Monday, July 28, 2008

A Trio of Movies

With Sisterfilms in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for a few days, far from theaters and DVD players, I thought I'd fill the gap and say a little about three movies I watched recently -- two well-known and the third much less so.

The first one, THE DAY OF THE JACKAL, (1973) was based on Frederick Forsyth's Edgar-award-winning novel. I've been reading all the winners of the Best Novel award, given by the Mystery Writers of America each year since 1954, for about a year now, and have reached 1977. The book in question won in 1972 (published in 1971) and was filmed the following year. As a rule, I prefer to see the movie first and then read the book, as I've so often been disappointed by film treatments of books I liked. This time, though, I reread the book first and then saw the movie, which I'd missed the first time around. I can't say I was disappointed at all. There was only one major plot change that I can recall, and it was probably made in order to keep the film at a manageable length. Fred Zinneman's direction was just what was needed to keep the suspense going, the casting was excellent, and the setting in 1963 was spot-on. As I'm not a real cinema critic (haven't taken any film classes ever), the only cinematic device I noticed was the frequent shots of clocks. Nearly every location had its clock face with time ticking away -- an especially subtle choice because, until the last few moments of the film, the hunt for the Jackal is not a matter of hours or minutes, but days or weeks. Apparently there was a remake in 1997 which should be avoided, but the original film is excellent.

Next, we received from Netflix CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR (2007). Starring Tom Hanks, who's come a long way since BOSOM BUDDIES, this is based on the true story of how Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson called in enough Congressional favors to covertly supply the Afghan mujahedeen with sufficient arms to defeat the Soviet invasion, and, some say, to bring about the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Philip Seymour Hoffman turns in an amazing performance as maverick CIA agent Gust Avrakotos (it's hard to believe, seeing him in this film, that he played such a believable Truman Capote!) Whatever your politics, this film will give you a lot of food for thought about our foreign policy failures and successes, and entertain you as well.

Last night, I watched a Canadian movie that isn't so well-known. ALL HAT (2007) is based on a novel by Brad Smith, who also co-wrote the screenplay. I happened upon it because I'd read a mystery (BUSTED FLUSH) by the author and wanted to see what else he'd done. Then I saw that not only were Luke Kirby (SLINGS AND ARROWS, a brilliant Canadian TV series), Graham Greene (DANCES WITH WOLVES and many others), and Gary Farmer (POWWOW HIGHWAY, one of my favorite films) part of the cast, but also Cordeliaknits' junior high and high school classmate Rachael Leigh Cook! So I had to see it, and enjoyed it very much.
ALL HAT is a sort of modern-day Western, set among the horse farms and burgeoning subdivisions of Fort Erie and environs in Ontario (across the Niagara River from Buffalo, NY). As you might guess, the farms and the subdivisions don't mix, and the villain of the piece, rich boy Sonny Stanton (played by Noam Jenkins), is trying to force all the farmers out so he can make a killing on a casino/golf course development. Luke Kirby's character, Ray Dokes, has had trouble with Sonny before, and at first has a fatalistic attitude that "the money always wins." But a fortuitous horse theft (not by Dokes) gives him an idea of how to give Sonny his much-deserved comeuppance. Rachael Leigh Cook plays a jockey with some issues of her own; Keith Carradine is a father-surrogate for Ray and perfect as the over-the-hill Texas cowboy with a constant flow of dry wit. Fine performances by all concerned and a satisfying plot combine with a beautiful setting to make an enjoyable film that raises some intriguing moral questions. (Unfortunately for youth group leaders, it's rated R for some sex and violence and a lot of rough language.)

Mosaic of Me

Celeste did this, so I thought I would do it too. Here's how:
* Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr search.
* Using only the first page, choose an image.
* Copy and paste each of the URL’s into the mosaic maker over at FD's image maker.

