Sunday, June 30, 2013

What is well read?

I have seen a few discussions on this list from Book Riot where they recently wondered what it means to be well read.  I think this is a great discussion.  I try to be well read.  I make sure that every few books I read is a classic or a book that people are talking about that made literature better.   But what really makes someone well read?  For me being well read  is someone who reads a lot of different books in many different genres and being able to discuss these with other people.

I have crossed out the books on the list I have read.  Looking over this list I feel that I pretty much am not well read.  Some books on the list surprised me. Watchmen by Alan Moore is a good graphic novel.  But I am not sure why it is on this list?  Maybe to introduce people to that type of book?  Fifty Shades of Grey? I am on the fence about this book being on this list.  I mean.. I guess I read it so that I could know what people were talking about.  25/100 for me?  Yikes.  That is bad. I suppose it's because the past few years I have been reading a lot of young adult books and that's not really on people's list for well read books.  I think I will still give myself a high five!

  1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  4. All Quiet on the Western Front by Eric Maria Remarque
  5. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Klay  by Michael Chabon
  6. American Pastoral by Philip Roth
  7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  8. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  9. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  10. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  11. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  12. Beowulf
  13. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  14. Brave New World by Alduos Huxley
  15. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  16. The Call of the Wild  by Jack London
  17. Candide by Voltaire
  18. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  19. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
  20. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  21. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  22. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  23. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  24. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
  25. The Complete Stories of Edgar Allan Poe
  26. The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor 
  27. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  28. Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  29. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  30. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  31. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  32. Dream of Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin
  33. Dune by Frank Herbert
  34. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  35. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  36. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  37. Faust by Goethe
  38. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  39. Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
  40. The Golden Bowl by Henry James
  41. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
  42. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  43. The Gospels
  44. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  45. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  46. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  47. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  48. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  49. Harry Potter & The Sorceror’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  50. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  51. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  52. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  53. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  54. House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
  55. Howl by Allen Ginsberg
  56. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  57. if on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino
  58. The Iliad by Homer
  59. The Inferno by Dante
  60. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  61. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  62. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  63. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  64. The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  65. The Little Prince by Antoine  de Saint-Exepury
  66. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  67. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  68. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  69. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  71. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  72. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  73. The Odyssey by Homer
  74. Oedipus, King by Sophocles
  75. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  76. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  77. The Pentateuch
  78. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  79. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
  80. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  81. Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare
  82. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  83. Slaughterhouse-5 by Kurt Vonnegut
  84. The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner
  85. The Stand by Stephen King
  86. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  87. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
  88. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  89. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  90. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  91. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  92. Ulysses by James Joyce
  93. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  94. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  95. Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee
  96. Watchmen by Alan Moore
  97. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  98. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  99. 1984 by George Orwell
  100. 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James

I plan on continuing adding books to my list that makes me well read.  I really do try to read a variety of books. What do you think about this list?  Do the books listed make someone well read? 

I hhave also read Sara Says Read and the Relentless Reader posts about this list.. go to their blogs to read their lists.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

My Dog: The Paradox by The Oatmeal Review

I just love love the Oatmeal.  I visit the webpage all the time.  For those that don't know the Oatmeal is a funny little comic website that just has great posts.  Most people can relate to at least a few of the posts on the website. If you don't know about them and want to expereince the greatness of the humor for yourself you must read the Oatmeal's post on the Mantis Shrimp. Not only is the comic very but you will LEARN cool things!   Ok back to dogs!   Here is the goodreads description:

Matthew Inman dishes another helping of hilarity from his online comic The Oatmeal in My Dog: The Paradox. After years of carefully observing his own dog, Rambo, Inman follows his #1 New York Times best-selling How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You, with this ode to the furry, four-footed, tail-wagging bundle of love and unbridled energy frequently dubbed man’s best friend. This eponymous comic became an instant hit when it went live on The and was liked on Facebook by 700,000 fans. Now fans will have a keepsake book of this comic to give and to keep.

