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What we are reading in English
Posted on: 19/10/2015
Miss Thompson is reading ‘The Rosie Project’ by Don Tillman
The Rosie Project is a 2013 Australian novel and the debut work of Australian novelist Graeme Simsion. The work was first published on January 30, 2013 in Australia by Text Publishing and has subsequently been released in the United States through Simon & Schuster and in the United Kingdom through Penguin Books. The novel centres on genetics professor Don Tillman, who struggles to have a serious relationship with women. With a friend's help, he devises a questionnaire to assess the suitability of female partners. His plans are set off course when he meets Rosie, who doesn't fit many of Tillman's criteria, but becomes a big part of his life.
Mrs Elie is reading ‘One Hundred Names’ by Cecelia Ahern
Kitty Logan has lost her way…
As a journalist, she’s spent the past few years chasing the big scoops – no matter the consequences. When she makes a terrible mistake, she finds herself mired in scandal, her career implodes and even her personal relationships are tested to the limits. At a loss, Kitty finds distraction in a list of one hundred names her late mentor and boss, Constance, has left her. Kitty’s been given one final chance, the most important assignment of her life – to write the story behind the one hundred names as a tribute piece to Constance. As she tracks down the people on the list and tries to work out what connects them, Kitty meets some extraordinary people.
Can these strangers’ stories help her finally understand her own?
Mr Obstfeld is reading ‘Heart of Darkness’ by Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness is a short novel by Polish novelist Joseph Conrad, written as a frame narrative, about Charles Marlow's experience as an ivory transporter down the Congo River in Central Africa. The river is "a mighty big river, that you could see on the map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body at rest curving afar over a vast country, and its tail lost in the depths of the land". In the course of his travel in central Africa, Marlow becomes obsessed with Mr. Kurtz. The story is a complex exploration of the attitudes people hold on what constitutes a barbarian versus a civilized society and the attitudes on colonialism and racism that were part and parcel of European imperialism. Originally published as a three-part serial story, in Blackwood's Magazine, the novella Heart of Darkness has been variously published and translated into many languages. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Heart of Darkness as the sixty-seventh of the hundred best novels in English of the twentieth century.
Miss Hingston is reading ‘Falling Kingdoms’ by Morgan Rhodes
In a land where magic has been forgotten and peace has reigned for centuries, unrest is simmering . Three kingdoms battle for power . . .
A princess must journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long-thought extinct. A rebel becomes the leader of a bloody revolution. A Sorceress discovers the truth about the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield. It's the eve of war. Each must choose a side.
KINGDOMS WILL FALL.
Miss Hamilton is reading ‘Brida’ by Paulo Coelho
Brida, a young Irish girl, has long been interested in various aspects of magic but is searching for something more. Her search leads her to people of great wisdom. She meets a wise man who dwells in a forest, who teaches her to trust in the goodness of the world, and a woman who teaches her how to dance to the music of the world. As Brida seeks her destiny, she struggles to find a balance between her relationships and her desire to become a witch. This enthralling novel incorporates themes that fans of Paulo Coelho will recognize and treasure. It is a tale of love, passion, mystery, and spirituality from the master storyteller.
Miss Ott is reading ‘I Am Pilgrim’ by Terry Hayes
Can you commit the perfect crime?
Pilgrim is the codename for a man who doesn’t exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed up a secret espionage unit for US intelligence. Before he disappeared into anonymous retirement, he wrote the definitive book on forensic criminal investigation. But that book will come back to haunt him. It will help NYPD detective Ben Bradley track him down. And it will take him to a rundown New York hotel room where the body of a woman is found face down in a bath of acid, her features erased, her teeth missing, her fingerprints gone. It is a textbook murder – and Pilgrim wrote the book. What begins as an unusual and challenging investigation will become a terrifying race-against-time to save America from oblivion. Pilgrim will have to make a journey from a public beheading in Mecca to a deserted ruins on the Turkish coast via a Nazi death camp in Alsace and the barren wilderness of the Hindu Kush in search of the faceless man who would commit an appalling act of mass murder in the name of his God.
