Posts Tagged With: literature

The Klone and I: Chapter Four

Previously On The Klone and I: Stephanie and Peter finally do it! Peter is leaving on a long business trip to LA and has promised Stephanie a “surprise”.

Chapter Four

It was an odd feeling after he left. I had gotten strangely used to him in the short time we’d been together. it had all the elements of a fabulous romance, and yet there was a comfort level, and an ease with each other that was almost like being married.

Ah, we start off so well. Talking about how close you are after only knowing the man for several weeks.

He had won Sam over weeks before, but Charlotte was continuing to glower. She still attributed the worst motives possible to him.

The best part of this is that our own narrator once referred to Peter as a probable “sicko”, so chastising someone else for thinking he’s up to no good is a bit hypocritical, no? Plus, I think we’ve established that the 13 year old Charlotte is much more mature than her mother.

There’s a knock at the door. Stephanie opens it to who she thinks is Peter wearing outrageous clothing, specifically “fluorescent green satin pants, skin-tight and startlingly revealing, with a see-through black net shirt, with a little sparkle to it, and a pair of black satin cowboy boots” which sounds like just about the most hideous thing ever. Now, Stephanie is in the kitchen and the kids are in their rooms. And even though we are only told that they “disappeared” to their rooms moments ago, she knows without checking that they are “doing their homework” which seems awfully presumptuous. When I was a kid that was the last thing I would be doing in my room, but I was a strange child.

However, Stephanie reminds us that:

I hadn’t met many of [Peter’s] friends yet. It was still too soon.

Right. So, after over a month its too soon to meet his friends but you introduced him to your children after 2 days. That makes loads of sense, right? And this doesn’t bother her either. Because Peter is perfect and couldn’t possibly have ulterior motives.

I’m the surprise,” he said proudly, “and the secret. They cloned him.”

So, this person who has shown up at the door is Peter’s clone. Peter sent his effing clone to his girlfriend’s house while he’s on a business trip. Yeah… They talk about it for a while and basically Stephanie thinks she’s going crazy and Peter is playing some trick on her.

But now we have to have a little vocabulary lesson:

Clone: A group of organisms or cells produced asexually from one ancestor or stock, to which they are genetically identical.

Android: (in science fiction) A robot with a human appearance.

Remember this. It will be important for the rest of the book. I firmly believe that Danielle Steel did absolutely no research into science (or science fiction) before righting this book and has confused these two concepts.

Paul (the clone, excuse me, Klone) is talking about why he doesn’t dress the same as Peter.

“My name is Paul, and I can do everything he does . . . except,” he looked apologetic, “wear khakis. I can’t stand them. He tried programming me for that at first, but it kept screwing up my systems.”

He keeps explaining himself to Stephanie, including all of his… functions.

“You know, if you want to get pregnant, Steph, it’s probably easier for me than for him. They worked all the kinks out of that last year.”

Right. So, here goes the first of probably many rants about the confused science of this godawful book. A clone does NOT have programming or systems. That is an android. A clone does not have “kinks” worked out unless they go to a masseuse. You remember Dolly the sheep, right? Well, if you would have cut her open, instead of finding a motherboard you would have found lamb chops. Cloning ≠ Android.

Not to mention it’s really f-ed up that he offers to get her pregnant. Or the fact that her boyfriend is sick enough to send her this monstrosity while he’s away on business. But that’s small potatoes compared to the Clone/Android mixup (especially since she uses the egregious word Klone in the very title).

This is how I’m picturing Peter/Paul from now on.

Paul assures Stephanie that the kids will “get used to me”. Right. Because that’s a totally normal thing. But Charlotte offers us even more insight into her mother’s parenting style.

“I bought a shirt like that once. Mom made me take it back. She said I looked like a slut in it.”

Okay. It’s one thing for a mother to think this but a completely different thing to say it out loud. Parents, I know I don’t have any experience in this, but listen to me. DO NOT tell your 13 year old daughter she looks like a slut (even if she does). It does not do good things for the self-esteem and self-image, especially to an already, presumably, self-conscious pubescent teenage girl.

