Broaden your literary horizons and embark on ‘Reading around the World’ this summer

Read around the World

I’ve been interested in this idea ever since I heard about Ann Morgan’s  ‘A year of reading the world’

She writes in the opening of her book:  “I glanced up at my bookshelves, the proud record of more than twenty years of reading, and found a host of English and North American greats starting down at me…I had barely touched a work by a foreign language author in years…The awful truth dawned. I was a literary xenophobe.”

She set out to read a book translated into English from each of the world’s 195 UN-recognised countries (plus Taiwan and one extra) in one year. She has recently produced a New TEDx talk: what I learned reading a book from every country

My enthusiasm was revived when English teacher, Jo Wayman mentioned that she is currently reading around the world. It seems to offer so many benefits – from starting a conversation about books with people from different nations or backgrounds to opening our minds to different writing styles, settings and viewpoints. If we read books by authors from our holiday destinations we are likely to gain insights into the culture, history, politics and art of that country. Not to mention that is works well with the international outlook of the IB (International Baccalaureate) and our efforts to encourage diversity.

 As you holiday in a wide range of different countries (books set in destinations within the British Isles are fine too) why not join in with our summer reading challenge?

  •  Read a book set in your destination country
  • Read a book written by an author from your holiday country
  • Read or recommend a book by an author from your home country
  • Homegrown books are still fascinating – Scotland, Northern Ireland,  Eire, Wales, England down to counties, cities, towns, villages…

 Wherever you are we want to hear from you!

Take a picture of yourself reading in front of a landmark in your chosen country.

Share your recommendations via:

Email to library@wellingtoncollege.org.uk 

or Tweet to: @welly_library

Here are a few recommendations – we will be adding to this over the summer holidays.

Afghanistan: ‘The Kite Runner’ or ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini

Germany: ‘Why We Took the Car’ by Wolfgang Herrndorf. Recommended by my German friend as a great and enjoyable novel for teenagers. Or read it in the original German as ‘Tschick’?

India: ‘A Suitable Boy’ by Vikram Seth or Booker Prize winning ‘White Tiger’ by Aravind Adiga

Israel: ‘A pigeon and a boy’ by Meir Shalev recommended by Mrs Wayman’s Israeli friend.

Italy: ‘I’m not scared’ (Io non ho paura)  by Niccolo Ammaniti. A suspenseful novel, moving and with an evocative sense of place – set in Sicily.

Japan: Any of Murakami’s novels. A number of IB classes have read ‘The wind-up bird chronicle’ as one of their works in translation.

Nigeria: ‘Things Fall Apart’ by Chinua Achebe
or for a more contemporary novelist, books by Chimamanda Ngozi  – ‘Purple Hibiscus’ or ‘Half of a yellow sun’ set in the times of the Nigerian civil war.
Pakistan: ‘I am Malala’
South Africa: ‘Fiela’s Child’ by Dalene Matthee (recommended by an U6th student) See a review here

Suggestions and ideas.

We are keen to build up a list of recommended reads from as many countries as possible and create a huge map and display in September.

  • For inspiration you could try an interesting book we have in the library called ‘Reading on Location: Great books set in top travel destinations by Luisa Moncada
  • Here are some suggestions from a Guardian article from 2006 (not recent but it is recommending classic reads) ‘Reading on Location’ ‘Often, the best kind of holiday read is one that’s inspired by the place you’re visiting. James Anthony and Sarah Crown suggest some classic literary accompaniments to your summer escapes’
  • World reading challenge – books around the globe
  • TripFiction is a website to help you find books set in locations – you can search for your destination country and add your own suggestions.

