Lessons to Learn

by Natasha Judd | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9781877340109 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Alectoness of Geelong, Victoria Australia on 6/16/2007
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7 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Alectoness from Geelong, Victoria Australia on Saturday, June 16, 2007
Bookcrossing and its members have introduced me to a whole lot of wonderful new books and authors over the past three and a half years. It's a fantastic community, with a lot of interesting and generous people who I've met on the forums, via PM or in person.

As a small way of saying thanks, I'm setting up an international bookring for my own first novel, "Lessons to Learn", which will be published on June 12, 2007.

Feel free to love it or hate it, to enthuse or be indifferent. I've pasted the blurb below, but you can find more about the book over at my writing website: natashajudd.com.

If you would like to join the ring, please PM me with your username, location and shipping preferences. I'm hoping to send the book to the first participant on the day of the launch.

Note: Due to the unexpected number of responses I received, I've split the ring in two. This is the New Zealand and Australian version; for other countries, see here.

From the back cover:

Haunted by tragedy, Charlotte wants to flee New Zealand so answers an advertisement to teach English in Korea. She could have gone anywhere, anywhere away from what had been the sheltered safety of her enclosed rural valley. But is running away from the past the right thing to do? What is ‘right’, anyway? And who, really, is she?

The Korean students at Speak-English Academy, like the children Charlotte used to teach at Sunday School back in the valley, aren’t the only ones who have lessons to learn. As the story veers from the past to the present and back again, can the teacher be taught to find her own answers?

Bookring participants
  • TheLetterB, Canterbury, New Zealand
  • FutureCat, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • awhina, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • The-Organist, Timaru, New Zealand
  • sarahbear, Tasmania, Australia
  • jjlanes, NSW, Australia
  • LadyIndigo, NSW, Australia
  • katfysh, NSW, Australia
  • star-light, Victoria, Australia

PS: If you have a digital camera and can upload a photo of 'Lessons to Learn' in its reading environment with your journal entry, it'd be great to see where the book has travelled to. Including the bookcrosser in the photo is totally optional!


Journal Entry 2 by TheLetterB from Dunedin, Otago New Zealand on Thursday, June 21, 2007
Yay - this book arrived today. Thanks Alectoness! How exciting, brand new, shiny, registered and signed by the author! Can't wait to read it (although I've got two books on the go at the moment that I really must finish first, even though they're dragging a little). But this nasty grey wet weather is just great for reading in.

Journal Entry 3 by TheLetterB from Dunedin, Otago New Zealand on Wednesday, July 04, 2007
I enjoyed this book. I had a hard time at first relating to Charlie, the main character, and her obsession with Sunday School in particular, as I don't have much regard for organised religion myself. However she is an engaging character, and the small snippets drew me on through the story. I enjoyed rather more the portrayal of Charlie in Korea. I spent some time as an au pair in a non-English speaking country, so the kind of life that Charlie and the other ex-pats live in Korea was quite familiar, and made me smile. I won't say too much more, in case I spoil anything, so I'll just say that I liked the way the story was finished.

I'll find my camera and take a picture of this book before I send it on its way.
Edited to add: The picture is of the book consorting with four prototype Bally bookstring things, which came out of the kiln yesterday. My attempt at a transparent yellow glaze didn't work out too well, but I'm quite pleased with the plain ones. :)

Update 10 July 07: The book is on its way to FutureCat today.

Journal Entry 4 by wingfuturecatwing from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Received from TheLetterB today. Can't wait to read it - I remember when I first visited the Wellington bookcrossers and met Alectoness, she was talking about her writing, and we were joking with her that we'd be bookcrossing her books one day... and here it is only a couple of years later and it's all come true!

^ ^

Journal Entry 5 by wingfuturecatwing from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I'm a bad bookcrosser. I'd started reading this book, but then Harry Potter 7 came out, and I'm afraid Lessons to Learn got abandoned again.

Anyway, now that Harry's out the way, I've finished reading this book, and really enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed the way the story was told in fragments, flicking back and forth between home and Korea.

The classroom scenes rang very true for me, as an ex-teacher (the sheer frustration of trying to get a room full of kids to settle down when they're not in the mood to learn is the same no matter what you're teaching them!) and now as a volunteer ESOL tutor, trying to impart information when the language of instruction is not the students' own.

For me, the ending felt a little flat, but I can't really put my finger on what it was about it that wasn't satisfying.

A good book, anyway.

^ ^

(Picture is of Lessons to Learn being overshadowed by Harry Potter - that was definitely the reading environment ;-))

Journal Entry 6 by wingfuturecatwing from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Gave to awhina a few days ago.

^ ^

Journal Entry 7 by awhina from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Wednesday, August 29, 2007
An interesting book. It struck several chords with me: teaching, travel, church,... Its off to The Organist as soon as I have a snail mail addy for him.

As I mostly read it last thing at night, here it is, snuggled up with me and my flannelette nightie...

Journal Entry 8 by The-Organist from Timaru, Canterbury New Zealand on Sunday, September 09, 2007
Finishing on Rama IV tonight and starting this one...

Journal Entry 9 by The-Organist from Timaru, Canterbury New Zealand on Saturday, September 22, 2007
I too had to make the Harry Potter/Lessons decision. However, I was sure that "Lessons" wouldd be the better of the two. I still haven't heard ANYTHING about Deathly Hallows despite teaching in a high school!

What a neat novel! Flits all over time like Harry Potter playing Quidditch, but incredibly easy to follow nonetheless.

Exactly the sort of descriptions that agree with my imagination regarding Korea, having never been there, and I hope that I get to find the next novel.

Thanks Natasha!

Journal Entry 10 by sarahbear from St Helens, Tasmania Australia on Monday, October 15, 2007
Arrived safely and soundly here in St Helens, Tasmania. I have a few rings ahead of this one but will get to it as soon as possible.

Journal Entry 11 by sarahbear from St Helens, Tasmania Australia on Friday, November 09, 2007
I have to admit I almost ditched this at the second chapter mark but now I am so glad I kept going. At first I found the Sunday School parts monotonous and dull but now looking back and keeping them in context with the rest of the story I can see how well they held the story together. I really enjoyed experiencing Charlottes travel experiences and would have liked to read more about her time. I didn't like the ending but thats ok because I learnt a long time ago that stories rarely have happy understandable endings.

Posting to Jo on Monday.

Journal Entry 12 by jjlanes from Kurri Kurri, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, November 29, 2007
Received this week.
I have a couple of bookrings to read at the moment.
Isnt it always the way? :P They all arive at the same time. :)

I will read this one ASAP.

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