The questions:
What is your first name?
What is your favorite food?
What high school did you attend?
What is your favorite color?
Who is your celebrity crush?
Favorite drink?
Dream vacation?
Favorite dessert?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
What do you love most in life?
One word to describe you.
Your Flickr name

1. Nicolette the girl with the chocolate-chilli voice, 2. birthday soup - no shells all meat!, 3. A walk in the park, 4. The Chesil Beach at Portland - Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, 5. Nicolas Cage (1), 6. Bonnie Maid Lime Rickey, 7. . Grantchester - (The Jogger) ., 8. custard pie, its sweet and nice..., 9. Doubleblind anonymity, 10. Watching the fireworks, 11. Reading book..., 12. Knickers now on!

Play if you want to and let me know in comments if you did.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Five: What You Absolutely, Positively, Can't Leave Home Without

Over at RevGalBlogPals, Singing Owl writes:

We will be at a chaplain's convention when you all are answering the Friday Five Questions. I'll look forward to reading your answers next week when I get home. At the moment we are trying to get the car loaded so we can hit the road, so this will be a simple F.F. This running around madly in order to leave has me wondering: what are the five things you simply must have when you are away from home? And why? Any history or goofy things, or stories?

1. Books. I always take books, even though just about everywhere I go has books available. Since all my travel these days is to visit friends or family, you might think I would not need so many books, but I do.

2. Camera. This is a new "must-take" for me since last year when I got a digital camera. I usually remembered the film camera before, but I didn't always take a lot of pictures. Now it's different.

3. Notebook and pen(s). I need this for a lot of things. Now that I keep track of my reading and write little reviews for DorothyL and Goodreads, I need something to write on. I may also acquire genealogical information new addresses, etc. I might even write out a blog post!

4. Microfiber glasses cleaning cloth. I'd include the squirt stuff too, but it doesn't fly, so sometimes I buy some when I get where I'm going. So I can read.

5. Here's another new one: lunch! Anyone who has flown recently will know what I mean. Last spring we had a lot of spreads left over at the end of our beach week, and I made sandwiches for all of us to take along. It proved to be a great idea and OHP and I did the same on our trip to the Midwest. No expensive (and often bad) airport food, not to mention the lack of temptation to buy the $5 "snack" on the plane. I will definitely keep doing this. Even on road trips, I think, should we ever do another -- I do like to go out for breakfast, but a picnic lunch or supper is much more fun than Mickey D's. Probably healthier, too.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Birthday Fun!

Today is my birthday! I began the day by checking my email and learning, through Today in Literature, that I share a birthday with John Newton of "Amazing Grace" fame, and John D. MacDonald, creator of the Travis McGee mystery series. Also Alexandre Dumas pere, author of The Three Musketeers, but I knew that already. Then, I got the first of two e-cards from Sisterfilms -- the "serious" one, via Catholic No, we're not Catholic, but they do have a nice selection of e-cards if one chooses judiciously. She said things that are too nice to repeat here. Later, I got one she sent via, which was more humorous. Here is a photo of the two physical cards I received today, one from Onkel Hankie Pants (homemade and personal) and one from The Traveller (with a picture of the dog we should have gotten):
A bit later, we drove to the Dolphin Marina in West Harpswell for lunch. We had originally planned to take the lunchtime cruise from Bailey Island but the weather was so grey and at times rainy that we will postpone that to another day. Of course, I had the lobster stew and blueberry muffin. This is not only the best lobster stew ever, and a tasty muffin besides, but a great bargain. There seemed to be about 14 lobster claws in my bowl of stew (I wish I'd brought my camera along, but for those of you who don't know, lobster stew is just lobster, creamy milk and a little butter). Amazing! I all but licked the bowl. I also received presents from Onkel Hankie Pants at the restaurant. You will see a picture a little later; I got a July 26, 1948 issue of TIME magazine (closest issue to today); a new pizza cutter wheely thing; and a book called RED LIGHTS by Georges Simenon of Inspector Maigret fame -- oddly enough set in Maine. I also got to look out the window at the harbor, which looks beautiful to me even in the grey mist.

