20 February 2009

books, schmooks

i guess i missed my lil blog cause i keep posting when i shouldn't.

anyway, so i guess the average person (what does that mean anyway?) has read only 6 of their top 100 books. so i'm gonna see how many i've read/plan to read.

The BBC say the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books on their list. I have read 63 of these books but many of them I would never include in a 100 best list. I may need to post my top 100 books someday.

1) Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.
2) Add a ‘+’ to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
4) Tally your total at the bottom.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (X)
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (X+)
4 The Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling (X+)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (X+)
6 The Bible (X)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (X)
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (*)
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (X+)
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (X+)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (i’ve read a LOT of them…. (X))
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (X)
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot (X)
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (X)
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (X)
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (X)
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (X)
34 Emma- Jane Austen (X)
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen *
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (X)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini *
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (X)
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (X)
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (X)
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (X)
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (X)
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan *
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel (X)
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (X+)
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley *
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (X)
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (X)
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov (X)
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker (i think i did, but i'm not sure...? must have not been that memorable for me)
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (X)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath *
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray *
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (X)
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker (X+)
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro (X)
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White (X)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (X)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (X)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (X)
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

read: 35, possibly 36
loved: 7
plan on: 7

there are other books i would rather read than those listed above. who comes up with these lists? reader surveys in britian? and then what about the complete works of shakespeare, then the duplicate listing of hamlet at the end (same w/ chronicles of narnia then the lion the witch and the wardrobe)? i guess hamlet and LWW are great books on their own, but honestly, there are other shakespeare plays that are just as good, if not better than hamlet. it's just pretty famous i guess.

my favorite shakespeare plays i've read so far include titus andronicus and henry IV, part 2. lordy lord those are good.

notably missing from a list like this, in my opinion, are strong female writers who are not the bronte sisters or jane austen, like woolf and wharton. i would think at least one of their works would be included in the reader's minds across the pond.

oh, and i also loved the english patient, and the sound and the fury. again, both tend to be in lists like this one. perhaps the nytimes has their own list?

18 February 2009

beautiful struggles

now i know i said i haven't been really able to post lately for various reasons, and those reasons will change soon, but i just had to share this. quickly.

i was listening to fresh air while doing some necessary chores. um, like laundry before i have to buy new clothes, if you catch my drift. i was also recently sick, for the first time in a long time, it didn't go away in a day or so. this one felt like i swallowed dry sand, and actually i sounded like it too. i assure you, i did no such thing. that i'm aware of. and i sweated in the sheets, something i NEVER do, so i have to do those too for my sanity. i sincerely apologize for the TMI. but forgive me, i believe it's because i haven't really been able to communicate with people in the real world due to being bed ridden and voice stricken.

anyway...in listening to fresh air, something i don't really do too much of because, and i know i'm a minority in this (what else is new), is that i'm just not the biggest fan of terry gross. but fresh air happened to be on for background during the all important sorting process. i started listening to the first interview, and it was interesting, but i was only 1/4th interested. getting the chores done was more important to me.

then probably one of the best interviews i've heard in a long time, if not ever, came on. it was with an author of a man who wrote a memoir (can anyone who has seen "burn after reading" NOT think of john malkovich's character when coming into contact with that word?) based on his life growing up with a father who used to be a black panther.

i'm old enough to know i know a little bit about a little bit of stuff (as opposed to teenagers, for example), and i know just a teeny bit of black panther history. not too much, mainly the american folklore (of which i have personally dismissed after some critical thinking), in addition to the little bit more where it overlaps with other american civil rights struggles with which i have a tangible connection. i could go on about it, but i'll stop as this post is already getting longer that i originally intended.

so the author of the memoir is ta-nehisi coates, and wow. that man gives a fantastic interview. i thought this interview would also be in one ear and out the other, and i found myself not wanting to leave my room to put the clothes in the washer just to listen to it. thankfully, i have a device that allows me to listen to public radio on the fly, so i actually activated it, so i could do what i needed to do while listening to the interview.

and i guess it was rather moving to me in that he has a similar background to me, in that he had activist parents, went to a place where he found people like him, who didn't make fun of his name or the fact that he liked to read books. that he is black, i am brown. he was taught about his culture through books, i was taught about mine through art. i don't know, i wish i was able to do better justice to this interview, but my time is short.

i knew it was a big hit with me when he shared a moment about how his mom disciplined him. i am not a parent, but eventually i would love to have a little mini me, and, like most people who want one too, i often wonder how to broach difficult topics with my future M-M. so hearing of new ways to parent are interesting to me. he described one that rocked my potential future-in-parenting's world.

if you have the time, i believe the interview is a fascinating view on minorities growing up and finding higher education despite working class struggles. he's articulate, concise and i couldn't get enough of it. i believe i'll be googling him in a couple of weeks.

needless to say, i'll be looking for his memoir, the beautiful struggle, in the liberry very soon. when i have time to breathe.

17 February 2009

it's been a minute

and i still don't really have time to post, for various reasons, but i thought i would share a few pictures of signs and things i thought were funny. they are taken all around where i tend to frequent.

i'm actually going to play around with the flickr uploading through blogger, so it'll probably be a few posts with the pics. perhaps this is why tumblr was invented. anyway, here goes...

(update: i figured it out. duh...)


--mommy & me

--don't mess with texas


--tequila sushi

--candid candide

--two reds & lots of little stars

--from above a friend's kitchen sink