Friday, 12 July 2013

My Ideal Bookshelf

I was recently in a bookstore and saw on a 'discounted' shelf a book called "My Ideal Bookshelf". The price was too good to pass up, and thinking it might give me some guidance about getting my own bookshelves organised I bought it.

I was pleasantly surprised when on arriving home and reading through it, that the book was actually "My Ideal Bookshelf" from a range of contributors who provided the names of books that had inspired and influenced them.

But it gets better. The artist who has done the illustrations for the book, will prepare a handpainted print of your bookshelf. There are some prepared on their website. I think they should have a bookshelf for teachers. I think that would be popular. Go to their website and have a look to see if anything takes your fancy.

So it got me thinking.

What's on my bookshelf? What are the books that have helped develop me into the person I am today.

This is the list I came up with:

"Tell Me No Lies" by John Pilger
"The Great War for Civilisation" by Robert Fisk
"The Hitler Book" by Herik Eberle & Matthias Uhl
"1001 Places To Visit Before I Die" by Patricia Schultz
"Crimes Against Humanity" by Geoffrey Robinson QC
"The Short History of Private Life" by Bill Bryson
"A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide" by Samantha Power
"To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
"Complete Works of William Shakespeare" by William Shakespeare
"Persuasion" by Jane Austen
"The Book Thief" by Marcus Zusack
"Mothertongue" by Bill Bryson
"12 Books that Changed the World" Mervyn Bragg
"Macquarie English Dictionary" by Arthur Delbridge

After compiling the list I was quite surprised to see how much of my English/History teaching areas have come through in this. I wonder what it will look like in 10 years time?

Now, just to save up and get my own print...just have to save a couple of hundred but well worth it. What a great gift to myself. When I look at a title of a book it means something to me; a moment in time and a memory; an effect on my teaching practice or a choice I made.

But, what a great idea for my English class. At the start of next year, I'm going to ask my students to create their own Ideal bookshelf. What are the texts that have helped shaped them. I think I will need to allow for more digital media texts than simply books, but what a great activity to get to know about the students in your class. Here's a link to the template so you can give it to your students...

Another idea....what a great way to get to know the staff your work with as well!


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