When I got home I found two messages on the answering machine, one being Sisterfilms singing Happy Birthday, and the other from Debbie's Garden to arrange a flower delivery! We agreed on 5 pm and right on schedule, the flowers came. A dozen pink roses from The Traveller! She had also sent me a tote bag from the recent family reunion at which she was the only representative of our branch (and that means the descendants of her and OHP's grandfather, not just our nuclear family) and I didn't expect anything more. They look and smell lovely. Here are some pictures of my presents and also the ad from the back of the TIME magazine, which I'm glad was NOT my birthday lunch:

It took three vases to hold all the flowers -- now they can be distributed around the house. Lovely fragrance too. The ad shows a lunch or dinner suggestion for hot weather -- chilled sliced SPAM(tm) with salad. I've eaten SPAM(tm), and used to work for someone whose grandfather invented it, but the cold stuff just doesn't work for me.

Magic Mushrooms?

Today is a special day for me, and I'll report more on that later, but it's also a very rainy day here in Maine. We've had a fair amount of rain alternating with plain old humidity here in the last week or so (and we need the rain, so no complaints about that.) Our yard is prone to mushrooms anyway, but recently I've seen some that I hadn't seen before. I wonder if I'll find a field guide to mushrooms in the basement as I clean up the book room there? I did find a nice fossil guide, which will be quite useless here -- it says that New England has virtually no fossil-bearing rock. Anyway, here are some mushroom photos.

Click on the yellow one to see the raindrops on a spiderweb.
And for those of you who prefer mammals to fungi, here is a photo of Rusty in his summer cut -- he doesn't look like a perfect Springer Spaniel now, but it sure makes his trips to the Bowdoinham woods less messy!
And here is a goofy face:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tag, I'm It!

EmJayDee far away in the Antipodes has tagged me for a me me meme

Here are the rules:

1. List these rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog.
  1. Tomorrow is my birthday!
  2. I placed eighth in the National Spelling Bee in 1961.
  3. For two or three horrible months, I worked on a CB radio assembly line. I wasn't good at it.
  4. I have identified, at least tentatively, 958 direct ancestors.
  5. I have never had a driver's license, though I've had a permit a couple of times.
  6. We bought a house in 1979 and sold it in 1988, and at that time it was the longest I had ever lived in one home.
  7. I read about 200 books a year and now post reviews on Goodreads.

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
Winifred T. Katt
Julie Bowe
Cathy's Grace Notes
Processing Counselor
33 Names of Grace

I am interested in the new facts I will learn about you!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Five: What's in a Name?

RevHRod at RevGalBlogPals writes:

If you are a regular reader of Songbird's blog, you know that "The Princess" has requested a new name. Her older brother changed his "secret identity" a while back and now this lovely young lady is searching for a new name on her mother's blog. This got me to thinking. How do we come up with all of these names? There must be at least a few good stories out there.

In honor of the Princess I have posted a picture of one of my favorite members of fictional royalty, Robert Munch's "Paperbag Princess." She is a brave young woman who doesn't need anyone else to fight her battles. And she knows that what is most important isn't tiaras and finery but what's on the inside. If you haven't read this little fairy tale, I highly recommend it. But I digress.

  1. So how did you come up with your blogging name? And/or the name of your blog? My blogging name comes from Onkel Hankie Pants, who started his blog first and referred to me as Auntie Knickers there. It's both a play on the pants theme and also on my real name. I named my blog "Exile's Return" for the reasons stated under the title.
  2. Are there any code names or secret identities in your blog? Any stories there? Yes. Some of the names are self-chosen by those involved, such as Onkel Hankie Pants, SonShineIn, Cordeliaknits and now, Sisterfilms. For the rest, primarily I picked one distinguishing characteristic for each person. For example, Temple Truck Woman has an "art car" that is made to look like a temple. Brother #1 painted some of the images (maybe all); here is one.
  3. What are some blog titles that you just love? For their cleverness, drama, or sheer, crazy fun? Good in Parts. Film Aching. Hey, There's a Dead Guy in the Living Room.
  4. What three blogs are you devoted to? Other than the RevGalBlogPals of course! Well, Cordeliaknits, of course. Given the time difference between Maine and California and the concern about cellphone minutes (hers), it's the best way of staying in touch with my daughter. The Lipstick Chronicles, a blog by some mystery writers. And StoneSoupArt, partly because I've met the blogger (a friend of Cordeliaknits) and partly for the beautiful photographs.
  5. Who introduced you to the world of blogging and why? I'm pretty sure the first blog I read was Songbird's. It was recommended in the newsletter of a nearby church, neither hers nor mine. I got hooked. Then Cordeliaknits started hers and it just snowballed from there until I couldn't stand it any more and had to have my own blog.
Bonus question: Have you ever met any of your blogging friends? Where are some of the places you've met these fun folks? Yes, apart from the ones I already knew before I read their blogs, I have met Songbird at the bean supper at her current church, and when I was in Minneapolis recently I had coffee with Diane from Faith in Community -- great fun! Songbird and I hope to get our dogs together some time, but I'm afraid Molly and Sam will be shocked and dismayed by Rusty's bad manners. Here is the traditional Blogger Meetup Feet picture from my and Diane's morning at the Birchwood Cafe:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

