Monday, 30 January 2012

Revisiting The Challenge

Jay Writes -
The more eagle-eyed among you (or anyone who's looked at the masthead lately) will spot that Luke's 50 book challenge was to read and review them by Christmas, and it's now the end of January. So what's the story, morning glory?
Luke was really upset not to have finished the list in time. He's tried so hard and persevered with some books he'd hated - as well as those he loved - instead of reading his normal style of books. It was so dispiriting to have read 41 (and reviewed 39 of them) but not achieve his goal.
I told him not to worry: do what students and professionals have been doing for centuries when faced with a deadline ... request an extension.
Before we started this project, there were loads of books we were unfamiliar with on the list and we weren't entirely sure what we were getting ourselves into.  Now we've had a look at what Luke's achieved (which I hope you'll agree is LOADS) and what is feasible for him to achieve in the coming months and we've made some changes.
1. Timescale - Michael Gove's comment, which sparked this whole thing, was to read them over a year. So, the challenge will run until the end of March, a year from starting it.
2. Substitutions - There are some books on the list that Luke has really hated.  In general, they've been an unhappy combination of a literary style that doesn't suit him and a subject matter he doesn't care about.  To give him 3 wild cards seemed fair.  He could chose 3 books from the list that he really couldn't face and swap them with books his dad and I agreed would be suitable alternatives
3. Tolkien  - The original list featured The Hobbit and the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy as one choice.  Luke ploughed through over half of The Fellowship Of The Rings with little enjoyment. We agreed, in the face of more elvish poetry than one could shake a stick at, to go with just reading The Hobbit. That's still 400 pages and a rollicking good read to boot.  We'll leave LOTR til he's a little older.

Luke's made a good start. He's reviewed the 2 books he'd read before Christmas and he's tackled one of the book he was most dreading. He's also a fair way through The Hobbit. He's got 8 books to do in 8 weeks, which will be hard, but I've got faith in him.
And anyway, he played a Wild Card to ditch Little Women, so I know he can do this!

Swallows and Amazons

I cannot say with all honesty that I was looking forward to reading this book. It was big, it was in that time where everyone is perfectly delightful and worst of all it had that thing where instead of writing tomorrow like a normal person they write to-morrow with doesn't make any SENSE! But as it turns out it wasn’t that bad. 
How were the characters? OK. How was the storyline? OK. How was the ending? OK. 
If someone asked me “Hey Luke can you sum up the quality of swallows and amazons in one word?” I would reply “Eh” The book overflows with mediocrity. Nothing is noticeably horrible yet nothing makes me fill with happiness or burst out laughing. 
This is the kind of book that you read when you just got nothing better to do. I hope that in future this book will mean more to me but for now it will just sit on my shelf until I lie on the floor groaning with boredom. 50/100.             

Friday, 20 January 2012

Carry On Jeeves

The Jeeves and Wooster series is a fantastic set of small stories written by PG Wodehouse about a rich man named Bertie Wooster and his new butler Jeeves and their experiences in New York and London. 
These stories are very entertaining and interesting. The character design is excellent, the story lines are great and the made up words that the author uses are really weird and yet very good. But while the made up words are funny they really have to said out loud in order to understand them. 
As well as that there is also the continuing joke that Jeeves always throws away one of the items of clothing that Bertie has. At first it was pretty funny but after that it got a little repetitive. 
Over all it is agood book with funny jokes and strange words but to really get the feel of the book you have to read it aloud. 79/100           

Thursday, 19 January 2012

how to be topp

I found how to be topp:
stupid, insane, badly spelt, really not funny, boring, ridiculous, brainless, deficient, dense, dim, doltish, dopey, dull, dumb, foolish, half-baked, half-witted, idiotic, ill-advised, imbecilic, inane, indiscreet, insensate, irrelevant, laughable, ludicrous, meaningless, mindless, moronic, nonsensical, obtuse, pointless, puerile, rash, senseless, simpleminded, slow, sluggish, stolid, stupefied, thick, thick-headed, trivial, unintelligent, unthinking and moronic. 
I must thank for the majority of these words.
 Ok, taking deep breaths. Listen people: this book is terrible! It tries to be funny but it isn’t. Curse It! The little rich brat telling the story cannot spell. The bad spelling is supposed to be a joke but when he does it I just think “?” All Molesworth does is say weird stuff about his posh school for boys and pretends he is a spaceman/cowboy/hero. What kind of a storyline is that? In order to even understand this book I would have to be in the upper class 5 generations ago.  Makes stupid jokes and has a horrible story line. For pure stupidity and suckiness this book is cursed with