Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How Many of These 100 Books Have You Read?

Another repeat blog - sorry fans!

The BBC apparently believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books listed here:

How many of these books have YOU read?

I have marked in bold the ones I have read,  in italics the ones I am in the process of reading, and in blue the ones where I have only seen the movie.

Recently I have determined to read more of the 'classics' -- But I can see by this list that I have a long way yet to go!

And I must confess that there are a number of books listed there that I have never even heard of. I have highlighted them in green. Time to do a search and see if they are books I would enjoy. If you have read any on my unread list, which would you recommend?

Why don't you copy and paste the list into your comment, and in some way mark those you've already read, the ones you are in the process of reading, and the ones you've only seen as a movie -- so we can compare with each other.

Then, go here to check out the site and see how 316 others responded on the site...makes for interesting reading in itself!

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

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - read some, but not others...

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

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

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 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

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

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 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 - Enid Blyton

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

That makes 17 I've read; a couple I am in the process of reading and I have seen 8 as movies. I think the BBC was quite incorrect in their assesment. But let's see how YOU do!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What Makes You Laugh?

This is a post from about year ago, from an old blog I no longer use. My cousin Pete's latest post (you can find it here) inspired me to re-use it here:

It's not altogether easy to assess exactly what it is that makes us laugh.

In my research for a magazine article, I remembered something that, many decades ago, really made me laugh. Maybe you will get a chuckle out of it too:

But I want to share with you something that my British sense of humour really enjoys.

I am reading Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat. Jerome wrote it in 1889. I've probably read it three times in my life -- that's a lot, considering I rarely read a fiction book more than once.

Here's the introduction:

...a merry, but scandalously lazy band of well-to-do young men -- and a plucky and rather world-weary fox terrier named Montmorency -- (decide to take) an idyllic cruise along the River Thames.

Feeling seedy, muses one of them dreamily, "What we want is rest." What they find instead is one hapless catastrophe after another.

Soggy weather, humiliating dunkings, the irritating behavior of small boats, and the 'contrariness of teakettles' are just a few of the barbarisms our genteel heroes are forced to endure. But to which a delighted reader can only sing, Hooray!


But it's a passage from the book about Montmorency the dog I'd like you to read:

To look at Montmorency you would imagine he was an angel sent upon the earth - for some reason withheld from mankind - in the shape of a small fox terrier.

There is a sort of Oh-what-a-wicked-world-this-is-and-how-I-wish-I-could-do-something-to-make-it-better-and-nobler expression about Montmorency that has been know to bring tears into the eyes of pious old ladies and gentlemen.

(At first) I used to sit down and look at him, as he sat on the rug and looked up at me, and think: "Oh, that dog will never live. He will be snatched up to the bright skies in a chariot, that's what will happen to him."

But, when I had paid for about a dozen chickens he had killed; and dragged him, growling and kicking by the scruff of his neck, out of a hundred and fourteen street fights; had had a dead cat brought round for my inspection by an irate female who called me a murderer; and had been summoned by the man next door but one for having a ferocious dog at large that had kept him pinned up in his own toolshed, afraid to venture his nose outside the door for over two hours on a cold night; and had learned that the gardener, unknown to myself, had won thirty shillings by backing him to kill rats against time, then I began to think that maybe they'd let him remain on earth for a bit longer after all.

If you've never read Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), I can only encourage you to get a copy. If you don't have much to laugh about, this book will change everything!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


She stands a dusky silhouette
A splendour to behold.
Her frame against the grace of dawn,
The skies like molten gold.

And when in light of day she's seen
In glorious display
When chinks of blue sky peep
Amidst her green and grand array

And there in hush of evening
When blazing sun sinks low
And spreading bows are set against
A bold magenta glow

Of all Thy great creations, Lord,
None have been to me...
as great a source of joy
And inspiration as the tree.

(My Inspiration: Gillian Walsh, Evergreen, Autumn 2010)

And finally, a perfect Halloween Eve moon

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Favourites

Goodness Gracious...
Lotsa Leaves!

Sun Shining
Golden Glory

Window Watching...
Fall Flowers

Happy Halloween...
Phoney Pumpkins

Fabulous Fence...
Autumnal Arrangement

Oh, Canada!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Come into my parlour....

