Friday, March 30, 2007

The Great Mortality

The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time by John Kelly (2005, Harper Collins) chronicles the devastating effects of the plague on Europe, circa 1347-1352. Kelly takes us on a journey of death as he follows the plague’s incredibly swift progress from country to country. This gripping account of the plague's progress loses some of the initial intensity in the middle of the book, but the pace picks up again once the plague is approaching England. All the reasons that the plague spread so quickly are covered. The different ways countries or cities tried to cope with the Black Death can be a contrast of opposite reactions. Kelly also discusses the emergence of the flagellants and the pogroms and killing of the Jewish population across Europe that were a result of the people trying to deal with the plague.


Of personal hygiene at the time: "When the assassinated Thomas `a Becket was stripped naked, an English chronicler reports that vermin 'boiled over like water in a simmering cauldron' from his body."

"A nighttime walk across Medieval London would probably take only twenty minutes or so, but traversing the daytime city was a different matter.... Imagine a shopping mall where everyone shouts, no one washes, front teeth are uncommon and the shopping music is provided by the slaughterhouse up the road."

"Neither was the standing of the church helped by a penchant for blaming the victim, a habit particularly pronounced among the English clergy."

"The long century of death that followed the medieval plague also had a profound effect on religious sentiment. People began to long for a more intense, personal relationship with God... In an age of 'arbitrary, inexplicable tragedy' many people sought to create their own private pipeline to God."

" [N]o other epoch has also done so little to soften the image of death. Late medieval man not only expected to die, he expected to die hard and ugly."


As many of you know, I'm a gal who can never resist a book about plagues. Currently I'm reading The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time by John Kelly. It's been slow reading because it's a historical account of the plague, circa 1348-1349, rather than sensationalized plague story. I'm enjoying it, but it's hardly a must read.
I did however, come across a delicious quote for just me:

"Strengthening the it-can't-happen-here mood was the fact that the plague was ravaging France, and the insular English considered the French strange even for foreigners; as one contemporary English writer famously noted, your average Frenchman was effeminate, walked funny, and spent too much time fussing with his hair."

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

rock on

One of my current responsibilities is being the adult advisor for a teen group's online newsletter. I approve articles submitted by the teens and send on to our teen editors what needs to be edited. Once we sell the house and move, I'll be leaving this job behind. Today that makes me want to say "Thank goodness!"

I had a submission today on music CD's that will be or have been recently released. This young woman had previously submitted an article that was so poorly written the editing alone took hours. I would have tossed that article right back in my kid's faces if they tried to submit something that poorly written.

My son is the senior editor this year. (And did I happen to mention a National Merit Scholar? Oh... I did...) He's a good editor and knows his grammar rules. Often I give him the tougher editing jobs. He cringes when he hears the aforementioned young woman's name because he vividly recalls the time he spent editing her previous submission. Today he had to take another crack at editing her work.

My daughter, just me, was a great help in this endeavor. First she read it out loud to us. I started banging my head against the bookcase as the number of "awesomes" increased. My son was rubbing his forehead as if in pain. Honestly, at our house we would have scrapped the whole thing and started over, but at this point just me was a blessing.

She said, "This was written in a 'dude to dude' style, not really as an article."

Then she said something concerning the awesomes and sweets that I know she got right from her mother, sarcastic tone included. "She needs to meet her friend the thesaurus."

My son, keeping the horrific "dude to dude" writing concept in mind, managed to simply highlight the numerous awesomes and suggested that she find another word. (Sweet!) He managed to not suggest she get acquainted with her thesaurus. (Awesome!) Then he kindly asked her if all sentences really needed to end in an exclamation point. (!!!!!) Finally he told her that he placed commas in-between all the track listings. He was masterful in his restraint as he wanted to send it back to her and say "Try again."

All I was expecting from this young woman was a fluff piece on the upcoming prom. Now we still have the prom article to look forward to reviewing.

"Thank you and rock on!!"

Monday, March 26, 2007

Nineteen Minutes

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult will definitely be on the top ten books for this year. It is a new 2007 release and is 455 pages long. The focus of Nineteen Minutes is a school shooting. The events preceding the shooting and those leading up to the trial are slowly revealed as you head for the climax involving the trial itself. If you are a fan of Picoult, I'd place this book right up there with My Sister's Keeper. It is not an easy book to read in some ways. As I started reading and knew what was going to happen, my heart just ached. Most people who have simply attended a public school high school where no shooting has taken place will empathized with some of the characters. Nineteen Minutes is about a senseless act of violence, but it's also about bullies; it's about the "in" crowd and the "losers."

