BBC, Bohumil Hrabal, British Museum, David Lodge, George Eliot, Oxford, reading list, teachers, The Midlands
A challenging reading list. It’s aimed at school students, but would do us all good if it widened our reading horizons. I found it attached to a tweet from King’s School in Worcester (@KSWLibrary), setting out what pupils (and staff!) are to read by February 2017 if they are to win a gold, silver or bronze award (if they want to podium, in fact). The tweet is dated 22 July if you want to hunt it down. The initiative is part of the BBC Year of Reading.
To win an award you should read:
- A book shortlisted for a major award in 2015/16
- A biography or autobiography
- A book from a genre you have not yet tried
- A book you’ve been meaning to read
- A book recommended by a teacher
- A book chosen for you by a friend
- A book published before you were born
- A book in a foreign language or translated from a foreign language
- A literary classic
- A book by a Midlands author
- A book set in a foreign country
- A book that will challenge you
I wonder if you’re allowed to double up. For example, I’ve just read David Lodge’s comic novel The British Museum is Falling Down. Would that allow me to tick off both A Midlands Author and A Friend’s Recommendation (if my sister is allowed to be a friend)? Before that I’d read Rambling On by Bohumil Hrabal (see https://ninevoices.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/rambling-on/) which would let me tick the Translated box and also the Set in a Foreign Country box. I imagine that, if we’re honest, many of us have Literary Classics in our Books I’ve Been Meaning to Read category. So, if I do get round to Daniel Deronda or Silas Marner, I could tick two more boxes. No, three, because they were Published Before I Was Born.
This is getting too complicated. And I suspect the judges at the school would frown on all this sleight of hand. So it’s back to Death on the Cherwell.
Well done the school (and the BBC) – let’s hope it works.
What are your Meaning to Read books?
Maggie Davies (@maggiedavieswr1) said:
A book recommended by a teacher…? Time, then, for Jane to issue us with our reading lists for the summer.
Tanya van Hasselt said:
I have had The Brothers Karamazov on my bedside table for nearly two years. It’s outstayed everything else in the tottering pile and sits there, a reproach to me each evening as I find my hand guiltily reaching out for an easier read. I know it is a wonderful, life-changing book and I do not want to go to my grave without having read any Dostoevsky but perhaps tackling heavyweight Russian authors at night is a mistake … a long train journey is needed.
Tanya, what a good choice! You could tick off at least five categories with The Brothers Karamazov: 1) been meaning to read; 2) published before you were born; 3) translated from a foreign language; 4) a literary classic; 5) set in a foreign country; and, dare I suggest 6) one that will challenge you (it would certainly challenge me)? If you have it by your bedside because a teacher recommended it then there’s no 7. And if it can be shown that unlikely as it may seem, Dostoevsky actually came from Wolverhampton …
I must confess that it has been a while since I have had the time to read a full book. However, I have a pile of books on my bedside for this September when I’ll have the time to read again. The first on my list is “A Morning for Flamingos” by James Lee Burke, then I think I’ll have to read the new “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”, I did after all grow up with Harry Potter!