Thursday, August 24, 2006

'Stoner' and 'The Shadow of the Wind'

(Book recommendations from JMF) : Stoner by John Williams. I reread this book in a day this summer. It's a sad and very moving story of a young man from a poor farming background in the American mid-west. He discovers he loves literature and becomes an English teacher at an American university. He makes a disastrous marriage, but never loses his gentleness and love of teaching.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This is a real page-turner, set in Barcelona after the Civil War. The narrator, starting at the age of ten, becomes involved in a thrilling mystery after his father introduces him to a very enthralling novel. It added spice that I read it while I was in Barcelona this summer!

'The Turning', by Tim Winton

(Book recommendation from JMG). Just out in paperback, The Turning is a stunning collection of 17 linked short stories set in a Western Australian town called Angelus : adolescence, middle age and the moments that make us what we are, especially the 'turnings' in our lives. Always powerful, written in a sharp and sensuous prose. Start with the first, 'Big World', an ironic title for a resonant tale about hopes and disappointments. 'Small Mercies' could be an entire novel. There's hardly a weak story here. Tim Winton is a serious talent.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Leaving Certificate results 2006

Congratulations to this year’s VI form on their outstanding results in all subjects (with an average of 440 points), and on their excellent results in English.

English statistics :-
89% took English at Higher Level (national figure 63%)
14% of all candidates achieved A grades (nationally 6.4%)
28% B grades (nationally 17.4%)
47% C grades (nationally 24.3%)
88% achieved A, B or C at Higher Level (nationally 47.7%)

Well done also to the four Ordinary Level candidates (one A, 3 Bs).