Miss Singh is reading ‘Pretending to Dance’ by Diane Chamberlain
Molly Arnette and her husband live in San Diego, where they hope to adopt a baby. But the process terrifies her. Because Molly is very good at keeping secrets . . .
As the questions and background checks come one after another, Molly worries that the truth she's kept hidden about her North Carolina childhood will rise to the surface and destroy not only her chance at adoption, but her marriage as well. She ran away from her family twenty years ago after a shocking event left her devastated and distrustful of those she loved: her mother, the woman who raised her and who, despite Molly claiming is dead, is very much alive; her birth mother, whose mysterious presence raised so many issues, and the father she adored, whose death sent her running from the small community of Morrison Ridge. Now, as she tries to find a way to make peace with her past and embrace a future filled with promise, she discovers that even she doesn't know the truth of what happened in her family of pretenders.
Mr Patel is reading “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese
Transporting the reader from the 1940s to the present, from a convent in India to a cargo ship bound for the Yemen, from a tiny operating theatre in Ethiopia to a hospital in the Bronx, Cutting for Stone is a thrilling epic of conjoined twins, doctors and patients, temptation and redemption, home and exile – and a riveting family story, irresistibly charged with strange happenings, humour and pathos, that grabs you from its harrowing opening and never lets go. Marion and Shiva Stone, half-Indian and half-British, are twin sons of a secret union at ‘Missing’, a hospital run by nuns in Addis Ababa. Born in extraordinary circumstances, the brothers couldn’t be more different – Marion, introspective and eager to please, Shiva, a loner with fewer scruples and a photographic memory – but are bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared passion for medicine, and cricket. They come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. The Italians have left behind in Addis cappuccino machines and Campari umbrellas. But they've also left a nation crippled by poverty, hunger, and authoritarian rule: Ethiopia in the 1960s and 1970s is both bolstered and trapped by its emperor, Haile Selassie. Yet it will be love, not politics – their passion for the same woman – that tears the twins apart and forces Marion to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as a surgical intern at an underfunded, overcrowded hospital. When the past catches up with him, in a stunning twist, Marion must trust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world. Cutting for Stone is both an unforgettable story of lives cut in half and a gripping evocation of the power, intimacy, danger and curious beauty of the art of medicine. A masterly debut novel, it is visceral in its power, heart-breaking in its tenderness.
Miss Moradi is reading ‘The Twits’ by Roald Dahl
Mr and Mrs Twit are truly revolting. They play horrible tricks on each other. They never wash, they trap birds for Bird Pie and they hate children. So the Muggle-Wump monkeys and the Roly-Poly bird hatch an ingenious plan to give them just the ghastly surprise they deserve!
Mr Raphael is reading ‘1Q84: Books 1, 2 and 3’ by Haruki Murakami
The year is 1Q84.
This is the real world, there is no doubt about that. But in this world, there are two moons in the sky. In this world, the fates of two people, Tengo and Aomame, are closely intertwined. They are each, in their own way, doing something very dangerous. And in this world, there seems no way to save them both.
Something extraordinary is starting.
Miss Pandoo is reading ‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl
Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she's knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she's a super-nerd and the teacher's pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda's world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centred parents who ever lived. Then there's the large, busty nightmare of a school mistress, Mrs ("The") Trunchbull, a former hammer- throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer.
Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience and an innate talent for revenge.
Miss Majeed is reading ‘The Rainbow Troops’ by Andrea Hirata
Ikal is a student at Muhammadiyah Elementary, on the Indonesian island of Belitong, where graduating from sixth grade is considered a major achievement. His school is under constant threat of closure. In fact, Ikal and his friends – a group called The Rainbow Troops – face threats from every angle: pessimistic, corrupt government officials; greedy corporations hardly distinguishable from the colonialism they've replaced; deepening poverty and crumbling infrastructure; and their own faltering self-confidence. But in the form of two extraordinary teachers, they also have hope, and Ikal's education is an uplifting one, in and out of the classroom. You will cheer for Ikal and his friends as they defy the town's powerful tin miners. Meet his first love – a hand with half-moon fingernails that passes him the chalk his teacher sent him to buy. You will roar in support of Lintang, the class's barefoot maths genius, as he bests the rich company children in an academic challenge.