Current reading matter

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, and is NON CH related - chat about the weather, or anything else that takes your fancy.

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jhopgood
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Re: Current reading matter

Post by jhopgood » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:18 pm

Alan P5age wrote:
Mid A 15 wrote:I have vague memories of a venerable Old Blue called Wickham regularly visiting during my time at CH (AKAP, True Blue or Plum Senior may confirm). I believe that he was a generous benefactor to the School and had been a pupil both at Horsham and Newgate Street.

I wonder whether or not he was a relative of Bernard Wickham?
According to the book Bernard was killed in action at the age of 22. He had 4 sisters: Caroline, Myrtle, Monica and Cicely, so if there was a link it could only be indirect I would have thought.
His name is probably on the plaque outside Dining Hall.
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Re: Current reading matter

Post by J.R. » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:47 pm

Alan P5age wrote:
Vièr Bliu wrote:
NEILL THE NOTORIOUS wrote: The 1919 has some lovely Cartoons of generals being evicted from the War Office !!
If 1919 Punch has any poems by Evoe (E.V. Knox), they're always worth a look. I was given a surplus copy at CH of one of Evoe's collections of parodies from the School library, and have built up my Evoe collection since. The thing about Evoe's parodies are that he rarely takes the lazy path of simply lampooning a particular poem, but rather manages to create something in the style of his target poet. His "Sussex by the Sea" as though translated from French is a particular joy.

Other news: Schools went back today, but tomorrow's anniversary reenactment of the Battle of Jersey has been hit by the weather.

Reading status: proofreading of the latest book going well - relaxing with more John Dickson Carr "The Third Bullet" - went mad on the Internet and ordered a study of the translations of Alice in Wonderland from across the Atlantic.
Have just got back from hiking around St Martha's Church in Guildford. There's a memorial seat to "EVOE" just outside the church.

Off Topic, I know, but were you aware that there is a long tunnel running from the church down off the North Downs to the village of Chilworth ?
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Re: Current reading matter

Post by kerrensimmonds » Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:37 pm

To get back to topic.... has anyone read and can comment on 'Operation Mincemeat' by Ben McIntyre (who also wrote 'Agent Zigzag', which kept me on the edge of my seat)? It was given to me for my birthday and I am looking forward to getting into it, once I have finished wading through the narrative-delivered-through-dialogue in 'Wolf Hall' (and I have yet to grasp the significance of the title. I am advised that there is probably going to be a sequel.........)!
I suppose that being a just-post-WW2 'baby' I find myself fascinated by the 'derring-do' which went on behind the scenes.
I inadvertently opened this thread at the beginning and found myself giggling at Catherine's description of reading 'Hairy Potter' by torchlight under the bedclothes, and being frightened when her husband's feet twitched. I haven't yet watched the DVD of the 'Half Blood Prince' though I treated myself to it, for Christmas.
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Re: Current reading matter

Post by Vièr Bliu » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:26 pm

kerrensimmonds wrote:found myself giggling at Catherine's description of reading 'Hairy Potter' by torchlight under the bedclothes, and being frightened when her husband's feet twitched. I haven't yet watched the DVD of the 'Half Blood Prince' though I treated myself to it, for Christmas.
I've just acquired a not-quite set of Harry Potter in French, so that'll keep me amused for a bit. The Hogwarts=Poudlard translation wordplay with the names is the sort of thing that interests me. I was reading recently that the earliest translators of Harry Potter had a freer hand to be inventive with equivalents in various languages but, unfortunately, then the marketing division of Warner Bros came down heavily and dictated that names had to remain as they were for global marketing purposes... Mind you, JK herself had probably killed off half her early translators at the second volume by making a crucial plot twist dependent on an anagram of something already established in volume one. I'd have had a heart attack, myself.

Still on the Alice in Wonderland translation kick. I'm dipping in and out of the Nabokov translation: full of ingenious solutions. I love his version of the Mock Turtle, and the Cheshire Cat is remarkable for its elegance.

Meanwhile, forgotten corners of Agatha Christie continue to be trawled. Towards Zero. Anyone, anyone? No wonder it had completely passed from my memory. Interesting technique to introduce and flag up one's deus ex machina at the beginning, but the dénouement waterboards one's credulity in the absence of Poirot-esque preposterousness. Good on Dame Aggie for attempting to ring the changes on the "Gather everyone in the drawing room in ten minutes and all will be revealed", but come off it, I'm not having that. And Mrs McGinty's Dead? Nice plot, shame about the solution. On the other hand Cat Among the Pigeons and Hickory Dickory Dock, of which I had a hazy recall of plot elements, turned out better than I had remembered - perhaps I can now take the well-meaning but patronising ethnic characterisations as part of the social background of the time rather than just gruesome embarrassments.

And I suppose "gruesome embarrassments" brings me back nicely to "husband's feet" :-)
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Re: Current reading matter

Post by Katharine » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:38 pm

I'm also reading Agatha at the moment. We picked up two paperbacks recently 1930's Omnibus and 1940's Omnibus - each containing 4 stories that are neither Hercule Poirot not Miss Marple. I have just enjoyed The Sittaford Mystery, next is Why didn't they ask Evans?
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Re: Current reading matter

Post by Vièr Bliu » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:21 pm

Katharine wrote:I have just enjoyed The Sittaford Mystery, next is Why didn't they ask Evans?
Haven't read either of those for a-a-a-ges, but from what I remember they're good, solid early Christie. Say what you like about the old girl, but when she was at the top of her form, no-one's fresher, and no-one's fairer in laying out the clues for the reader (nor sneakier in hiding them in plain view).

