Wednesday, December 26, 2007

January goals...

Okay, so it's true that I've already posted about my new Christams books today, but now I think I am going to be setting some January goals. I may be extremely busy during January since I'm getting ready to move from Seattle to San Diego (or from Canado to Mexico as my dad likes to say) around January 12th, but I am determined that since I have no job other than packing and moving, I will most likely have some down time. And in that down time I intend to read a great deal. And so my goal is to finish the two novels in my 'Currently Reading' list (the histories and non fiction can sometimes take me A WHILE) and the five novels in my 'In Line to be Read' list. And since I oftentimes will change up those lists, I will be writing them all down here to make sure I don't forget.

Adolphe - Benjamin Constant
Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Persuasion - Jane Austin
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Lisa See
LA Confidential - James Ellroy
Monks Hood - Ellis Peters
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe - Fannie Flagg

Number 1 on my New Years Resolutions list!

Chirstmastime is here...

Christmastime has come and gone. I'm always a little sad the day after Christmas. I love the holidays. But now it's time to start thinking of those New Years resolutions. Hmm... I had a good Christmas. We've reconnected with some family that we haven't seen in about twelves years, my Aunt Jan and Cousin Eric. And of course my Granny and Auntie Lamb came. Through Christmas I have received only three books (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Cast Two Shadows by Ann Rinaldi), but also a gift card to Barnes and Nobles to buy myself more. Two of these books are on my Expanding Your Horizons list, so yea! I think I'm going to take this gift card and spend some of it on Phillippa Gregory's The Virgin's Lover. I don't know about the rest. But it will be a good new year of reading!

Monday, December 24, 2007

It's been a while, but there's more...

Penguin Classics - F
1. The Faerie Queene - Edmund Spenser
2. A Fairly Honourable Defeat - Iris Murdoch
3. The Fall of the House of Usher - Edgar Allen Poe
4. Far from the Maddening Crowd - Thomas Hardy
5. Father and Son - Edmund Gosse
6. Fathers and Sons - Ivan Turgenev
7. Faust - Johann Wolfgang Goeth
8. Fear and Trembling - Soren Kierkegaard
9. Felix Holt, the Radical - George Eliot
10. The Fiddler of the Reels - Thomas Hardy
11. The Fifth Business - Robertson Davies
12. The Fifth Queen - Ford Madox Ford
13. The Figure in the Carpet - Henry James
14. Finnegan's Wake - James Joyce
15. First Love - Ivan Turgenev
16. Five Children and It - E. Nesbit
17. The Flame Trees of Thika - Elspeth Huxley
18. Flatland - Edwin A. Abbott
19. The Four Feathers - AEW Mason
20. The Fox, The Captain's Doll, The Ladybird - DH Lawrence
21. Framley Parsonage - Anthony Trollope
22. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
23. French Provincial Cooking - Elizabeth David

Monday, December 10, 2007

Expanding my horizons...

Hmmm...another new challenge. This time, the Expanding Horizons challenge, hosted by Melissa at the Book Nut:

Between January and April 2008, choose four books in one category, or one book from each category. And the categories are (by author):

- African
- Asian
- Indian
- Latino
- Middle Eastern
- Native Peoples

I have chosen the second challenge, one from each category. While my list is subject to change, it currently stands as:

African: Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi (Nigeria)
Asian: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Lisa See (China)
Indian: Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard - Kiran Desai (India)
Latino: Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Maquez (Colombia)
Middle Eastern: The Saffron Kitchen - Yasmin Crowther (Iran)
Native Peoples: The Whale Rider - Witi Ihimaera (New Zeland - Maori)

Don't be a hater...

It is now Christmas time. And with that comes great tradition. I love that most families have very specific traditions that they follow to a tee every year. My traditions with my family include watchign certain Christmas movies, or listening to certain Christmas cds. My dad finds new Christmas songs to learn on the guitar and my sisters and I sing them at church. My whole family goes to see the Christmas Revels in Tacoma a few weeks before Christmas. My sisters, dad, and I wake up early and arrive at the mall before everything's open to enjoy a breakfast of cinnabons on the morning of Christmas Eve.

One of my mom's favorite Christmas movies to watch is the Rankin and Bass clay-mation Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. And so last night the family (inlcuding Katie's boyfriend Eddy) all piled into the living room to watch Rudolph. And while we sat there watching, a thought crossed my mind that I hav never thought before.

Santa Claus is a hater.

