Memorable Books

A plurk friend posted a challenge: share the five books that have been most influential in your life, or simply that you’ve enjoyed the most including at least one book from childhood, adolescence and adulthood and one that might be classified a “guilty pleasure”.

I love books.  I read voraciously.  Trying to come up with just five books is a very difficult task indeed!

My choice for young childhood would be The Velveteen Rabbit, such a beautiful tale about a beloved child’s toy. 

Some of the authors and books that stand out from later childhood include Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Agatha Christie, the Nancy Drew Books, The Fantastic Five, Stephen King (I recall my mother being horrified I was reading those before my teens), Dean Koontz … the most memorable thought would have to be The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Such a fantastic journey, such beautiful images it created in my mind!

Adolescence saw me reading V.C. Andrews, more Stephen King & Dean Koontz, Kurt Vonnegut, George Orwell, Shakespeare, Hemingway, George Bernard Shaw, Jane Austen (yes those classics were all by choice).  It’s easy though to pick the most influential book of that time of my life, as I became heavily involved with a Born Again Christian group, so the Bible was by far the most important and influential book of that time of my life. 

Trying to pick a single book however, from my adulthood so far, feels darn near impossible.  I’ve read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlader series, Jean M Auel’s Earth Children series, almost everything by Maragret Atwood,  yet more Stephen King & Dean Koontz, Christopher Moore, Terry Brooks, Terry Pratchett, Jodi Picoult, Kelley Armstrong, Mary Higgins Clark, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and many more; quite the range! Some of the books that stand out for me include Richard Armstrong’s book God Doesn’t Shoot Craps, The Shack by William P. Young, Upside Down by Tim Bailey, August by Judith Rossner, One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz, Or Your Money Back by Nicole Lorenz, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx & Crake,  Terry Pratchett’s The Light Fantastic (simply because this was my introduction to him), The Horse Whisperer by Nicolas Sparks, My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. 

I think if I really had to single out a book though, I’d pick The Stand by Stephen King, one of the best post-apocalyptic  pieces of fiction I’ve read yet.

As for guilty pleasure book, I’d pick any of  Laurell K. Hamilton’s  faery books or Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books. 

I’d love to hear other’s five picks!


book binge results

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I know this should’ve been posted ages ago. I’ve been ignoring the blog more & more.  Can’t decide if I want to keep it going or not.  Not many reading it these days .. though why should anyone with the neglect? lol

Anyways, here’s April’s list of books

A Place Called Here – Cecelia Ahern
Spellbinder – Melanie Rawn
Lunatic Cafe – Laurell K Hamilton
Dreamcatcher – Stephen King
started Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks, couldn’t get into it
The Original Cyn – Sue Margolis
Angels & Demons – Dan Brown
Swallowing Darkness – Laurell K Hamilton
Predatory Games – Christine Feehan
The Light Fantastic – Terry Pratchett
Let Your Life Speak – Parker J. Palmer

Book Binge Time Approaching!

Wow, the time is really flying by here!  March Break is next week already, and coming up soon is April, Book Binge Month

a few random snippets …

I worked the Golf & Travel Show in Toronto last weekend and the show itself was great, but what a pity to be stuck inside on the first wonderfully sunny & mild weekend of the year!  Woudn’t you guess, this weekend’s forecast is full of rain!  Gotta love the sense of humour of the universe, eh?

Knitting stuff …Finished knitting the sweater for my niece, just need to add the button loops, will post up a pic once it’s completely done. I’ve completely lost my sock knitting mojo. It’s taken me almost 3 months for the current pair of socks and I still have the leg to do.  It doesn’t help that they aren’t even for me.  I need to find a way to snap this both to get this promised project finished, and because I desperately need to work on replacing my handknit socks! I’ve lost 3 pairs this year already due to holes, wahh!

Kid stuff ….  term 3 report card came home this week & The Child’s marks are mostly C’s. No real sense of why, so have asked for a follow-up call.  On the plus side, he got a B in English – his reading and printing have both improved greatly from first term, something both he & I are proud of him for!

