Gaps in my education? Hmmmm

I lifted this from LargeMarge’s blog. It was rather interesting. According to Marge, the Big Read figures the average adult has read only about 6 of the following 100 books. I am only going to bold those I’ve read all the way through. Some I’ve started (“Stately plump….”) You know the really sad thing? Most of the classics I read as a child and the real question is how many of them I actually remember!
Well, here goes:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Reprint this list and leave a comment
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 (read the 1st; saw the others in the movies, LOL)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible most of it anyway
7 Wuthering Heights
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – 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
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 Hitch Hiker’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 This is part of 33.
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
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
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
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
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
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

There are so many more books I actually have that I want to read – fiction and non-fiction alike.
I should live so long….


Ketchin up!

These pics are the abridged version of last weekend. It’s been a while since I really blogged. Sorry – life has been a job of catch-up and I’m not there yet. Let’s see, last Friday, we left early for our flight out to Arizona. It was a nice flight – one of our flight attendants was this lovely woman who was originally from Texas and had the accent to prove it. She was very funny and nice as anything. She now lives in Arizona and we caught her on her homebound flight, so naturally, she was feeling good:)! I did something I’ve never done before – had a Bloody Mary at 10 in the morning (I don’t know whose time it was – it felt like 10 a.m.). Don’t get me wrong: I’ve had Blood Mary’s before at a brunch or two in my time, but never have I done that on a plane. It felt so deliciously wicked:). If I had to be rushing from one far away place and back again, I was determined to have FUN!
And we did. John got us a mini-suite at a Marriott Residence Inn in Scotsdale – no more than a mile from the wedding site. I guess all those years of waiting up nights for John to come home from a LONNNNGGGG day (and night) of work at the hotel has paid off:) The room was lovely – just what we needed. Before we checked in, however, we went to the Camelback Resort – another Marriott Hotel – to have lunch. And lunch was delicious! The wine was out of this world – I think the name was Ghost Pines??? It was a cabernet. (I’m just writing this here so I can look for it in this area, LOL!) I don’t know if I’ve ever said this here, but I LOVE red wine – especially a good cabernet. I’m not much of a boozehound otherwise – red wine is enough, thank you very much, LOL:)
OK, after lunch, we were both ready to crash, but it was time to get showered and ready for the rehearsal dinner. John’s brother’s and sisters were there, save one (she had fallen and fractured her foot – but we’ll see her next weekend). John’s nephew and his bride looked wonderful and were very happy. We got to meet the bride’s family – and her sister who lives – you guessed in Bawlmer, Merlin! That’s amurika for you! Travel 2,000 miles and meet up with someone from home!
It was really good to see John’s family – they live all over the place, so getting together is more and more at a premium. I grew up with these folks, so it’s like a hometown reunion of sorts for me, too. After all, when you’ve been married as long as we have, his family really becomes your family and vice versa.
The next morning, we had the day to play in Phoenix/Scotsdale before we had the wedding festivities, so I talked John into going to (you guessed it) a local yarn shop. We went to Arizona Knitting and Needlepoint. (Gee, ya think the sign gives it away?) Try not to look too closely at the chubby lady in the front, no matter how cute and adorable she may be (NOT). But I was happy – in my element! It was a very nice store – lots of everything and the owner kindly let me take a couple of inside shots. She had quite a nice book collection as you can see. I actually got out of there with three balls of yarn – yep, that’s right THREE balls of yarn – superwash aran white
for an aran scarf I’m knitting for John. That’s what he said he wants and that’s what he’s getting for his birthday (well, not only that, but that’s what I’m knitting him). More on that later.
After yarn shopping (bless John’s heart!), we went siteseeing and then to lunch at another Marriott restaurant (It was outstanding and John has a discount which makes it even nicer!). Then back to the Inn to sit outside by the pool and read, then onward to the wedding. You couldn’t have asked for a nicer day – the sun was just about to go down and the brown/beige of the desert made the beautiful colors of the desert flowers stand out all the more. The ceremony was thoughtful and moving; the music was exquisite – classical pieces played by a harpist who played beautifully. The bride and groom come from two different religious traditions and so the ceremony was a meaningful mix of both. After the ceremony, which took place at the same location as the wedding, we all had a brief cocktail hour while the wedding party and families took pictures. Then the reception. We had a great time. John and I danced – and I also danced with the groom’s mother’s boyfriend – good opportunity to have a nice conversation and get to know him better than we did before. The groom’s parents are divorced – his dad is remarried to a lovely woman (their wedding is highlighted a couple of years ago on my companion blog) and his mom I’ve also known for over 30 years and am still friendly with. They both did well – you have to believe that when you see the wonderful children their marriage produced.

