Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Top 100 Books Challenge

Tosin posted this list and I was suprised to see how many I've actually read in the past little while, or am planning on reading.

1 To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee Grade 10 requirement, 1997
2 The Secret Garden (1911) by Frances Hodgson Burnett
3 Pride and Prejudice (1813) by Jane Austen S2S selection, 2010
4 Twilight (2005) by Stephenie Meyer personal selection, 2009
5 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) by Ronald Dahl
6 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962) by Ken Kesey
7 1984 (1949) by George Orwell
8 Jane Eyre (1847) by Charlotte Brontë read before but I can't remember when. Also S2S selection in June
9 The Richest Man in Babylon (1955) George S. Clason
10 The Catcher in the Rye (1945) by J.D. Salinger Half read. Must finish.
11 Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (1947) by Anne Frank Personal selection, a long time ago
12 Little Women (1868) by Louisa May Alcott
13 Gone With The Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell
14 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) by C.S. Lewis
15 The Giver (1993) by Lois Lowry
16 The Kite Runner (2003) by Khaled Hosseini
17 A Christmas Carol (1843) by Charles Dickens
18 The Great Gatsby (1925) by F. Scott Fitzgerald Personal selection, read April 2010
19 The Count of Monte Cristo (1844) by Alexandre Dumas
20 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979) by Douglas Adams
21 Ender's Game (1985) by Orson Scott Card
22 Anne of Green Gables (1905) by L.M. Montgomery, Margaret Atwood (Introduction)
23 Crime and Punishment (1866) by Fyodor Dostoevsky
24 The Time Traveler's Wife (2003) by Audrey Niffenegger
25 Les Misérables (1862) by Victor Hugo
26 The Little Prince (1943) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
27 Mein Kampf (1925) Adolf Hitler
28 One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) by Gabriel García Márquez, Gregory Rabassa (Translator)
29 The Alchemist (1988) by Paulo Coelho
30 The Princess Bride (1973) by William Goldman
31 East of Eden (1952) by John Steinbeck
32 The Grapes of Wrath (1939) by John Steinbeck
33 Animal Farm (1945) by George Orwell
34 Memoirs of a Geisha (1997) by Arthur Golden Personal Selection, 2007
35 A Million Little Pieces (2003) James Frey
36 Lolita (1955) by Vladimir Nabokov
37 Lord of the Flies (1954) by William Golding Grade 9(?) Requirement, 1996
38 Walden (1854) by Henry David Thoreau
39 A Wrinkle in Time (1962) by Madeleine L'Engle Personal selection, forever ago
40 Anna Karenina (1873) by Leo Tolstoy
41 Catch-22 (1961) by Joseph Heller
42 Life of Pi (2001) by Yann Martel Half read. I don't care if I ever finish it.
43 Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) by Kurt Vonnegut
44 A Tale of Two Cities (1859) by Charles Dickens
45 Watership Down (1972) by Richard Adams
46 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (1865) by Lewis Carroll
47 A Thousand Splendid Suns (2006) by Khaled Hosseini
48 The Poisonwood Bible (1998) by Barbara Kingsolver
49 Wuthering Heights (1847) by Emily Brontë Personal Selction, 2009
50 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1997) by J.K. Rowling Personal Selection, 200? & 2007
51 Dune (1965) by Frank Herbert
52 The Odyssey (600) by Homer, Robert Fagles (Translator)
53 Water for Elephants (2006) by Sara Gruen
54 Brave New World (1932) by Aldous Huxley
55 The Road (2006) by Cormac McCarthy
56 The Fountainhead (1943) by Ayn Rand
57 The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890 by Oscar Wilde
58 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) by Mark Twain
59 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943) by Betty Smith Personal Selection, a few years ago
60 The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr (1983) by Reduced Shakespeare Company
61 Angela's Ashes (1996) by Frank McCourt
62 The Book Thief (2005) by Markus Zusak
63 The Da Vinci Code (2003) by Dan Brown Personal Selection, 2005ish
64 The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again (1937) by J.R.R. Tolkien
65 Night (1958) by Elie Wiesel
66 The Pillars of the Earth (1989) by Ken Follett Personal Selection, currently reading
67 The Giving Tree (1964) by Shel Silverstein
68 Outlander (1991) by Diana Gabaldon
69 The Brothers Karamazov (1880) by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Richard Pevear (Translator)
70 Atlas Shrugged (1957) by Ayn Rand Has been on my "to read list" for two years.
71 A Prayer for Owen Meany (1988) by John Irving
72 Don Quixote (1605) by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
73 Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker
74 The Lovely Bones (202) by Alice Sebold
75 Sense and Sensibility (1811) by Jane Austen Personal Selection, a few years ago
76 The Iliad (600) by Homer, Robert Fagles (Translator)
77 Moby Dick (1850) by Herman Melville Just downloaded from iTunes!
78 War and Peace (1865) by Leo Tolstoy, Henry Gifford (editor)
79 Of Mice and Men (1937) by John Steinbeck
80 The Old Man and the Sea (1952) by Ernest Hemingway
80 Middlesex (2002) by Jeffrey Eugenides
82 Lonesome Dove (1920) by Larry McMurtry
83 The Bell Jar (1963) by Sylvia Plath
84 The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1983) by Milan Kundera
85 Siddhartha (1922) by Hermann Hesse
86 The Handmaid's Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood
87 Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) by Zora Neale Hurston
88 Emma (1815) by Jane Austen, Fiona J. Stafford (Editor) Personal Selection, a few years ago
89 On the Road (1957) by Jack Kerouac
90 The Glass Castle: A Memoir (2005) by Jeannette Walls
91 All Quiet on the Western Front (1929) by Erich Maria Remarque
92 The Master and Margarita (1966) by Mikhail Bulgakov
93 The Red Tent (1997) by Anita Diamant
94 Pygmalion (1914) by George Bernard Shaw
95 A Clockwork Orange (1962) by Anthony Burgess
96 The Perks of Being a Wallflower (1999) by Stephen Chbosky
97 Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1888) by Thomas Hardy
98 The Name of the Rose (1980) by Umberto Eco
99 Eat, Pray, Love (2006) by Elizabeth Gilbert
100 Romeo and Juliet (1595) by William Shakespeare Grade 10 Requirement, 1997