"Because if there isn't a them there can't be an us."

"Did you know that a single incident of bullying in childhood can be as traumatic to a person, over time, as a single incident of sexual abuse."
"You've got to be kidding me."
"Think about it. The common denominator is being humiliated..."

"What's the difference between spending your life trying to be invisible, or pretending to be the person you think everyone wants you to be? Either way, you're faking."

I was never really bullied in school, but neither was I a "top of the heap" popular kid. This book really makes you start thinking back to why some kids were bullied and some weren't. I'm thinking now that, even though I was a quiet kid and teen, people must have saw something in me, some fire that would fight back if I was pushed. (And it's true... I will push right back and want to start kicking, punching, and name calling.) I have a younger sister who was mercilessly bullied and I know she still carries huge, deep, gaping psychological wounds from her treatment at the hands of other kids. She's not a fighter by nature and these kids must have sensed that. Now I keep wondering where in the heck were the school official who were supposed to be watching the kids, but I know the answer. Many were too complacent to care. They didn't want to get involved. It was easier to not see what was going on. I saw this first hand myself.

Hard book... hard topic... but highly recommended.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Notes From a Small Island

Bill Bryson's Notes From a Small Island is a pleasant nonfiction read. The book, first published in 1995, is an account of Bryson visiting various cities/villages in Great Britain. He tries to exclusively either walk or use public transportation on his travels. It's not so much a written travelogue as it is an account, sometimes with rather snide comments and sometimes with very funny comments, of how Bryson views the areas he is traveling through. Bryson swears less in this book than in Neither Here Nor There, although really his language is never completely necessary, which makes it annoying to me. An Anglophile or someone who knows Great Britain intimately might appreciate this account more than I did. Bryson did give me a few good laughs with some of his comments, but mostly, for me, it was a so-so book. I certainly don't regret reading it, but wouldn't tell a book reading friend, "You must read this book!" I actually find it rather hard to believe that Notes From a Small Island is on some "100 books you must read" lists. I wouldn't have put it that high on a list of that sort. Perhaps the candidates for some lists of that sort rely rather too heavily on who exactly is making the list.
The other two books I partially read or read this week were anthropology textbooks. I finished Introducing Cultural Anthropology by Roberta Edwards Lenkeit because that is the book my dd will use next year for anthropology.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Currently I'm reading two introduction to anthropology textbooks along with a Bill Bryson. I'm pretty sure I know which anthropology textbook we'll use next year, so I could probably stop reading them and concentrate on the Bryson.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Descent

From the cover of Jeff Long's The Descent: "We are not alone... In a cave in the Himalayas, a guide discovers a self-mutilated body with the warning 'Satan exists.' In the Kalahari desert a nun unearths evidence of a proto-human species and a deity called Older-than-old. In Bosnia, something has been feeding upon the dead in a mass grave. So begins mankind's most shocking realization: that the underworld is a vast geological labyrinth populated by another race of beings. Some call them 'devils' or 'demons.' But they are real. They are down there. And they are waiting for us to find them..."

This is a hollow earth novel, like Journey to the Center of the Earth, which explores the idea of an underground world. Most of the 572 page paperback follows two explorations. One is that of a group of scholars who call themselves Beowulf Circle. They believe Satan exists in a the form of one of the Homo hadalis, grotesquely malformed offshoots of Homo sapiens, who has somehow managed to walk among us undetected for years. The other exploration group is sent underground by the Helios Corporation ostensibly to explore, but actually to claim the inner earth under their ownership.

The Descent really was a fast paced novel and I didn't feel like the paced lagged while reading it. There were a few ideas that Long took from the Descent and carried over into Year Zero, although you might not notice them if you had a longer break between novels. I did enjoy this book, but I also realize it's not going to be everyone's first choice in fiction. (Apparently a movie was made, but from the descriptions I'm not convinced that it held true to the book.)