For Those Who Don't Believe I Live in Paradise

Here are some photos from our visit to Christmas Cove yesterday.
I call this one "Shades of Blue, Shades of Green." Click to enlarge.

Left: Martha was sketching.
Right: Surf on the rocks, viewed from the porch.

Left: Another view from the porch.
Below: Views of the porch itself.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Road Trips: Part II

I did promise a playlist of road trip songs for today, but it will have to wait till tomorrow, except for the one below. Why?

Two comments I received on yesterday's post talked about family road trips remembered from childhood. Then, today, Onkel Hankie Pants and I attended the annual luncheon of his memoir-writing group. So, I was inspired to recall as best I can the first family road trip I remember.

The year was 1955, probably April or May. My father had received orders for a new duty station in Wiesbaden, Germany, but we would not be able to join him for several months. He was due some leave time, and we had to get from El Paso, Texas to Bowdoinham, Maine. Brother #3 was just short of a year old; the twins were 2 1/2; Brother #1 was 4, and I was just finishing first grade (it was the Year of Three Schools for me, as we arrived in Maine in time for me to attend a few weeks of school there.)

I'm not sure what exact car we had (maybe Uncle Nepco remembers), but I'm pretty sure it was some kind of American sedan. So, my parents filled the space between the front and back seats with Army footlockers, padded the tops with blankets, and that was where I and the three little ones traveled. Brother #1 was in the front seat with my parents, as he was prone to carsickness. No seatbelts or carseats -- I'm not sure seatbelts were even an option, as I don't think our car was a new model, and the closest thing to carseats was a folding canvas carrycot for babies. Mama may have used disposable diapers (a new and expensive item then) for some of the trip, but I think we also traveled with a diaper pail and made stops at laundromats.

I can only remember bits and pieces of this trip. I'd love to find a 1955 road atlas and try to figure out our route. We headed northeast, of course, and traveled through the Ozarks. I know this because of two specific memories. One was the disgust my mother felt when a grilled cheese sandwich she ordered in a diner came reeking of catfish, which was probably the most popular menu item; the other was the ashtray in the shape of a coiled rattlesnake that we bought for my aunt Frances. I think one of my siblings has it now, as Frances and Pike gave up smoking years before they died.

Whether it was in the Ozarks or earlier, in Texas or Oklahoma, the one touristy thing we did really has stuck in my mind all these years. We visited a snake farm -- that is, a place with many varieties of snakes displayed, sort of a snake zoo. Now, you must know that I am afraid of snakes. My mother was afraid of snakes. My grandfather was afraid of snakes, and for all I know, all his ancestors were afraid of snakes. This was totally illogical, since the family has lived in Maine since 1635 and there are no poisonous snakes here. All the same, snakes give us that feeling of "zero at the bone." So it was very brave of my mother to give us this educational experience!

We did not take the most direct route to Maine, for we detoured to Norwalk, Ohio to visit my aunt and uncle and their 5 children. The twins had been scolded a bit during the trip for continually bouncing against the seat back (I'm sure I, for one, was heartily sick of it). Other Aunt Frances (not the one who got the rattlesnake ashtray) kindly said they could bounce on her sofa all they wanted. I'm sure the accommodations were a bit crowded, but I also think my parents, and especially my mother, must have been very appreciative of this break in the seemingly ceaseless round of driving, diner, motel, driving, hastily made sandwiches, driving....