 In My Dog: The Paradox, Inman discusses the canine penchant for rolling in horse droppings, chasing large animals four times their size, and acting recklessly enthusiastic through the entirety of their impulsive, lovable lives. Hilarious and heartfelt, My Dog: The Paradox eloquently illustrates the complicated relationship between man and dog. We will never know why dogs fear hair dryers, or being baited into staring contests with cats, but as Inman explains, perhaps we love dogs so much “because their lives aren’t lengthy, logical, or deliberate, but an explosive paradox composed of fur, teeth, and enthusiasm."

This book is perfect for dog lovers... well and anyone who loves pets. The book is this comic but it is in color in the book.  So lucky you!  You can read it online and enjoy it with me. After reading the Oatmeal's book "How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you"  I wasn't sure if this one would live up to the humor in that book.  But it does it just fine.

I had a dog growing up, Buddy.  I sure did love that dog.  I haven't had a dog now though since I moved away from home.  I am just afraid they are going to be so much work.  I am used to my two cats who just sit around and only need attention every now and then.  I do miss Buddy.  I will never forget the day that dog died.  That is one of the topics I loved in this comic.  I mean we just love these pets to death, who will never know ours names, we think they are going to live forever but their lives are just so short.  Way too fast.  My two cats have diabetes and I do my best to keep them alive and well.  I even have a blog for them!  I am trying to keep those guys around forever.

One thing that is neat about the Oatmeal is if people really like a comic it will become a tee-shirt, a greeting card.. or even a poster as in the case of this comic:

Anyways... check this book out.  Buy this book for the dog lovers in your life.  They may even shed a tear when reading it (and you might too).

The Crystal Ball says:

Sun is shinning!!!  Great day to go outside and read this book.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Project Disney- Beauty and the Beast

Project Disney: The plan is to tackle all of the Disney films, re-reading the classic stories and tales that inspired many of them and to look at how the changes the filmmakers made, the new elements they introduced and the essential elements they kept. We will, of course, be talking about the films as movies as well, saying why we enjoy them and what some of our favorite moments are, but our focus will be on looking at them as adaptations. For the films that are not drawn from any one work we’ll be looking at some of the possible literary influences that we see in the stories. Inspired by Project Disney hosted by Picture Me Reading.

"Tale as old as time... song as old as rhyme"...  This week's Project Disney's book and movie is Beauty and the Beast.   I am so excited to write about this movie.. it's one of my favorites! This movie is based off of two stories La Belle et la BĂȘte by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumon and
The Story of the Beauty and the Beast  by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (you can read both stories from the links).  I read both stories though the latter is much much longer and has a lot more detail. I recently watched this movie in theaters when it was re-released in 3D. Now that was amazing and if you didn't take the time to go to the theater and watch it you sure did miss out.

The book starts out with Belle having many sisters and brothers.  Her father becomes poor because of a huge house fire and the family is disgraced because of this. In the book she is not called Belle but Beauty.  Which causes her siblings to be jealous of her. Beauty's father then goes to the city to find some of his fortune that may have returned from sea.  When her father gets there the fortune has already been stolen.  He makes his way back to the country where his family is and becomes lost.  The father comes upon a castle and enters it for shelter where he sleeps and keeps finding food ready for him.   The father then thinks that the castle is his to own and begins to gather roses.  Then the Beast reveals himself and is angry that the father was taking his roses (for Beauty). The father told the Beast the the rose was for his daughter Beauty.  The Beast then tells the father that he can leave for exchange for one of his daughters.  Who of course is Beauty.

Beauty sees her father in a magical mirror and sees that he isn't well.  Beast asks her to marry him every night but Beauty refuses. He tells her she can go visit her father since he is alone now and her siblings have moved away.  Beauty and the Beast story should be the story of the evil stepsisters, not Cinderella. The sisters see how happy Beauty is and decide to keep her longer at the house then a week (which is how long she told the beast she would be gone). Beauty finally says yes to the Beast and wants to marry him.  Before they get married though... there is a twist in the story that is much different from the movie. You can also read about the Beast's story here. The fairy that we see at the beginning of the film actually raises the prince.  When he is older the fairy wants to marry him (gross right?).  She is an older lady and the prince doesn't feel right marrying her.  The fairy is angry and turns him into the beast.