I'm not even kidding. If you watch the movie, Santa knows about Rudolph's nose from the very beginning and tells Donner, his father, that he's got to get rid of it. He won't let him join the sleigh team. Tells him straight up that it's because of his nose. It's only at the end when Rudolph's nose can do something for him that he lets him join the team.

I never would have thought that the jolly old fat man himself would be such a hater.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Lost treasures...

I have had LA Confidential in my "In Line To Be Read" list for quite some time. To be honest, I bought it and started to read it once before, probably close to a year ago, but I don't think I got much farther than the first chapter. It's next on my list of the "100 Greatest Novels" and so it's next on my "In Line To Be Read" list and since I finished reading The Cement Garden, I figured now would be a good time to try again. Unfortunately, I can't find it! I don't know what I've done with the book. And so to tied me over until I find it, I've started rereading the Brother Cadfael mysteries, an immensely delightful series of murder mystery novels about and 11th century monk playing detective. One thing about the Brother Cadfael series, and really any series for me, is when I want to read them I have to start at the beginning. It's one of my super weird quirks, but I absolutely will not ever read a series of books out of order. There are roughly 21 books in this series. My favorite Brother Cadfael book is the second, One Corpse Too Many, but if I decide I want to read it, I have to read A Morbid Taste For Bones first. And then if I quit reading them for a while and then want to start reading them again, I have to start at the beginning. Which is possibly why I've never been able to make it past the 9th book and I've read the first few a ridiculous amount of time. It's a good thing I enjoy the first few so much.

On love and sadness...

Am currently a bit put out. I have waited all day to go out tonight with my sister and her boyfriend and go and see the movie Atonement. I read the book about a year ago and adored it, and I was so excited when I discovered it was going to be a movie, even more so when I knew it would star Keira Knightly and James McAvoy as Cecilia and Robbie. But now it turns out that I will be spending the evening at home not watching Atonement. It seems my little town of Poulsbo is too small and is not included in the movies limited release circle. Boo.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

And more...

Penguin Classics - E
1. Early Irish Myths and Sagas - Various
2. East of Eden - John Steinbeck
3. Effi Briest - Theodore Fontane
4. Egli's Saga - Anonymous
5. Eichmann in Jerusalem - Hannah Arendt
6. Electra and Other Plays - Sophocles
7. The Emigrants - Gilbert Imlay
8. Eminent Victorians - Lytton Strackey
9. Emma - Jane Austin
10. The End of the Affair - Graham Greene
11. England Made Me - Graham Greene
12. The Enormous Room - EE Cummings
13. The Epic of Gilgamesh
14. Erewhon - Samuel Butler
15. Esther - Henry Adams
16. Ethan Frome - Edith Wharton
17. Eugene Onegin - Alexander Pushkin
18. Eugenie Grandet - Honore de Balzac
19. The Europeans - Henry James
20. The Eustace Diamonds - Anthony Trollope
21. Evelina - Frances Burney
22. Exemplary Stories - Miguel de Cervantes
23. Exile's Return - Malcolm Cowley

I will never tire of lists...

Penguin Classics - D
1. Daddy Long Legs and Dear Enemy - Jean Webster
2. Daisy Miller - Henry James
3. The Damnation of Theron Ware - Harold Frederic
4. The Damned - Joris-Karl Huysmans
5. Daniel Deronda - George Eliot
6. Dangling Man - Saul Bellow
7. Daphnis and Chloe - Longus
8. De Profundis and Other Writings - Oscar Wilde
9. Dead Souls - Nikolai Gogol
10. The Dean's December - Saul Bellow
11. Death in Venice and Other Tales - Thomas Mann
12. The Death of Ivan Ilych and Other Stories - Leo Tolstoy
13. The Death of King Arthur - Anonymous
14. Death of a Salesman - Arthur Miller
15. The Decameron - Giovanni Boccaccio
16. The Deerslayer - James Fenimore Cooper
17. Desperate Remedies - Thomas Hardy
18. The Devils - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
19. The Dhammapada - Anonymous
20. The Diary of Lady Murasaki - Murasaki Shikibu
21. Diary of a Madman and Other Stories - Nikolai Gogol
22. The Distracted Preacher and Other Sotries - Thomas Hardy
23. The Divine Comedy - Dante Alighieri
24. A Dolls House and Other Plays - Henrik Ibsen
25. Domesday Book - G Martin
26. Don Juan - Lord Byron
27. Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes
28. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
29. Dr. Wortle's School - Anthony Trollope
30. Dombey and Son - Charles Dickens
31. Dracula - Bram Stoker
32. The Dreams in the Witch House - HP Lovecraft
33. The Drinking Den - Emile Zola
34. Dubliners - James Joyce
35. Duluth - Gore Vidal

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Cement Garden - Ian McEwan

the cement garden
ian mcewan
c. 1978
153 pages

After reading and completely loving Atonement, I felt compelled to try reading more Ian McEwan. I thought, perhaps I had found a new author where I needed to read their complete works. After reading this book I may have to think again.