Ann Morgan on her blog gives some excellent advice about starting out on this venture:

  • Be curious and open to changing your ideas Reading the world requires you to let go of your assumptions about many things – from morality and history to what counts as a book in the first place. This can be challenging but also hugely rewarding. As far as possible, try to keep an open mind.
  • Make the quest your own Many of the people I hear from tell me that they’re using my list as a guide. It’s great to know that it’s useful and I hope that the Book of the month reviews help keep it fresh. However, there are so many amazing books out there and a huge amount has changed since I read the world in 2012. Thousands of brilliant new translations have been published, in some cases opening up the literature of countries that had nothing available in English during my quest.
  • Go at your own pace You don’t have to read the world in a year. You don’t have to read it in ten years. It’s much better to go at a pace that you can sustain rather than to drive yourself frantic by trying to cram reading into every spare moment and turning it into a chore. Instead, find a window of time (even if it’s just 15 minutes a day) that you can dedicate to reading and stick to that. And if you find yourself wanting to spend more time reading as you go along – great!
  • Use libraries and other reading resources to read for free Reading can be expensive. Even with the generous book gifts I received from strangers, my original quest cost me several thousand pounds. This can be prohibitive, especially if you live in a part of the world where books are relatively expensive. There aren’t always easy solutions. However, where they exist, libraries can be a fabulous resource for bookworms. Not only do they make books freely available, but they will also often order in titles you request. For people in particularly difficult circumstances, there are charities such as Book Aid working to supply books.
  • Be patient and use your initiative It’s very difficult when you come to a country that has no commercially available literature in English. What you do about this will depend on how much time and energy you have. During my quest (as you’ll see if you read the posts for the ComorosPanama and São Tomé and Príncipe, to name a few), I resorted to all sorts  of outlandish things to try to source texts, including contacting charities, academics and students working in the region, and tracking translators down through social media. There is no magic solution to ticking off these countries. However, the good news is, it’s getting easier. Since my project, literature from several previously off-limits nations, including Madagascar and Guinea-Bissau, has been released in English. I’m hopeful it won’t be long before every UN-recognised nation has something available in the world’s most-published language. I’ll do my best to keep you informed. Watch this space!

 

The ‘Extreme Reading Photo Competition’ is back this summer!

Get reading – Get extreme!

Here’s my first Extreme reading photo of the summer holidays. Cycling along the Thames Path we ended up in Hyde Park and sought out the amazing ‘Still Water’ statue of a horse’s head by Nic Fiddian-Green.

I was reading ‘My Name is Leon’ by Kit de Waal. This debut novel was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2016 and it’s not difficult to see why. Funny, moving and engrossing I immediately warmed to 9 year old protagonist Leon. The brilliantly evocative opening of the book shows Leon’s love and care for his newborn brother Jake. The boys’ mother is incapable of looking after for her children and Leon takes on the role of caring for his brother. Although the book deals with tough themes – depression, sibling separation and identity it was ultimately uplifting. The feeling I had of foreboding and disaster was time and again proved wrong and I was left feeling positive and optimistic at the end of the book and ready to read it all over again!

Here’s more from the Penguin website:

Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have gone to live with Maureen, who has fuzzy red hair like a halo, and a belly like Father Christmas. But the adults are speaking in low voices, and wearing Pretend faces. They are threatening to give Jake to strangers. Since Jake is white and Leon is not.

As Leon struggles to cope with his anger, certain things can still make him smile – like Curly Wurlys, riding his bike fast downhill, burying his hands deep in the soil, hanging out with Tufty (who reminds him of his dad), and stealing enough coins so that one day he can rescue Jake and his mum.

Evoking a Britain of the early eighties, My Name is Leon is a heart-breaking story of love, identity and learning to overcome unbearable loss. Of the fierce bond between siblings. And how – just when we least expect it – we manage to find our way home.

Take a photo of yourself reading in an ‘extreme’ place (without endangering yourself!) Be as creative or imaginative as you like – extreme can mean unusual!

We are looking forward to receiving your photos which will be displayed in the Library at the start of the Michaelmas Term 2017.

Entries welcome from staff, pupils and parents. Prizes for all categories.

Email your photos to the Library: library@wellingtoncollege.org.uk

Or Tweet them to @welly_library

By: Tuesday 12th September 2017

Stating your name, book title and location. You can add more information or a book comment in the email if you wish but it isn’t essential.

