Thursday, 8 December 2011

Books we want to EAT for Christmas

Young Adult
Across The Nightingale Floor - Lian Hearn
The Fault In Our Stars - John Green
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell
Psycho - Robert Bloch
Young Avengers: Children's Crusade - Marvel Comics
A Song of Ice and Fire- George R R Martin
Nothern Lights - Phillip Pullman
Alex's Adventures in Numberland - Alex Bellos
The Boy Who Eats Books - Oliver Jeffers

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

A Corner Stone for Poet Ted Hughes

The late poet, Ted Hughes, has been honoured today with a memorial stone in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.  The memorial sits at the foot of the stone commemorating his publisher and fellow writer, TS Eliot and amongst the likes of famed bards such as Chaucer and Blake. 

Hughes's friend and poet Seamus Heaney told the BBC's Will Gompertz that Hughes deserved to be remembered in Poets' Corner.  Click on the image to watch the clip from the BBC. 

1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up

So would your favourite book make it onto a 'Books to Read Before You Grow Up' list? 'Alice in Wonderland'? 'The Philosopher's Stone'? 'The Diary of Anne Frank'?
Take a look at the extensive Goodreads poll that lists some 1001 best all time children's books.
Now that should keep you busy for a while!

              [Click image to browse the list!]

A Little' Ning Nang Nong' goes a "Ling Lang Long" Way!

Perhaps poetry is not your first choice when it comes to choosing a new book, but this wonderful collection of poems and short stories by legendary Goon, Spike Milligan, is one that will surely delight all readers, both young and old.
Who can resist a funny poem, soaked in silliness and dished up with delightful illustrations that would not be out of place in the back of any respectable school copybook.
No collection from this comedic genius would be complete without the splendidly silly, award winning, 'Ning, Nang, Nong', or indeed 'The Bongaloo', and all such Milligan musts are present in this anthology.   So, for all those who dearly love to laugh, 'A Children's Treasury of Milligan' will not disappoint.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Judging a Book by it's Cover?

In case you are at a loss as to what to buy the book-lover in your life this Christmas - why not consider one of the wonderful new Clothbound Classics from Penguin Books.
Who can resist a hardback copy of their favourite book, never mind one wrapped in a sumptuous cloth cover.  As the pure antithesis to the sterility of Nooks, E-books and Kindles alike, this turns judging a book by it's cover, into an art-form.
We recommend Dickens's 'A Christmas Carol', Bronte's 'Wuthering Heights' and Wilde's 'The Portrait of Dorian Gray', as the perfect core texts of any collection and perfect Christmas reading for teenagers and adults alike.

To make your selection and play the mix 'n match game, just click on the image below...  Enjoy!


Guest Book Review

The Book Thief ~ by Markus Zusak 

There are so many reasons why I just LOVE this book:  the characters... the characters … the characters...  
They are so beautifully drawn, so memorable: a boy who paints his face black and runs like Jesse Owens; a neighbour who spits on the door every time she passes; a mayor’s wife who silently sits in a library missing her son; Alex Steiner, alone in his tailor's shop, missing his whole family; neighbours crowded together in the basement, listening to a little girl reading a story. 
Like the best loved creations of Charles Dickens, each of Zusak’s characters have a visual symbol that we associate with only them.  Consider Max, hair like feathers or twigs; Mama, a wardrobe; Papa, a silver eyed accordion; Rudy, with hair the colour of lemons; Ilsa, her fluffy hair and bath robe; and Alex Steiner, a wooden man, with hair like splinters.  Their descriptions are so very visual that these characters are etched into our memories. I cannot think of Rudy without a lump forming in my throat, or Hans, wonderful, darling papa, without the distant sound of an accordion playing or the scent of tobacco rising somewhere in my mind. Even tough, booming Rosa crept under my skin and as for Liesel, I think I will always carry a piece of her with me, most noticeably present whenever I visit a library.
If you read the book blurb and learn, with horror, that Death is the narrator, please fear not.  He is warm, considerate and simply charming.  He seems to love the characters as much as we do.  He, too, is a book-lover, an idea which really made me smile. How could we fail to like a fellow book-lover?  He has re-read Liesel’s story thousands of times.  In fact, he is a rescuer of books!  
We see him peeking over people’s shoulders, picking up parts of their stories and returning to them over the years, just to find out how their stories end.  He cannot resist a good tale and gently leads us through the plot, holding our hand at the sad bits and delighting in the joy of human laughter.
'The Book Thief' is easily one of the best books I’ve read in years.  Indeed, Zusak has given me a treasure and as such I will place it at eye-level in my book case, so I can catch glimpses of it as I pass, hearing the soft sigh of an accordion and knowing that it is close at hand whenever I feel the need to visit to Liesel or Rudy, and part-take in a little book thievery of my own. 
  By Michelle Burrowes, English Department, The High School, Dublin

['The Book Thief' is a text on the Leaving Certificate English Examination 2013]

December's Book Club Choice ~ 2011

Suzanne Collins's hugely successful novel, 'The Hunger Games', is this month's book club choice.  Make sure you get your copy over Christmas and start reading.

We'll be meeting in January to discuss the ins and out of the book, and to see if it lives up to all the media hype.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Our Must-Reads This Christmas

If you're looking for something to read on a cold, wintry, night this Christmas, then take a look at our top reads
1. Dancing in the Dark
    P. R. Prendergast
2. The Hunger Games Trilogy
    Suzanne Collins
3.The Roman Mysteries
   Caroline Lawrence
4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    Mark Haddon
5. Holes
    Louis Sachar
6. There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom
    Louis Sachar
7. Mister Monday
    Garth Nix
8. Percy Jackson & the Olympians
    Rick Riordan
9.  The Cherub Sequence
      Robert Muchamore
10. A Series of Unfortunate Events
       Lemony Snicket

Why don't you try reading a couple of these books over the holidays and tell us what you think!

An Icy Response to Kindle Fire...

The Amazon Kindle has taken the world by storm in the last few weeks, but what does the HSD Junior Book Club think...
Well, 25% said that they were willing to give Kindle a try but,
A whopping 75% of the club gave the Kindle a firm no and prefered the feel and smell of a real book.

But what do you think???
Comment your thoughts on this post on the Kindle/Book war!