Life, the unvierse, everything …. not much to really report on the rest …. life pretty much continues. no progress in getting the divorce finalized. no hint of romance anywhere. finances continue to be challenging. life is what it is.

hardly a Book Binge

I suppose technically I have until midnight tonight to wrap up the April Book Binge .. and while I have been known to manage a novel in a day, it’s not gonna happen today, so updating now.  What an abysmal month for reading for me! 😦 I think this has to be one of my all time lows for number of books read in a month!  Anyways, here’s my list:

The Red Tent – Anita Diamont
The Nanny Diaries – Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus 
Dogs & Goddesses  – Jennifer Cruise, Anne Stuart & Lani Diane Rich
I am Legend – Richard Matheson
A Crowded Marriage – Catharine Alliott
(a friend’s novel)
Mother Country – Libby Purves

yep, that’s just 7 … didn’t parrticularly enjoy I Am Legend, *loved* The Red Tend & really enjoyed my friend’s novel – had me laughing out loud a few times, which is always good & the rest were light enough reads, so at least the quality is ok.

Book Binge Time Again!

book bingeYay, book binge time again!

i first heard about this on the blog “It’s Not All Mary Poppins

The rules for this are simple:

1. For the month of April, keep track of the books you read.

2. On May 1, post your list on your blog.

–  You may include books you re-read, so long as you re-read them in between April 1 and 30.

–  You may also include books you start but don’t finish, just note the page at which you gave it up. Something like, “Quit, page 47 of 322″.

Children’s books must be at least 125 pages long to be counted. (Books you read to your children, if they are at least 125 pages, would also count.)

If you wish to participate, leave a comment with link here, or on “Mary’s” blog here.

Book meme

Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.

  Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.
Add a ‘+’ to the ones you LOVE.
Star (*) those you plan on reading.
Tally your total at the bottom. How many have you read?

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (x)

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien (* )

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling (x+)

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (x)

6 The Bible (some)

7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell (x+)

9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens (x)

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott (x+)

12 Tes of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller (*)

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (most)

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier (x+)

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien (x)

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger (x+)

19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger (x+)

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot (started it, hated it)

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

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 (started, hated)

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll (x+)

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame (x)

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis (x+)

34 Emma – Jane Austen

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis (x+)

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini (*)

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden (x+)

40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne (x+)

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell (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 (x)

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding (x+)

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 (x)

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck (x)

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov (x+)

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold (*)

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas (x+)

66 On The Road – Jack Kerouak (*)

 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 (x)

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett (x)

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses – James Joyce (x)

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 (x)

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 (x+)

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 (x+)

 93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams (x+)

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Tool

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare (x+)

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl (x+)

 100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

So that makes 36 that I’ve finished from the list – how about you?

Recommended Reading

I know I am way overdue for any kind of update ….  with tempermental dial-up available when I bring the work laptop home, and not liking to update from work it’s chellenging to say the least to get to all the personal things I’d like online. 

That being said, I just finished reading the book The Shack (pictured on the bookmark image there on the right) and it grabbed me in a very big way! More than worthy of a post of it’s own, I *highly* recommend this book, especially to those grappling with spirituaility or life’s purpose.

More from me soon I hope!

Addicted to Books

I learned to read before I was in kindergarten and have always loved escaping into a good book. I’ve tried keeping lists before of what I’ve read and inevitably forget about them or lose them. This year, I tried again and even with gaps, I surprised myself at the number of books I’ve managed to read so far!

I started the list in February, forgot about it part-way through April, remembered again in June, forgot until almost the end of July. There’s a lot of “fluff” on my list, but there’s some stuff that’s stuck with me too, which I’ve marked below with an *.

