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 World Book Day 1st March

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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 20:57

http://www.authorama.com/three-men-in-a-boat-1.html

This should convince you of the profound unwisdom of reading any sort of medical dictionary.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 21:02

Actually, Gil, I think you've just found the book! Anyone, however dense, who doesn't enjoy JKJ's masterpiece just doesn't deserve to live, let alone hold a book in their maw.

The Hampton Court Maze was my favourite bit, but the whole thing from beginning to end is just brilliant. I have a 1910 edition from Foyle's which accompanies me everywhere.

Well done! (Anyone want a cheap Lee Harper? I've no need for it now ...)
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 21:04

I didn't think of picture books for this question, as you were talking about a 12-year-old. I would think most 12-year-olds would be bothered about looking like a baby (or unable to read) if you assumed a Dr Seuss book was best for them. Was tempted to suggest Not Now Bernard, since my son and now my grandson absolutely loved it. But it's aimed at a three-year-old. Parents love it, but possibly not 12-year-olds.

I've just asked this to my son and he said "That was the age I first read Terry Pratchett and I loved it." But when I said was that when he got to like reading, he said, "No, I already loved reading." And I had thought that earlier about Agatha Christie or Georgette Heyer that I loved. My son says for the premise given, an Asterix comic would probably be the most suitable. "Would it appeal to girls, though?" I wondered. "Girls aren't reluctant readers. Girls love reading," he tells me.

(As regards your last comment, ferval, I pored over the Roman mythology in our Pears Cyclopaedia when I was a child. We didn't really have a lot of books, perhaps. But people gave them to me when I was a child - they stopped when I was teenager, which rather miffed me.)
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 21:41

Oh Caro, so did I but I thought it was Greek.
I love this thread, it's bringing back so many happy memories. I was a big Buchan fan then; I'd read the Hannay books, Prestor John and the Dancing Floor and I wept buckets at the end of Mr Standfast, which made a change as I usually only cried over books where it was a noble horse or faithful dog that copped it. Come to think.......
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 22:06

I recall a distinct moistness of the eye at the Death of Umslopogaas - serialised in one of my comics - though I only came to read Haggard years later, as a sort of byproduct of the TV series and book "Lost World of the Kalahari" by Laurens van der Post - I read anything set in South Africa after that.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 22:13

Not Wilbur Smith, I hope ...
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 22:13

Ferval, I was always much more familiar with the names and stories of Roman gods, so assume it must have been Roman ones in the encylopaedia, though it would be more likely to be Greek, wouldn't it?

My favourite books by a country mile when I was a child were my Anne books by LM Montgomery (not so much of Green Gables but the ones where she was an adult and there was romance). You can tell how much I liked them because I always ate the corners of my books (lucky we didn't belong to a library perhaps) and my Anne books don't really have any corners left. (I don't eat the corners of my books any more, you may be relieved to know.)

This is the difficulty I have with Nordmann's question - I do think there is a gender divide here. One of the members of a book board I belong to occasionally says how sorry he feels for girls not being given adventure books to read as children, but I just think how boring they are - lots of silly activities and fights where you know who is going to win. I just skip those bits and get on to the dialogue and characterisation. (I struggle to follow the storyline in Harry Potters for similar reasons.)

I haven't read Three Men in a Boat, but it is on my list to read. (So are about a thousand other books.)
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 22:18

I wouldn't bother with "Three Men In a Boat", so. It's just a lot of silly activities and rowing and fights - (well, arguments) - where you know who is going to win.
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 22:24

nordmann wrote:
Not Wilbur Smith, I hope ...

Well, you know what they say about trying everything once, except incest and folk dancing?.
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 22:34

Enid Blyton(but only some), W E Johns, Elsie J. Oxenham, Haggard, Angus MacVicar, a local author called Jane Shaw who wrote laugh out loud books, Frank Richards, Richmal Crompton, Agatha Christie.................
The list is extensive but these are just some of the authors whose every book I would seek out to read when I was about 12 as well as lots of non fiction. I can't have been much older when I really got into Austen, the Brontes and Thackeray - Vanity Fair, now there's a book I'd recommend to any feisty young woman!
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 22:41

I was devouring Nicholas Blake's books about Nigel Strangeways at a rate of knots from my dealers in three different public libraries while at the same time loathing the drudge that was Cecil Day Lewis whose turgid poetry was dotted around our school curriculum and often had to be memorised, analysed and criticised by my Strangeways-fuelled brain (which of course dissed the old sot). No wonder I'm the way I am!
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 22:56

At the age of 12, I think just about all of us at my (all-boys boarding) school went through a Dennis Wheatley / Ian Fleming / Mickey Spillane phase.



We grew out of it.


Last edited by Gilgamesh of Uruk on Sat 03 Mar 2012, 11:23; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 23:21

Arguments are not fights - arguments are dialogue. You don't have to be feisty to love Vanity Fair. I do. It's the adult classic I re-read most, I suppose.
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 23:53

Hmm, perhaps feisty was a poor choice of word, spirited might be more appropriate, but certainly not overly sentimental otherwise she might think the anaemic and thoroughly drippy Amelia to be the heroine and the aptly named Dobbin the hero.
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normanhurst
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Sat 03 Mar 2012, 00:48

Cant help but think your all missing Cass now... just think of the imput he could give ref his own library alone.
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Sat 03 Mar 2012, 05:56

nordmann wrote:
Not Wilbur Smith, I hope ...

Wilbur is good for a 12yr old or early teenager, my kids devoured his Egyptian series and his pirate series too, can't remember the name off hand. He is too simplistic and predictable for adults, but not for children. They love adventure in exotic places but also like the reassurance that the favourite character is going to win. And as Gil says above, you grow out of it.

Not sure why Caro would generalise and assume that girls don't like action and adventure books or that they are reluctant readers though, it is the opposite in my experience. But I'd agree that there is a gender bias surrounding childrens books once a child reaches a certain age and as the man in her book club suggests, girls should be given the opportunity to choose and not have it assumed that the are going to like G. Heyer et al just because they are female.

I had forgotten about Asterix, mine collected everyone ever published and they have all been re-read many times. Tin Tin was another favourite, and yes both girls and boys do enjoy them.
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Sat 03 Mar 2012, 06:17

normanhurst wrote:
Cant help but think your all missing Cass now... just think of the imput he could give ref his own library alone.

Nah, he'd be offering pages of opinions from some defunct, bigoted and ignorant Victorian on how the English are superior to....well everyone and all before we got another 20 pages on how he was the best teacher, song writer and poet ever. His message never changed no matter what the topic under discussion was.

Have you worked out how to do quotes yet Norman?
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Sat 03 Mar 2012, 08:14

Islanddawn wrote:
I had forgotten about Asterix, mine collected everyone ever published and they have all been re-read many times. Tin Tin was another favourite, and yes both girls and boys do enjoy them.
If we're allowing comic books then it's got to be the 'Blake and Mortimer' series, produced in Belgium, so originally written in French and Flemish, but I'm sure I've seen them on sale in English.

EDIT Yes they are in english too, and the translations are perfect and natural - not hard when the characters of Blake and Mortimer are both British anyway.



And if you want something with an historical theme there are also the series of 'Alix' books - set in Ancient Rome and Greece (although I've only ever seen these in French).

All these are 'comic' books, but the stories are thrillers/adventures and beautifully illustrated throughout.


Last edited by Meles meles on Sat 03 Mar 2012, 09:23; edited 1 time in total
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Sat 03 Mar 2012, 09:15

Harper Lee, not Lee Harper, Nordmann.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

What a revealing thread this has proved to be indeed. I feel a dreadful plodder for responding so dutifully to the task. Story of my bloody life.

All this talk of Yugoslav diplomat's sons and other illustrious former pupils has left me feeling sadly inadequate as usual. I wonder what happened to my "Animal Farm" pupils? On benefits probably, or in prison. Do they ever remember Napoleon and Snowball and poor old Boxer for whom they wept? (Well, nearly wept.)

