Wednesday, 31 December 2008

More than 6 - Can You do Better than that?

I came accross this list of books on SussexYorkie’s blog ( I think originally it came from somewhere else, so it must be popular and must be doing a bit of travelling.

Anyway, as it really goes well with what I plan to do next year (keep a diary of books I read, so that by the end of 2009 I can tell how many I‘ve completed) I decided to join in and publish it here. According to SussexYorkie’s blog most people will have only read only 6 of the 100 books in the list. Well, just test yourself – can you do better than that?

I bet it looks like a stupid illustration especially for such a serious book list, but it’s also a book and I absolutely love the pictures! Believe it or not I bought this book for myself, couldn’t resist it! It’s called ‘Animals without Zoo” and is written by a famous Italian children books’ writer Gianni Rodari. All of the short and simple stories have hidden meaning, they are great. Oh, and the brilliant pictures are by Anna Laura Cantone.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Underline those you intend to read.
3) Italicise the books you LOVE.
4) Post your list so we can try and track down these people who’ve only read 6 and force books upon them.

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. 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 Traveller’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
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 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 Alborn
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

As you can see it’s more than 6. I’m really happy about that, although I’ve marked in blue (couldn't get these underlined) quite a lot of books that I’d like to read, just never get round to it… I find it frightening that people don’t read books these days; they are really missing out on this!

Well, even if your list has less than 6 book titles in bold don’t forget it’s never too late to start reading, there’s plenty of books for you to start with.

Monday, 29 December 2008

New Year's Resolutions

This Christmas period seems to have just disappeared without a trace. I’ve been preparing for it for ages and then suddenly we had our Christmas Eve dinner, unwrapped the presents and… and it was over.

The tree is still up, it will remain ornate till the 6th of January, but the mood has changed – it’s time to be preoccupied with New Year’s resolutions.

To be honest every year my goals are huge, but it doesn’t matter how much I try, most of them are postponed as things like getting a house built can’t happen in a day, but if you live in Lithuanian it might take you probably up to 5 years (bureaucracy I’m afraid)… I’m keeping my chin up and hope that in 2009 we’ll at least have a pond dug and some trees planted, oh and having our own fence would be marvelous! The rest is simple – loose some weight (if it’s so simple why didn’t that happen in 2008?), travel a bit more (hard to achieve when one doesn’t feel well on a plane) and finally figure out what I want to do in this life (don’t ask me how old I am as this really gets me down – I desperately need to find something I’m good at).

Right… So that not to get too depressed I wish you all a Happy New Year, let it be the one when at least half of your dreams come true! And I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the 1st of January would bring us real winter with plenty of snow for my dog to enjoy (no wonder her name's Aliaska) and for me to take photos of.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Almost a Christmas Carol

A few days ago on someone’s blog I noticed a counter that said – it’s 10 Days to Christmas! Only ten days? Can this be true? It really shocked me as I still haven’t bought anyone’s presents, haven’t planned when we are getting the tree or what we are going to put on our Christmas table!

Usually I’m a lot more organized than this, but this year I was the busiest I’ve ever been and on top of that managed to get a cold that locked me in the house for at least 5 days… I’m also under a lot of pressure as the presents, that Santa is going to bring me this year in corporation with my boyfriend, are already safely hidden somewhere in our wardrobe. I can’t believe he’s done that to me! It’s him who has to sweat on the 24th of December trying to get the last bits in the crowded shopping centers…

Yesterday I decided to pull myself together and at least sort out the Christmas cards (on several blogs I noticed I’m not the only one, who still hasn’t done this – it’s not nice, but knowing that the others are also experiencing stress encouraged me!). Anyway, I was really glad that at least the cards and post stamps were bought last month. So I made a list of friends who deserve a card, tried to write something personal for each of them, licked the stamps, placed them nicely on the envelopes, added addresses – I felt I was working in a factory! Then suddenly I realized that one of my friends has moved to another place and I haven’t got her address… After remembering that she has sent me a card and that the new address would be on the envelope I just put her and her boyfriends name ‘Jurate and Paulius’, thinking that I will add the rest of the information in the morning. Now have a guess – did I remember this?

Oh, no! It wasn’t until I got a text from this friend when it suddenly daunted on me that a red envelope that says ‘for Jurate and Paulius’ will never reach its destination… By the way, the text arrived after about 45 minutes after I’ve put the envelopes into the yellow post box (yes, in Lithuania they are bright yellow). So how daft is that? I bet it’s 10 out of 10! I then also remembered an advert for post services that I’ve seen in some magazine – ‘we always deliver your mail, unless it doesn’t depend on us’ and it had several photos of envelopes: some with illegible addresses and one with just ‘for grandma’ written definitely by a child on it.

So here I am, encouraged by someone else’s stress, talking photos of my Christmas cards that are ‘done’, so that I could brag about this, and later on feeling completely disorganized…

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Seeing Betty – Probably the Only One Experience in My Life

Just came back from my short trip to the UK and I can’t believe I managed to squeeze so much in! Everyone is waiting for Christmas and I feel that I’ve already received all of my presents… Don’t get me wrong, I’m not disappointed; it’s just weird that one month can bring so much excitement – huge museums and galleries, ice skating rinks, colourful flowers in December and hot chocolate… weird personalities, Indian food, little markets and her Majesty Elizabeth II! It’s so different to what we get living in Lithuania, that I just need more time for getting back to my normal life…

Meanwhile I’m presenting a few photos that I was lucky to take on the 3rd of December 2008.

A short explanation: before going to the UK I did some research on the internet and gathered lots of information of what it would be interesting to see in London. One of the things on the list was changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace; I even found a website where you can check their schedule - and decided that we’d do this on the 3rd of December. But I never dreamt I’d see Betty! Anyway, it turned out that everyone was getting ready for the annual event – State Opening of Parliament*. There was no way I was going to miss that! So I joined the crowd and got my camera ready.

Believe it or not, but that's Her Majesty's husband Philip and the Queen herself, hiding behind him!

State Opening of Parliament - please click on the link for more information: