A final theme is spontaneity. Alzheimer’s has been sprung upon what has been a linear life for Alice. John had lead a linear life working his way up and so has Alice to an extent. Her two children Tom and Anna are living there lives the way in the order in which life usually goes (to use Anna’s case as an example becoming a lawyer, getting married and now wanting a child). However, Lydia is the anomaly in this, from not going to university to being the only child to choose not to find out if she has Alzheimers.
Frank Chalk is a teacher in a fairly poor inner city school- a school where the kids get drunk, take drugs and beat up the teachers… when they can be bothered to turn up.
I have had this book a number of years and it is one of the few books I have read over and over again. I bought it at a time when I really wanted to be a teacher (before I saw sense). It’s Your Time You’re wasting was published by a small book publisher Monday Books, known for publishing real life books. The book narrated by Frank Chalk (not his real name, probably to save his sanity) goes through the tale of his time as a supply teacher at St Jude’s which is based in the Cherry Tree Estate. He tells us tales of sloppy staff and even sloppier school children all of this which is punctuated with descriptions of the Cherry Street estate so you get to understand why the children behave like they do.
The book hit a chord with me because you can see through Frank’s eyes how the education system has failed the children. This is through two ways. One the lack of support at home. Frank visits a few children homes to tutor them and he see’s the effect of constant TV, fast food, the lack of books and interest from the parents resulting in the children being disengaged with anything that is longer than two minutes. The result of this being children who vandalise school property, not being able to understand school work and being downright nasty to anyone. You could argue that his book reinforces stereotypes, through the names of the children and the description of the council estate. But this is the reality of modern Britain as it is repeated through books like this one and on programmes on the TV such as Tough Young Teachers. So disillusioned is Frank with the school that he tells parent’s of a child to move to a better school. However, I feel that the author is realistic and what comes across well is Frank wants to teach but with the children not accepting responsibility, there doesn’t seem the point.
To conclude, this book is well worth a read if you want to while away an afternoon or want some escape. If you truly hate your job this book may also be of use, as by the end of reading you may think your job isn’t too bad 😉
The ones I have read however have been a real mixture of good and bad. As you will see below:
The Children’s Act- Ian McEwan
This book follows a QC who has to make a difficult decision regarding a religious woman and son’s young life. The book was better then I thought it would be. Written in Ian McEwan’s signature style where you pretty much have to concentrate through the entire book ( it’s not a light read!) it delivers a book that is a mixture of religion, love and morals.
Tales From The Ringroad- BBC
One episode was about the ringroad in Coventry. A man who was driving on the road one night got hit by a car who was driving in the opposite direction. Another story based in Wolverhampton was about a man who lived on the ringroad in a tent. It’s one to listen when you are on the commute home. It does sound a bit out there (stay with me on this!) but it isn’t that bad and is quite interesting. If all else fails the soothing voice will put you to sleep.
I picked this book up cheap in the local charity shop (as a lot of her books
these days are). The book is about with four sisters (Annie, Candy, Sabrina and Tammy) who all come together on the
4th July every year to celebrate. All the sisters are successful (as the majority of women in Danielle
Steel’s books are) therefore they all live this perfect life. A car accident occurs and their mother is killed instantly.
Annie who was in the car with her mother survives but due to
her injuries becomes blind, the sisters on learning this decide to live with
Annie for a year to help her adjust.
Unfortunately I just couldn’t finish the book. I understand that Danielle
Steel’s book is an escape from reality but there are only so many books about
TV producers, lawyers and famous models I could take. If you are familiar with
Danielle Steel’s books you may well have noticed the repetition of information in this case Annie being an artist and Candy a model. We KNOW THIS twenty times already! To me it shows that she
is trying to pad the book out and it got to the point where I felt like I
was wasting my time, therefore I stopped reading soon after the sisters moved
into the flat in New York. I am almost certain that Annie will find someone
lovely to fall in love with and become something other than an artist. This book
just didn’t do it for me therefore it’s one for the charity shop.
I bloody love books and since I travel on the train I am always reading. Here is what I have been enjoying this month.
Leaves On The Line- Martin and Simon Toseland
A Laugh- Out- Loud read. This book goes through everyday English phrases and gives a real life interpretation of what they mean. Perfect if you want a book you can pick up at any point.
Marks and Spencer Home Spring 2015 Edition Magazine
This free magazine I grabbed whilst waiting to pick up a package has the most beautiful pictures of their homeware inside. If I wasn’t living in rented accommodation I would definitely have a list of items that I want.
The Opposite Of Loneliness- Marina Keegan
As mentioned in my reading list, this book by the late Marina Keegan demonstrates her literary talent. As the book is a selection of essays and short stories it has again a book you can dip in and out of. Recommendations of stories to read include The Emerald City, Challenger Deep, Even Artichokes Have Doubts, Against The Grain and finally, of course, The Opposite Of Loneliness.
Love Is Not Enough- Merryn Somerset Webb
Although I am not awful with my money I could do better. Love Is Not Enough is essentially a dummies guide on how to improve your finances specifically for women. The book is split into sections that you are likely to encounter in your life such as children, marriage, divorce, investments, pensions etc. What I liked about this book, in particular, is the candid writing style Merryn adopts. It is not stuffy, it is spoken to women who need help understanding the basics.
Karren Brady is a woman I admire, from Managing Director of Birmingham City FC from the age of 23, she is a true woman made of grit. I have watched all of The Apprentices with her in it and enjoy reading her Cosmopolitan column. I have had this book a couple of years now and is definitely not a new book out. However, I picked it up as from time to time you always need an inspirational story and this is it. Karen talks about what drives her to success (mainly motivation and sheer hard work) and how she has found managing it all with children, TV work and other interests.
One that isn’t featured in my photograph above because I forgot to add it in! #GIRLBOSS similar to Strong Woman in that it details how Sophia Amoruso built her Nasty Gal busy up from a tiny eBay shop to the empire it is today. This book shows how hard work and determination really pays off and is so easy to read. I read it in two days.