Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The Great Debate

I'm getting into pre-spring mode

Whilst out for dinner the other evening, with friends, we got talking about my challenges for 2014. Or more specifically we got to talking about two of my challenges.

1. the re-reading of books from our school days


2. old movies

Between us we were of various age groups and therefore came up with a whole host of different titles.

Most of us were in our 50's and came up with

To Kill A Mocking Bird - Harper Lee
Lord of The Flies - William Golding
The Water Babies - Charles Kingsley
Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriett Beacher Stowe
Animal Farm - George Orwell
1984 - George Orwell
To Sir with Love - ER Braithwaite
War of the Worlds - HG Wells
The Diary of Anne Frank - Anne Frank
Carries War - Nina Bawden
Tom Browns School Days - Thomas Hughes

One lady is approaching her 60's and came up with 

Cider with Rosie - Laurie Lee
Kestrel for a Nave - Barry Hines
Goodbye Mr. Chips - James Hilton
Far from the Maddening Crowd - Thomas Hardy

The younger generations came up with

Of Mice & Men - John Steinbeck (two of mine did this one at GCSE)
The Color Purple - Alice Walker  (My daughter had this for her GCSE)
Educating Rita - Willy Russell (one of my son's had this one)
Goodnight Mr. Tom - Michelle Magorian

Quite a list I thought especially after partaking of an alcoholic beverage.  Of course some also threw in the old classics of the Bronte's, Austen, Dickens and Shakespeare

Then of course we got on to the old films.  Now to me an old film is something from the 40 & 50's As I'm.a 60's child I don't like to think of that as being that old. As you can imagine that sparked yet another debate of what were the best films.

Titles they came up with were:-

Kind Hearts & Coronets
In the Heat of the Night
Whistle down the Wind
Saturday Night/Sunday Morning
Imitation of Life 
Love Story
To Sir With Love (featured again)
A Taste of Honey
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane
Rosemary's Baby
Rebel without a Cause
One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest
The Omen
The King & I
Westside Story
Goodbye Mr. Chips (again)
From Here to Eternity
The Long Good Friday

The lists went on and on....... 

My conclusion from all of this was that although my challenges for 2014 in my mind were to watch OLD films, by which I mean those from the 40's, 50's and 60's and to read some of the books listed above that the possibilities for future challenges are endless.  I'm so glad that Jo at Through the Keyhole had the bright idea last year to watch an old film a month as it's really got the thought processes going as to what other challenges could lay a head.

So what I would like to know is did any of you read a book at school that's not listed above if so what was it.  And if any of you have an all time must see films from yesteryear I'd  love to know what it is.

Hope you're having a good week one and all. 



  1. I'm in my 20's, but did Lord of the Flies, Carries War, and (I think) Goodnight Mr Tom. We also did Arthur Miller's The Crucible, which is a play rather than a novel.

    1. Good grief I didn't realise they were still making children read lord of the flies. It's over 35 years ago since I would of read it first time around and I didn't like it at all. I have got it on my list to read again though and hope that it will have grown on me over the years. All I remember is little boys on an island and a pigs head.

  2. Thank you for the mention, I'm pleased you're enjoying your challenges. The books I studied for O Level were Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, An Anthology of Poetry by Ted Hughes, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Of Mice and Men and The Pearl by John Steinbeck. I've recently re read Of Mice and Men, I enjoyed it at school and I enjoyed it again, but I remember loathing The Pearl when I read it at school. Eleanor is studying Of Mice and Men for her GCSE along with The Woman In Black. I can't remember what Daniel studied, apart from To Kill a Mockingbird. The only book I've read from your list, apart from those I've already mentioned, is The Diary of Anne Frank. I think I could set myself a reading challenge based on that. As for films, I've seen a few of those mentioned. I love One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, I've seen it on stage too. There's lots of old films I love, The Wizard of Oz, Rear Window, To Kill a Mockingbird, and what about the Disney films, Lady and the Tramp, Bambi. I think my favourites from the ones I watched last year were Rebecca, Gone With the Wind and It's a Wonderful Life.

    1. I am really enjoying my challenges. I think I may read Lord of the Flies next to either prove to myself it couldn't possibly of been as bad as I remember or that in fact it was that bad. And Jenny above tells me she read it too and she's only in her 20's. I can't believe they are still revisiting the same books 35 years on. I don't know of the Women in Black I'll have to look that one up, I never really got on with Shakespeare but that could be a challenge for another year. I have in the past read a lot of the other usual suspects, Dickens, Austen and the Bronte's but not for a long time. I could foresee future challenges to be watching a musical a month or a Disney film per month it's certainly got me thinking