Doth (Daughter of the House) and I were just heading out for a walk - and fortunately she saw this before I did, otherwise we both might have been 'captured.'

...has to be the biggest spider web I've ever seen...

..hanging between the car and the wall of the house...

And perhaps the biggest spider - although I didn't stick around long enough, or get close enough, to see :}
(this was taken with the zoom)

Since this is MY car he/she (do we know which one makes webs, or do they both?) has chosen as an ambush, I was dearly hoping that by the time we returned from our walk it -- web and spider -- would be gone. Not that I have arachnophobia, but it is a bit creepy.

I took my camera on the walk with me but for the most part it's a little too early for pretty fall photos.

But this tree is way ahead of most:

Oh, the joys of 'fall' !  And look how many leaves there are left to fall!

And, speaking of 'fall'ing -- that's one thing we hope these trees will never do.
You can see how tall they are in comparison to the houses below. Our lawn is in the foreground.
When we have strong winds these trees really sway -- and I really pray!

Back home after our walk and itsy bitsy (not!) spider has gone and its web was in shreds - it was quite windy that day, or perhaps a sparrow flew through it.

But, lo and behold, another huge one - this time...

...between the shed and the house.

Surely it couldn't have been made by the same spider in the short time we were gone -- must have been there all along, and we didn't notice it, just a few feet away from the car.

I must confess that I am in awe of the design and the incredible result of a spider's creation - can't imagine how long it could have taken to make this one.

Okay, so I just googled 'spider' and now I understand why I don't like them. The first sentence reads:

Spiders (Araneae) are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs, and chelicerae with fangs that inject venom.

And it doesn't get any better from there. By the time I got down to Courtship and Reproduction, I was pretty grossed out, as the kids say.

I would imagine that since the females eat the males, they must be the ones who spin the webs -- ah, yes, now I remember, it was Charlotte's Web!

In case you flunked biology in school too, you can read all about spiders here

Me?   I'm off to bed soon, and I am taking a good book with me, to help rid my mind (and my dreams) of air-breathing, venom-injecting, husband-killing, baby-stealing arthropods. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Seems I just can't find the time to write a decent post these, days - so I have opted for another scintillating..

"What Is It?"

First the clue -- this item immediately reminded me of some words in a famous Bette Midler song; the words actually, partially, describe what this item is used for:

Sorry, it's a little out of focus, but I think you'll get the picture quite clearly.

Now is the time for all you lurkers to come out of hiding and take a guess!

The answer will come in a few days.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Well, my whole host of visitors and lurkers were unable to guess this...I'm surprised.

It is one of my most favourite garage sale (car boot sale, for Snafu) acquisitions.

I bought it last month, brand new still in its wrapping, for one dollar.

It hails from the 1970s, although there are updated versions around.

It has been a tremendous aide to my morning routine

It is......

Hot Rollers!  Only, the travelling kind....

Comes in a nice travelling case

The rollers are placed on the metal posts (it's electric) and they take two minutes to heat up.
Then you roll them in your hair, using special clips (forgot to take a photo of them, but you get the picture!)
 -- for someone like me with frizzy hair, it's a boon, because they take all the frizzes out.
 (I know Snafu doesn't have that problem, but he might be impressed with the invention!)

I guess I will need to make my "what is it"  a little easier next time - but thanks for trying!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Hoping some of my 'lurkers' will actually come out of hiding and join the fun, by commenting their answer to this.

I will try to post a new picture every week.

There are no prizes for the correct guess -- except perhaps a boost to your ego!

This week's picture and clues:

Makes travelling easier

...just in case!

**adding another clue**

It's a hot topic

I'll post the answer in a few days.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Meandering Trails

Autumn seemed to come suddenly this year.

Daytime temps haven't been too bad, but it gets quite cold at night, and our 50 year-old house is not very well insulated. It seems craziness to turn on the furnace in the middle of September, but the portable electric heater has been out for at least a week, and has seen good use.

So when the temps went up today, we had to take advantage of the sunshine.
After church and lunch we headed to a nature trail recommended to us.
We are blessed that even though we live in the city,
we don't have to go too far to find some country.

This trail is just 10 minutes away by car and has convenient parking.

Called Colonel Danforth Trail, named after a road builder from the 1700s, it is -- well I can't say it's untouched by civilisation as there are plenty of marks left by civilisation -- and it is certainly not particularly well maintained. But it is a pleasant change from manicured gardens.

