More winter reading from Berkhamsted School…

One of our super English teachers, Miss Brims, has sent me reviews of two books which she has enjoyed recently.  Miss Brims writes:

The Beauty of Humanity Movement is the next book from award winning Canadian writer Camilla Gibb. Set in a modern Vietnam, the story charts lives of a family torn apart, joined by food and love, not blood,  and an ancient tale of old lost love.

Vietnam has seen many changes in one lifetime, and Old Man Hung has seen them all. His pho is as legendary as it is nourishing, as coveted as it is illegal, and as unifying as it was devisive.  When Maggie returns to the country of her birth, she arrives with all the ideals and modern mentalities in accordance with her upbringing in the USA, but she must keep the best of her present and her past in order to unravel the secrets of her families history.

Tu’ has grown up with Old Man Hung and posivitivity and good nature are inextricably entwined with both Hung, Maggie, and their fight for justice, truth, love and survival.

A beautiful, bitter sweet story which will live in your thoughts for days.

Greame Simpson’s loveable duo of Don and Rosie Tillman return in The Rosie Effect, a heart wrenching tale of a couple in their first year of marriage. Everything is going well for the new couple, the Wife Project has come to a successful conclusion, Rosie and Don have moved to New York and Don is learning to compromise, despite the obvious financial and logistical disadvantages. But when Rosie discovers she is pregnant, Don doesn’t respond as she hopes he will, driving a wedge between the couple which threatens their marriage (though Don is rather blissfully unaware of this). As ever, his intentions are good, and the reader is rooting for this loveable, nearly perfect man throughout his hilarious mis-steps.

If you loved The Rosie Project, you will love this too. Just be prepared to have the tissues ready for both laughter and heart break.”

We loved The Rosie Project as a staff reading group, please see the review here.

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The Rosie Project (Graeme Simsion)

Happy New Year to all our Readers!  We very much hope that you enjoyed the Christmas break and were able to relax a little, we needed to after a very hectic end to last term!

Our Reading Group is starting this year with Graeme Simsion’s highly acclaimed book, The Rosie Project. We haven’t had our meeting to discuss the book yet, but I’m already receiving feedback and everyone I’ve spoken with, loved it and couldn’t put it down!  It’s certainly a great book for cheering up our wet and dark January days.  I finished this book today and can concur with the opinions of my colleagues and I felt the need to share it with you!

Professor Don Tillman is a professor of genetics at a university in Melbourne who, as he approaches the age of forty, decides that he would like to be married.  He establishes the Wife Project which is overseen by his best friend Gene (professor of psychology, formerly genetics, at the same university) and Gene’s wife, Claudia, also a psychologist.  Don displays aspects of Aspergers Syndrome, living his life by following a set of strict rules and timings and his Wife Project questionnaire is tailored to find exactly the perfect wife who would share his interests and values.  Fate intervenes and throws Rosie in his path.  Rosie is a young woman so completely different from what Don expects, could she be the one to turn his head in the end?  Rosie is searching for her real father and has come to see Don to seek his help, this being his field of expertise… She knows nothing of the Wife Project.  Don tells his tale in his own inimitable style and gets into some incredible scrapes at work and in pursuit of Rosie’s father.

Graeme Simsion talked about his debut novel in an interview with Mark Lawson on his BBC Radio4 programme Front Row : ‘I am not a psychologist, I didn’t go and read lots of books on Aspergers… People say how much research did you do into Aspergers and I say thirty years in Information Technology!’  I would heartily recommend this book to lighten the winter blues and, for all women out there who think they might match up to Don’s requirements, why not complete the questionnaire in the back of the book? You may be surprised by the results!  You can also enjoy some of the cocktails he learnt to make on his journey to find love.

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