Stephanie’s reaction to all of this is to drink herself under the table. “I was drunk halfway through dinner”. Now, this is in front of her kids on a school night. Which seems totally responsible, right?

Anyway, they make it through dinner okay. Paul helps Charlotte with her homework. Everybody goes to their respective rooms. And now Paul wants sexytimes with Stephanie. So, he lights some candles and cracks open some champagne. And of course, Stephanie doesn’t turn the booze down. “I was drinking the champagne by then. I wasn’t about to waste good champagne, and it was the only way to cope with what had happened.” What had happened was she thinks her boyfriend is pulling a trick on her. See, she doesn’t believe Paul is a clone (I absolutely refuse to call him a Klone, besides, we’ve already discussed that he’s actually an android). She thinks Peter is playing some sort of game. So, instead of throwing him out and telling him to grow up, she lets him spend alone time with her kids and drinks to cope.

And then Paul really creeps me the eff out. When talking about how the kids seemed to be okay with him being there, he mentions that “Sam even asked me to sleep in his room”. Remember: nobody in the family has known him for much more than a month. Peter has never spent the night while the kids were in the house. Her 8 year old son just offered to let a virtual stranger sleep in his room and the “clone” spent an hour in Charlotte’s room “helping her with her homework” (the quotes are mine. As far as I know, there is no actual child molestation in this book, though Stephanie makes jokes about it frequently. But the opportunity was there and as Peter is setting himself up to be a creeper I wouldn’t have put it past his clone, especially as his clone is a horny bastard).

[Paul] locked the door quietly, and as he slipped off the ghastly green pants, I almost felt as though I recognized him again, until I saw the gold lamé jockeys he was wearing, if  you could call them jockeys. It looked more like a Speedo, and the gold was more than a little amazing.

First of all, I have never in my life called them jockeys. Second, I know this book was written in the 90s, but why does his wardrobe have to be so ungodly atrocious? If any man every came to my bed wearing a gold G-string (she figures this out just after this paragraph), there will be no sexytimes with me until he finds himself a pair of real underwear.

As they’re getting their funk on, the phone rings. On the other end is Peter, which really freaks Stephanie the eff out. So much so that:

The room spun around as I listened to him, and I looked at Paul, and unable to withstand any more, I closed my eyes, and fainted.

And that’s the end of this mercifully short chapter. She faints because she has absolutely zero coping skills. And Danielle Steel has never read a single science fiction novel or seen a single episode of Star Trek.

This is how I picture Paul. Would you let this man around your children?

 

Hopefully I’ll have another chapter up this afternoon.

Happy Reading!
-K

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My Top 5 Best Beach Reads

With the 4th of July coming up, the official beginning of summer, and lovely weather here in Northern Illinois, I thought I would share my picks for best beach reads.

1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
This is an adorable book that covers some sadness with humor and grace. The story is told through letters and telegrams, which makes it easy to stop and then pick it back up. A young female author is living in post-WWII London when she is contacted by a gentleman living on Guernsey. He has received a book she once owned and was wondering about others like it. This correspondence grows into a friendship and reveals a tale of daring, friendship, and community spirit.

2. Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff by Christopher Moore
I will warn this is not for people who take Christianity literally or very seriously. This book is a hilarious reinterpretation of Christ’s childhood as recounted by his best friend Biff. It is riotously funny, especially if you have some background in New Testament theology. I won’t spoil any more of it, it’s too good to be ruined.

3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
This is the inspiring, delightful tale of a young boy’s quest for a buried treasure. Along the way he meets an old shopkeeper, travels by caravan across the Sahara, and finds his life’s destiny. It’s short and an easy read but enthralling and warm hearted. Even if you aren’t planning a beach trip this summer, read this book. You won’t regret it.

