This book provides an opportunity to walk in the shoes of a new immigrant to Australia and the balance that her family tries to create between the Chinese and Australian cultures. The author has included themes that appeal to teenages, i.e. the star crossed ghost’s love story, and how it feels to be a young immigrant Chinese in a Western culture.

I really enjoyed it and felt that there very few instances where the text was not believable. I will definitely be introducing this story to the girls at school.


Information keywords

catch phrases to explore:

Text mining

This article was published in the New Yorker on November 5, 2007.

I enjoyed this article and its exploration through history of the need to gather all known information into one accessible location. The idea that anybody will be able to access Google to view books at need is shot down when one is reminded yet again of the lack of access to electronic media in developing countries and indeed India and China. Grafton refers to the inadequate access to hardcopies in Public Libraries as a form of “Poverty” on a par with lack of food. Thought provoking.

I particularly like this sentence: “The real challenge now is how to chart the tectonic plates of information that are crashing into one another and then to learn to navigate the new landscapes they are creating.” This is one major reason why I have started a blog and have also contemplated a wiki to create some order of all the information I have in various formats.

Link: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/11/05/071105fa_fact_grafton/

I found myself agreeing with much of what was said. I also found myself challenged and intrigued by references in the text to Alfred Kazin, Infotopia, Ptolemy and the Library of Alexandria amongst other ideas. The discussion of the human need to categorize information was amusing and led to the reflection that there really is nothing new under the sun. We just use different mediums.

Ideas to explore: Alfred Kazin, Infotopia, Ptolemy and the Library of Alexandria, Eusebius, Hesiod and the Story of Pandora. Grafton writes:  “John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid have written of the so-called social life of information’ – the form in which you encounter a text can have a huge impact on how you use it.”

History to explore

Early Settlement of North America and the ability of the settlers to be self sufficient.

Spirituality of North American Indians. Themes: Upper World, Popogusso.

These ideas generated from reading “A world away” by Pauline Francis.

This is a love story with the two main characters being: Nadie, an Indian and Tom, a young Englishman. The story is told through the eyes of the two main characters and how they perceive events as they unfold. Alternating chapters are narrated from the perspective of Nadie and Tom; they are short and the content challenges the views of each culture. One interesting theme was that of spirituality and the disparities and similarities observed by Nadie and Tom.

I found myself wanting to explore the early settlement of North America. This is something that had not overly interested me before. You could say it has whet my appetite.

I picked this off the shelf at random. The book is about a year in the life of the young girl in the title. She starts out as a tomboy in the Wisconsin wilderness of the late 19th century and slowly becomes aware of larger issues surrounding her. By the end of the story she is still a tomboy but has become more reconciled to the role of the woman and her importance to the family at this time. I should mention that it is based on a true story.

This book is fast paced and deals with friendship, growing up, settler/indian conflict, and the woman’s role. I enjoyed it and will use it for read aloud to our Intermediate girls at school. I always enjoy books that give me an insight into how people have managed to surivive and live in previous times with quiet practical information. For example: extra butter was churned and placed in sealed pots in the ground for use during winter.

I also enjoyed it because I was this tomboy and developed a love for colour through painting and quilting. I’m still not totally reconciled to the “woman’s role” and the responsibility that goes with it and kick over the traces from time to time. Always find myself picking up where I left off though. Ho-hum.

Holiday Reading 2009/2010

This is a list of the books I will read over the Christmas break. I have already started and read 3 books! A record for me. I am finding that each book is prompting me to want to diverge and investigate aspects touched on, usually briefly, by each author.