Monday, July 14, 2008

How many have you read?

So my friend Jen posted this on her blog and she had read a whopping 63. I am feeling pretty good at 30ish. The National Endowment for the Arts posted this list that's making the rounds. According to The Big Read, the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books on their list. Wouldn't it be fun to have read them all... I know I at least have to work on the Harry Potter books. I think I am the only person in the world who hasn't read them.
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 (I know this is pathetic)
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
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
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (I have read a lot of Works of Shakespeare, but probably not the COMPLETE works...)
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller'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 (I've always meant to read this)
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
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 (is this a trick question in terms of #33?)
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres (does seeing the movie count...I didn't think so)
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 (I think I've read this, but can't remember)
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 (In the middle right now...don't know if I'll finish)
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' 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 (is this the one with the rabbits??)
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 (one of the works I've read)
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (again, one I've meant to read)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Costa Rica

So my husband, 4 other adults and 11 students just returned from a trip to Costa Rica. That left me with 6 kids of my own to maintain while he was a way. My good friend and neighbor, Sherry, also works with youth and joined the trip to Costa Rica (she is the hot Filipino in the front row) leaving behind her beautiful three children. Her husband, Mark, (my number 2) was also around but he works full-time. That left he and I to "tag team" parent between the six kids. I think we ended up doing quite well. Mostly this was in great part to our awesome church family. Our pastor and his wife helped out a ton. Bruce even took the kids to swimming lessons a couple days while Mark and I both had to work. We only had one major mishap. Yes the picture below shows that my son is growing a second head! While at the pool with Bruce, Charlie managed to bump his head. Many people have declared that it is the biggest bump they have ever seen! The person I feel the sorriest for in this situation had to be Bruce. Oh and Lucy, apparently she was supposed to be helping when all this went down and she felt awful. The other mom's at the pool decided that Bruce was inept and all gave him explicit directions on how to attend to such an injury. Including tips on how to check for a concussion and other wonderfully patronizing remedies. So I fired Bruce from his Manny (male nanny) position and Mark took the kids to swimming the next day. (It was already planned that way, but it sounds better to say I fired him) I am sure the supermoms were pleased to see my new Manny the next day.

All this to say, I had quite an adventure myself, while my husband was off adventuring in a remote banana plantation in La Malinche, Costa Rica. Joel has come home with eleven kids whose lives have been eternally changed as a result of the time in Costa Rica. I am so proud of him and the adult team that shepherd these kids into making decisions that they will never regret. Joel was told that most often after a few months the changes in the kids are non-existent. Not one to adhere to statistics, Joel is determined to see the changes become permanent and has risen to the challenge of providing mentors for each student to help facilitate permanent change. This makes my 10 days of single (well sortof) parenthood worth every minute. There is a woman named Kathy Robbins somewhere in Oklahoma...she sacrificed time with her husband in order to have God work through him to make changes in me. It's my turn; I'm honored.