4. Austenland by Shannon Hale
For all you Jane Austen lovers! A young woman who is obsessed with a certain Mr. Darcy finds herself on an all expenses paid vacation to England. She arrives at a resort which caters to Austen fans. She must dress and act like a young woman of Georgian England. At first she thinks this will be the best two weeks of her life, until all goes horribly awry. This book is charming and whimsical. And perfect for those with their own Darcy obsession.

5. A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie
Miss Marple goes on holiday to the Caribbean. And as is the case with all Miss Marple stories, murder has followed her there. Armed with a life’s worth of experiences and a sharp eye, Miss Marple takes on the case and saves the day. What could be better than a little mystery and intrigue while spending a day in the sand and surf?

What are some of your favorite books to read at the beach? Leave suggestions in the comment!

Have a great weekend!
– K

P.S. I will not be able to get another The Klone and I recap up today. But I’ll try and do a double recap on Monday!

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The Klone and I: Chapter One

Our next book is The Klone and I by Danielle Steel. The blurb on the back cover says the following:

“After thirteen years of marriage and two kids, Stephanie was devastated when her husband left her for a younger woman. Suddenly she was alone. Then a spur-of-the-moment trip to Paris changed everything.
Peter Baker was a handsome high-tech entrepreneur also visiting the city. Stephanie was certain it couldn’t possibly work. But much to her amazement, he contacted her when they returned to New York. And Stephanie embarked on a bizarre and hilarious adventure beyond her wildest dreams.
Shy, serious Peter, chairman of a bionic enterprise was supposed to be away on business. Instead, he’s standing at her door, wearing satin and rhinestones. Naturally, Stephanie thinks it’s a joke-until the truth suddenly dawns: this isn’t Peter playing a role. This is his double! Calling himself Paul Klone, this wild, uninhibited creature isn’t even remotely like Peter except for his identically sexy good looks. This uproarious novel explores the outrageous love triangle that develops between Stephanie, Peter… and The Klone.
In a wickedly funny, right-on-target look at finding the perfect mate in an imperfect world, bestselling novelist Danielle Steel reveals insights into the human heart that have made her novels #1 bestsellers around the world.”

Before we dig into Chapter One, I didn’t go into this book expecting a work of great depth or to be comparing it to Shakespeare or Chaucer. However, this novel is just so incredibly outrageous that it managed to disappoint my even my very low expectations.

Chapter One:

This entire chapter is about her husband of 13 years telling her he doesn’t love her anymore and their subsequent divorce. So, light and fluffy stuff, right? And for the most part, this section isn’t all that impressive or all that terrible. Until you come to sentences like this:

“Responsibility was, my kids were, being Roger’s wife was important to me.” What the hell does that even mean? Is she trying to say that being responsible, taking care of her kids, and being Roger’s wife are important to her? Because that’s not the way to say that…

The next thing that really annoyed me was the fact that she refers to her dead grandfather (who left her a huge trust fund which we’ll touch on later) as Umpa. Which, according to a quick Google search and a run through the Google Translate function, is not the word for grandfather in any human language. So, unless he earned the large sum of money he left her by working for Willy Wonka, this is just annoying.

She also comments about that her husband “had great legs”. Is this something women judge men on? I understand appreciating a man’s butt, arms, chest, and facial features. But his legs? Most men’s legs that I’ve seen look like legs with hair… but maybe I haven’t seen the right kind of legs? Can someone help me understand what makes an attractive male leg?

And back to Umpa’s (you have no idea how much pain it causes me to type that) trust fund. The narrator’s husband is basically a tool who can’t keep a job, so they live off of her inheritance. And she says, “My trust fund hadn’t run out, and shouldn’t for both our lifetimes,” which is impressive as they live in NYC, seem to have expensive lodgings, clothing, etc., and her husband is unable to hold down a job. Keep this in mind. It will come up again.

