Confuzzledom

Just a place for me to gather my thoughts


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35 Before 35: Progress report 2

Now that we’re approaching the fourth month of the year (eeeek!!), I thought it was time for another update on how I’m doing with my 35 before 35 list. My last update was in August 2013, just after my 30th birthday. Now, with 4 years and 4 months left to go, here’s how far I’ve got…

Number 3: Learn Spanish

After doing nothing for months and months and months, I recently started using Duolingo again. So far, all I’ve done is repeat the lessons I’d done previously to refresh my memory, but new words have been added since last time I logged on so it wasn’t all just refreshing. Better than nothing, anyway.

Number 13:  Read (or re-read) 50 non-fiction books

I’m really not good at reading non-fiction. No matter which book I choose to read, it takes me so much longer than reading a novel… I even read German fiction faster than non-fiction in my native language! Last time I updated, I had read 2 non-fiction books… now I’m up to three! I finally finished reading Crimea by Orlando Figes, a book about the events leading up to the Crimean War, the war itself and the aftermath. It ended up being quite relevant to current events… but I had started reading it some time last summer! Very interesting, but I’m so glad I’ve finished! Oh, and if anyone can recommend any books on Ukrainian history I’d be very grateful! The Crimea was the closest I found…

Number 15: Read 30 books in German

Last time I updated, the task was only to read 20 books in German, but I’ve been doing so well I decided to increase the number. I had read three German books in August 2013, and now I’m up to ten having recently finished Bis in den Tod hinein by Vincent Kliesch – a crime/thriller set in Berlin. You can see which other books I’ve read in German here.

Number 16: Spend New Year in Madeira and see the fireworks display

If you haven’t read about my trip to Madeira yet, you’re obviously very new to this blog ;-) For those who don’t know, the boyfriend and I spent New Year 2013/14 in Madeira… and yes, we saw the fireworks!

The famous Funchal fireworks

The famous Funchal fireworks

Number 18: Bake 10 different kinds of biscuits

Last time I’d baked one, now I’m up to three. Since August 2013, I’ve baked Honey Gingerbread Biscuits and Chocolate Brownie Biscuits. The latter went down very well with my colleagues!

Number 20: Attend a world cup rugby match

Not done yet, but the rugby union world cup is taking place in England next year, and I’ve already asked my dad to try and get us tickets once they go on sale.

Number 21: Read all the books from the BBC Big Read that I hadn’t before starting this challenge

In August 2013, I’d read six books. Now I’m up to 7… or technically six and two thirds. I’ve read 2 out of 3 books from the His Dark Materials trilogy! Currently I’m reading Middlemarch by George Eliot (also on the list) and not enjoying it at all! I’ve barely started though, so hopefully it will improve…

Number 31: Watch 15 films I haven’t seen before

I hadn’t even started this last time I did an update and now I’m up to a whole 5 films. Woo hoo! Two of them are thanks to my little brother (age 7), who forced me to watch Planes at Christmas and Thunderbirds when I went over in February. You can see what else I’ve watched here.

Aaaand that’s all I’ve done since my last update. I do have an idea about which biscuits to bake next, though. Stay tuned….

 


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Stamp of Approval Saturday: Maps, books, badgers and a blog analyser

I’m linking up with Alex at Ifs, Ands & Butts again for Stamp of Approval Saturday. Here are the Internet finds that have caught my eye recently:

1. My first link comes from Alex herself – she posted it on Stamp of Approval Saturday last week and I had to post it here for those of you who don’t read her blog (although you really should) to check out. This list of maps that will help you make sense of the world from Twisted Sifter is just ace!!

2. Next up, Buzzfeed: I felt like a nodding dog reading this list of problems only book lovers will understand. So true, all of it! And there is definitely no such thing as too many books!

Badger

Archaeologist? (Photo credit: Tatterdemalion!)

3. This next link would have been included on last week’s Stamp of Approval Saturday if I hadn’t been way too busy to post. There’s something about a badger discovering a medieval tomb that appeals to me. Who needs archaeologists anyway? :-D

4. Another Buzzfeed. This one’s about brilliant British people problems and it’s so true!! I have definitely done 16 and 18…

5. Finally, here’s a link that a friend shared with me this week. UrlAi is basically a site that analyses blogs. You put in a URL and it tells you whether it thinks a male or female wrote it, how happy the author is and other things. Here’s what it says about me:

confuzzledom.wordpress.com is probably written by a female somewhere between 18-25 years old. The writing style is personal and happy most of the time.

I was going to give you a screenshot of the little graphs it came up with for my blog, but for some reason my computer was unable to take one (“Unable to capture screenshot. All possible  methods failed”), which is kind of a shame, because the visualisation thing that shows you which words went into which category is pretty interesting. Here’s a small excerpt from mine:

♣ The words “ribbon”, “cupcake” and “feet” were in the female category, while the male category had “assistant”, “astride” and “casinos”. (Astride also came up under “business”… which made me laugh. Am I the only one whose mind instantly goes to the gutter on hearing the word “astride” without any context?)
♣”Hate”, “trouble” and “scary” made sense for the upset category, but I’m not sure why “air” ends up there?! Meanwhile “excited”, “lovely” and “birthday” put me firmly in the happy category… but so did “ice”. What?!