Note to my husband: Honey, this book truly captures the idea of Deathlands: Pilgrimage to Hell. You'll like it.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I've also made a decision to keep the xanga blog open and post only the book reviews on it, while here I will post the book reviews and other comments. That way if you are only interested in the book reviews, you can stick with the xanga she_treads_softly.

rules breaking

Yes, it is true. I have broken my own rule. The rule was that I would alternate between reading fiction and nonfiction books this year. It was supposed to be a year of balance. After Year Zero I set my rule aside and started Jeff Long's The Descent. Later, I will try and make up for my weakness and read 2 nonfiction selections.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Year Zero

Year Zero by Jeff Long is great for what it is, which is, in part, archeological fiction, an action/adventure story, medical research science fiction, and an apocalyptic novel.... all rolled into one plot. I enjoyed it very much and stayed up way too late finishing it. It was first published in 2002 and the paperback is 498 pages long.

Year Zero begins by introducing several different, separate events and characters who all merge later in the plot. In the beginning, American anthropologist Nathan Lee Swift has been conned by his professor and brother-in-law, Dr David Ochs, into plundering bones from an old Roman burial ground on Golgotha, dating from year zero, after an earthquake has devastated the area. Four years later a Greek collector of religious relics sends off biological samples from one of his relics to several different labs across the world, unwittingly releasing a devastating plague. Miranda Abbott is a young genius biologist who is discovering breakthroughs for the science of cloning. Her powerfully connected father has her sent off to a new research facility in Los Alamos near the same time the samples have been sent to the labs. Meanwhile, during this same time period, Nathan Lee is left for dead by Ochs in Tibet where they were on another expedition to steal archeological remains. Nathan Lee ends up in a Tibetan prison when the plague breaks out. He eventually makes his way back to the USA and to Los Alamos, where the cloning of humans from the first century has begun in hopes of finding a cure for the plague that is wiping out the world.

Long's Year Zero has me teetering on the brink of another action/adventure book marathon. It is that good.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

30th high school reunion

My 30th high school reunion is coming up. My former classmates, who are planning the gala celebration, are, quite frankly, a bunch of losers. Perhaps after the next move, hopefully, they'll stop finding me and sending me invitations to their reunions.

I can not believe some of the exciting activities they have planned.

Friday night they are going to meet at, well, this place is hard to describe, but let's call it a drive-in-beer-selling-liquor-store-dump. Back in the days it was where high school kids went to get beer, when the drinking age was 18. You pulled up to the loading dock and ordered. It was a dump then and certainly couldn't have improved with age. Oh! Thinking of sitting in or on top of your car in front of a loading dock makes your toes tingle, doesn't it?

For Saturday they have lined up tours of the old and new high schools - and at no cost! Saturday afternoon you can either play 9 holes of golf or go to a wine tasting event at some bar. That night they will meet for an informal social at a restaurant where they will provide hors d'oeuvres but "meals are on your own." Oh, yes, glad you asked! This is another opportunity for drinking!

If they had just stuck with the Saturday events, it wouldn't look so sad, but no, the main event is on Sunday.

It all culminates with a picnic on a beach at noon on Sunday. They'll provide "burgers and utensils" but you have to BYOB. This is the first time the picnic isn't simply a glorified kegger. In the past they provided the beer for the picnic and told those attending to bring everything else, including drinks for the kids. Oh, and the beach? Don't think a glorious sandy beach with palm trees swaying in the breeze. Think muddy side of a lake with a distinct fishy smell near a place that sells bait, beer, and gas for your boat.

This just makes you want to yell, "Honey, grab the camera we need to hit the road!"

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dakota: A Spiritual Geography

We may have a contender for the worst book of 2007. I don't think I can finish Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris (1993) for several reasons. 
(I removed this review several years ago due to a group of people who targeted me for attack. Now it's back and I will remove comments, especially if they are not discussing the actual book. It is a book review and reflects my opinions. If you feel differently, write your own review.)

First, I think this book was written to elevate the author's self esteem. She accomplishes this by placing herself above most of the other, common people around her, the ones she's writing about. I think she started out with a good dose of too much self importance to begin with and, for me, that keeps getting in the way of reading her book. While reading, I keep feeling like Norris is trying to impress me with all this depth and insightfulness that she alone possesses. We need to appreciate her book because she was clever enough to write it. Hogwash.

