Monday, 26 May 2008

Book List

From Maude in Progress .

The top 100 or so books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users.
Bold the books you have read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.

I always finish a book even if it’s a struggle. From this list I don’t see much I had to read for school. Perhaps a reflection of once you get GCSE English at 16 you don’t need to satisfy any other English requirement. For GCSE English we did 1984 (but I’d already read it I was and am a bit of a George Orwell fan), Macbeth and Flowers for Algernon. We did Romeo and Juliet in Year 9 (8th Grade) along with a bunch of 20th Century young adult writing. The Aeneid was the set text for the literature component of my Latin exam so I’ve read it in both English and Latin. I found it bizarre that I did Latin literature and never French. Especially as I did a total of 7 years of French. I have read Camus, Beckett and a couple of other things in French though (when I had time to attempt to stop my French getting rusty).

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude

Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose

Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice

Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov

Guns, Germs, and Steel (Although I've read it for teaching my undergraduate tutorials and lecturing about environmental determinism, as opposed to having to read it for a course I was taking)
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad

The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway

Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo

A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King

The Grapes of Wrath

The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons

The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray

Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse

Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time


The Prince
The Sound and the Fury

Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything

The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter (brought and read my first time in the US, I also re-read all the relevant American literature I had at the time including the Buccanneers by Edith Wharton)
Eats, Shoots & Leaves

The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion is this (?)
There is Confusion (?)
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
(in English and Latin, I was a geek at school and did Latin in my lunch hours)
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit (in Junior School)
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Life happens...

So in the past month I have (in no particular chronological or meaningfulness order)

* Been to a celidh (aka barn dance, square dance). I'd forgotten how much fun they are and we're planning on going to more. Unfortunately I'm going to be in the States when the Proms celidh is :-(

* Marked a whole load of exam papers. Personally, the incentive that worked for me (developed over my increasing teaching load over the last couple of years) is chocolate and sweets after so many papers marked.

* Written more than I thought on my thesis. Still having silly blocks over tiny silly things such as graph drawing but its all part of the process.

* Had some interesting conversations with friends. Why is it when you're single people decide to tell you they're interested even if you've known them for 9, 7 or 5 years (and know you're 'involved' with someone)?

* Been travel advisor to quite a few people on Vienna, New York, Zambia, London, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. I love travelling and sharing stuff about cool places with people so seriously considered just becoming a travel agent.

* Won a prize at a conference for my presentation. Quite a big thing but my non-uni friends don't seem to get how big a deal it is for me.

* Got shocked at how much petrol prices have risen just in the time that I've had my car (less than six months) a 10% rise. Luckily my car does just under 40 mpg and most of my journeys are at around 50 mph but its a bit shocking especially compared to how much petrol is in the US. I can't really complain about the weak dollar as I'll save far more when I'm there this summer from the exchange rate than suffer due to high oil price double impact.