It was a little adventure for DOTH and I to explore the meandering pathways which run alongside Highland Creek.

But first....I always manage to find at least one unusual tree.

The park was quite deserted, but we did see a young man fishing round about here, who looked up at us and said, "You just missed it!" 
I asked him what we missed and he said, "I just landed a 10-12 lb salmon, but I threw him back in. I don't eat any fish from Lake Ontario -- I go up north to get the ones for eating." 

We looked for salmon as we walked along the creek - the water was quite clear in most places - and we sure didn't see any salmon. I think he was pulling our legs.

Lots of trees down everywhere

Junk in the water

But pretty little spots, too

We made a new little friend along the way...

So cute!! and her mistress was quite chatty...

she told us (we think - because she had a strong German accent) that she (the dog) is a  is 16 year old
part Bichon, part poodle - does that make sense?
So, in human years, the dog is 112, and her mistress looked to be at least in her 70s, and when they set off again, we couldn't keep up with them -- pretty sprightly!

This is an interesting photo -- hard to tell where land meets water.

A few more photos...

We had a lovely walk and then decided, because we hadn't seen any birds, that on our way home we should stop off at a little conservation area down by the lake...

Not many birds there, either -- swan, heron and seagull was the best we could do.
But the heron was interesting to watch..

Looks like he's on a conveyer belt on top of the water!

And then it was time to go home -- a lovely, refreshing  afternoon.

Back to the grindstone tomorrow -- six weeks left till the first deadline!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mary Margaret, and Jonah

You gotta love this little story-teller!

(she's worth listening to, right to the end!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Miau, Miau

This is for my sister, and cat lovers everywhere...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Of Kids and Star Wars and Noah's Ark

DOTH (Daughter Of The House) and I had the great privilege recently of babysitting for SOOTH (Son Out Of The House)

I mean it when I said it was a privilege. We have a family that seems to be getting larger by the minute and we enjoy them all.

They've just moved into a new house, so knowing that their computers are the 'main' toy, and that other toys were probably not unpacked yet -- and we don't allow hours on the computer when we are around -- we stopped off at a garage sale on the way and picked up Scategories and a couple of other games.

There was something we had to get used to first, though; some unexpected new additions to our family...

Something from Stars Wars, I think... Yoda? 

No, it's Reginald.
Well, there are two of them and I can never get the names straight, but I think this one is Reginald.
I'll show you Frederick in a minute - he doesn't show his face in the daytime.
They are called Sphynx cats.

So, there I am, working on my lap top, and Reginald jumps onto my lap. I am allergic to cats,
but, the good news is -- no fur, no dandruff. No dandruff, no sneezing, asthma or watery eyes.

The bad news is -- what do you stroke, when they are sitting on your lap...
...looking longingly into your eyes? No fur!

But he liked it!  You should have heard those purrs (louder, since they are not muffled by fur).
He could well have settled in for the day, but - sorry - I had work to do. He was quite miffed to be sent


...decided to go fly-catching instead.

"Why won't that dang fly stay still...?"

"...he's just too quick for me."

Meanwhile, sleeping in late, upstairs..

DOTH and Frederick

Do not tell DOTH I posted this picture...I will be homeless - may have to go and live with SOOTH and family, and Frederick and Reginald. You should try putting your feet on a cold, clammy, furless Sphynx in the middle of the night -- well, maybe some of you do have an equivalent.

On a lighter note, when Frederick finally forced  her out of bed, DOTH had great fun with GOTH (girl of the house).

They gathered all GOTH's stuffed animals and headed down to the pool

Played teacher for a while. Wonder which language they spoke - moo, baa, woof, gribbit...?
Perhaps it was an ESL class.

Then they all lined up for the ark:

I think even God might have been bit confused by this two-by-two configuration.

Some were coming, some were going, none of them were matched mates.
No wonder Noah was driven to drink.

Warm enough now for a dip in the pool...

...the turtle looks a little miffed about missing the ark - but maybe it was all for the best.

Still, he's not looking too happy about that water gun being primed for use, either.

Well, time to move to safer waters...

We had lots of fun with Scategories, and then it was time for the talent show.

This is DOTH's "escalator trick"

Unfortunately, no more to show you --

it all went downhill from there...|_