  1. High Five – Janet Evanovich
  2. Hot Six – Janet Evanovich
  3. Seven Up – Janet Evanovich
  4. Hard Eight – Janet Evanovich
  5. To The Nines – Janet Evanovich
  6. Ten Big Ones – Janet Evanovich
  7. Twelve Sharp – Janet Evanovich (her numbered Stephanie Plum books are a fun, fast read)
  8. Bitten & Smitten – Michelle Rowen
  9. Knitting Rules – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
  10. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee casts off : the yarn harlot’s guide to the land of knitting. – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
  11. * Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
  12. Beast – Janet Evanovich (meh. I don’t like the between the numbers or non Stephie Plum books as much)
  13. Lean Mean Thirteen – Janet Evanovich
  14. Smitten – Janet Evanovich
  15. Visions of Sugar Plums – Janet Evanovich
  16. Diary of a Mad Mother-to-Be – Laura Wolf
  17. Undead & Uneasy – Mary Janice Davidson
  18. * The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks
  19. Prey – Michael Crichton (I found the ending a bit lacking & disappointing)
  20. The Chick and the Dead – Casey Daniels
  21. Tall, Dark and Dead – Tate Hallaway
  22. A kiss of shadows – Laurell K. Hamilton
  23. A caress of twilight – Laurell K. Hamilton
  24. Wife for Hire – Janet Evanovich
  25. Home Again – Kristin Hannah
  26. * God Doesn’t Shoot Craps – Richard Armstrong (fictional, but a fascinating viewpoint of God is presented)
  27. Seduced by Moonlight – Laurell K. Hamilton
  28. A Stoke of Midnight – Laurell K. Hamilton
  29. A Lick of Frost – Laurell K. Hamilton
  30. How to be Good – Nick Hornby
  31. * The End of Religion – Bruxy Cavey (non fiction; he explores the difference between following a set of rules vs trying to be like Jesus)
  32. Back in the Game – Holly Chamberlin
  33. * The Book of Lost Things – John Connolly (a grown-up kind of fairy-tale … and not in a cutsie way)
  34. Slay It With Flowers – Kate Collins
  35. Permed to Death – Nancy Cohen
  36. re-read all 7 Harry Potter book
  37. (2nd Harry Potter)
  38. (3rd Harry Potter)
  39. (4th Harry Potter)
  40. (5th Harry Potter)
  41. (6th Harry Potter)
  42. (7th Harry Potter)
  43. * Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follet (an epic novel about a prior, his master builder, their attempts to build a magnificent cathedral, and their community … the stories of the people as well as the politics of the church were fascinating)
  44. Plum Lucky – Janet Evanovich
  45. Too Big to Miss – Sue Ann Jaffarian (a fun and slightly wacky mystery)
  46. * The Tin Box – Holly Kennedy
  47. The Curse of the Holy Pail – Sue Ann Jaffarian
  48. * Wicked – Gregory Maguire (I don’t think it lived up to the hype, but there was lots of things I liked about it)
  49. * The Footprints of God – Greg Iles
  50. * Stumbling on Happiness – Daniel Gilbert (non fiction; an interesting psychological exploration of why we are so bad at figuring out what will make us happy)
  51. God on a Harley – Joan Bradley
  52. Heaven in High Gear – Joan Bradley
  53. Lady of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley
  54. Salvation Texas – Anna Jeffrey
  55. * Get Out of That Pit – Beth Moore (non-fiction)
  56. Room For Improvement – Stacey Ballis
  57. Dead Over Heels – Mary Janice Davidson
  58. * The Purpose Driven Life – Rick Warren (non fiction; didn’t like it as much as I’d anticipated)
  59. Imaginary Men – Anjali Banerjee
  60. Sisters – Danielle Steel
  61. Emily’s Reasons why not – Carrie Gerlach

Anyone else keep track? What’s your list look like?

Another Book Meme

This one via Mary.

The below listed books are the top 106 books most often marked as being “unread” by LibraryThing users.

The instructions are simple:
Bold those you’ve read.
Italicize books you have started but couldn’t finish.
Add an asterisk* to those you have read more than once.
Underline those on your TBR list.

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

A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveller’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
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian
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 Inferno
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
Gulliver’s Travels

Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes
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
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon*
Oryx and Crake
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers


About 10:30 am the day I started reading:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

5:30 pm that same day:
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