Category Archives: Emma

Top 100 Books proves that Jane Austen is the Teacher’s Pet

CLASS lets get reading…

TES (Think, Educate, Share) a website dedicated to bringing the latest teaching news and strategies to educators and the public asked 500 primary and secondary teachers what their top 10 books were. They crunched the numbers and came up with the following list of 100 top books.

It is an interesting list and it ranges nicely from early-ish chapter books — the kind that got us all hooked on reading in the first place, like Dahl and Lewis — to more mature novels like Atonement.

I was glad to see that my girl Jane made the grade (#1, 32, 52, 58). And you’ll recognize lots of other Thought of the Day authors on here too (I put them in italics — if you  are interested in reading the bioBlogs go to the search box to the right and type in their name.)

1. Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

Jane Austen, Watercolour and pencil portrait b...

Jane Austen, Watercolour and pencil portrait by her sister Cassandra, 1810 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


2. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee

3. Harry Potter (series) J.K. Rowling

4. Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte

5. Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte

6. Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell

7. The Lord of the Rings (series) J.R.R. Tolkien

[Image courtesy Biography online

[Image courtesy Biography online

8. The Book Thief Markus Zusak9. The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien10. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald11. The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini12. The Hunger Games (series) Suzanne Collins13. The Time Traveller’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger

14. The Chronicles of Narnia (series) C.S. Lewis

15. Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck

16. Birdsong Sebastian Faulks

17. His Dark Materials (series) Philip Pullman

18. The Gruffalo Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

19. The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger

20. Life of Pi Yann Martel

21. Tess of the d’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy

22. Rebecca Daphne du Maurier

23. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon

24. Lord of the Flies William Golding

25. Matilda Roald Dahl

My Roald Dahl collage featuring some of his most popular characters (as drawn by the amazing Quentin Blake).  Surrounding Mr. Dahl and his pups are: at the top left are: The BFG, Sophie, Dahl with his pups, The Enormous Crocodile, Mr. Fox, James, the Grand High Witch, Willy Wonka, and Matilda.

My Roald Dahl collage featuring some of his most popular characters (as drawn by the amazing Quentin Blake).

 

26. Catch-22 Joseph Heller

27. Millennium (series) Stieg Larsson

28. Animal Farm George Orwell

29. The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood

30. Persuasion Jane Austen

31. One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez

32. Kensuke’s Kingdom Michael Morpurgo

33. Goodnight Mister Tom Michelle Magorian

34. The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck

35. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl

36. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas John Boyne

37. Little Women Louisa May Alcott

English: Bust of Louisa May Alcott

English: Bust of Louisa May Alcott (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

38. One Day David Nicholls

39. We Need to Talk About Kevin Lionel Shriver

40. The Twits Roald Dahl

41. Wolf Hall Hilary Mantel

42. A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini

43. The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame

44. Frankenstein Mary Shelley

45. Great Expectations Charles Dickens

46. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Louis de Bernieres

47. George’s Marvellous Medicine Roald Dahl

48. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams

douglas adams inspired "Hitch hikers guid...

douglas adams inspired “Hitch hikers guide to the galaxy” H2G2 http://www.hughes-photography.eu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

49. Room Emma Donoghue

50. Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy

51. Atonement Ian McEwan

52. Emma Jane Austen

53. Middlemarch George Eliot

54. The Shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zafon

55. The Color Purple Alice Walker

56. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle

57. Brave New World Aldous Huxley

58. Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen

59. The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath

60. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll

61. Charlotte’s Web E.B. White

62. Dracula Bram Stoker

63. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

64. A Prayer for Owen Meany John Irving

65. The Secret History Donna Tartt

66. The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Scanned drawing.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Scanned drawing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

67. Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoevsky

68. The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver

69. Jude the Obscure Thomas Hardy

70. Skellig David Almond

71. The Woman in White Wilkie Collins

72. Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell

73. Game of Thrones (series) George R.R. Martin

74. David Copperfield Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens, a former resident of Lant Street.

Charles Dickens, a former resident of Lant Street. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

75. Never Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro

76. Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak

77. Twilight (series) Stephenie Meyer

78. Beloved Toni Morrison

79. The Help Kathryn Stockett

80. Sherlock Holmes (series) Arthur Conan Doyle

81. Half of a Yellow Sun Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

82. Moneyball Michael Lewis

83. My Family and Other Animals Gerald Durrell

84. Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden

85. On the Road Jack Kerouac

86. Cloud Atlas David Mitchell

87. Wild Swans Jung Chang

88. Anne of Green Gables L.M. Montgomery

89. Les Miserables Victor Hugo

90. Room on the Broom Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

91. Private Peaceful Michael Morpurgo

92. Noughts and Crosses Malorie Blackman

93. Cider with Rosie Laurie Lee

94. Danny the Champion of the World Roald Dahl

95. Down and Out in Paris and London George Orwell

English: George Orwell in Hampstead On the cor...

