To my dear students (especially the more vociferous ones from F31) who have been lamenting on the near-demise of my blog, I shall attemp to breathe a bit of life back to my blog. This is particularly important to me since I discovered several ex-students who still check my blog for any signs of life and use this blog as a means to stay in touch.
Of course, my lack of activity here is not entirely forgiveable. Busyness is a pathetic excuse I know, because I always frown on students who use their busyness as an excuse for not picking up a book to read. You will always make time for things that are important to you and for that matter, I will always have time to read, and you will always see me with a book wherever I go. I will readily succumb to any spot check by any student to see if I practise what I preach. If you promise not to laugh at the songs I have in my ipod, you can always spot-check my bag and see if I have a book tucked inside.
Talking about reading, this year has been a very very productive year for me as far as reading goes. As early as December 2007, I began my frantic foray into Chinese books (very humbled by my lack of Chinese fluency after my visit to Beijing) and devoured close to 20 Chinese novels in the space of 3 months. That is a personal record for me as I have never read more than 10 Chinese novels in the last 30+ years since I learnt to read Chinese! Since this personal Olympic feat, I have been able to maintain a constant reading diet of about a Chinese novel every 6 weeks.
Interspersed with my Oriental diet is a steady stream of English books - my first love naturally - and I went through a surfeit of thrillers (David Baldacci, Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Tess Gerritsen, Kathy Reichs, Tami Hoag to even the quaint but equally titillating Qiu XiaoLong) before I exhausted myself and have now retreated to more sedate but more satisfying authors like Barbara Kingsolver and Peter Carey. The thrillers have served their purpose of getting me reading voraciously (1 book every 2-3 days) through the year-end holidays last year and up till the first quarter of this year. Then the formulaic serving begins to wear me out and I started to seek a more eclectic cuisine.
I have also bought tons of books in the meantime and they are all sitting nicely on my shelves, waiting for me to explore their riches. I must give special thanks to F31 for giving me a most precious gift for Teachers' Day - you are evidently a class after my own heart! :) I shall savour the delights of Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex with great joy once the December break starts. (I need to clear the backlog of books from the National Library first!)
This year also marks the year I start exploring some authors that I see my students reading. The girls in F31 seem very fond of Jodi Picoult so I took the liberty to order some of her books for the school library, although I must confess I had no idea at that time if her books are 'wholesome' enough for the school library. I discovered, after trying one of her books, that the 'risk' was worth it. After the Jodi Picoult fever, I saw Stephanie Meyer making her rounds in the school. I mentioned it to some of the English teachers and one of them promptly bought one to read and pronounced it a page-turner (the vampire content notwithstanding). So I've 'choped
' the book as it is making its round amongst the English teachers and I can't wait to read for myself this page-turner. I can't guarantee that Stephanie Meyer will take residence in our school library next year seeing as the school is not that open to vampire stories but I'm optimistic that if a sufficient number of teachers give the thumbs-up, we may be able to see our library stocked with books you want to read.
Which brings me to the title of this post. I'm curious to know what authors you like to read and why. Since I have quite a big say in what books will appear in our library (in fact I get to choose the books!), you will do many students in GM a big favour by telling me authors and books that you want to see in our library. So please respond in the comments section and I'll see what I can do next year.
Ex-students who read this post, you can also let me know what you read. I've always believed in recommending good books to people. A good book is one of the best gifts you can give to anyone and if you think teachers are clueless about what teenagers like (there is an element of truth in that!), then pray, englighten us. I look forward to hearing from all the hungry readers out there.