This warms my heart

October 30, 2008

This photo makes me so happy. I probably wouldn’t be as thrilled about it if it actually happened more often. Long before I had children this is how I always imagined them… eating a healthy snack and enjoying a book on a cool fall afternoon. What bliss!


August 28, 2008

Here is the booklist that Andrea posted based on the National Endowment for the Arts suggestions that we all should read. Join her by posting this list for yourself, and bolding the books that you have read, and italicizing the books you would like to read.
While we are here, I also need to plug one of my favorite websites- Goodreads. This is a fabulous little place on the web where you can keep a running list of books that you have read, books that you would like to read, and books that you friends are reading. You can even make recommendations for books that you think your friends would enjoy (my favorite part of the website because Nikki and Andrea both make the best recommendations).

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the RingsJRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter seriesJK Rowling (LOVE them!)
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 (I never plan to based on Nikki’s review!)
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
(many, many times)
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…)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The HobbitJRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot (maybe?)
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 (yeah, not happening.)
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 (Why is this on here if the Chronicles are also on here?)-(Ditto, Andrea, but at least I get credit twice)
37 The Kite RunnerKhaled 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 GablesLM Montgomery
 (also many many times)
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 PiYann 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
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
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

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 DayKazuo 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 FactoryRoald Dahl
100 Les Miserables-Victor Hugo

So there is my list. It looks a little shabby. I thought I was doing so well with the first 10. 70% is not bad, but I ended up at about 40%, and I am ashamed to admit that there were a few on the list that I had never even heard of. I guess I am read, but not well read.
Head on over to The Braun Family Circus, and post your own list.

I am Anne Elliot!

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Identity Crisis

August 15, 2008

Andrea and I started our quilting class today. I’m not making fun of us or anything, but the name of the shop that we go to is Betty Sue’s Quilt Shop. It just sounds like a place for blue hairs to flock. I’m still not sure if I am smart enough or detailed enough to quilt, but I am giving it a go. Here is my first quasi-block. It is not fully stitched together yet, and nevermind the fact that Betty Sue did all of the cutting and piecing together.

BUT, just to make me feel better, when we went out to dinner tonight for book club, I got carded. Of course I was all too happy to pull my ID out for the cute little young waitress to show her that I was 29 years old. 🙂 Everyone needs a little balance in their life.

Chronicles of Narnia

March 20, 2008

I know that many of you have never wondered what order to read the Chronicles of Narnia in because there are deceptive little numbers on the spine of most copies now that would lead you to read them in a particular order. Do not be swayed!!!

I asked my best friend, Nikki to write on guest post on the correct order of Lewis’ beloved children’s series because she could do it so much more eloquently than I. Her post follows…

In honor of the upcoming release of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, I have the honor of typing a guest blurb on “A Day in the Life.” I was asked because I love the Chronicles. I was also asked because the order in which they should be read is one of my favorite soapboxes. I have what can only be call “strong” feelings about it. The original order in which the Chronicles were written is as follows:The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (L,W,&W)Prince Caspian (PC)Voyage of the Dawn Treader (V of the DT)The Silver Chair (SC)The Horse and His Boy (H & HB)The Magician’s Nephew (MN)The Last Battle (LB)When you buy the books now, be it in a boxed set or as one large volume, the Magician’s Nephew is the first book, followed by L,W,&W, then H & HB, PC, V of the DT, the SC, and the LB. This is not the best way to read these books, and there are a bunch of other bibliophiles with too much time on their hands who agree with me! C.S. Lewis did indeed at one point consider that a more “chronological” order (the new order) might be a better way to go. He however, never made any move to change them and finally decided that they should remain as they were. He wrote them in the original order, and the narrative was built on those lines. So much of the wonder of Narnia comes from the way in which the reader is slowly introduced to it in L,W,&W. The wardrobe and where it leads create a strong sense of mystery; you are intrigued and mystified by what lies inside. In MN, the word Narnia is stated almost immediately. There is no enigma, and there is an assumption of information. As a late sequel to L,W,&W, this is appropriate. As your very first introduction to Narnia itself, this is less than engaging. TThe texts themselves show that L,W,&W comes first with quotes such as “None of the children knew who Aslan was, any more than you do.” If you’re reading L,W,&W second, well of course you know who Aslan is. There are so many ideas, themes, and moments of character development that occur naturally in the original order of the Chronicles. Some of that is lost in the new order, and much of the magic is diminished.I strongly encourage you to read the books that have been a delight to me since I was in 7th grade. I have perused their pages many times and have always come away more enthralled and with an even greater sense of wonder. Go forth, read, and enjoy them yourself! Just do so in the best possible order!

So there you have it. Drop by your local bookstore or library today, and dive into the adventure. I assure you, you will not regret it!