Jackie, the one girl in the group, liked Napoleon because you "wouldn't mess with him". She admired the criminal type. Strangely enough Jackie did get a job, I recall, in the local Shake 'n' Vac factory. A very big girl, she had a boyfriend call Alistair who drove a Reliant Robin of all things.

In one of the documents in the archives about the poet Edward Thomas, there is an official army list of his belongings found after his death. He had several books with him: The Book of Common Prayer, The Works of Shakespeare and Shakespeare's Sonnets. Perhaps a morbid thought for a sunny March morning, but got me wondering which of my books I'd like to have buried with me. Thomas's three are pretty good.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Sat 03 Mar 2012, 10:48

You're right Temp - I forgot the comma and temporarily went all Dewey Decimal!

Anyone who buried a book with me would incur the Curse of the Nord (Judo-Christaean version - seven generation' worth of it). To me a book, however pulp fiction it might be, is a person in its own right. It has a character, it has hidden merits, it even has a life cycle. Most importantly, it is capable of - though in most cases unlikely to succeed in - finding the perfect mate, a real person who will unconditionally love it (sometimes to death, in both senses of the term).

Back in the day when I used to backpack everywhere I was fascinated by the phantom library - that vast reservoir of literature in the form of abandoned books who stayed in the same hostels, pensions, guest houses and caves as I and who, thanks to people like myself, wandered through the world with as much apparent aimlessness and non-defined purpose as myself and my contemporaries. Like them, one would occasionally even meet up with one again later in some other place and maybe we would strike up a nostalgic (but short-lived) companionship again. The majority however, much like their human equivalents, simply wandered the globe to no apparent purpose or aim until they fell apart or otherwise disappeared into a life of concealment and confinement in some desolate suburb of a non-descript conurbation somewhere "out there", never to emerge again. Many others, just like the rest of us, apparently simply died en route.

It struck me however that for all our shared fates, these books in many cases lived more interesting lives than many of us humans. And quality had nothing to do with it. Erudite and serious tomes in fact stood less of a chance of mobility through experience and space as those with titles like "Lady Chatterley's Other Lovers" or "The Bodice Which Knew Too Much". One even began to learn from reacquaintance which characters travelled furthest and most frequently. Humorous types seemed most adept at short-term relationships, being quickly devoured and deposited back in a rapid succession of short hops. Pretentious types might travel further, but then they would, upon realisation of their true nature, be dumped unceremoniously and often partially disfigured or annotated to the point of illegiibility in the process. Yet every now and then, regardless of their nature, weaknesses or intention to deceive, one of them found their mate and swapped their peripatetic existence for the cosy comfort of a backpack pocket ride to the apparent security of a bookshelf.

Judo deities are found, Temp. Before you pounce.
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Sat 03 Mar 2012, 11:22

Great piece of prose that Nordmann... and a good idea for a book in itself.

Made me suddenly think, for some reason, of the description of Prof Trefusis in Fry's, 'The Liar', hidden away in his maze-like 'librarinth' of tottering piles of books.
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Sat 03 Mar 2012, 11:31

We actually used Asterix books at school, and comics - I remember Pilot, the French one, but not the German one (had Rheinhold das Nashorn and Jimmy das Gummipferd in it, IIRC) - but they were in the original languages, not in english. Did eventually tackle Monte Cristo in French - but there again, I read all but one of the Hardy novels (Jude didn't appear on our library shelves)



Cass would probably recommend Henty, I think.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Sat 03 Mar 2012, 12:42

Meles meles wrote:
Great piece of prose that Nordmann... and a good idea for a book in itself.

Absolutely. Produced - just like that - first thing on a Saturday morning.

Makes you sick, doesn't it?
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Sat 03 Mar 2012, 13:00

would make me sick too temps... if it were saturday, i'm just about to slam a sunday roast in the oven.
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Sat 03 Mar 2012, 13:21

Indeed it does T but who might fund Nordmann to do an anthropological study of the the topic? It's right up the street of the Materiality bods at UCL so if he could get in there before Danny Miller thinks of it, he could have a fully funded world trip to collect the data with the follow up lectures, papers and books to cash in.