In fact, that’s one of the best things about seeing one’s children grow up: they become decent human beings who treat each other well. What in the world is better than that when you get right down to it?
I digress…. In the middle of the reception, John, his sister GG and BIL, Bob, and I snuck out of the reception to one of the hotel bars. Yes, we were getting enough to drink at the reception, LOL! However, our son, Danny’s, acting gig with America’s Most Wanted was airing that night and we wanted to see it. You can see him here. His is the second segment – he plays the guy who’s missing his top front teeth and uses dental floss to get out of prison. I thought it was only going to be a cameo appearance – sort of a re-enactment without spoken lines – but he actually had about 10-15 minutes with spoken lines! Amazing! The bartender could not understand why a bunch of middle-aged people where standing around a bar, cheering on this convict for breaking out of jail.
Then back to the reception. By eleven, we were saying our goodbyes and toddling off to bed – early wakeup and a rush back to Merlin.
Our plane made it five minutes early. John (again, bless his heart!) went for the luggage and I ran outside and there was our daughter, S, with my car. K was coming later to pick up John and the luggage and bring him home. Another advantage of having more than one wonderful grown offspring. I made it to St. John’s in 25 minutes – already dressed since boarding the plane in concert black and whites – and in 35 minutes to spare for the concert. The first-ever concert of the Orchestra of St. John’s, Howard County, Merlin’s first professional chamber orchestra – and how they lived up to their name! Concertmaster and at times conductor Ron Mutchnik (who keeps telling me he’s not world famous and I don’t believe him) was SUPERB, his solo viruosity in Vaughn Williams’ A Lark Ascending brought tears to my otherwise cynical eyes. That piece was admirably conducted by Dr. Dale Krider, of College Park. Ron also conducted the other Vaughn Williams’ piece, Fantasy on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, which was also out of this world. Did I tell you I’m a big fan of Ralph Vaughn Williams? Well now you know.
We of the bells, accompanied by Nancy, played the prelude, Vaughn Williams’ Prelude to “Rhosymedre” and I gotta say, we weren’t half bad:). Finally, Dr. Krider and the choirs of St. John’s, St. Andrews and the Baltimore (Episcopal) Cathedral sang Morton Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna. As a tenor, I think the women’s voices and the orchestra carried the day on that one. Afterwards, I had dinner and drinks with some friends from choir and then homeward to CRASH! When I got home, I found all of this waiting for me – how wonderful, some knitting and some reading to catch up on! Don’t you just hate when that happens (NOT?) I admit my addiction to the Isabelle Dalhousie series by Alexander McColl Smith, too:)
Monday was thankfully, a quiet day of catching up and paperwork and returning phone calls. That evening I had Stephen Ministry training. I am getting to know these people and am really enjoying them. It’s nice to be involved in an ecumenical enterprise with others – it’s hard to really put it into words, but it gives one hope.
Tuesday, was a court holiday and hence a holiday for my office as well. I spent the better part of the day with my best friend:). It was really interesting getting together with others involved in the Orchestra’s development and fund raising to see what they thought about the concert. It was a good meeting and I am hopeful things will continue to grow. I helped Nancy a little with erasing rented music to prepare to get it back to the publisher. You never really know how much work goes on behind the scenes for one of these things – that was just one example. That evening was bell practice – I feel like such a newbie still, but I’m happy to be playing:)
Wednesday I had court in the morning, a meeting at DSS in the afternoon, quick trip to the office, then home to babysit the grand girls. We had such a lovely time! They get cuter every day and John is so wonderful with Mads – and this “crazy Gram” is glad.
Thursday was court and then choir at which time we started our Christmas music. Cool!
Friday was a quiet evening at home. Saturday was babysitting the grands again. Spent a good part of the day working on this: The error on the left side is readily apparent, but I decided to leave it in, like a Persian rug maker would. But now I have to be careful to make no more errors!
Saturday evening (yesterday) John and I went to see Dan’s GF Casie in her play, The Lieutenant of Inishmore – violent as hell for a comedy – so much so that one of the audience had to leave because (I think) he was having flashbacks. But the cast handled that admirably and the show went on. Casie was stellar – she got great reviews by the Washington Post , the Washington Times, and a Baltimore webzine. And we thought she was fabulous, too:)! We went out to dinner afterward – Dan met us there after his play was done (it was closing night for him). It was great catching up with them – Dan doesn’t get home much – work schedule is crazy. We stayed overnight at a Marriott in DC – good idea given the amount of libation that was poured!
This morning, it was up and out early for choir. Nancy was back from her visit with her son and DDIL out in OH – and I thought I had a rough ride back this morning! We had a few Christmas music practices – a totally fun morning for me, but probably a LOT of work for Nancy! Did a bit of birthday and wedding card shopping this afternoon, and now I’m finally home.
Well that’s all the news I have from my neck of the Merlin woods. Tomorrow I start the week off with a visit and get ready for a heck of an interesting week (as in the Chinese curse interesting).
And next Friday we leave for New Jersey for another nephew’s wedding! (John has 16 of them; I have eight – he can win, it’s ok). Luckily “joysey” is only about three hours away, but I won’t be back for singing on Sunday because it will be John’s birthday and we want to take our time coming back – hopefully to something with the kids:)
OK, I’m tired just reading this stuff, LOL! But I doubt I’m as tired as John is now – at work!
I will write again soon – in the meantime, dear 2.5 readers, God be with you ’til we meet again!