The last memory of the trip is from the very end of it; we were almost home, perhaps even on our own road (honking the horn as we passed each relative's house). I remember my parents pointing out to each other the missing trees and other damage from Hurricane Edna, which had come through Maine in the fall of 1954.

I do think we may have passed through Louisville, Kentucky, though. I remember my father singing this song:

I'd love to hear some of your road trip memories!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Road Trip! But Not for Me

To the left, the vehicle in which Onkel Hankie Pants and I took our first road trip together. There was no radio so I read out loud from Dorothy Sayers to provide entertainment. The car was an Austin America, and quite fuel-efficient.

Tomorrow (for it is still Tuesday as I write), Brother #1, The Herbalist, and their daughter, son-in-law, and grandson will be leaving on a road trip to see the Herbalist's mother in northwest Ohio. They are renting a minivan for the trip, and in spite of that and $4+/gallon gas, they will probably save a bit over the cost of five airplane tickets. And what a trip! I can almost smell the Cheeto and Oreo crumbs now! Yes, I'm a little envious.

The road trip has been part of American life since well before the invention of the automobile. Sometimes the road was a river, as in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Some road trips were forced by circumstances, as in The Grapes of Wrath; others were voluntary, as in Kerouac's On the Road or Steinbeck's other road trip book, Travels with Charley. True, tales of wandering are as old as Exodus or The Odyssey, and there's a long European tradition of the Wanderjahr. But what makes the great American road trip such an important part of American culture is, I think, the vastness of our country, coupled with the fact of its diversity in unity. A road trip across America, even in these McDonaldized, Walmartian days, can bring a kaleidoscope of new experiences, combined with the familiarity of a common language and a shared history (and so far, no passport control crossing state lines.)

A few weeks ago, I happened upon this column lamenting the imminent demise of the American road trip. Subsequently, I've been seeing similar (mostly not as good) columns in the Op Ed pages of several newspapers and websites. Well, maybe we can ride trains (a great experience, true, but different), or perhaps we'll live to see hydrogen-powered cars. I hope we can come up with some way to save the planet, be energy-independent, and still have road trips now and then.

Think of all the great art that has been inspired by road trips! I've already mentioned a few books. I'm sure you can think of more (remind me in the comments section!) And then there are the movies -- Sullivan's Travels, Powwow Highway, Harry and Tonto spring to mind -- and Easy Rider, if you must, though I could do without it.

What are your favorite books or movies about road trips? Tomorrow I'll be posting my musical road trip playlist.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

For Your listening pleasure

Here is a video of Sisterfilms singing "Hobo's Lullaby," a cappella at Family Camp. It is preceded by a bit of her philosophy on singing. Don't worry about the odd sight at the beginning of the video, I adjusted my camera quite soon.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Five: Summer Camp

Mother Laura at RevGalBlogPals writes:

We're settling into our new new apartment, and after a lifetime at Montessori Katie is having a fantastic summer at YMCA day camp. Meanwhile, Nicholas is packing up for a week at Camp Julian, shared by the Episcopal dioceses of Los Angeles and San Diego. His lists of supplies and rules--except for the ropes course available to the teenagers and the ban on IPODs and cell phones--bring back memories of my own happy times weeks at Y camp Ta Ta Pochon, funded by selling countless cases of butter toffee peanuts. So, in celebration of summer, please share your own memories and preferences about camp.

1. Did you go to sleep away camp, or day camp, as a child? Wish you could? Or sometimes wish you hadn't?
I only went to Brownie Day Camp, somewhere near Wiesbaden, Germany. It was quite enjoyable. My college roommate's tales of camp with color wars, etc. didn't really make me envious. My childhood summers were deliciously unregimented!

2. How about camping out? Dream vacation, nightmare, or somewhere in between?
Somewhere in between -- I enjoyed it when I was a bit younger. And when we had a pop-up camper it wasn't too bad. I'm getting a little achy for sleeping on the ground. Actually, as I write this, Onkel Hankie Pants and Rusty have gone camping in our woods. I assume they are having a good time as they've been gone two nights, one of which had some rain. It's a nice activity for the boys!

