Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March in Wisconsin

Please allow me a moment to whine. I forgot what March in Wisconsin was like. I know that March is messy everywhere, but Wisconsin takes that mess to a level of artistry. Sunday we had a blizzard, which I had to drive through for work. It was the kind of snow that stick to the outer walls of houses, due to the wind. It started as icy rain, so under the foot of snow blanketing my car I had a nice layer of ice to chip off. I continued to snow until the wee hours, so the morning commute was ugly. Worse though was the fact that it warmed up over night so the un-plowed roads were compounded by a dense bright fog. As the fog burned off the sun started it's dangerous work of melting. So the streets became a bog of slush and undigested snow chunks. By the time I got home last night and got into the tub, it was raining. That's right, because we just didn't have enough precipitation. They're calling for thunderstorms through out the day, 70% chance. And then we'll be in the 20's for a high tomorrow.

Now it's important to note that I love Wisconsin. I wanted to move back. The summer is much more comfortable and the fall is beautiful. I love to drive the back roads on fall evenings and watch the threshers working with their lights on. But March is the labor pain that we all have to forget in order to propagate the species. If anyone of thought about March as a deciding factor towards where we live, I think we'd all move. So there is my little rant. I really shouldn't complain because we're off to New York in a few days, and barring freezing rain, I'll be happy with whatever weather comes my way.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Big Read

I found this on And She Knits Too and I think it's a cool idea. As Stephanie says, it's just one list, but as an English major I feel a responsibility to promote reading in all it's forms. I've got 35, how about you?

The Big Read (http://www.neabigread.org/) said that, on average, adults have only read six books on this list. So ... copy this list, remove my yeses and nos, and add your comments (favourable or otherwise) about the ones you have read. Don't forget to include a total.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen - One of my favorites!
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien – No, but I've been meaning to give it another try, now that I'm older.
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte - Yes
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling – YES
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - YES
6 The Bible – Yes, much more interesting if read as literature, rather than "The Word."
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte - No but it's been on my list for a awhile now.
8 1984 - George Orwell - YES
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman - No
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - No, I have a Dickens block, maybe I'll work on that this summer.
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott - YES
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy – I started but never finished it.
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller – No
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – I've read most of it, but not in it's entirity.
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier - No
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien - No
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks - No
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger - YES
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger - Yes
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot- No
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell - YES
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald - On my list, intended to read it this last summer.
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens-No
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy - Started once, but didn't get very far.
25 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - No, but it's on my list.
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh - No
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Not yet
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll - Reading that this semester, actually
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame - Of course
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy - No
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens - No
33 The Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis - Tried it in middle school, but it didn't grab me. I would like to try it again though.
34 Emma - Jane Austen - YES
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen - YES
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - No
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini - No
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres- No
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden - Yes
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne – Yes
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell -YES
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - Yes
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - On my list
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving - No
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins - No
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - Of course, most of the series, in fact.
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy - No
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood - YES, I love Atwood!
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding - YES
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan - YES
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel - No
52 Dune - Frank Herbert- No
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons - Started but never finished it.
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen - YES
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth - No
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon - No
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens - No
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley - YES, my break through into Sci-Fi. Loved It!
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon - No
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - No
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck – No
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov - Yes, I actually really liked this one.
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt - Yes, loved it!
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold – Yes
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas - No
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac - No, but I do need to give it a chance.
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy - No
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding - YES
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie -No
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville - No
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens - No
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker - YES
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett - Yes
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson - No
75 Ulysses - James Joyce - No
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath - Yes
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome - No
78 Germinal - Emile Zola - No
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray - Yes
80 Possession - AS Byatt- No
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens - Of course.
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell - No
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker -No
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro - Yes
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert - No
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry - No
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White - YES
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom - No, and I may never read this one.
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - No
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton – No
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad - YES
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupe – No
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks - No
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams -Started but never finished
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole - No
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute - No
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas - No
98 Hamlet – Shakespeare – YES
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl - No
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo -Started but never finished it, maybe another summer project.