Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - The Year in Books

For the third time, I am posting no big list of what the year brought me or what I plan for 2013.  Instead, you get just the year in books (here's 2010 and 2011's lists).  This year again I tried to remember to write down each book on a list whenever I finished it, or at least every three or four.  I haven't added the numerous gardening books, cook books, preserving books, simple living and general craft books that I dip into regularly throughout the year.

If you fancy posting something about your reading in 2012, hop on over to clickclackgorilla and join he book lovers' blog hop.  Simply add a link to your post at the bottom of this post and include a link back to that post from yours.  Sounds confusing but it's easy really.  I promise.  Thanks again to Nikki for the inspiration to keep a list of books during the year, not to mention for running a round-up for everyone to join in.  I do find it really interesting to see what others are reading but more than that, I have to admit that I find it really interesting to look back over what I've read.  I sometimes find myself wanting to re-read a book that, if I look at my list, I've just read recently.  And sometimes I look at some of the books on the list and it seems like years ago that I read them.

I'll follow this post in a day or two with a summary of totals for the different categories and plans for next year's reading. I failed totally in my intentions to actually post a bit more about the books I've been reading this year - will have to work on that next year I think.  Having a laptop at home again should help on that score though.

(BC) = Book club books
(RR) = something I've re-read - there are some books, such as by Georgette Heyer, that I invariably read every year when the escapism of new fiction isn't enough and I want to escape into familiar stories that always make me laugh or cry.