English: George Orwell in Hampstead On the corner of Pond Street and South End Road, opposite the Royal Free Hospital. The bookshop has long gone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

96. The Magic Faraway Tree Enid Blyton

97. The Witches Roald Dahl

98. The God of Small Things Arundhati Roy

99. Holes Louis Sachar

100. The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde.

English: Oscar Wilde, three-quarter length por...

English: Oscar Wilde, three-quarter length portrait, facing front, seated, leaning forward, left elbow resting on knee, hand to chin, holding walking stick in right hand, wearing coat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So… what do you think? Did the teachers get an A+ for their list?  Are there any other books that you treasure that didn’t make the top 100?

If you were asked to list your top 10 books what would you include?

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Ewan McGregor 3.31.13 Thought of the Day

“I’m fiercely proud to be Scottish.”– Ewan McGregor

[Image courtesy: Ewan McGregor.Tumbler.com]
[Image courtesy: Ewan McGregor.Tumbler.com]

Ewan Gordon McGregor was born on this day in Perth, Scotland, United Kingdom in 1971. He is 42.

His parents are both educators. His mother, Carole, was a teacher and school administrator, and his father, Jim, was  a phys. ed teacher. McGregor has an older brother, Colin, who is in the Royal Air Force.

At age 16, he left Crieff and Morrison Academy to join the Perth Repertory Theatre. His parents encouraged him to leave school and pursue his acting goals rather than be unhappy. McGregor studied drama for a year at Kirkcaldly in Fife, then enrolled at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama for a three-year course. [IMDb]

He left Guildhall School early to take a major role in Lipstick on Your Collar (1993).

He got international attention in 1996. as Mark Renton, the heroin addicted anti-hero in Danny Boyle’s Transpotting. He won a BAFTA Scotland award for Best Actor for his performance. He took on two sharply different roles the same year. He was charming, rich, glib, and not (as far as I know) a drug addict as Frank Churchill  in an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma opposite Gwyneth Paltrow.  And he played the romantic lead in Brassed Off. [Put both Emma and Brassed Off in your queue. Both are terrific. Transpotting was too gritty for me. As big of a fan as I am of McGregor, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, and Kelly Macdonald, I can’t say that I like the movie. It did, however, teach me that I categorically do NOT want to EVER try heroin– so there’s that, I guess.]

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wa...

McGregor was  Obi-Wan Kenobi — a role originated by Sir Alec Guinness — in the first of the Star Wars prequels, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace , in 1999. (He reprised the role twice in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and  Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith) It was a real labor of love for McGregor who adored the Star Wars films growing up. He watched countless Guinness films in preparation for the role so he could get the screen legend’s pacing and accent down. And when it came time to film the light saber scenes …”he kept imitating the noise … during his fights. George Lucas explained many times that this would be added in by the special effects people later on. Ewan said “I keep getting carried away.”.” [IMDb]

Still from Mulan Rouge with Nicolle Kidman [http://ewan-mcgregor.tumblr.com/]
Still from Moulin Rouge with Nicolle Kiddman [Image courtesy: Ewan McGregor.Tumbler.com]] I wasn’t really sure if I was going to like this odd movie, but then Ewan opened his mouth to sing and I was hooked.

2001 was another big year for McGregor with two major motion pictures, the fantasy musical Moulin Rouge and gripping war story Black Hawk Down coming in short order.

He was terrific in Big Fish as the young protagonist, Edward Bloom.

I also liked him in The Island, Miss Potter, The Men Who Stare at Goats, Beginners, and especially Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. 

But with 60+ movies and TV appearances I’ve only scratched the surface of Mr. McGregor’s film garden. I’ll need to do more research.

In 2004 he and best mate Charley Boorman travelled through Europe, Asia and North America on motorcycles in the TV documentary Long Way Round. The 19,000 trek helped bring attention to UNICEF projects around the world. In 2006 They did a similar trip/ documentary called Long Way Down, this time traveling from Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa.

New to DVD release (it was in limited theatrical release late last year) is The Impossible, a drama about the 2004 tsunami.

 

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Jane Austen 12.16.12 Thought of the Day

“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.”
Jane Austen

Jane Austen

Jane Austen was born in the Steventon Rectory, Hampshire, England in 1775. Today is the 237th anniversary of her birth.

