Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Reading Life

The BBC predicts that most people have only read 6 of the following books. You bold the books you have read and put those you started but did not finish in italics. Then tag me and other people as usual for these things...


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 by Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
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
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
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 - A.A. 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 Inferno – Dante
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 - E.B. 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 (I thought this book was total shit, but read it anyway).
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

I can't seem to count this evening.  I get started and Marley does something naughty and I get distracted.  I can only say I've been a voracious reader.  But for roughly the past four years I haven't been able to read a single book.  I think cataracts might have been the problem.  I have just had one eye fixed and I'm getting ready to schedule the other. My request has been to be able to read without reading glasses.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dear Sharon Davis

You wrote this powerful letter to the Salt Lake Tribune:

 You didn't get mad:
>when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President:
>when Vice President Dick Cheney let energy companies dictate energy policy:
>when a CIA operative got outed:
>when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us:
>when we spent $800 billion on said illegal war:
>when we tortured people:
>when the government illegally wiretapped Americans:
>when Bush rang up $5 trillion in debt:
>when we gave the filthy rich half a trillion dollars in tax breaks:
>when we had the worst eight years of job creation in decades:
>when 200,000 Americans died because they had no health insurance:
>when poor oversight caused Americans to lose $12 trillion in investments, retirement, and home values:

You finally got mad as hell when a black President decided that Americans deserve the right to see a doctor.
Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, millions of job losses, stealing tax dollars to make the rich richer, and the worst economic disaster since 1929 were all OK, but helping fellow Americans to stay healthy ...oh hell no!

Thank you Sharon Davis

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Left Eye Is Done

Honey I'm home.  The anesthesiologist was so stingy with the versed, so no buzzy nap for me.  But I love the new glasses.  I'll schedule the second eye in a week or two.  So, how do I look?  Remember, I'd had a shower cap on at the hospital and I haven't combed my hair since they took it off.  But check out these glasses.  I think they're a keeper.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I'm getting ready for cataract surgery Tuesday. This photo of me is how I see the world now.  Everything is muted, pale, slightly blurry even with my glasses on.  My cataracts have gotten so bad I can no longer read normal sized print.  I can no longer drive at sunset or at night.  Glare makes me blind.  I can no longer walk in the late afternoon because at some point I'll have to walk west and the glare of sun hitting my eyes will blind me.  I wear glasses that turn darker as the light gets brighter and corrects the maximum for cataracts, but I haven't been able to read a book in two or three years.  I used to read at least one book a day, at most, three or four.  Now I just can't see well enough to read at all. Things have lost their color, their vividness.  The world is a paler place for me. 

It's time for me to put my house in order and start spending less time watching news.  This winter I will read more and work on my own writing.  I will keep order in my own tiny house and worry less about the House of Representatives.  We lost the house; I just assume we'll get nothing done until after the 2012 presidential election.  I have lost so many things in the tiny black hole that seems to exist somewhere inside my lovely little cottage.  I have to empty one space after another until I've organized things so that I can put my hands on everything I need at any given moment.  I need to bring my life back into focus. If I can accomplish these things I'll probably be happier, less angry, less anxious.  So, I'm making these resolutions on the brink of regaining sight.