Norris seems quite intent on equating living in the west river Dakotas with living in a monastery... or a desert. Interesting idea, but not in a good way. She doesn't manage to pull it off either. Currently I'm living in a desert and let me tell you, even west river SD looks verdant compared to a real desert. I have also lived in SD, although not even close to the area she is attempting to discuss like an anthropological subject. I can't imagine her small town neighbors were too impressed with her book, but then I don't think Norris ever thought they'd be whippy enough to read it. She's pretty darn sure that the residents won't say they "didn't just fall off the turnip truck," because she's convinced they'd never managed to find the truck in the first place, let alone climb on board.

Let me end this by saying I didn't like this book at all. Normally I push through and make myself finish a book if I think they'll be some redeeming part to it. I don't think that's going to happen here. I might send this to a friend who has her masters (or Ph.D. by now) and is working for the state of SD's historical society. It might depress her to read about how ignorant and totally uncool the inhabitants of her state are, but she needs to know. She can tell her whole large, well educated family how sad they all are to be in or from SD. I wonder if Norris continued to live in SD after she wrote this?


Monday, March 12, 2007

Book Meme from Pattie

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?
There was a time when I didn't care. Now I prefer hardbacks basically because the print tends to be easier on the eyes.
Amazon or brick and mortar? Amazon! Although I like browsing through a brick and mortar, I can always find what I want at Amazon.
Barnes & Noble or Borders? Both. I've been going more and more to Borders to browse because my daughter likes the world music collection there (and it's priced lower at Borders than at Barnes & Noble). Also, the B&N parking lot here is small and shared by 3 big stores so it can be a pain to find parking on most days.
Bookmark or dog-ear Bookmark! Dog-earing pages is book abuse... unless there is absolutely no other way to mark the page.
Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random? Alphabetized. It is also acceptable to organize by subject matter if they are nonfiction.
Keep, throw away, or sell? Keep if it was enjoyed. Usually I give away those I didn't care for or am unsure about. I have only thrown away 2 books in my entire life. Both were too vile to be passed on.
Keep dustjacket or toss it? Keep dust jacket.
Read with dustjacket or remove it? Read with dustjacket.
Short story or novel? Novel
Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)? I'm not a great fan of short stories.
Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? I haven't read either.
Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks. Chapter breaks if at all possible. It's also acceptable to stop mid chapter if there is a break.
“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”? “It was a dark and stormy night”
Buy or Borrow? Buy, or borrow from the library. I never ask to borrow books from friends.
New or used? Either. If it is an author I like, then new.
Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse? All three. If a book comes highly recommended from a trusted book reading friend I will put the book on a wish list immediately.
Tidy ending or cliffhanger? Tidy ending if at all possible, although I do appreciate some series.
Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading? Nighttime. Sometimes I can get away with afternoon reading on a weekend.
Stand-alone or series? Either.
Favorite series? I can never pick an absolute favorite anything. Different series are favorites for different reasons. Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow and Children of God is a short series of two that I liked very much. Tolkien is obviously a long time favorite and it's nice to see a renewed interest in his books. I liked Ralph Moody's Little Britches books because they perfectly captured a time and place. King's Gunslinger series is a favorite for different reasons. Cussler's Dirk Pitt books have been enjoyed by both my husband and me for years.
Favorite children's book? The Friendly book by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Garth Williams. It has to be illustrated by Garth Williams.
Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? For awhile The Sparrow held this position, but like Pattie I tend to tell people if I like a book. If you like science fiction, I do like Gregory Benford's The Heart of the Comet and Artifact. I'm not sure too many people know about them. I have reread The Last Convertible several times. I'm not sure why I liked it so much.
Favorite books read last year? I can't remember what I read last year, LOL! That was one of the reasons I started a blog, to keep track of what I read and when I read it.
Fiction: I know I was on a James Rollins action/adventure marathon last year and enjoyed all of them very much. I read all of Haven Kimmel's books, which were good (and slop over into the nonfiction category). Memory of Running was good, as was The Remains of the Day.
Nonfiction: Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen and Crack on the Edge of the World by Winchester are two that come to mind.
Favorite books of all time? Can not answer this because I can never narrow my favorites down to one.
Least favorite book you finished last year? Interesting question... I would have given them away at this point, so I have nothing around to refresh my memory.
What are you reading right now? A nonfiction called Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris. This could go into the least favorite category for next year. She doesn't seem to like the people of the Dakotas very much for someone who has lived with them for years. She also needed to be more specific and say it is about west river in the Dakotas. It matters, and, really, they are two states. While I'm at it... I'm not liking her or her book very much. I can't imagine the people of Lemmon, SD were all that thrilled with her after it was published either. That could be why the recommendations are from people on either coast. There is a whole lot of country between the coasts.
What are you reading next? I'm continuing my fiction/nonfiction sequence. I'll probably read The Book Thief next, although I may have to break my personal rule for this year and read a couple anthropology textbooks first. I could skim through those quickly though and then "officially" read The Book Thief.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Spectator Bird

