Tuesday, October 27, 2009

According to CNN most people have only read six of these. Let's see how I do...

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen x
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (I will one day, I swear!)
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling X
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee X
6 The Bible X (I was forced)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte X
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell X
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman x
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens x

Total: 8

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller x
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (Complete works? Are you kidding me??)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien x
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger X
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger X
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

Running Total: 13

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell X
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 X
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 (Another I mean to read...someday)

running total: 18

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 X
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden x
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

Running total: 23

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (I remember reading this and totally not understanding its significance...then reading it again in high school and finally getting it. It's not just a story about farm animals, just so you know) x
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown X
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery x
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 x

Running total: 29

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 X
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (Man, I haven't read ANY Dickens, and he keeps showing up and knocking down my score!)
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley X
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon X
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Running total: 34

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck X
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold X
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas X
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding x
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville (Read the abridged version, take it from me) X

Running total: 39

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker X
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett x
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante X
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

Running total: 42

80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens X (Finally! I read one Dickens!)
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker x
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazui Ishiguro
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 x (Guh. I don't see the value of this book at all!
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

Running total: 46

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad X
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint Exeupery X
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adamson X
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas X
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare X
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl X
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo X


This really makes me think about the "classics." Did I learn more from these books than I would have from other books? What makes these better? The amount sold? What the critics say? Looking back, I read a lot of these for school (High school and an undergraduate degree in English), and a lot of them were pretty meaningless to me life. I particularly hated reading, "The Great Gatsby." To be honest, it turned me off reading a little bit. Not as much as "The Scarlett Letter" did though. Did I read these book so that I would be able to pass and class and then check these books off a list of the classics later in life? Because I have a feeling that for many of these books, that is the only value I have gleaned from them this far! Hmmm....food for thought.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Scrapbooking Time

I have been trying to minimize my possessions lately because I'm preparing to live and teach English abroad in a while. I want to be able to leave my scrapbooks safely at home but still have the photos with me, so I am saving them all electronically. I will post a few of my favorites online every once in a while.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Daily Show

I sometimes forget how much I love "The Daily Show." I'm not really the type of person who is watching TV at 10:00 at night, so I hardly ever catch Jon Stewart's show. But I did last night. One of his guests was William Kamkwamba, a whiz kid from Malawi. He built a windmill when he was 14 years old from a diagram in a book, using spare bicycle and tractor parts. He's pretty big news right now, he has written a book, "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind," is working on a documentary film, and has been interviewed by many magazines and newspapers and so forth.

This sort of story inspires me so much. I sometimes get caught up in the trappings of modern conveniences and the comfort that a nice salary provides. I am currently browsing the job market in Japan and getting excited about actually making some money instead of taking out endless student loans. I'm excited about paying off my debt and being able to put some saving away for the future.

But this sort of story reminds me that I didn't start out wanting to teach priviliged children studying English so they could make it into the best colleges so they could be a lawyer. I started out wanting to teach children so they could lead fulfilling lives, make the world a better place, and learn the skills to pull themselves, their family, and their community out of poverty, just like William Kamkwamba did.

This is his website:


And this is a link to the clip of the Jon Stewart Interview:


For some reason it wouldn't upload so I could just put the clip here. I would like to have the clip ON the post, but there was an error. It said, Your HTML cannot be accepted: Tag is broken and I couldn't figure out how to fix it. Any computer nerds out there who can offer support I'd be grateful.