The Disney movie really follows this story quite well.  The mirror, the library, the painting of Beast as a man,  the spell on Beast.  The household items aren't alive but there are monkeys and birds that talk to Beauty.  My favorite characters of the film are the household items that talk like Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, her son Chip, and Cogsworth   The music in this film is amazing.  I can sign along to every song.  The art work for the film is one of the best I have seen yet in 2D form.  The character Gaston is amazing for a great villain.  He is cocky, charming, and evil all at the same time.  Belle is one of my top Disney Princesses.  I mean she READS BOOKS! 

This story is so wonderful it's amazing how many spinoffs there has been.  I still want to see the Broadway show.  I did see the ballet put on by the Colorado Ballet and that was awful.  They did not do a good job.  I haven't checked out the new show Beauty and the Beast on the CW but it's still on so someone must be watching it.  As always in my Project Disneys I include the Twisted Disney pictures (seen above) and the Annie Leibovitz pictures which are always so neat!

I can't end this post without posting a song from the movie!

 Reading this story and comparing it to the film is really interesting. The story is really good if you want to take the time to read it. A really good fairy tale full of detail. This film too is outstanding. Several people I know says it's their favorite Disney film (mine is still Cinderella). What do you think of the movie and story?

Check out my other Project Disney
Snow White  
Peter Pan
Treasure Planet
Sleeping Beauty
The Great Mouse Detective 
The Princess and the Frog
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Lady and the Tramp
Alice in Wonderland
The Rescuers
The Rescuers Down Under
Oliver and Company
The Little Mermaid
101 Dalmatians
Fantasia 2000
The Jungle Book
The Emperor's New Groove
The Sword in the Stone
The Aristocats
The Lion King
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh (2011)
Robin Hood
The Black Cauldron
Mary Poppins
Lilo and Stitch 
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Make Mine Music
Fox and the Hound
Melody Time

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Follow Me Friday

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow 

This is the day of the week where we get to know each other better by answering a question devised by our lovely hostesses Parajunkee & Alisoncanread. Sounds like GFC is eventually going away..  so you may want to follow by email or bloglovin/feedly (I love both). And now for this week's question....

Follow on Bloglovin

Q. What is your preferred reading format? Hardback, ebooks, paperbacks, etc?

A.  I would say my favorite is a hardback book in my hands.  Don't get me wrong though.  I love my ereader.  I have a Nook Color and really love it.  If the library had more titles in ebook format that is probably all I would read.  I don't read very many paperbacks. This is because I get most of my books from the library and they usually only have hardbacks for checkout.  I recently listened to my first audio book.  I listened to Under the Dome by Stephen King, 34 hours!!  I did enjoy it.  I thought at first there was going to be no way I could concentrate but eventually I got used to it and loved it. 

What about you?

Harry Potter Moment of the Week- Wizards Duel!

I am participating in Harry Potter moment of the week hosted by  Uncorked Thoughts .  Here is what we do:

This is a meme hosted Uncorked Thoughts.  The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/ films/ J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! I will be picking a topic within HP for us to focus on each week and then if anyone wants to take part feel free!  There is now a full list of the topics to come here.

Q. Favorite Moment from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets?

A. There were several great moments in this movie.  I think one of the defining moments of the whole series happens when the students are practicing dueling.  First off Snape and Lockheart are so funny when they face off.  Then of course we have Draco and Harry dueling.

I think this is important for the relationship between Draco and Harry.  We see them face off in front of the school which I think now seals the rivalry between them.  Harry also reveals that he knows how to speak Parsaltounge and this will change how all students/teachers view Harry.  Harry also learns he has more in common with Voldermort then he originally thought. 

Google Reader will be far far away.....