  1. Jeder stirbt für sich allein - Hans Fallada (BC)
  2. god is not Great - How Religion Poisons Everything - Christopher Hitchens
  3. The Fry Chronicles - Stephen Fry
  4. More Than You Can Say - Paul Torday
  5. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
  6. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
  7. Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
  8. Personal Demon - Kelley Armstrong
  9. Lark Rise - Flora Thornton
  10. Living with the dead - Kelley Armstrong
  11. Over to Candleford - Flora Thornton
  12. Something Rotten - Jasper Fforde
  13. Candleford Green - Flora Thornton
  14. Sylvester - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  15. Funny Boy - Shyam Selvadurai (BC)
  16. A Civil Contract - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  17. Charity Girl - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  18. Trainspotting - Irvine Welsh
  19. Sprig Muslin - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  20. Arabella - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  21. Bath Tangle - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  22. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows - J.K. Rowling (RR)
  23. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
  24. April Lady - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  25. The Unknown Ajax - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  26. Paradise News - David Lodge (BC)
  27. Heidi - Die Lehr- und Wanderjahre - Johanna Spyri
  28. Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt
  29. A Monk Swimming - Malachy McCourt
  30. Emma - Jane Austen
  31. Men of the Otherworld - Kelley Armstrong
  32. Frostbitten - Kelley Armstrong
  33. Second Coming - John Given
  34. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Deborah Moggach
  35. A Dance with Dragons 1: Dreams and Dust - George R. R. Martin
  36. A Dance with Dragons 2: After the Feast - George R. R. Martin
  37. The Summoning - Kelley Armstrong
  38. The Awakening - Kelley Armstrong
  39. The Reckoning - Kelley Armstrong
  40. Half-Blood Blues - Esi Edugyan
  41. This Champagne Mojito is the Last Thing I Own - Ross O'Carroll Kelly as told to Paul Howard
  42. Mr S. and the Secrets of Andorra's Box - Ross O'Carroll Kelly as told to Paul Howard
  43. The Oh My God Delusion - Ross O'Carroll Kelly as told to Paul Howard
  44. NAMA Mia! - Ross O'Carroll Kelly as told to Paul Howard
  45. The Pope's Children: Ireland's New Elite - David McWilliams
  46. Follow the Money - David McWilliams
  47. The Speckled People - Hugo Hamilton
  48. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
  49. A Long Way from Penny Apples - Bill Cullen
  50. The Emperor Wears No Clothes - Jack Herer (RR)
  51. Do you come here often? - Alexandra Potter
  52. Heat - Georg Monbiot
  53. E-Mail an Alle - Matt Beaumont
  54. Knight in Shining Armour - JoAnn Ross (RR)
  55. Germany and the Germans - John Ardagh 
  56. First Among Sequels - Jasper Fforde
  57. One of our Thursdays in missing - Jasper Fforde
  58. Merde Actually - Stephen Clarke
  59. Children of Men - P. D. James
  60. Xenophobe's Guide to the Aussies - Ken Hunt
  61. Down Under - Bill Bryson
  62. Hope and Glory - Stuart Maconie (BC)
  63. Room - Emma Donoghoe
  64. Ein Mann für jede Tonart - Hera Lind
  65. The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
  66. Making History - Stephen Fry (RR)
  67. Lobsters scream when you boil them and 100 other myths about food and 25 recipes to get it right every time - Bruce Weinstein + Mark Scarbrough
  68. Great Irish Love Stories - Una Morrissy
  69. These Old Shades - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  70. The Masqueraders - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  71. The Edible Woman - Margaret Atwood
  72. Les Misérables - Victor Hugo
  73. Devil's Cub - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  74. Curly Girl - Lorraine Massey with Deborah Chiel
  75. Tipping the Velvet - Sarah Waters
  76. Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
  77. Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
  78. Waking the Witch - Kelley Armstrong
  79. Two Sisters - Gore Vidal
  80. The Kin - Suth's Story - Peter Dickinson
  81. Sylvester - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  82. Dime Store Magic - Kelley Armstrong (RR)
  83. Industrial Magic - Kelley Armstrong (RR)
  84. The City and the Pillar - Gore Vidal (BC)
  85. Irisches Tagebuch - Heinrich Boell
  86. Tales of the Otherworld - Kelley Armstrong
  87. Spellbound - Kelley Armstrong
  88. Thirteen - Kelley Armstrong
  89. The Protector's War - S. M. Stirling
  90. Jewel Garden - Sarah and Monty Don
  91. The Sunrise Lands - S. M. Stirling
  92. A Meeting at Corvallis - S. M. Stirling
  93. Off the Grid without a Paddle - Lynne Farr
  94. The Scourge of God - S. M. Stirling
  95. Food Self-Sufficiency: Reality Check - Susan Gregersen
  96. A Modest Proposal - Dr. Jonathan Swift
  97. Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood (BC)
  98. Friday's Child - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  99. 7 Myths about Aquaponics - Michelle Booth
  100. Grand Sophy - Georgette Heyer
  101. The Talisman Ring - Georgette Heyer
  102. An Only Child - Frank O'Connor
  103. My Father's Son - Frank O'Connor
  104. Venetia - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  105. Cotillion - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  106. The Convenient Marriage - Georgette Heyer
  107. Cousin Kate - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  108. Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Foods - Gary Paul Nabhan
  109. The Sword of the Lady - S. M. Stirling
  110. The High King of Montival - S. M. Stirling
  111. The Tears of the Sun - S. M. Stirling
  112. Dead Aid - Why aid is not working and how there is another way for Africa - Dambisa Moyo
  113. English As We Speak It in Ireland - P. W. Joyce (okay, I'm only halfway through this but I may finish it this evening so I'm going to go ahead and include it but leave out the other three or four books I've started but not yet finished this year :) )

Monday, December 10, 2012

A few random things

For no particular reason I was thinking of this X Factor audition recently and have just re-watched it (again).  Brings tears to my eyes every time as well as a huge grin.  Jonathan has such an incredible voice and I can't wait to get my hands on their album (I just googled it and there is one, called Together). 

Christmas in the middle of summer is kind of wrecking my head.  Hearing ads on telly for getting great christmas deals to start your summer off with a bang is rather disconcerting.  As is seeing things like this (taken at Darling Harbour on Saturday):
And this (ditto):

Of course, after a couple of weeks of regular 40 degree sunny weather before I arrived, Sydney seems to have decided to be a bit Irish in terms of the weather now.  This is what Manly Beach looks like at the moment:
 And the Opera House was somewhat overshadowed by those clouds. 

