we are reading

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway

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Harry Muldowney wrote this review of Angelmaker for us:

“Angelmaker is primarily a fantasy novel that follows the life of Joshua Joseph Spork, an eccentric horologist, who has escaped the criminal life of his father to return to his Grandfather’s profession. However, he now finds himself entangled in an international conspiracy with its roots in a 1950s superweapon. In a book which by turns features world war two covert operations; a pre-Raphaelite like technological monastic sect; an incensed South Asian dictator and a geriatric superspy the eccentric hero, Joe Spork, must somehow save the world from its impending doom. Harkaway flits between these topics nimbly and weaves a satisfying narrative that meanders through a cracked submarine 1000ft under the sea, the Broadmoor psychiatric hospital and a supercharged apiary in a thriller that is an elegantly written and fast-paced that is well worth a read.”

@Harkaway on Twitter

http://www.nickharkaway.com/books/angel-maker/ – Nick Harkaway’s website


Read a Book Day

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It’s Read a Book Day (#readabookday on Twitter) so here is a selection of what we’re reading to help inspire you.

Game by Anders de la Motte – this is Mr Fletcher’s current book and he says:

In this gripping Swedish thriller Henrik Petterson, known as HP, an unemployed loser with a background in drugs and petty crime, is drawn into a high-risk game in which he completes seemingly innocent tasks for cash and online kudos. However, as the tasks get more extreme and begin to involve his estranged sister, HP comes to realise that he is caught in a trap controlled by dangerous forces beyond his control…

Mrs Lucy, Keeper of the Archives, is currently enjoying Little Paris Bookshop by Nina Green. She is also listening to Felix Holt the Radical by George Eliot on Audible and notes:

…somehow a long involved novel works better read aloud as the narrator uses different voices for each character it helps identifying them, rather as costumes do in the theatre. It is also about the political system in Victorian England and the great reform bill. So it feels quite current with the recent General Election and political turmoil in the country at the moment.

Mrs Cerio, also to be found in the Archives, is reading:

Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand recently broadcast on Radio 4. Cyrano who is in the French Army is an excellent duallist, a gifted poet and a musician. However, he has an extremely large nose which prevents him from expressing his love for Roxanne. Written in 1897, it’s a very funny play and was hugely popular…in its day.

Mrs Judet is just starting The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje OA. She reports that it is written from a child’s point of view but in a grown up kind of way.

Finally for now, Mrs Stein is reading How to Stop Time by Matt Haig. A story which jumps through the ages with its main character who takes up a new life as a secondary school history teacher in present day London with an old name and a persistent headache. What does his future hold?

Et voila, our first post of the new term and it’s all about what we’re reading! Have a lovely rest of #readabookday everyone.

5 line reviews

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We had some fun writing 5 line reviews of some books in the last of the Reading Boon sessions today.

The format is 5 lines with the fist being 2-3 words long, the second 4-5 words, third 6-7 words, fourth 8-9 and the fifth just 2-3 words again. We gave the boys 15 minutes to come up with the following:

A Game of Thrones, George R R Martin

Please, stop it

Please, just stop it

Please, just stop killing them already

You are going to run out of characters soon

Calm down George.


Dangerous paths

Large mysterious land

Deception lies around every corner

Puts you on the edge with every turn of the page

You win, or you die.

Dracula, Bram Stoker

A thrilling tale

A story of blood and corruption

Strong themes of reverse colonisation

A story with one of the most iconic antagonists in literature

Life versus death.

Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz

A normal boy?

A life turned upside down

A mental immigrant who wants murder

A spying agency wants a boy to save England

Who wins?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson

Conspiracy theory

Washout journalist, secretive PI

Investigating a folklore serial killer

Tensions rise as protagonists edge closer to truth

Who are they?

Shutter Island, Dennis Lehane

Shutter Island

Killer on the loose

Deepening investigation with hurricane closing in

Closer they get to the truth, more mystery

Insanity awaits.

