KNIGHTWATCH 2019/2020 

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There is no such thing as darkness, only unseen light. This theme of hope epitomizes the autobiographical novel, Lion, written by Saroo Brierley. This enthralling novel follows the life of a young boy, lost from home amid India’s never-ending streets, and decades later makes the inconceivable attempt to trace his way back.

 

The journey all began for Saroo at the age of five, when he was lost from his brother in his hometown of Khandwa, India. Saroo accidentally traveled by train across the country, enduring several near-death experiences. Years later, Saroo is adopted by a family in Hobart, Australia. At the age of 25, Saroo knew there was a missing piece to his puzzle, and he began his search for his hometown, his culture, his identity.

 

This novel is so fascinating, as it demonstrates how personal success is such a malleable concept. For Saroo, the mission home gave him a purpose in life, and this biography depicts how success needs to be measured not in the abstract but in terms of the immediate concrete goals. It reminds us how culture often shapes who we are, and how reconnection with our past is self-derived. Due to this novel’s inspirational overtone, it is appealing to those grappling with life challenges. Saroo’s novel stresses the importance of hope amid times of struggle.

 

I recommend this book to every single student at this school. This book is enough to ignite a spark in one’s life,  inspite of their situation or life story. Lion’s inspirational theme, its emphasis on one’s relationship to culture, and its relatability makes the book a powerful read.

In October, I was captivated by the brilliance of the book Fermat’s Last Theorem, by Amir D. Aczel, a story about the hard work behind the scenes that contributed to unlocking a three-hundred-year-old mathematical mystery. It all started in 1637, when Pierre de Fermat, an amateur mathematician, wrote down this seemingly very simple theorem, stating that x^n + y^n=z^n has no whole number solution when n is greater than 2. It seems so simple, yet almost impossible to prove. For the next three centuries, it sparked the imaginations of many mathematicians, while for others their fascination led to deception, disloyalty, or mental disorder.

Although it was up to a single mathematician, Andrew Wiles, to present the final proof in 1993, the work of many mathematicians over the past three hundred years made it all possible in the end. The proof’s accolades belong not only to Wiles, but also many others just as much: Ken Ribet, Barry Mazur, Gerd Faltings, Goro Shimura, Yukata Taniyama, Gerhard Frey, and many others. Their work contributed to the opening of many new mathematical fields, and sped up the world’s progress in mathematical research.

I think that Fermat’s Last Theorem is absolutely the best math book I have ever read. It was like a tale of a quest for a long-lost buried treasure. The storyline was very well presented, starting from the excitement at the final proof, then the long, deep dive behind the scenes. After it moves through the world’s history, it finally arrives back at Andrew Wiles at Cambridge. Besides being a story, it contains interesting mathematical explanations that could be easily understood. I enjoyed how it dives into the stories of the different mathematical careers of many great mathematicians, while also going along with the world’s history. In each short story, the author honors and explains every mathematician’s contribution to the final proof. 

I highly recommend the book to the students at Nepean High School, because it is a great mathematical inspiration. It is the brightest beacon of inspiration for everyone to become more interested in math. I believe it targets high school students. If you love math, this is the best book for you to dive deeply into mathematical history around Fermat’s Last Theorem.

Music is present everywhere. Even books have their way to make us curious about music and even stimulate creativity to make music. Have you ever discovered a song you have never heard about by reading a book?

Sometimes characters in some books are so incredibly detailed that they will even have their own taste in music. I’m sure you will have heard of the best-selling novel After. This book is a perfect example of a teenage girl whose calm personality is reflected in her favourite tunes written by a band called “The Fray”. Not only do books share music, but also songs partake teachings from books.

There are so many examples of this kind: starting from famous novels like Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet which inspired the song “Love Story” by Taylor Swift to the dystopian novel 1984 by George Orwell from which the renowned singer David Bowie wrote a song by the same name, and lastly, Rag’n’Bone a British singer who wrote a song titled “Perfume” based on this classic German novel by Patrick Süskind.

I bet you also have read a book which has already produced a movie. This takes part in the harmony between books and music. Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and all Disney movies are a few examples of this.  Another interesting case is Wonder a breathtaking film we all have heard about. Bea Miller wrote a song for the film based on this book called “Brand New Eyes”. The moment you listen to that song  you will immediately relate both artworks together.

 

Music has proved we can find it in nearly every corner of our lives. Books are just one of many unnoticed examples of this fact. So, which other songs you have gotten to know with the novel’s help?

By Blanca Royo Camacho

November 1, 2019

By William Zhang

November 1, 2019

By Rohan Kingwell

January 8, 2020