3. Have you ever worked as a camp counselor, or been to a camp for your denomination for either work or pleasure?
Never been a camp counselor. It would definitely not be my thing. However, I've spent many enjoyable weekends at Pilgrim Point, the Minnesota camp of the UCC, at Women's Retreats. (Do not imagine a lot of silence and prayer, though those do occur.) I hope to attend something at Pilgrim Lodge, the Maine UCC camp, sometime soon. (Yes, we are all about the Pilgrims, not so much about the Puritans.)
And, I've just returned from West Denmark Family Camp, which I'll be posting about later today or tomorrow, with pictures and video.

4. Most dramatic memory of camp, or camping out?
One Memorial Day weekend we went to a state park near Grand Rapids, MN, and OHP and I rented a rowboat and went out on the lake. All was well until we were just about at the dock and we capsized. (In fewer than three feet of water.) Unfortunately, I had my camera with me and turned on. (Old school, not digital.) Shortly afterward, as we were drying out at the campsite, the camera started hissing and smoking!! I still don't know why getting the battery wet would cause this; or if it would apply to digital cameras; but be forewarned!

5. What is your favorite camp song or songs? Bonus points if you link to a recording or video.
Here's the first camp song I remember, from the Brownie Day Camp. My leader was Swiss, married to a Norwegian-born US Navy officer. So of course she taught us this song; and we also sing it at WDFamily Camp, out of The World of Song.

The second video is from West Denmark Family Camp 2008. One of the campers had arranged some of our favorite songs for band instruments, and put together a volunteer band. It's a rather odd assortment of instruments, and also, as I was holding the camera, the mic picked up rather more of my voice than I (or you) would prefer, but here it is anyway.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Reading List

I got this from Crimson Rambler, who got it from Singing Owl.
I was going to do a real blogpost tomorrow (and still am) but couldn't resist this easy way out.

The instructions are to cut and paste it into your blog, and "embolden" the titles you've far!

Comments welcome! (Comments irresistible, I suspect). Enjoy!

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 (I've read lots of it but not all)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (Read the first two, didn't feel like continuing)
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 (Have read a lot, but not all)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’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 (but I saw the TV series)
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 (actually, this is part of #33, The Chronicles of Narnia)
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

66 out of 100. There are a few more that I've read parts of, but not all. The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo I read for a children's literature class. Tried to read Wuthering Heights as a young person and found the opening too frightening. How about you?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Friday Five: Fourth of July

Sally, one of our British RevGalBlogPals, says:
I have to admit that I am chuckling to myself a little; how strange it seems for me a Brit to be posting the Friday Five on 4th July! I realise that most of our revgals will be celebrating in some way today, but I hope that you can make a little room for Friday Five! From my short stay in Texas my memories of the celebrations are of fireworks and picnics, one year we went in to central Houston to watch the fireworks and hear the Symphony Orchestra play, we were welcomed and included, and that meant a lot!

So let's have a bit of fun:

1. Barbeque's or picnics ( or are they essentially the same thing?)
Not to me -- barbecues are usually at home or someone's home, and picnics are at a park or similar place. But, today we actually ate at an old-school drive-in with picnic tables, real cherry cokes, and deep-fried cheese curds! (Something you can't get in Maine.)

2. The park/ the lake/ the beach or staying at home simply being?
Fourth of July for the last 32 years has been the day after Family Camp. Family camp is great, but a little taxing for the introverts in the family, so coming back to the city and relaxing is a good way to spend it.

3. Fireworks- love 'em or hate 'em?
I love the institutional kind, of which I caught a bit of the Charles River ones on tv. Not at all happy about individuals shooting them off, nor the newly relaxed laws in Minnesota.

4. Parades- have you ever taken part- share a memory...
I don't believe I've ever been in one except at the end of basic training -- I missed my chance last year when our Memorial Day parade was honoring women veterans.

5. Time for a musical interlude- if you could sum up holidays in a piece of music what would it be?
I like the medleys of songs like Yankee Doodle and Battle Cry of Freedom, but oddly or not, the piece that says "Fourth of July Fireworks" to me is Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.