The second youngest of eight children, Jane was also the younger of two girls in the Austen family. As was the custom for a family of the Austen’s class and means, baby Jane was sent to live with a wet-nurse, Elizabeth Little, until she was 18-months old. She was very close to her sister Cassandra and the two girls, along with their cousin Jane Cooper, were sent to Mrs. Cawley’s school in Oxford when Jane was 7. The school moved to Southampton when measles broke out in Oxford. But Southampton proved no safer. Typhus broke out there and all three girls caught the disease. The girls came back to Steventon where they were home schooled for a year before going to school at Mrs. La Tournelles (aka Sarah Hacket) where the girls received instruction in spelling, needlework and French. But by 1786 she was back home, this time for good.

Jane never had any formal education again…From their experience of school we can gather that Jane and Cassandra had perhaps learned some social skills, had had the opportunity to read, take part in plays, learn some French and learn the piano. These were things that were all available at home anyway. [Janeaustensworld]

And the Austen home was an excellent place at which to be home schooled. Her father took in tutors and taught his own sons. He had an impressive library (which Jane had free access to) The older boys included her in their theatricals  and charades and “even as a little girl Jane was encouraged to write” [jasa.net]

familytreelowres

Austen’s immediate family tree. [Image courtesy: jasa.net]

Jane had six older brothers: James, George, Edward, Henry, Francis and Charles.

By 14 she was writing to entertain her friends and family, penning such comedies as Love and Freindship (sic) and the parody   A History of England by a partial, prejudiced and ignorant Historian.  She collected 29 of her stories into three bound books, now known as Juvenilia.

In 1793 she began to write longer works in the epistolary style. Lady Susan was one such novel in letters.  She wrote Elinor and Marianne in the same style before she rewrote the work as a third person narrative and changed the title to Sense and Sensibility.

Jane Austen, Watercolour and pencil portrait b...

Jane Austen, Watercolour and pencil portrait by her sister Cassandra, 1810 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1801 Rev. Austen moved (with Mrs. Austen, Cassandra and Jane) to Bath. Jane’s productivity took a nose-dive. She was either too busy to write — with all the shopping and socializing in Bath — or too depressed to write. The Austens lived in Sydney Place, no.4…

which offered both an easy walk into town and handy access to Sydney Gardens, a great outdoor attraction at that time with regular gala nights featuring music and fireworks.[Seeking Jane Austen]

…until Mr. Austen died  in 1804. By 1806 the ladies had left Bath for good, and moved Chawton in Southampton. As soon as they had settled in their new home she renewed her writing in earnest .

English: Back View of Jane Austen, Watercolor

English: Back View of Jane Austen, Watercolor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1811, Thomas Egerton, a military Library publishing house printed 750 copies Sense and Sensibility, largely on Austen’s dime. The book sold out of its first edition by 1813. And Austen eventually made 140 pounds on it.  It  appeared under the pseudonym “A Lady,” and Austen carefully guarded her anonymity .

Encouraged by this success, Jane Austen turned to revising First Impressions, a.k.a. Pride and Prejudice. She sold it in November 1812, and her “own darling child” (as she called it in a letter) was published in late January 1813. [Pemberley.com]

In May of 1814 her third novel, Mansfield Park was published. It sold out in six months.

Austen's

Despite carefully guarding her name, word had begun to leak out. People knew who  the  “Lady” was…important people…like the Prince Regent. While she was writing Emma she was summoned to the palace and invited to dedicate her next novel to the Prince. Austen was less than thrilled to be given the honor, but couldn’t exactly refuse, so in wonderful Austen wit she flattered him as only she could…

TOHIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE REGENT, THIS WORK IS,BY HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS’S PERMISSION,MOST REPECTFULLY DEDICATED,BY HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS’S DUTIFUL AND OBEDIENT HUMBLE SERVANT, THE AUTHOR

In 1815 she began working on Persuasion. By then her health had begun to deteriorate. She completed the first draft by 1816 and began The Brothers which later became  Sanditon. Her condition rapidly worsened. In May her bother Henry took Jane to Winchester for treatment, but on July 18, 1817 at the age of 41 Jane Austen passed away. She was buried at Winchester Cathedral.

English: Jane Austen's memorial gravestone in ...

English: Jane Austen’s memorial gravestone in the nave of Winchester Cathedral (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Henry, with Cassandra’s help, got Persuasion and Northanger Abbey published in December of 1817. For the first time the author was listed as “Jane Austen.”

Happy Birthday Jane!!!

Ooops forgot to link to my own blog on the Pride and Prejudice Essay Contest!

  • JASNA (Jane Austen Society of North America)

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