Everywhere I've been is, understandably enough, fairly touristy but still I've been in one or two nice shops, including braintree hemp, which was selling real soap, something that isn't as easy to find as one might think.  Now to find a lovely piece of aboriginal art to take home with me that won't break the bank.

I slept the night through last night for the second time since getting here, although I didn't actually get to sleep until about 2 o'clock.  Jet lag is kind of kicking my ass but that might also partly be just trying to relax after an extremely busy few months.  Hooray for long holidays!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Holidays - at last

In the way that these things often happen, the day of departure for my visit to Australia seemed to be impossibly far away and yet has arrived far more quickly than seemed possible.  I think I've barely even mentioned it here.

Regardless, tomorrow I head for Frankfurt, a German book club meeting (still haven't read the book, oops) and then some Glühwein at the Weihnachtsmarkt.  And it's gotten cold enough over the last couple of days that drinking mulled wine will be even more of a pleasure - the year we had to take our jackets off because we got too warm while drinking it just wasn't the same.

Then on Sunday morning it's off to the airport for a flight to Kuala Lumpur, where I'll spend nearly two days before heading on to arrive in Sydney on my birthday.  My sister and her hubby will pick me up from the airport and after dinner that evening I suspect the next item on the itinerary will be sleep for at least three days.  At some stage I'll head up to Brisbane for a day or two.  My sister has a few days off before christmas and we're going to stay in the Blue Mountains for a couple of days as well as a night in a place called Jervis Bay, which she has wanted to go to for a while.  BiL is going to do a full traditional Irish christmas dinner, complete with turkey, ham, mashed and roast potatoes and all the other trimmings.  Sounds lovely.  Except that it's 40 degrees in Sydney at the moment.  Still, eating is the easy part, at least I don't have to cook all that. When I come back at the end of the month, I'm going to stay in my friend's place in Frankfurt for a few days and then I'll come back home.  All in all, I have FIVE weeks holidays and I cannot wait.  Just a few more hours of work (with twice as much to do as it should be possible to get through in those hours, naturally) and I can go home and start packing.

We got paid yesterday, including our bonus for this year (the last one - they're doing away with it next year). I didn't really manage to get my finances back under control quickly after the events of last April and May, so I've used my bonus to clear the credit card which I had used to book my flight and have paid a chunk off my old credit card and overdraft balances, too.  Debt balance is still five thousand, which is about where I was this time last year, if I recall correctly.  But my trip to Australia is paid for now and I have cash saved to spend while there (about what my sister recommended, which is three times what I would have thought necessary).  Sensibly speaking, I should have postponed it for another year but for one reason and another (not least that the bank holidays around the end of the year mean less holiday days used up to take a long time off work) I decided to go ahead with it and I am really glad.  I really need a break, I think it'll mean a lot to my sister that someone from her family is finally going to visit her and it's a once in a lifetime trip that should be lots of fun.  I don't much like the heat but I do think a few weeks of sunshine in the middle of winter is going to do me a lot of good as well.  Maybe I'll even start to get my vitamin D deficiency under control. And my sister's going to lend me her camera when I'm there so you might even get to see a decent photo or two.  Hooray for holidays!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Do you kindle?

I got myself a kindle recently and was interested to see how I really liked it.  I had tried out a couple of friends' first to at least make sure I didn't hate it.  There were a couple of reasons that I decided to buy one.