So of the 100 books on this list, I've read 17. Four are on my "to read list"
- Pillars of the Earth
- Moby Dick
- Catcher in the Rye
- Atlas Shrugged

That leaves 79 to go! There are a few that I've seen the movie, or a few movies for so I feel like I am really familiar with the story (Anne of Green Gables, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory). Others that I think I might have read but I can't remember 100% (Secret Garden, Les Miserables). And ones I have no intention of reading (The Lovely Bones, Clockwork Orange)

It's definitely an interesting list and a good one to work through since these books aren't exactly light and take awhile to get through.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


I haven't blogged about my New York because it's just too overwhelming. I did upload scads of pictures to Facebook and I figure anyone who really cares can see them there. This blog entry has pictures from the trip but it's not about the trip, well, not really.
In the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a small room. It is the "studiolo from the ducal palace in Gubbio, in Umbria, Italy". While we were in there our "guide" Jenny, referred to a book she was reading that started in that very room. I finally remembered to get the name of the book from her and recently finished it. It's called "Quattrocento" and it's written by James McKean. I admit as I started it I could hear the voice of Mrs. Brownlee, my elementary school librarian saying "if you pick up a book, open it to a page and there are more than five words that you don't recognize, put it back on the shelf". There was definitely a lot of terminology I didn't recognize since it deals with art restoration but once I got past those terms (or looked them up on I really started to enjoy the book. The author paints a rich vivid portrait of the "Quattrocento" period that left me wishing someone would turn the book into a movie because it would be a visual treat. The main character actually does some time travel in the book which usually drives me nuts (I hate losing track of which century someone is in) but it's done so skillfully in this book that it didn't bother me.

The fact that it starts in my favourite room in the museum doesn't hurt either. I definitely recommend this book, whether you've been to the studi0lo or not.

Monday, May 03, 2010

My boss knows

I finally told him that I’m leaving. Initially it was harder than I thought and I’ll admit, I cried a bit but he’s so wonderful and understanding that it was okay. I’ll leave it up to him to tell the rest of my coworkers but he is the one I was most worried about telling.

It was kind of funny. I told him that I had something to tell him and that I had agonized (great word isn’t it? I stole it from someone but that’s another post) over when to do it. His first reaction was “You’ve found a better job”. I said “no, but I am leaving. Not for three months, but I am going.” Then I told him my plans and that this has been a five year plan which means I’ve known ever since I took this position. That I had very specific goals for my time here and while I still have work to do, I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot and hopefully made it easier for someone to step into my role, or at least whatever that will be.

He was very understanding and actually pretty excited for me. He’s quite educated himself so he certainly values schooling and knows it is a good choice for me. He’s understandably sad to lose me and even went as far as saying that when he took this job it was based on the people he’d be working with, including myself.

He’s asked me to assist with the recruitment process for my replacement but it seems like business as usual aside from the fact that of course there’s also the massive weight which has been lifted off my shoulders that makes it rather wonderful. It’s been making me crazy to have to keep this from him and while I’m glad I waited until now to say anything, I’m also really glad he knows.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

I wonder if I’ll miss the rain

It’s pouring today. Not the nice soft spring rain, but drenching pounding rain that strips all the blossoms off the trees. I’m in the middle of the office (no outside walls or windows) and I can hear it pounding outside. It’s a dull roar that truly just relaxes me. I woke up this morning and listened to it coming down and just smiled.

I’m sure I’ll miss it when I move to Ontario. I’m a BC girl through and through. I know what “sun breaks” are. ;) Like the Eskimo’s who reportedly have dozens of words for snow, I know dozens of descriptors for rain. I don’t know a lot about the weather patterns where I am going other than they definitely get more snow than I’m used to.

I think I’ll miss the rain.