I remember reading Murder on the Orient Express for the first time at CH, and I had to finish reading it in the bath (and I never read in the bath). Enthralling, gripping, eye-opening. Of course, one of the clues was blindingly obvious to me as a Russian student - which just gave me that superior sense of "getting" something.
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Re: Current reading matter

Post by cj » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:44 pm

The Sittaford Mystery is set on Dartmoor I think, near Okehampton near us. I love Agatha Christie, currently have Five Little Pigs and After The Funeral out of the library but proceeding slowly as other thing are grabbing my attention! I did read Towards Zero ages ago and also the Tommy and Tuppence stories and quite liked them. I thought the omnibus editions in decades were a good read. For Christmas I was given the novelisation by Charles Osborne of three of her plays - Black Coffee, The Unexpected Guest, The Spider's Web. The writing wasn't always up to her standards but the plots were excellent, particularly The Unexpected Guest. I think my favourite characters are Mr Satterthwaite and Mr Quin. Short stories and a bit spooky. Fab.
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Re: Current reading matter

Post by cj » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:50 pm

kerrensimmonds wrote:I've just finished a book called 'I Didn't Say I Was Perfect' by Zoe Higginson. It's a curious blend of her own life story (including inter alia her time at an all girls' Boarding School in Hertfordshire which is clearly identifiable, and a move to another (mixed) school in Sussex, which again is pretty obvious) and the thinkings of a ghost called Belinda but who is clearly modelled on the the writer's impressions drawn from the Susannah Holmes portrait and the 'Susannah' mythologies which abounded at Hertford and which I believe now continue at Horsham.
Very strange! But somehow compulsive reading - albeit that it's not terribly well written and any editing is non existent. For instance, spelling and grammatical mistakes abound.
She was my contemporary in 1s at Hertford and Col A at Horsham. A friend tipped me the wink about her book and I have also read it with particular attention focussed on the boarding school years. We Col A girls are all clearly identifiable as are some of the male characters.
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Re: Current reading matter

Post by jhopgood » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:11 pm

Alan P5age wrote:At the moment am relaxing between "heavies", (have just finished Rimsky-Korsakov's autobiography and am planning to follow it with Prokofiev's) but, in the meantime, am reading "School life at Bartrams" by L.C. Silke, one of those gloriously cheesy sub Tom Brown public school story books that were popular in the early 20th century.

What struck me immediatly in this case, however, was the following passage:

"The child's heart sank very low as he glanced at his future school fellows and wondered whether he would ever find a friend among them. And how strange they looked in their funny dress! It was the costume in vogue when the school was founded, and still remained unchanged, so that a Bartram's schoolboy was known wherever he went. It consisted of knee-breeches, yellow stockings, shoes with buckles, a tightly fitting coat of dark cloth buttoned down to the waist, where a leathern belt confined it, while the continuation of the garment formed a sort of skirt which extended to the ankles, open in front and lined with yellow of the same colour of the stockings."

Mmmmm.
Her publisher was the Religious Tract Society, just around the corner from Newgate Street, so maybe she saw CH is she visited her publishers.
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Re: Current reading matter

Post by Katharine » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:36 pm

I've moved on to "Murder is Easy" by Dame Agatha. I didn't know this at all. I love the idea of special hat paint to be able to paint your panama a new colour each season!
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Re: Current reading matter

Post by midget » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:50 pm

When I went to an adult beginners ballet class we used straw hat paint to get a few extra wearings out of elderly pointe shoes.
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Re: Current reading matter

Post by MrsAverage » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:21 pm

Testimony by Anita Shreve.
I've just read this novel about a (ficticious) scandalous incident at an American boarding school and would love to read other CH parents and Old Blues views of the book and it's themes. At first I wasn't sure if I could finish the book as the story feels very close to home as the parent of a DS in GE, but I found it gripping, well written and thought provoking. I'd like to think it could be read by the pupils as it would provoke much relevent discussion - but is it too adult? Unfortunately the English version has a feminine cover which totally belies the story inside and would deter most teenagers and men from opening it. However the story is very powerful and modern (published first in 2008) and I can't wait to discuss it with other CH parents, staff and students. I hasten to add that I have no knoweldge or concerns that any of the issues in the novel arise at CH.
Did try this post on parents board but they obviousy haven't had time for reading...

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Re: Current reading matter

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:35 pm

I have, for my Birthday, been given two books ----

Schott's Sporting Gaming and Idling Miscellany, published by Bloomsbury
an hilarious compendium of such essentials as the meaning of the various jersey colours in the Tour de France, Surf height mesurement, the rules of Conkers, and how to swim the English Channel.
(A quote of Pope John Paul 11 -- " It is unbecoming of a Cardinal to ski badly ! "

The second --"Do I kneel or bow !" by Akasha Lonsdale, is what you need to know, when attending Religious Occasions.
This is fascinating information, ranging on what sort of card to send in congratulation of a Muslim birth --- to the 5 Ks of Sikhdom.
I am only half-way through either of them !!!

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Re: Current reading matter

Post by J.R. » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:11 pm

Back to Raymond Chandler, for me

'The Long Goodbye'.

Brilliant use of words for descriptive purposes.
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Re: Current reading matter

Post by cj » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:20 pm

Have just started Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. OK so far, easy reading, quick pace, lots of twisty turny things. Not going to set the world on fire, but there are worse ways to spend one's time.
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