  • I don't have a whole lot of space to keep many more books.   I have gotten better at not holding on to books I'm not very likely to read multiple times but even so, space is limited.  And there's always the environmental aspect of all that paper, too.
  • I don't like reading hardbacks but they're always what comes out first.  I don't always mind waiting for a paperback to come out but that can mean up to a year.  With the kindle, if it's a book I really, really want, I can read it when it first comes out without having to get the hardback version.
  • I hate writing on a book but now that I'm reading more and more non-fiction, I also have the need to be able to make notes more and more often.  I got the kindle with a keyboard to allow me to do just that.
  • Easy to use when travelling.
  • And another reason I only recognised after buying it: you can download samples of books, which means reading about the first chapter of a book for free.  So far, this has been useful. 
Now that I've had it for a couple of weeks I've had a chance to see some of the good and the not so good.  On the whole, for the reasons listed above, it was a good purchase.  But I haven't fallen completely in love with it either.
  • I haven't bought a cover for it yet and perhaps when I do I'll find it more comfortable to hold while reading.  For the moment, I'm getting used to it - it's good for leaving lying on the table and reading while eating (bad habit for some people but one of my main reading times), however it's not great for reading while lying down (lazy Sunday mornings being one of my other main reading times).  I have a tendency to press on the page forward or back buttons by accident, especially when turning over.
  • Kindle editions seem to be generally far worse in terms of formatting and editing in general.  This is possibly related to the final and most important downside to the kindle.  Which is...
  • It's just not paper and it's definitely more difficult to lose myself in the pages.  I wonder if the editing and formatting really is worse than paper-based books or if I'm just so used to looking for and seeing errors in documents in work that I see them more quickly on the screen.
 The kindle is great when travelling.  It's great to be able to switch between two or three different books easily.  I love the note-taking facility (once I had figured out how to disable highlights made by everyone else.  That was just as annoying as reading a book that someone had written in).  It will never replace paper books for me but all in all, I'm definitely glad I got it. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Seventh generation

There is an Iroquois saying about living which basically says to consider each decision in light of the impact it will have on the next seven generations (here's the link to the wiki entry for it).  I was certain that I first read of this idea on Musings from a Stonehead but a quick search of this blog only turned up this post about planting a tree for the long-term.  Wherever I did read about it, it made something of an impact and it seems to me to be a fairly decent guiding light to always have in the back of your head.  It has occasionally even made me think that I should learn how to play chess.

When I was away in July I spent a few days in Bad Herrenalb.  Now that I have finally found the cable for my camera, I wanted to share a photo or two.  This piece (I'm not sure if this is called a sculpture or something else) is in a park in the middle of this small touristy spa town.  It was a grey and rainy morning when I was spotted it and even so I spent quite a bit looking at it and if it had been sunny, I can easily picture having spent a couple of hours sitting on the grass close by, reading and looking up from time to time.  I'm not much of an art connoisseur but every once in a while I'll have a somewhat instinctive, emotional reaction to something, and that is what I felt looking at this.  As I approached it I found myself wondering what it was and thinking it would nearly fit into the "seven generations" idea.  So I wasn't really terribly surprised to find a plaque quoting the Iroquois in front of it. 

I found myself wanting to take multiple pictures from all different angles, although I managed to contain myself.  It was one of those moments I wished for a really good camera and the skills to match!

Friday, September 14, 2012

It's the simple things that make me happy

Like finishing off all of the nice beef in tomato, courgette and onion sauce that I made this week (four meals).  As well as almost all of the salad I bought last weekend (three meals).  Which meant not needing to buy lunch every day. 

Like posting off my sister's birthday present.  It probably won't get to her on time for her actual birthday but at least I've sent it before the day, which is a huge improvement on the last few years. 

Like doing the washing-up that I had ignored last night this morning before work. Starting the weekend without a sink full of dishes waiting to be taken care of feels good.

Like doing all of the above and not feeling like any of it was a big deal. 

Anyone else care to share the simple things making them happy at the moment?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Later than expected but it'll be a start

I spent a while earlier giving the kitchen the best cleaning it has had for a long time (and am feeling quite ashamed of the amount of dirt that came off the floor!).  Yesterday I spent most of my weekly budget on buying a lot of tomatoes and once I have finished writing this, I'll be heading home and putting up the first tomatoes of the year.  Depending on how that works out, I'll decide on how I approach the rest of the season. 