Here is where it really gets awful. Her husband told her he didn’t love her anymore. Maybe he never had. He doesn’t say it had anything to do with her. And her immediate thought about why he was leaving was that she hadn’t keep herself as maintained as she should have. But, she wants to make sure we know that she wasn’t, like, a troll or anything. “Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not entirely disgusting, nor am I covered with fur, nor do I have a mustache.” And a few sentences later, “I wasn’t fat or anything”. Because if she had been any of those things it would be entirely respectable for him to walk out on his 13 year marriage and two kids. Make a mental note of that ladies, being covered in fur, being fat, and having a mustache are now viable causes for divorce. This continues a few pages later where she comments “thank God I still shaved my  underarms, or he’d have left years before”. What kind of shallow, superficial asshat did you marry? I mean, really, I’m not advocating that women completely stop caring about their appearance when they’re married with young children. But, holy hell, I highly doubt the reason you’re husband is leaving you is because you don’t shave your legs very often. From what I’ve seen so far, it’s because you’re a shallow, inane, annoying woman who thinks the world revolves around you.

Now that her husband has left her, she’s taking a new lease on life. She’s “accepting whatever invitations came my way”, which makes me wonder how much time she’s spending with her 12 year old and 6 year old who have just had their family torn apart. And her ex husband has a new girlfriend. I quote, “There was no male equivalent to Roger’s friend, the person Sam and Charlie [her kids] now called Miss Bimbo”. Her son is 6 years old. Is it really appropriate for a 6 year old to be calling someone a bimbo? Should he even know that word at that stage? A 12 year old shouldn’t be saying it either, as its highly disrespectful, especially towards an adult. And the whole thing just reeks of inappropriateness. And the narrator, their mother, never corrects them or discourages them from calling their dad’s new girlfriend (soon to be wife) a derogatory name.

Next, Stephanie, our trusty narrator, offers us insight into her divorce. “I had more or less come to understand why he had left, although I hated Roger for his lack of charity. I had put up with his lack of business acumen, why couldn’t he have been more tolerant about the way I looked?” First of all, business acumen and beauty are not really comparable things. Secondly, I still firmly believe he didn’t leave she because of how she looked (unless she married someone as shallow as herself). Thirdly, she made this abundantly clear a few pages back. Does Danielle Steel think we weren’t able to catch that before? Do we really need to be bashed over the head with the fact that she thinks her husband left her because she hadn’t looked good enough (though remember, she wasn’t fat or hairy)?

Now, at the beginning of this horrid chapter, as her husband was telling her he was leaving, she’d had a bit of blueberry stuck in her teeth which she hadn’t noticed until later. Why this is significant, I never really figured out. But at the very end of the chapter, as she’s describing the growth she’s undergone she says, “Even the blueberry muffin [the blueberry bit was from a muffin she’d eaten] was a dim memory by then”. Now, based on the sequence and verb tense, we are to assume Stephanie is telling this story from some time well after the events took place, it’s not stream of consciousness or present tense. So, I went back and counted. For something that has become a “dim memory” she mentions it 5 times not including the quote above. For me, something that “dim” and so insignificant would not warrant 5 mentions. So, I’m having trouble believing the things she’s saying.

A couple of last points. This woman has an obsession with nightgowns. In this chapter alone the word “nightgown” appears 15 times. In 25 pages. I’ll keep up this count, because I have a feeling it won’t end here…

Secondly, we’ve now gone 25 pages in what is billed as a romance novel and we have yet to have any sex or romance. Which is kind of disappointing.

Thirdly, the narrator is annoying me so incredibly much I don’t know how I’m going to be able to deal with her for a full book. She seems to be incredibly superficial and her dealings with her kids thus far are suspect.

Well, look for the next chapter’s recap coming soon!

– K

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My Ever Expanding To Be Read Book List

These are books that have either been personally recommended to me or that have called out to me through other people’s reviews.