The time has come for Google Reader to leave us.  So you don't have much time to find new ways to follow blogs and RSS feeds.  I myself use Bloglovin and really like it. You can follow Angela's Anxious Life though Bloglovin,  feedly, email (see the left side bar), and of course GFC.  GFC may be going away too soooo you might want to try to follow a different way along with GFC just incase.  There have been a lot of rumors floating around about GFC being pushed to Google +  If you are going to use something else to follow blogs let me know!  I love to explore and see what is out there. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Under the Dome by Stephen King-Review

Well with the CBS show coming out this week..I knew I had to read this book.  I am a huge King fan and had not made the time to dig into this book.  1074 pages later.. I loved the book.  I actually listened to my first ever audio with this book too.  34 hours of audio.  I went on a summer road trip so that was perfect time to listen!  Also... I discovered a readalong for it as well and jumped in on that... though I haven't seen any updates for it at all, so I have been updating over at The Stephen King Fans group.  

Here is the goodreads book description:

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when -- or if -- it will go away. Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens -- town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing -- even murder -- to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.

What can I say. This book is epic. There are so many characters it's hard to keep track of. So much happens in this book I don't even know where to begin. I enjoyed this story more then I thought I would.  When I started the book I was a little bored... like we just kept reading about all these characters stuck under a dome and that was it.  But once I really got into the lives of each character and got to know them I was sucked in.  Which is what King tends to do with his huge books.  They are like a study of characters and how they interact.  Honestly to me the Dome was the side story of the book.

I discovered reading this book that listening to audio brings out way more emotions in me then just reading it.  I would cringe at the parts that were gross because I couldn't read fast to get past them.  I would roll my eyes when the bad villain guy Remmey would do something awful.  I even laughed out loud a few times!  Next time I do an audio I probably won't pick one so long... but then again it was a perfect way to get through a long book and make a road trip go by super fast.  In fact.. I was actually looking forward to driving so I could get back to the story.  I will admit though.. I wonder if I would've liked the story the same if I had read it myself without the audio.

 This is neat, Dome Day is Saturday, October 21, 2012. If you'll look at a calender, you'll see that this day doesn't exist. Due to the Leap Year, October 21 skips from Friday in 2011 to Sunday in 2012.  That is interesting and one of those things King always discovers and adds into his books. You just have to look closely to see these easter eggs!  

Spoilers to come... do not read if you don't want to know what happens in the book ending! 

I am OK with the aliens at the end. I didn't think of that as a bad ending but I'll admit I was surprised. I thought it was going to be something completely different. I still don't really get why if people touched it once or touched the dome once they got a zap and then after that no more zaps. I don't ever expect good ending from King... meaning feel good endings. And I like that. For me life is never a good smooth ride. It's bumpy and things never go right. I think I am OK with the aliens because I didn't expect that and was quite surprised.

I can't imagine living in a small town like this even before the dome fell. I think I would've noticed right away that Jim was terrible and an awful guy to be running a town. Jim was a creepy guy because he really did think that the people of the town were stupid and he was their savior. I am surprised that King said in an interview that his favorite character to write in this book was Chef. I didn't think Chef was that much of a main character compared to Jim and Barbie. I loved that though Chef went and buried Sammy. That was a beautiful thing. I was totally bothered by Andrea's death. To think she had so much courage and strength and was ready to turn her life around and then died. :'(

It's funny the comments about comparing this book to the Stand. I did that too and I don't even know why. I guess it is the size of the book and the fact that we get to know all these characters though the two books are nothing alike. I plan on re-watching the Simpsons movie now that I have read this book. I haven't seen that movie in years and can't really remember it. But I really want to see the similarities.  Of course I am also ready to watch the CBS series Under the Dome that started this week.  

End Spoilers

CBS has already released on Amazon what the DVD box set is going to look like for when the show comes out and it's amazing!

The crystal ball says:

Sun is shinning!!!  Great day to go outside and read this book.

Check out my other posts for the readalong:
Under the Dome Update 2
Check out Update 1 on Under the Dome