I've been having a pretty good few days.  So much so that I've started to get nervous in anticipation of the next crash.  Which I do realise is somewhat self-defeating and am trying to, not ignore precisely, but at least to keep under some kind of control by remembering to tell myself that maybe life can be good sometimes.  For the last week or so I have found myself doing things that were entirely normal a few years ago but had become somehow just incredibly difficult, seemingly weighty tasks.  Simple things like cleaning the kitchen floor, for example, or washing the dishes every day, or cooking a meal after work.

I went to a local chemist last Tuesday morning and weighed myself and have made a good effort to eat properly and get some exercise this week.  At least it has felt like a good effort, the weigh-in next Tuesday will tell if it worked or not.  I'm not into a full weight watchers program, not counting points or being at all careful about weighing and measuring (which WW doesn't actually even place as much importance on these days but was always something I found it useful to be careful about).  When I think back to what I have been eating like for the majority of the time the past year or so, well, anything is an improvement on it really.  So despite my doctor giving me some really bad advice on how to go about losing weight (why is it so many doctors who are really good at what they do seem to be nonetheless really clueless and prone to fadism of all kinds when it comes to nutrition?), I have, for the past week, been snacking on fruit rather than chocolate, been having a proper breakfast almost every morning before leaving for work and bringing sandwiches or salad with me for lunch as well as preparing or cooking something simple in the evenings.  I've been swimming a couple of times (before work) and have walked to or from work a couple of times as well.  Small steps but they'll all together make a big change eventually.

And even if it doesn't continue for months, at least I'll have at least one batch of homemade tomato ketchup on the shelves.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Rory Gilmore's Book List

Fish in the Water posted a list the other day of all the books which were mentioned by Rory Gilmore in the course of the seven series of the Gilmore Girls.  I have to admit to a fondness for the Gilmore Girls, not because it was like my life but far more because I wished my life could have been like that, I think.  Age-wise, having been right in the middle Lorelei and Rory I could happily project onto either or both of their lives, too, which was nice.  One day, I'll watch the whole thing all the way through.

I've only read a meagre 50 of the books on this list (which apparently this girl had read by the time she was, what, 22?) but on the other hand, by that age I'd read thousands of Mills and Boons that Rory probably wouldn't have dreamed of sullying her eyes with.  And my total would go up a lot if I included those titles I have seen as films.  And even higher if I included those titles that I do have on my shelf but haven't read yet (or haven't finished in some cases).  But it's always fun to read a list like this.