We interrupt our knitting for a world changing event:)

Because my own words are so trite and contrived at this time, and my emotions are high, I send you, dear readers, the words of a dear cyber friend, Colin, from across the pond:

A New World?
I awoke this morning, put on the TV, knowing that I would hear
that Mr Obama is President Obama.I found myself crying. This man has had a very
odd affect on me. Never before has a politician done anything for me. I have not
been interested, felt cynical about them all. Certainly the leader of my own
country has not bothered me at all, except I was glad that the Tories were
ousted but sadly to be replaced by more of the same. Anyway, when I first saw
and heard Obama speak, I just knew that this man was the real deal and the man
who had the opportunity to change the world and more importantly change the
world’s view of the USA.This morning I have nothing but respect for the USA. I
can’t believe it! You did it!You elected a black man to the highest office in
the land!!!! Not a rich born black man either. Now I believe that the USA is
truly a land of opportunity. I hope that he is safe and is kept safe. My partner
who was grown up enough to recall the hope of John F. Kennedy says this is
pretty much the same.I am just amazed that I care so much about this. I do feel
that this is really a major turning point in history.Something has shifted,
there has been a change and we can perhaps begin to breath fresh air

Like Colin, I remember some of the days of the Kennedy administration. I was only 9 when he was murdered. I also know that last night was the first time since then that I have been so moved by a President-elect’s speech. What was more moving than anything were the faces of the people in that crowd; some laughing, some crying with joy, some black, some white, some Asian, some Hispanic, some famous, most not, old farts like me, young adults who seemed to not believe their own eyes. A virtual cross-section of my country.
Words fail me.

By Barack Obama –

OBAMA: Hello, Chicago.
If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.
It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.
We are, and always will be, the United States of America.
It’s the answer that led those who’ve been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.
It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment change has come to America.
A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Senator McCain.
Senator McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he’s fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.
I congratulate him; I congratulate Governor Palin for all that they’ve achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.
I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart, and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton … and rode with on the train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.
And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years … the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation’s next first lady … Michelle Obama.
Sasha and Malia … I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us …to the new White House.
And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother’s watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight. I know that my debt to them is beyond measure.
To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters, thank you so much for all the support that you’ve given me. I am grateful to them.
And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe … the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best — the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.
To my chief strategist David Axelrod … who’s been a partner with me every step of the way.
To the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics … you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.
But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.
I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston. It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause.
It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy … who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep.
It drew strength from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on doors of perfect strangers, and from the millions of Americans who volunteered and organized and proved that more than two centuries later a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has not perished from the Earth.
This is your victory.
And I know you didn’t do this just to win an election. And I know you didn’t do it for me.
You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime — two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.
Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.
There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after the children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage or pay their doctors’ bills or save enough for their child’s college education.
There’s new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair.
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.
I promise you, we as a people will get there.
AUDIENCE: Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!
OBAMA: There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can’t solve every problem.
But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it’s been done in America for 221 years — block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.
What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.
This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.
It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.
Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.
In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.
Let’s remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.
Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.
As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.
And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.
And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.
To those — to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.
That’s the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we’ve already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight’s about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.
She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons — because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.
And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America — the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.
At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.
When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.
AUDIENCE: Yes we can.
OBAMA: When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.
AUDIENCE: Yes we can.
OBAMA: She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that We Shall Overcome. Yes we can.
AUDIENCE: Yes we can.
OBAMA: A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.
And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.
Yes we can.
AUDIENCE: Yes we can.
OBAMA: America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves — if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?
This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.
This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.
Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.