Friday, November 26, 2010

No Surprises - Radiohead

How about some gentle music to counter the Black Friday frenzy around you? This fits for me; I bought a new car today because I pretty much drove my old one into the ground. It started giving me surprises, which I don't like from a car.  I've heard Radiohead described as the new Lennon & McCarthy. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is my final project for my art photography class. It has been a labor of love and, I think, an appropriate response to the eve of Thanksgiving. My life, and my work, is an homage to gratitude. I express my gratitude through images. Not just one day out of the year; gratitude is a habit that rewards us daily. It gives us both humility and strength. And I must say, I am grateful for my friends and family who support, encourage, challenge and inspire me continually. I am grateful for my health, which I know can be taken from me in the blink of an eye. I am grateful for this strange and wonderful world I was born into, which I sometimes forget exactly how to celebrate.  

And I am grateful for you, my friends, for coming back here again and again, offering me words of kindness and appreciation.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The BBC's Top 100 Books

Perhaps you've seen your friends posting this on Faceook, but the BBC has created a list of the 100 most popular books, voted by the reading public. The BBC surmised that most people will only have read about six of them. On Facebook, the idea is to bold the titles you have read, and italicize the titles you have started but not finished. I found the list interesting and surprising - and missing a great number of important works. The criteria, as I have mentioned, is most popular as determined by the reading public, not the most important in terms of literary history as determined by scholars. Still, I found the list deficient and needed to tag onto the end a few of my own that I feel have contributed to the canon of great literature and influenced the literary conversation. Have you read more than six? What would you add? Or subtract?

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
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (thrice)
8 1984 - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy (twice)
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
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
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (twice)
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (twice)
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (twice)
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
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 - A.A. 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 (twice)
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 (twice)
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 Inferno – Dante
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 (twice)
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. 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

Other important books, according to me:
1 Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
2 The Moon and Sixpence - Somerset Maugham
3 The Golden Bowl - Henry James
4 Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
5 The House of Mirth - Edith Wharton
6 Howard's End - EM Forster
7 Out of Africa - Isak Dinesen
8 Death in Venice - Thomas Mann
9 Nana - Emile Zola
10 The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
11 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
12 Still Life - AS Byatt
13 A la recherche du temps perdu - Marcel Proust 
14 The Portrait of a Lady - Henry James

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