This and That


I don’t really have much to post today, just a little update.  To start I am working on a pair of basic gloves:

They should hopefully be done soon because I also have to knit a hat for a friend!  Other than that I just started reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen last night.  I only got through the prologue before I was too tired, but it was a great start and I am really excited to keep reading.


The Center of the World

by Andreas Steinhofel

When Glass becomes pregnant she imediately boards a ship and heads to Europe.  Once there she tries to build a life for herself and her twins, Phil and Dianne.  Throughout the book the family has to deal with the gossip and hostility of the townsfolk.  As they grow apart they all learn their own lessons about love, friendship, and life.  The story is told from Phil’s point of view and his longing to find out who his father (Number Three) is.


I really enjoyed this book, and it is the second time I have read it.  I like how the story is organized.  Instead of starting at the beginning and following like a timeline, Phil jumps around from the present, to past memories, which to me makes it more realistic.  The Center of the World  has it’s share of action scenes along with tasteful romance and an almost supernatural feel.  It is a longer book, 466 pages, which means that the reader really gets to know the characters (at least as much as the characters will let them know)  and starts to miss them once the last page is read. 

The great thing is all of the surprises at the end of the book.  Maybe I’m oblivious to this sort of thing, but they all took me by surprise.  Even though I didn’t see many of the events at the end coming, once I read them they all fit together with the rest of the story. 

One thing that set this book apart from almost all of the other ones I have read is that I don’t think it could ever be made into a movie.  I often finish a good book and think that it would be fun to see it in movie form, but this book is writen with a different quality.  It is refreshing to read a book and know that no reproduction other than words on paper could convey the feelings and meaning of it. 

As far as I am aware this is the only book by Steinhofel that has been translated to English (from German), which is disappointing because I would love to read more of his works.  I know I said this above, but it still amazes me how much life he gives to the characters.  This is a book that should go to the top of everyone’s book list.

Another Book List

As you can see I like book lists.  Part of the reason is that right now I’m trying to put together a list of all the books I can remember reading, and this is a good way to remember some of them.  I got this list from Khanya’s blog while I was randomly browsing blogs.

1. Bold the books you have read
2. Italicize the books you intend to read
3. [Bracket] the books you have viewed via movie, TV or theater

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
8. [1984] – George Orwell
9. [His Dark Materials] – Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. [Little Women] – Louisa May Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
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
23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25. [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] – Douglas Adams
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 (but it’s already there in the Chronicles!)
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 – AA Milne
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
42. [The Da Vinci Code] – Dan Brown (but I thought it was crap!)
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46. [Anne of Green Gables] – LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Maddening Crowd – Thomas Hardy
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
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 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
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 (included in complete works, above)
99. [Charlie and the Chocolate Factory] – Roald Dahl
100. [Les Miserables] – Victor Hugo


So, in conclusion, I’ve read 23/100 books and seen the movie for 21/100 of them.

Twilight book review

I started reading this series a long time ago and stopped reading it after New Moon.  But, now that the movie is coming out this Winter I wanted to reread the series.  So far I have read the first two books but have decided to split them into different posts because of my differing opinions on them.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer                                      *****

When Bella, the main character, moves to a rainy Washington town called Forks she doesn’t expect that everyone will love her, since she is the new, strange girl from California.  But, she is still shocked when one of her classmates, Edward Cullen, seems revolted when they have to sit together in Chemistry.  Their relationship takes off once Bella determindly figures out what Edward’s secret is and, although they have a rocky start they soon become almost inseperable.

I liked this book enough that I went out and bought it after I was done reading it the first time, which is something I don’t do often.  I loved the characters and thought it was fun learning about the Cullens.  The highschool setting and the personalities of the characters where real and even had me laughing.  This is one of those books where my mood in real life was reflected by the mood of Bella from where I left off in the story.

From another point of view, my mom thinks that too much time was spent on Bella and Edward’s relationship and not enough on plot, but I disagree.  Since this is a series, I think that more time can be spent on the little details which is what this book does.  And, Meyer proves that she can write the action scenes too, especially at the end of the book.  After I finished Twilight I absolutely couldn’t wait to get New Moon, and would recommend this book to anyone.

A book list

So for my first post I thought I’d follow the crowd and post my edited list of the top 106 unread books on LibraryThing.  Here’s what everything means:

                             BOLD the books you have read

                              Italicize the books you started but did not finish

                              *asterisk* the books you’ve read more than once

                              underline books that you are going to read in the future

                              strike out books that you hate

Here’s my list:
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities

The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
*A Clockwork Orange*
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible: a novel
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
*The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time*
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers


OK, so the final stats are:

I’ve read 10 of the books (2 of them more than once) and I’ve started but not finished 18 of them…guess I have a lot of reading to do!