  • “Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares” by Rachel Cohn & David Leviathan
  • “Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana de Rosnay
  • “The Talk-Funny Girl” by Roland Merullo
  • “Ella MInnow Pea” by Mark Dunn
  • “The Hour of the Star” by Clarice Lispector
  • “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt
  • “Looking For Alaska” by John Green
  • “Leaving the Atocha Station” by Ben Lerner
  • “The Sherlockian” by Graham Moore
  • “The Magicians” by Lev Grossman
  • “Incendiary” by Chris Cleave
  • “Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight” by Alexandra Fuller
  • “A Bend In The River” by V.S. Naipaul
  • “King Leopold’s Ghost” by Adam Mockschild
  • “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe
  • “Emma’s War” by Deborah Scroggins
  • “Taft 2012” by Jason Heller
  • “Tamar” by Mal Peet
  • “Lessons In French” by Laura Kinsale
  • “Wide Sargasso Sea” by Jean Rhys
  • “The Somnambulist” by Jonathan Barnes
  • “Season of Light” by Katharine McMahon
  • “Snow Flower & The Secret Fan” by Lisa See

I keep a running list in the back of a leather-bound notebook I carry everywhere with me. So far, this seems like a good system. Whenever I run across a sale, a used bookstore, or a garage sale I can easily pick out books from my list to add to my library, ensuring that whenever the urge strikes me to read them it’s at arms reach.

What’s your system for keeping track of the books you want to read? Do you have any books I should add to my list?

Happy Reading!

-K

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BBC’s The Big Read- Top 200 Books

Found this linked by someone somewhere (sorry) and decided to take it on as a personal, lifelong challenge. Here are the Top 200 most loved books as voted on by the British Public. I’m going to show which ones I’ve read (strikethrough) and which I’ve started but not finished (italicized) and I’ll update it frequently. My goal will to be to read all of them before I die (whenever that should be) and whenever I’m looking for a new book, I’ll look here first. Whether that will ultimately work or not, remains to be seen.

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (read Northern Lights and the beginning of The Subtle Knife)
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
101. Three Men In A Boat, Jerome K. Jerome
102. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett
103. The Beach, Alex Garland
104. Dracula, Bram Stoker
105. Point Blanc, Anthony Horowitz
106. The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens
107. Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz
108. The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
109. The Day Of The Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
110. The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson
111. Jude The Obscure, Thomas Hardy
112. The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, Sue Townsend
113. The Cruel Sea, Nicholas Monsarrat
114. Les Misérables, Victor Hugo
115. The Mayor Of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy
116. The Dare Game, Jacqueline Wilson
117. Bad Girls, Jacqueline Wilson
118. The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
119. Shogun, James Clavell
120. The Day Of The Triffids, John Wyndham
121. Lola Rose, Jacqueline Wilson
122. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
123. The Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy
124. House Of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
125. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
126. Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett
127. Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison
128. The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
129. Possession, A. S. Byatt
130. The Master And Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
131. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
132. Danny The Champion Of The World, Roald Dahl
133. East Of Eden, John Steinbeck
134. George’s Marvellous Medicine, Roald Dahl
135. Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett
136. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
137. Hogfather, Terry Pratchett
138. The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan
139. Girls In Tears, Jacqueline Wilson
140. Sleepovers, Jacqueline Wilson
141. All Quiet On The Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
142. Behind The Scenes At The Museum, Kate Atkinson
143. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
144. It, Stephen King
145. James And The Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
146. The Green Mile, Stephen King
147. Papillon, Henri Charriere
148. Men At Arms, Terry Pratchett
149. Master And Commander, Patrick O’Brian
150. Skeleton Key, Anthony Horowitz
151. Soul Music, Terry Pratchett
152. Thief Of Time, Terry Pratchett
153. The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett
154. Atonement, Ian McEwan
155. Secrets, Jacqueline Wilson
156. The Silver Sword, Ian Serraillier
157. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey
158. Heart Of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
159. Kim, Rudyard Kipling
160. Cross Stitch, Diana Gabaldon
161. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
162. River God, Wilbur Smith
163. Sunset Song, Lewis Grassic Gibbon
164. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
165. The World According To Garp, John Irving
166. Lorna Doone, R. D. Blackmore
167. Girls Out Late, Jacqueline Wilson
168. The Far Pavilions, M. M. Kaye
169. The Witches, Roald Dahl
170. Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White
171. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
172. They Used To Play On Grass, Terry Venables and Gordon Williams
173. The Old Man And The Sea, Ernest Hemingway
174. The Name Of The Rose, Umberto Eco
175. Sophie’s World, Jostein Gaarder
176. Dustbin Baby, Jacqueline Wilson
177. Fantastic Mr Fox, Roald Dahl
178. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
179. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, Richard Bach
180. The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery
181. The Suitcase Kid, Jacqueline Wilson
182. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
183. The Power Of One, Bryce Courtenay
184. Silas Marner, George Eliot
185. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
186. The Diary Of A Nobody, George and Weedon Grossmith
187. Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
188. Goosebumps, R. L. Stine
189. Heidi, Johanna Spyri
190. Sons And Lovers, D. H. LawrenceLife of Lawrence
191. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
192. Man And Boy, Tony Parsons
193. The Truth, Terry Pratchett
194. The War Of The Worlds, H. G. Wells
195. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans
196. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
197. Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
198. The Once And Future King, T. H. White
199. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
200. Flowers In The Attic, Virginia Andrews

