wearing his public school tie and the mother manages to get the odd temporary jobs. Things improve slightly Helen is given half a crown so that she can go to night school to continue her education. When Helen enters the employment market she is no better off, working for little more than unemployment benefit and having to give what she does earn to her mother. She also has to do the majority of the housework and her mother continues to pawn virtually everything including a typewriter she borrowed. Not surprisingly Helen is frequently ill her mother refuses to follow diets that the doctor suggests that she follow to help build her up. Financially during the war her lot does improve when she changes jobs and has more time on her hands. As a skilled dress maker she makes and alters clothes for others. She is unfortunate losing her fiancée and another close male friend during the war. Remarkably the whole family survives the war, three of Helens brothers were in the forces, and there was large scale bombing in Liverpool. Helen eventually marries an Indian and goes to live in India though how she met her husband isn't explained in the books. Her autobiography ends after the second world war. Will definitely be reading these again.
Book Title: Equal Rites
Author: Terry Pratchett
Section : Science Fiction
Definitely not my normal type of book and probably wont read many more if any. Having said that however the book was readable and did not become a chore. Eskarina Smith is supposed to be the 8th son of an 8th son, however the wizard who determined this forgot to check on the sex of the baby. The book chronicles Esk growing up as the only female wizard on Disc World and her Grandmother, Granny Weather Wax's quest to try and teach her Witchcraft and to get her into the unseen university where wizards study. As in all good books Esk finally gets into university and invents a new kind of magic. The lore is changed female wizards are accepted and some forms of Witchcraft (such as headology) are to be introduced at university.
Book Title: Christmas Train
Author: David Baldacci
Section: Modern Fiction (written in the last 2 years)
Tom Langdon embarks on a train trip across America so that he can spend Christmas with his girlfriend. Whilst on the trip he bumps into his ex partner who is also making the trip with film director Max Powers. All sorts of unusual things happen is everything as it seems or is this one big set up? For good measure there is also an act of God leaving the train stranded.
Book Title: Emma
Author: Jane Austin
What a challenge reading this book was. Language and spellings are different. The books is about a romance between Emma and Mr Knightley, though it took me a while to work this out. I think I need to watch the film now to make sure that I completely understood what was happening. It will be a while before I read another Jane Austin
Author: Pam Ayres
A collection of poems relating to motherhood. Mildly amusing in the usual Pam Ayres Style. This is about as far as I go where poetry is concerned.
Book Title: Unexpected Blessings
Author: Barbara Taylor-Bradford
Read this book after Jane Austin, this was a much easier read. This is the fifth book in the Woman of Substance series. There are major three clans the Hartes, the O'Neils and the Kalanskis and a sprinkling of Fairley. As time has gone on the clans have become more interrelated, naturally this causes a few family tensions. The book revolves around Tessa Longdon her divorce from her husband Mark, his abduction of their daughter. The relationship between Lady India Standish and Dusty Rhodes. Towards the end of the book the long affair between Robin Ainsley and Glynis Hughes is detailed. The book end with the wedding of Linnet O'Neil and Julian Kalanski. In the background there is also the scheming Jonathan Ainsley (Robin's son) upto no good trying to get the Harte woman.
Book Title: Round the world in 80 Days
Author: Jules Verne
Section: Written before 1900
The adventures of Phileas Fogg and his servant Passepartout who travel round the world in 80 days after Fogg accepts a wager from some fellow members of the reform club. Modes of transport vary and various obstacles as presented to Fogg. Phileas Fogg is followed around the world by Fix, a policeman who believes he is guilty of robbery. Naturally Fogg makes the journey in less than 80 days but does not realise he is successful as he forgot to take into account the cross of the international date line.
Clause 3 Read a book nominated for the Booker Prize, or a similar award and evaluate it. Find out all that you can about the author, why the book was nominated etc. Do you agree with the nomination? (This can be a book you read in clause 2)
The English Patient Michael Ondaatje was born on September 12, 1943 in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The son of Mervyn Ondaatje and Doris Gratiaen, prominent members among the inhabitants of what once comprised Ceylon's colonial society. Mervyn Ondaatje was a tea and rubber-plantation superintendent. Doris Gratiaen performed part-time as a radical dancer, inspired by Isadora Duncan. Ondaatje was educated initially at St. Thomas College in Colombo, Ceylon. After moving with his mother to England, he continued his education at Dulwich College in London. Between 1962-64, Ondaatje attended Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Quebec. He then went on to obtain his B.A. at the University of Toronto in 1965, and his M.A. at Queen's University, in Kingston, Ontario, in 1967. Ondaatje began his teaching career at the University of Western Ontario, London between 1967-71. Today he is a member of the Department of English at Glendon College, York University in Toronto, Ontario, a position he has held since 1971. Ondaatje currently resides in Toronto with his wife, novelist/editor Linda Spalding, where they edit Literary Magazine. During his career Ondaatje has received numerous awards and honors. He was awarded the Ralph Gustafson Award, 1965; the Epstein Award, 1966; and the President's Medal from the University of Ontario in 1967. In addition, Ondaatje was the recipient of the Canadian Governor-General's Award for Literature in 1971 and again in 1980. Also in 1980 he was awarded the Canada-Australia price and in 1992 he was presented with the Booker McConnell Prize The English Patient.
Having never read a book nominated for the Booker prize (or any other prize) The book was interesting but I don't feel that I must read it again though I might watch the film when its next on television. From a personal view point I wouldn't short listed this book (then I don't know what the criteria for selection is) and without reading the rest of the books nominated I can't say whether this was the most deserving book to win the prize.
Clause 4 Write a book review, of at least 150 words. (This can be a book you read in clause 2)
See Every Second Counts in books read for clause two below.
Clause 5 Give some *more* books to the charity shop. If you really can't at least lend your books to a friend, or dust off at least 4 that you have not read for years and reread them!
Have loaned my four Helen Forrester books to at least three other people this year. Have also donated a few books to charity
Clause 6 What sort of books would you give as gifts to a child? Would it be your own childhood favourites or modern books? Compile a list of at least 10 books (at least 1/2 of which you have read!), that you would recommend for a child in one of the following categories: * a pre-school child just grasping basic reading
Thomas the Tank Engine Stories
Bob the Builder
The marvellous machines series (flashing fire engines etc)
The little yellow digger
The Hungry Catepiller
Winnie the Pooh
Traditional fairy stories such as The Elves and the Shoemakers
Mr Men/Little Misses books
Topsy and Tim
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