Norman please tell me it is Saturday? It's got to be, I've too much to do before Monday.
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Sat 03 Mar 2012, 14:46

Oh dear… once again he proves himself to be the village idiot. But I have an excuse… we have our own time zone down yer in the forest… and time does fly when ya having so much fun. Anyone for a Saturday roast? Truth is I haven’t been over the threshold for five or six weeks now and am apt to lose track of time… that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it… sorry.
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Sat 03 Mar 2012, 15:11

I don't believe the phantom library has survived the advent of the all-singing, all-dancing transistor concoctions which now reside in our pockets and handbags, shoulder bags, and ammunition pouches. The backpack traveller isn't either what he or she once was, their journeys now being taken between well-defined pre-ordained coordinates found, sanctioned and in all probability owned by the same electronic crutches upon which all our simplest next manouevres are first plotted, modelled, checked for potential aberrations and in the end, executed. The modern traveller, faced with an increasingly rare and therefore unexpected period of unscheduled ennui, and with the consequent alternative of either dipping into the phantom library or the liquid crystal interface of their mobile companion, will inevitably consult the companion first, since all decisions about everything are referred to this companion first regardless. The majority will then hold intercourse with the device promising advice until the ennui passes. Whether the advice ever comes or not in the meantime (it normally doesn't) is rendered irrelevant by the sheer passing of the time it has consumed, as unfortunately has also been the phantom library for want of a positive nod from its electronic foe in its direction.

For want of couriers it had already begun to dwindle in size by the time my library card approached expiry, I can only imagine its state now. The modern traveller hates surprises - except of course those which have already been pre-arranged. The physical departments of the phantom library have long since re-engineered their profile to match this expectation, losing their books in the process. What little remains, I imagine now, would be akin to stepping through the debris of the Alexandrian library after the christians were finished with it and finding a solitary parchment amongst the detritus - a badly written paean to the wonder of reading, abandoned even by the destroyers and now worse than mute testimony to what once had been.
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Sat 17 Mar 2012, 17:30

For posters who can get BBC2 - programme tonight about William Golding. "Lord of the Flies" has been mentioned on this thread - I think MM said it was his reluctant reader recommendation. It's the Arena presentation at 9.30pm and it's called "The Dreams of William Golding". Followed by the celebrated Peter Brook film (1963) starring all those real schoolboys - whatever happened to them, I wonder, especially the brilliant little Piggy?

Apparently a professonal reader at Faber and Faber scribbled a withering note on Golding's original submitted manuscript: "Absurd and uninteresting fantasy...rubbish...dull and pointless." Then she (for a woman it was) wrote a big "R" for "rejection".

The book went on to sell 40 million copies worldwide!

And don't forget the programme before at 8.00pm - "Documentary of the Week" - Diarmaid MacCulloch's "How God Made the English". 1/3 "A Chosen People?".

"Have I Got News For You" is sandwiched in between MacCulloch and Golding, so, all in all, a pretty good night's viewing.
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PostSubject: Re: World Book Day 1st March   Mon 19 Mar 2012, 07:17

I envy you the choice of progs - and on a Sat night when there is usually assorted dross for the young who are not in to enjoy it anyway.

I never used to feel guilty when I sat for long hours with a book but do now - and there is no reason for it in truth. Travelling by rail a lot when in UK I am always pleased to see so many people reading. On the other hand I gawp outside constantly reflecting on what I see. No one else seems to bother but in a sense I am writing in my mind - essays of a sort.

Nordmann says that travellers don't want surprises. I relish them. Living in my surprise-a-minute land here I lack for little. I once had the task of sorting out a box of books to send to our prison with a consular officer. Now that was filled with intresting decision filled with smiles as I did it. His gracious note of gratitude was that I had reminded him of things long forgotten! Now what could that have been?
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