The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner was first published in 1976 and was the winner of the National Book Award in 1977. I'm glad I didn't read it when it was originally published and waited to read it now. It is a sometimes melancholy, very realistic elegant little book. Stegner is a brilliant writer and manages to speak volumes in a little over 200 pages. Reading Stegner is to truly see a gifted writer's craft. What he manages to convey with a few choice words is incredible. This is a book that needs to be savored and reread to appreciate the author's skill. It's also a book that is better appreciated with a little age under your belt.

The plot is deceptively straightforward. Retired literary agent Joe Allston receives a postcard from an old friend. This initiates Joe's search for a diary he kept during the trip where he and his wife met this friend. Between recounting their every day lives as retired senior citizens and Joe's reading the diary out loud to his wife, we are privy to the realistic portrait of a long time married couple and a retelling of a story from their past. I highly recommend The Spectator Bird.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Friendly Book

After getting the house ready to show today and then having the people cancel 5 minutes before they were supposed to show up, my mental illness factor is high today, so, in that light I read an interesting question on Stephanie's blog, "What was your favorite book as a child?

My favorite book was Margaret Wise Brown's The Whispering Rabbit and other Stories, illustrated by Garth Williams. Mostly I liked the illustrations by Garth Williams. My favorite part was the "and Other Stories" because I liked The Friendly Book. The Friendly Book had the wonderful, whimsical illustrations by Garth Williams and a simple story line: "I like _____." (cars, dogs, bugs, stars, etc.)

Thursday, March 8, 2007

My daughter, just me, is shocked that I have never read Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, or Wuthering Heights. She was sure it must have been some kind of mistake when I didn't put them in bold for the meme. I'm sorry, Buttercup, but it is true. I have never read them and never wanted to read them. I felt they were most likely in the romance category and I really don't read romance novels, even good ones. Just be happy that I have bought wonderful hardbound collections of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters for you. I really do understand that they are classics. Perhaps some day I will give them a try.

I never question your interest in cryptozoology, now do I? I'm supportive of your reporting nearby bigfoot sightings.

The Map that Changed the World,

Simon Winchester's The Map that Changed the World, published by Harper Collins in 2001, is about the life of William Smith, England's father of modern geology. Smith, from humble beginnings, noticed that rocks are found in layers. Then he took not of that fact that fossils in one layer were quite different from fossils in another layer. This discovery helped him trace where the rock layers went across England. He became obsessed with creating a colored geological map, showing the strata of rock across England. Once his great map was created and published in 1815, he became a victim of plagiarism, and was swindled out of the recognition due him by the social class structure still firmly in place at the time. His contribution to geology was finally recognized in 1831.

I enjoyed this book, but I realize that it might not be the first pick biography for everyone. I really was reading this while reading and planning out a year of geology all at the same time, so how radical Smith's discovery would have been at the time made perfect sense to me. Perhaps now my geology themed dreams will end, or at least the rocks and strata will be back ground material

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


Planning out a geology course, making an answer key for the geology chapter questions, and reading a book about England's father of geology, all at the same time, may sound like an inspired plan of action. I don't know about that, but it does make for many geology-based dreams.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Willa Cather quotes

Willa Cather quotes:

" Only solitary men know the full joys of friendship. Others have their family; but to a solitary and an exile, his friends are everything. "

"The dead might as well try to speak to the living as the old to the young. "

"Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen. "
from My Antonia

"I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do."
from O Pioneers!

"There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm."
from The Song of the Lark

These are dedicated to my daughter.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

What Books Have You Read meme

"What Books Have You Read?" meme

Look at the list of books below:
* Bold the ones you’ve read
* Italicize the ones you want to read
* Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.
* If you are reading this, tag, you’re it!

(**I didn't italicize any books on this list. If you think I should read one, let me know in comments.)

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom) - blech
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
(I think)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
(with war edited out, LOL)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)*
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)*
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)