Edited in January 2014 to mark the books I have read in the meantime in red.
  1. 1984 by George Orwell 
  2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain 
  3. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll 
  4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
  5. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  6. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  8. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  9. Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
  10. The Art of Fiction by Henry James
  11. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
  12. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  13. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  14. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
  15. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  16. Babe by Dick King-Smith
  17. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
  18. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
  19. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  20. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  21. Beloved by Toni Morrison 
  22. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney 
  23. The Bhagava Gita
  24. The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
  25. Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel 
  26. A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
  27. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  28. Brick Lane by Monica Ali
  29. Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
  30. Candide by Voltaire
  31. The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer 
  32. Carrie by Stephen King
  33. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller 
  34. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger 
  35. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White 
  36. The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman 
  37. Christine by Stephen King
  38. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 
  39. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  40. The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
  41. The Collected Short Stories by Eudora Welty
  42. The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty by Eudora Welty
  43. A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare 
  44. Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
  45. The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
  46. Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
  47. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  48. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas 
  49. Cousin Bette by Honor’e de Balzac
  50. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  51. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
  52. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
  53. Cujo by Stephen King
  54. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  55. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
  56. David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
  57. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  58. The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown
  59. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
  60. Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  61. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller 
  62. Deenie by Judy Blume 
  63. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
  64. The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
  65. The Divine Comedy by Dante 
  66. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
  67. Don Quijote by Cervantes
  68. Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
  69. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  70. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe 
  71. Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
  72. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
  73. Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
  74. Eloise by Kay Thompson
  75. Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
  76. Emma by Jane Austen 
  77. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
  78. Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
  79. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton 
  80. Ethics by Spinoza
  81. Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves
  82. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
  83. Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer 
  84. Extravagance by Gary Krist
  85. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  86. Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
  87. The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
  88. Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
  89. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
  90. The Fellowship of the Ring: Book 1 of The Lord of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien 
  91. Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
  92. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  93. Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
  94. Fletch by Gregory McDonald
  95. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  96. The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
  97. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  98. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 
  99. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
  100. Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
  101. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut 
  102. Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
  103. George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
  104. Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
  105. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
  106. The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
  107. The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo
  108. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy 
  109. Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
  110. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell 
  111. The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford 
  112. The Gospel According to Judy Bloom 
  113. The Graduate by Charles Webb
  114. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck 
  115. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
  116. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  117. The Group by Mary McCarthy
  118. Hamlet by William Shakespeare 
  119. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling 
  120. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling 
  121. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers 
  122. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad 
  123. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
  124. Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
  125. Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
  126. Henry V by William Shakespeare
  127. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
  128. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
  129. Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris 
  130. The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
  131. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III 
  132. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  133. How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
  134. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss 
  135. How the Light Gets in by M. J. Hyland
  136. Howl by Allen Gingsburg
  137. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo 
  138. The Iliad by Homer
  139. I’m with the Band by Pamela des Barres
  140. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  141. Inferno by Dante 
  142. Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
  143. Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy
  144. It Takes a Village by Hillary Clinton
  145. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë 
  146. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan 
  147. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
  148. The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
  149. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  150. Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
  151. The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
  152. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
  153. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  154. Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence
  155. The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
  156. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman –
  157. The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
  158. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
  159. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
  160. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
  161. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  162. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
  163. The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
  164. The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
  165. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 
  166. Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
  167. Lord of the Flies by William Golding 
  168. The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
  169. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  170. The Love Story by Erich Segal
  171. Macbeth by William Shakespeare 
  172. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  173. The Manticore by Robertson Davies
  174. Marathon Man by William Goldman
  175. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  176. Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
  177. Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
  178. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris 
  179. The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
  180. Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken
  181. The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
  182. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  183. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  184. The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
  185. Moby Dick by Herman Melville 
  186. The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
  187. Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
  188. A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
  189. Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
  190. A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars
  191. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
  192. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf 
  193. Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
  194. My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh
  195. My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken
  196. My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
  197. Myra Waldo’s Travel and Motoring Guide to Europe, 1978 by Myra Waldo
  198. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  199. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
  200. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  201. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  202. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
  203. Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
  204. New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson 
  205. The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
  206. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich 
  207. Night by Elie Wiesel 
  208. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  209. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan
  210. Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
  211. Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
  212. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck 
  213. Old School by Tobias Wolff
  214. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  215. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  216. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 
  217. The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
  218. Oracle Night by Paul Auster
  219. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood 
  220. Othello by Shakespeare
  221. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
  222. The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
  223. Out of Africa by Isac Dineson
  224. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton 
  225. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  226. The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
  227. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  228. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
  229. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  230. Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
  231. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
  232. Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
  233. The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
  234. The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
  235. The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche 
  236. The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
  237. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 
  238. Property by Valerie Martin
  239. Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon
  240. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
  241. Quattrocento by James Mckean
  242. A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
  243. Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers 
  244. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe 
  245. The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
  246. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi 
  247. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier 
  248. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
  249. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
  250. Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
  251. The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings Book 3 by J. R. R. Tolkien 
  252. R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
  253. Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
  254. Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
  255. Roman Holiday by Edith Wharton
  256. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare 
  257. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf 
  258. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
  259. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
  260. The Rough Guide to Europe, 2003 Edition
  261. Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
  262. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
  263. Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
  264. Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller by Henry James
  265. The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum 
  266. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne 
  267. Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
  268. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
  269. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  270. Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
  271. Selected Hotels of Europe
  272. Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell
  273. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  274. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  275. Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
  276. Sexus by Henry Miller
  277. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  278. Shane by Jack Shaefer
  279. The Shining by Stephen King
  280. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  281. S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton
  282. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  283. Small Island by Andrea Levy
  284. Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
  285. Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers 
  286. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
  287. The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
  288. Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos
  289. The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
  290. Songbook by Nick Hornby
  291. The Sonnets by William Shakespeare 
  292. Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning 
  293. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
  294. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner 
  295. Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
  296. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  297. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
  298. A Streetcar Named Desiree by Tennessee Williams 
  299. Stuart Little by E. B. White
  300. Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway 
  301. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust 
  302. Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
  303. Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
  304. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  305. Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
  306. Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
  307. Time and Again by Jack Finney
  308. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  309. To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
  310. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 
  311. The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare
  312. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith 
  313. The Trial by Franz Kafka 
  314. The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
  315. Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
  316. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
  317. Ulysses by James Joyce
  318. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath
  319. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe 
  320. Unless by Carol Shields
  321. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
  322. The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
  323. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
  324. Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
  325. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
  326. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett 
  327. Walden by Henry David Thoreau 
  328. Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten
  329. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  330. We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker
  331. What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles
  332. What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
  333. When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
  334. Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson
  335. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee 
  336. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire 
  337. The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
  338. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë 
  339. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
  340. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Saturday, August 04, 2012