So, I’ve got a ways to go. But many of these books are already on my radar and are books I’ve been wanting to read but haven’t gotten around to. And some of them I have no desire (other than completing this arbitrary list) to read.

Here goes nothing!

-K

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Finding Time To Read

It used to be so easy. When I was younger, I would read all day long. During class, after school, at mealtimes, before bed. I would stay up late into the night engrossed in a book. I was never too tired or too busy to read. Now, I work a full time job, have a house to maintain, have to cook for myself, and am tired at the end of the day. This week has been especially hard as I’m expected to be at evening events for work. So, at the end of a long day, I come home and I want to relax and read, but I’m simply to tired to focus. It doesn’t help that the book I’m currently reading (“Guernica” by Dave Boling) is interesting, but not especially engrossing. I want to find out what happens next, but not enough to stay up an extra hour and force myself to concentrate.

So, how do you find time to read in your busy life? Do you have any suggestions for me?

 

Thanks,

-K

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Best Mothers In Literature

Mother’s Day is this Sunday (reminder for all of you who haven’t gotten your mother’s anything yet). So, I’m listing my designation for 5 Best Literary Mothers.

1. Molly Weasley (Harry Potter)
Molly Weasley is the epitome of the great mom. She has a loving heart, open arms, and great cooking. She also opens her house and her heart to the orphaned Harry, which makes my heart melt. Plus, in Deathly Hallows, her infamous “Not my daughter, you bitch!” is so kick-ass it needs no further explanation.

 

 

2. Caroline Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie)
Another classic mother who bears little explanation. Apart from being a traditional maternal figure, she also managed a household in the middle of nowhere frontier. And I give her a lot of credit for that, it certainly couldn’t have been easy.

 

3. Juliet Ashton (Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)
If you haven’t read this book yet, I suggest you do. It’s an adorable book about an amazing group of people dealing with a heart breaking situation. Juliet is not motherly in the traditional sense. But she becomes a maternal figure for a little orphaned girl. The interaction between Juliet and the little girl is what puts her on this list, its innocent and precious.

4. Sarah (Little Bee)
Another book you should pick up immediately if you haven’t read it yet. Sarah definitely has her imperfections and indiscretions but that is what makes her so realistic and human. The fact that she is willing to go to the ends of the earth (literally) for a young girl she barely knows, shows off her motherly affection.

5. Mrs. Bennet (Pride and Prejudice)
Okay, so Mrs. Bennet is not a very good mother in the strictest of terms. But she is certainly memorable. And, at least in my case, she reminds me all too much of my own mother sometimes. She obviously loves her daughters, she just has an odd way of showing it.

One final thought, as I was thinking up this list, I realized how many of my favorite books have indifferent or non-existent mothers. It seems that if if you want a complex character, you give them a dysfunctional relationship with their mother. Perhaps Freud had a profound effect not on psychology but on literature.

Who are some of your favorite Moms in Literature? Are you doing anything special for you mom this Sunday?

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