This was my second attempt at The Cement Garden. I tried about six months ago and couldn't get past the first chapter. It just had no hold over me. This second time I was able to get into it a little more. It only took me about a week to read.

This is probably one of the most bizarre books I've ever read. Not that bizarre is necessarily bad. I knew going into it that this would be a slightly twisted book, but all the main elements: the dead mother in the trunk, Jack's feelings for his sister Julie, Tom's need to still be a baby, etc, were just so out there.

It's interesting to note that this book has often been compared to Lord of the Flies with it's theme of the behavior of children when they are completely left to their own devices. And you can definitely see the similarities. However in this book you have parents for probably the first half. It's true, the children had a fairly remote and isolated existence due in part to their parents, but they still had them. They had rules and regulations for the first half of this book and it's interesting to see how quickly they're dropped with the removal of adult figures.

An interesting read, though I wasn't always sure what I was supposed to be getting out of it.



Penguin Classics - C
1. Caleb Williams - Willaim Godwin
2. The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories - HP Lovecraft
3. The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories - Jack London
4. Can You Forgive Her? - Anthony Trollope
5. Candide - Voltaire
6. Cannery Row - John Steinbeck
7. The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer
8. Captain Blood - Rafael Sabatini
9. Captains Couragous - Rudyard Kipling
10. Carpenter's Gothic - William Gaddis
11. The Castle of Otranto - Horace Walpole
12. Castle Rackrent and Ennui - Maria Edgeworth
13. Chance - Joseph Conrad
14. The Charterhouse of Parma - Stendhal
15. Chattering Courtesans and Other Sardonic Sketches - Lucien
16. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
17. Chronicles - Jean Froissart
18. Chronicles of the Canongate - Walter Scott
19. Chronicles of the Crusades - Jean de Joinville
20. The Cid, Cinna, The Theatrical Illusion - Pierre Corneille
21. Clarissa - Samuel Richardson
22. Clotel, or the President's Daughter - William Wells Brown
23. The Clown - Heinrich Boll
24. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
25. The Comedians - Graham Greene
26. The Comedies - Terence
27. The Comedy of Errors - William Shakespeare
28. Coming, Aphrodite! - Willa Cather
29. The Complete Fairy Tales - George MacDonals
30. The Complete Plays - Christopher Marlowe
31. Con Men and Cut Purses - Lucy Moore
32. The Conference of the Birds - Farid-Ud-Din Attar
33. Confessions of an English Opium Eater - Thomas de Quincey
34. The Confidence-Man - Herman Melville
35. The Confusions of Young Torless - Robert Musil
36. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
37. Coriolanus - William Shakespeare
38. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
39. The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia - Philip Sidney
40. Cousin Bette - Honore de Balzac
41. Cousin Pons - Honore de Balzac
42. The Crab Flower Club - Cao Xueqin
43. Cranford and Cousin Phillis - Elizabeth Gaskell
44. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
45. The Crucible - Arthur Miller
46. The Cruise of the Snark - Jack London
47. Cup of Gold - John Steinbeck
48. The Custom of the Country - Edith Wharton
49. Cymbeline - William Shakespeare

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Twists for Oliver...

Ok, so I know that this blog is supposed to be my reading blog, but I figure maybe I can talk on other media as well.

It's been a few days now since I've seen this movie, and I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it. On one hand, it was a fairly bizzare modern day Oliver Twist. It was sappy and predictable, and some parts were a little far fetched. I really thought from the previews that Robin William's character was supposed to be good and helpful, but just kidding. He was a lot angrier than Fagin ever was. And the scene where the ochestra is practicing August's symphony and Wizard says he's August's father, I couldn't understand why August agreed and went with him. He'd spent all that time looking for his parents. Why would he say someone else was his father?

However, on the other hand, you couldn't help but fall in love with August and Hope, and even Lyla and Luis. And at the end while you're listening to the symphany and you see Lyla see August and Luis see Lyla, you can't help but get that warm fuzzy feeling.

So. Not fabulous, but still fun.