  • I'm still looking for the cable for my camera.  The photos I took on holiday aren't great but I'd still like to get a few of them up.  
  • Looks like I really will be getting a speeding ticket.  Haven't received it yet but I did get my bill from the car-sharing place and it included a five euro administration charge for processing a fine.  What happens is that they are sent the fine (based on the car registration plate) and then forward it to me.  So I assume it will turn up in the post in the next day or two.  So my unblemished record ain't quite so unblemished anymore.  
  • Today I booked a couple of tours for my two days in Kuala Lumpur in December before I continue to Sydney.  I'm toying with the idea of buying a Backtracker Pass to use when I'm in Australia.  My sister will be working for the first ten days or so that I am there and I'm considering taking the twelve or so hour train journey up to Brisbane.  Although I'm not going to try anything mad like fitting in a tour of the entire continent in the three weeks I have, it would be kind of nice to visit a different town in a different state and Queensland really is supposed to be completely different from New South Wales.
  • Still haven't gotten any preserving done but am slowly managing to get my apartment sorted out.  It's in a bit of an in-between stage at the moment so actually looks worse than ever but I can see that it's getting there at least.  I bought a new ceiling light from a colleague who recently moved house and another colleauge knows an electrician who she's going to ask to come and fit it for me.  I want to take down the light in the hall that doesn't work, put the one currently in the sitting room into the hall and then put the 'new' one up in the sitting room.  The organic tomatoes are running at 5 euro per kilo this year, which is very expensive.  I'll do my best to get as many of the soup/juice tomatoes as I can (around 3 euro a kilo for those slightly damaged tomatoes).
  • I managed to get up early and go swimming on Thursday.  I bought a ten-visit chip straighaway so now I have to make an effort to go or it'll just be a waste of money.  I'm even more out of condition than I thought. I've never really swum as sport, always more just paddling around for fun but even so it was pretty bad.  It took me over twenty minutes to swim up and down the pool ten times, and it's not a very big pool.  My back was complaining a bit too after the first one or two although it loosened up after that.  And I did feel more relaxed and looser in general for the rest of the day.  I'm going to the doctor on Tuesday just to get a check-up and make sure he checks out my ankles, which have developed a tendency to swell.  I don't think it's anything more than heat and my weight but no harm to get blood tests and a general check-up.  I need to ask about vaccinations for Malaysia and Australia anyway. 
That's all for now.  Although I'm fairly sure I have forgotten to mention the couple of things I had in mind when I sat down to write this post, I suspect that with my memory being the way it is, I may never get them back now anyway.  Hope you all are having a fabulous weekend.

Edited to add: I remember one thing I wanted to mention.  I recently bought a slow-cooker from someone who was returning to the States and selling everything she could.  Anyone have recommendations for a good cookbook for slow-cooker (also called crockpots)?  I'd be especially interested in one that covers very basic stuff, like just cooking beans or chickpeas on their own to later use in a salad, for example (there was no manual with it).