Archive for the ‘reading list’ Category

BBC reading list


This circulated Facebook awhile ago. The list gives me a good resource to look at when looking for something to read. I’d love to hear your opinion about any of the ones I’ve not read (or ones I have)! The links denote nothing, Zemanta recommends links and those are what it picked up.

“The BBC apparently believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here:
I’ve read 48 of them, I’ve put an -X- next to the one’s I’ve read.”

1 -X- Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 -X- The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 -X- Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 -X- Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 -X- To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 -X- The Bible
7 -X- Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 -X- Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 -X- His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 -X- Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 -X- Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – read some, but not others…
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 -X- The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 -X- Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 -X- The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 -X- The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 -X- The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 -X- Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 -X- Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 -X- The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 -X- David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 -X- Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 -X- The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 -X- Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 -X- Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 -X- Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 -X- 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 -X- Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 -X- Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 -X- 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 -X- A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 -X- Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 -X- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 -X- Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 -X- Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 -X- On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 -X- Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 -X- Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 -X- Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 -X- 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 -X- 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 -X- Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 -X- The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 -X- Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 -X- Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 -X- The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 -X- 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 -X- Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 -X- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Review – “Graceling” by Kristin Cashore


Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms, #1)Graceling by Kristin Cashore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some people have special abilities, called Graces. The main character of this book is Katsa, who is Graced with killing. Her uncle, the King, uses Katsa to punish and threaten those who oppose or insult him. Katsa is a strong female character that has no control over her life and tenuous control over her temper, a dangerous thing for someone Graced with killing. There is another side to Katsa though, she created a group that carries out surreptitious missions to right wrongs that have been perpetrated in the seven kingdoms. With the introduction of Po, who is Graced with fighting, Katsa begins to make discoveries about herself and those around her that lead to some big changes in her life.

I really enjoyed this book. I learned that there is a ‘prequel-ish’ (the authors word) out called Fire, and a sequel in the works called Bitterblue, both I look forward to reading. The novel’s pace is very good, it doesn’t gloss over events that the reader wants/needs to know about and never lags so that one is tempted to skim until something happens. The book is also pretty humorous, I smiled, chuckled, and laughed throughout the book. This is a function of the dialogue, it is realistic and snappy and rarely cliché. A great story of discovering hidden strength when faced with physical and moral challenges.

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Teaching “Lord of the Flies” by Golding (part 1?)


[Click image to enlarge, click again to enlarge further.]

This is a reproduction of the poster that hangs in my classroom that I made using photos I took using my cell phone and the SmartBoard Notebook program. I sent the photos to my email, edited them with Picasa, and arranged them on in Notebook and then saved it as a jpeg file.

The students made themselves a bookmark with this information on it with space to take notes as they read William Golding‘s novel, Lord of the Flies. This is to help/guide/remind them to use it. The poster in the class is on chart paper and has plenty of room to take notes. As  you can see I spent a bit of time on this to make it look all fancy and such.

This is a great novel and the students really get into it. I keep telling them “If you were on the island, you would be the oldest kids there – remember that as you are reading.” It is also a great book to discuss symbolism; a concept that most of them are really just now developmentally able to grasp.

We’re not too far into the novel yet, they were assigned through chapter four for this Friday. The discussions have already been pretty good, especially as we looked at the opening of chapter three and talk about the change we see in Jack, how much time may have passed based on the clues given, and the conflict over priorities that is becoming evident.

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Review – “9 Highland Road: Sane Living for the Mentally Ill” by Michael Winerip


9 Highland Road: Sane Living for the Mentally Ill 9 Highland Road: Sane Living for the Mentally Ill by Michael Winerip

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A narrative of the rise of group homes in Long Island, NY. Traces the struggles to get the home on 9 Highland Rd. open and the challenges and struggles of the staff and residents. I worked in a group home and thought this was a very interesting and accurate portrayal.

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Read in June 2009

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Review – “Iron Elves: A Darkness Forged in Fire” by Chris Evans


Iron Elves: A Darkness Forged in Fire Iron Elves: A Darkness Forged in Fire by Chris Evans

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this book. There are elves, dwarves, witches, humans, magic and such but these are just part of the background of the story. If you like Tolkien and the like you’ll enjoy this.

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Read Sept 2009

Review – “The Italian” by Ann Radcliffe


The Italian (Penguin Classics) The Italian by Ann Radcliffe

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
For those confusing Gothic and Horror be aware, they are not the same and you will be disappointed if you read The Italian looking for the fear to be direct – it isn’t.
A classic example of the sublime and Gothic. A young couple is finds love and is then torn apart by a mother who believes that Ellena is not good enough for her Vivaldi. With the help of her priest, the sneaky Schedoni, Ellena is kidnapped and, after a harrowing ride, delivered to a convent where she is held captive.
Radcliffe’s The Italian, is often described as quintessential Gothic. There are hints of the paranormal (typical in the Gothic genre), some of which are explained and some, well you’ll have to read it. The focus on the sublime (another mark of the genre) in the novel leads to some long-winded descriptions of the countryside and the uplifting effect it has on the character’s soul.

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Review – “Alice I Have Been” by Melanie Benjamin


Alice I Have Been Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Historically based on the relationship of Alice Liddell and Lewis Carroll, Alice I Have Been: A Novel
, chronicles the friendship, the emergence of the story of Wonderland, the falling out of the Carroll and the Liddell family, and Alice’s path to adulthood, marriage, and old age. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. The relationships and characters were well developed. I especially liked reading about Dodgeson (his name before published as Carroll) as a photographer (something odd there) and bumbling professor. Light and breezy on the surface this story has a shadow that runs through it that is not always banished by the light of Alice’s innocence.

Read in Sept 2009

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