Big thanks to Mark Warner, Deputy Head at Patcham High School for the 5 line idea and the inspiration to try it and to Louis, Dennis, Angus, Harry and Jacob for their efforts.

Round up

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We’re taking advantage of a quiet moment to round-up the start to Lent Term here in the Wodehouse Library.

Year 11s came back from the Christmas break straight into GCSE mock exams, so the Inner Room in particular has been a hive of activity for the past 9 or 10 days. It wasn’t always a peaceful hive of activity for anyone using the library (although there were moments!) but fingers crossed the results will be encouraging.

Today sees a return to lessons for the lucky Y11 boys so we’re looking forward to welcoming them all into the library for their wellbeing classes on plagiarism avoidance over the next fortnight.

The Periodicals Room has somewhat more than a fair smattering of covers featuring President-Elect Donald Trump. Earlier we ran a few of these covers by some Upper School boys who were in there reading and they agreed that the most striking was the NewStatesman’s Twitter/cuckoo clock effort.

One of the most exciting things to have happened though is the arrival of our new chameleon. Not yet officially named, he is around 18 months old, largely emerald green in colour (we are told he turns yellow at night), quite sociable and hungry! He joins us behind the Issue Desk to the chirping of crickets.










Readers of this blog will recall that the Wodehouse Library has been home to 2 other chameleons, Vernon and Colin.

Finally we should add our current reads in case you need inspiration over the weekend:

Echo Burning by Lee Childs

The Humans by Matt Haig

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

The Girls by Emma Cline


We are reading

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With Christmas approaching, the TBR pile needs some attention!

Here are our current reads:

Mrs Judet
Ms McGuinness
Mrs Stein
Mr Fletcher
Mr Fletcher






When you’re in the Wodehouse over the next week be sure to check out the displays featuring serpents, snakes and Orson Scott Card. The new non-fiction gets a bit more space after the Study Skills books were shifted to the Reference Section and, as usual, new fiction items are handily placed just inside the Inner Room.

On the Issue Desk we’re showcasing the TSBA shortlist for 2017 which takes the senses as its theme:













We’re looking forward to hosting the prize ceremony here at Dulwich College next March so watch this space for more news about that. In the meantime, enjoy reading the books!

Deja vu

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Remember Brexit Day back in June?

In an echo of the shock of the Brexit vote some on our Twitter feed are suggesting that this is also the kind of day it would be best to switch off and retreat into a book. Cursor poised above the ‘off’ switch, we suddenly noticed @chrisriddell50 doodling his mind off the US election news and both @malorieblackman and Dan Snow (as @HistoryHit) sharing Martin Luther King Jr quotes. Meanwhile, @I_W_M and @newint highlighted that #OnThisDay in 1989 the Berlin Wall fell, which, of course, simply reminded us of the news!

Just in time, irresistible distraction popped up by way of @newscientist A “speedy bat”? Who wouldn’t be curious to read more about a super fast bat? Brilliant.

But if switching off is the only way for you today then here are our current recommendations:

Mrs Stein
Ms McGuinness
Ms McGuinness
Mrs Judet
Mrs Judet






And, as part of Dulwich Linguistic this week, the Periodicals Room is currently dominated by staff favourites which have been translated. Films, novels and songs feature so come along and take a look, be inspired to try something you might not have looked at otherwise based on what makes it special for someone else.

We are reading

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At times today it has felt like the most useful thing we could do was point at the ‘KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON READING’ poster we have hanging on the wall here in the Wodehouse Library.

So, if you are feeling like switching off all the media streams and avoiding reality until everything settles down here’s what we’re reading:

Mr Fletcher
Mrs Stein thinks Jandy Nelson is an excellent writer
Mrs Stein thinks Jandy Nelson is an excellent writer
Ms McGuiness
Ms McGuiness says: “Read this!”
Mrs Judet
Mrs Judet








In order to help you follow Ms McGuiness’s instructions Family Life is now Book of the Day! Visit soon to borrow it.