 

We love to hear your about your favourite summer reads!

 

 

 

 

 

From Extreme Reading to Extreme Writing this summer!

This year we are having a change from the past 3 summers of the Extreme Reading Photo Competition. The English Department are challenging you to an Extreme Writing Competition – can you write 300 words about an extreme or unusual place and send in a photo of you in that location?

extreme writing

More information here

Happy reading and writing this summer holiday!

We look forward to reading your extreme writing and always like to hear your reading recommendations and book reviews.

Extreme Reading Photo Competition Results!

Wellington Photograph CompetitionWe had a wonderful variety of entries to this year’s Extreme Reading Photo Competition. They ranged from exotic locations to extremely creative ideas of places to read, mirroring the contents of the books. We are very grateful to Mrs Henderson for judging this year’s competition. Congratulations to all our winners and everyone who took part.

Our overall winner, Beatrice (Y9) wins a kobo e-reader.

2nd Georgia and Tom, Y10 (reading ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ by Mark Haddon whilst shark cage diving)

Joint 3rd  Ramarni, Y9 (reading ‘Revolver’ by Marcus Sedgwick in an egg) and Frank, Y11 on Hadrian’s Wall.

Highly Commended

Finn, Y9 (flying through the air with ‘Revolver’ by Marcus Sedgwick)

Thomas, Y10 (reading an enormous book in Barcelona)

big book Barcelona

Have a look at the full display of photos in Back Quad.

Why not try one of the books our staff and pupils read this summer from the list below?

First Class Murder by Robin Stevens (Beatrice Y9)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon (Georgia and Tom Y10)

Wonder by R. J. Palacio (Ben, Eagle House)

One Hundred Years of Solitude by  Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Mr Bickford-Smith, PoliIMG_5863tics Dept) (Staff Winner)

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4118Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong by David Walsh (Mr McGarey, Chemistry)

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick (many new Y9’s!)

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (Ms Atherton, Library)

Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher (Zara, Y10)

Caesar by Allan Massie (Mr Atherton, Maths)

Trinity by Conn Iggulden (2nd book in his trilogy about the War of the Roses, Dr Hood, Chemistry)

Rubicon by Tom Holland (Louisa, Y10)

Elizabeth is missing by Emma Healey (Ms Wright, Library)

The Bees by Laline Paull (Dominic, Y11)

 

Extreme Reading Photos – Galapagos, Slovenia and French scarecrows!

Dr Hood (Chemistry) is clearly enjoying her summer. She has been doing some extreme walking in Slovenia in the Julian Alps.

Dr Hood small

One walk took us to a place called Tromeja in Slovenian or Drilandereck in German, meaning Three Borders.  It is the place where three countries meet: Slovenia, Austria and Italy.  We took the path from the village of Ratece in the valley bottom (at about 840m altitude) to the top of Pec mountain (1510m), a climb of around 670 meters.  The last section of the path had 30 hairpin bends on it, so the walk involved quite extreme effort from me!  That’s why I decided to get this photo taken at the boundary point.  The views at the top were amazing. The background in the photo is Austria.

The books I read on holiday in Slovenia were the first two of Conn Iggulden’s trilogy about the War of the Roses, “Stormbird” and “Trinity” – great stuff, full of blood and guts, but I’m still not sure I understand all the complicated relationships between the houses of York, Lancaster and Neville after reading them!

Galapagos WBS

Mr Bickford-Smith has been getting to know the friendly wildlife in the Galapagos Islands. He has, very fittingly, been reading “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez alongside two sea-lion pups on Isla Isabela.

LGA extreme scarecrowMy daughter Louisa decided to read Tom Holland’s “Rubicon” with a couple of extreme scarecrows at her aunt’s farm in France!

