Friday, July 25, 2008

A meme...

So, a literary Meme, courtesy an other blogger Kathy.

Here's how it works:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline (or mark in a different color) the books you LOVE - mine are in red
4) Reprint this list in your blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them ;-)

The premise of this exercise is that the National Endowment for the Arts apparently believes that the average American has only read 6 books from the list below. My main question is why on earth they would want people to read some of these books. Much of the list does not qualify as literature, in my opinion. In case you wanted it. And as a warning, apologies if I offend with any of my assessments below - I tend towards the obnoxiously opinionated and judgmental when it comes to books, movies and music.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling -
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible -
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - freshman English class torture, part I.
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott - does it say something about me that I hated this book and, at the ripe old age of 10, was pissed off when I finished it at how much I hated it?
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien -
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot -
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
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
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy -
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden -
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - not if I can help it.
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel -52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
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 - see # 51
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold - see #51
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
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce - my mom has about 12 copies if I ever decide to read it.
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
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
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
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I'm a little disappointed of the books that didn't make it on the list, there was nothing from James Baldwin or Richard Wright, even Willa Cather. And what about "There Eyes are Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston????

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Summer adventures

Summer officially began three weeks ago, which means a very busy couple of months for Micah and I. I can't believe I've been slacking on the updates, but by the time I get home from work, I'm so tired and turning on the computer is the last thing that I want to do. Here is a brief update of where we've been the last couple of weeks.

June 28-30 - New Hampshire
Micah and I headed up north to visit with family and see the NASCAR race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It was a great weekend. On Saturday, we flew in to Boston and on the way to Cyndi and Dom's house, we stopped at the mall to say hi to Katie. She was able to sneak away from her busy job at Bath & Body Works to visit. It was great seeing here. Next time hopefully the visit will be longer. Later that night we had a cookout with Cyndi, Dom, Becca and Kenzie along with Gram and Grampie. Well it really wasn't a cookout since the weather was bad. Dom cooked outside, but we ate inside.

The next day, Micah and I headed over to Loudon for the race. Due to connections Micah has, we were VIPed and escorted around the infield and pits by a lovely tour guide, Herbert. Herbert, is like the king fo the pits. He knows everyone and really showed us an insiders tour. It was great. We got to tour one of the haulers and got a first hand tour of the garages where they inspect the cars. We even got to ride in the pace car (before the race) with Brett Bodine. It was amazing. I thought for sure that we were going to crash into the wall, but Brett was able to control the car just like the professional race car driver that he is.

Oh, we also got to meet Janet Evanovich, a best-selling author. (Many of you might know here work if you are fans of the Stephanie Plum series.) She was great! It was a total surprise that we would get to meet her. And to my surprise to learn that she is a NASCAR fan.

We were also on the track for the driver introductions, which was very cool. However, I started to feel a little lightheaded and we headed back to our seats before everyone had been introduced. We were able to see a great race, however, it ended 18 laps short due to rain.

On Monday afternoon, we headed home to Baltimore. Overall we had a great weekend.

July 3-6 - Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
For the 4th of July, Micah and I headed up to the lake to celebrate the holiday. Once again it rained. I think that it has rained every 4th since Micah and I have been together. Luckily, the weather cleared up on Saturday and Sunday and we were able to get in some time on the boat. The rainy weather did allow for some good reading and a rowdy game of Scrabble.

As for the rest of the month, we are just swamped. Next weekend, we are headed up to Pittsburgh on Saturday to visit with the Schacters before we go to Morgantown, WV early Sunday morning for Micah's camp reunion, only to drive back to Baltimore that night. If we don't get stuck in traffic, I think that we will be in the car for more than 10 hours. (I must really love my husband.)

The following weekend, Mom and Jill are coming in for a visit. I'm excited to see them both! Then there is only one more weekend before Micah leaves for China. August doesn't seem to get less hectic. I've planned quite a busy summer to occupy my time while Micah is away.

I think that I'm done with my month long update. If you've made it to the very end, thanks for reading!