 

Need inspiration for your Extreme Reading Photo? Look at this…

Just in –  our first Extreme Reading Photo of this summer! Many thanks to our mystery reader(no prizes for guessing who it is though!). Have a look at this Animoto of a selection of previous years’ photos. Perhaps we could plot a map of all the various locations where the reading took place this year and compile a list of all the book titles? Creative photos from your local area or back garden just as welcome as more exotic locations.

You could win a Kobo e-reader!

extreme reading

Extreme Reading Competition and Badged Open Courses (BOCs) this summer.

Don’t forget to send us your Extreme Reading Photos for the summer holiday competition. Here’s a very late entry Hannibal extreme reading Towners copyfrom last year.   It’s Mr Townley on the Hannibal Alps trip. We’re hoping for some good ones from this year’s Classics trip walking the length of Hadrian’s Wall.

Email your entries to: library@wellingtoncollege.org.uk  or tweet them to @welly_library.

BOCS

The Open University is now offering Badged Open Courses for anyone wanting to try online courses, starting anytime.  Learners can work at their own pace, signing up any time and on completion gain a digital badge which can be shared with employers, UCAS etc. Each course takes 24 hours to complete. Try something new like forensic psychology or develop your Maths skills with two levels of courses.  Accounts are currently available to age group 16+

There are over 800 free courses including many introductory courses  (without badges) – some of which only take 5 hours to complete. See the full list here

Happy World Book Day – Thursday 5th March 2015

group croppedToday is World Book Day and we are celebrating books and reading today! Looking forward to seeing pupils and staff in the Library at break this morning for cookies, brownies and our Opening Lines of Books quiz.

Try your hand at this 10 Second Book Quiz  (many thanks to Sue, the Librarian at Roedean for sharing this one!) It is also on the screens in the Dining Hall today.

On a day when we celebrate our enjoyment of books and reading why not support Book Aid International? This charity is changing people’s lives through the supply of books, resources and support of libraries in Africa. Watch Samuel’s story here

 

Extreme Reading Photo Competition Winners – Summer 2014

Extreme Reading Photo Competition Winners 

This year our new photographer and designer, Josh Moses, had the tough task of judging the ‘Extreme Reading Competition’. This was done anonymously of course. We were inundated with amazing and creative photos and want to thank all of you for taking part. Look out for the display of all the entries on the panels outside the library and full list of runners up and highly commended.

KC cycling extreme photoMany congratulations to the winners: 

Wellington College Students

1st – Katya Chukseeva, (cycling in the rain in Moscow)

2nd – Dominic Atherton, (accidental scientist explosion)

3rd – Olly Cash, (cave in cliffs)

4th – Posy Coode,  (in the Blue Cave in Croatia)

 

Highly commended:

Will Dolbear, 9Bd (feeding an elephant)

Thomas Williamson, 9R (in a dragon statue)

Jamie Lunnon, 9S (jumping off a sea wall)

Jasmine Leavesley, 9Ap (swinging off a tower)

Felix Hooper, 9Bd (reading the Outsiders on a water ski)

Charlie Sellers, 9Bl (backflip off a boat)

Drew Cahane, 9Hl (reading on Inferno rollercoaster)

Archie Coode, 11Bl (up a mast on a ship)

Noah Pennant, 9Bd (Land’s end sign)

Eve Trainor, 9W (on a post in a lake)

William Creasey, 9L (mountain bike)

Kitty Nason, 9C (The Pyranees)

Harry Williams, 9Bn (waterskiing reading ‘Dipomatic Immunity)

Nils Bruening (top of mast)

Louis Ryan (reading with a dolphin)

Eagle House Students

1st – George Belcher, Eagle House 7 (on castle ruins)

2nd – Olly Whitehead, Eagle House (set of three photos of canoe going over rapids)

3rd – Ben Trunck, Eagle House (in the stocks)

4th – Sophia Grillo, Eagle House (long jump)

Librarians’ choice award – Sofia Albano (The Diamond Heist)

Staff

Winner – Mr Allcock (Head of Classics) on top of the Old Man of Hoy

old man of hoygb extreme reading