Anyway, you should check the site out and see what it has to say about your blog.

Found anything interesting on the Internet this lately? You too can link up with Alex for Stamp of Approval Saturday and share your finds with the rest of the blogosphere! This week’s edition is the last one, so get in while you can.


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35 Before 35 – An update

Now that my 30th birthday has passed, I thought it was time to take a look at the progress I’ve made so far on my 35 Before 35 challenge .

First of all, a request. I’m up to 32 things on my list (which you can view here), which means I still need three more! Any suggestions? Some of the things on there are probably going to be quite expensive (hot air balloon ride! Stay in a five star hotel!), so maybe something that isn’t going to break the bank…

So, how far have I got with the items that are already on the list? I’ll do this in numerical order, I think…

Number 3: Learn Spanish. Welllll, I joined Memrise, used it for about three days, then completely forgot it existed. And I haven’t been on Duolingo for months. Not the best start…

Number 13: Read (or re-read) 50 non-fiction books. I have read two so far – The Importance of Being Trivial by Mark Mason (scroll right down in the linked post – I wrote about it briefly after my revew of Emma) and What Are the Seven Wonders of the World? And Other Cultural Lists: Fully Described by Peter D’Epiro.

Number 15: Read 20 books in German. I put this one on the list because I almost never pick up books in German when there are English ones to be read! I’ve managed three German books since starting the challenge though: Schattenfreundin by Christine Drews, Schwesterlein, Komm Stirb mit Mir by Karen Sander and Mordsfreunde by Nele Neuhaus. All three are crime novels – it’s difficult to find much else by German authors, and I prefer to read books that were written in English in the original!

Number 18: bake 10 different types of biscuit (cookie for the Americans). I’ve baked one type of biscuit so far, Chocolate Cherry Cookies. You can read all about that here.

Number 21: Read all those books from the BBC Big Read Top 200 list of books that I haven’t before. That makes a total of 132 books, and so far I have read 6: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, Emma by Jane Austen, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks, The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher and To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee.

Number 28: Play blacklight (glow-in-the-dark) minigolf.  I did this in Berlin, and posted about it here.

I think I’ve made a pretty good start to the challenge. Hopefully I can keep it up!


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Stamp of Approval Staurday: Books and Music

books & globe

Photo credit: reenoreluv

For this week’s Stamp of Approval Saturday, I wanted to share this story of a woman who set herself the challenge of reading a book from every country in the world in one year. And I thought my plan to read all the books from the BBC Big Read in the next five years was ambitious!

While we’re on the subject of books, take a look at this Mashable list of 15 Young-Adult Books Every Adult Should Read. I have read two of them and naturally all the rest have now been added to my to-read list. If only there were more hours in a day…

Finally, I would like to share a music video with you. I had never even heard of the band Big Sixes until two weeks ago, then this link was posted on Facebook. The video is admittedly kind of boring, but please have a listen anyway…  they teamed up with some young musicians, and the cello player is my 14-year-old cousin!

For more stamps of approval, check out Alex’s blog,  Ifs, Ands & Butts!


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Things I HAVE done before 30: Part 3 – Education and skills

It’s been aaaaages since I started writing this series. Berlin and day trips and other happenings got in the way and made me forget about it. But now I’ve remembered I’m back with the third (and final) installment of things I have achieved before turning 30. I decided to call this post “Education and skills”, for want of anything better. If you haven’t read Part 1: Travel and Part 2: Experiences, feel free to click the links. Right here, you can read about all my education and skills related achievements.

Before 30, I have…

Got two degrees

A Bachelor’s in German with International Relations and a Master’s in Translation, to be specific. I did the Master’s part time via remote learning while working full time, and managed to pass with a merit – an achievement I am genuinely proud of!

Passed two Open University short courses

Start Writing Fiction and Science Starts Here.

Learned to speak another language

German… in case that wasn’t obvious ;-) I wouldn’t say I’ve reached native speaker level (I’m not sure that’s possible after the age of about 6), but I’m pretty fluent! I’ve been trying to learn Spanish for about 4 years now, but unfortunately haven’t been getting very far. It’s sooo much harder than German!

Read many, many books

Open Book

Open Book (Photo credit: White Magnolia Photography)

I’m counting reading under education simply because it didn’t seem to fit in either of the other two posts, and I really have read a lot of books. I wouldn’t even know where to begin counting them all! I have always loved books and reading, starting with Each, Peach, Pear Plum in nursery, then moving on to the likes of Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, the Narnia books and later Point Horror and The Babysitter’s Club, and my first “adult” books by Agatha Christie. One thing I was always guaranteed to get for my birthday, no matter how little money there was to spare, is new books. Forever grateful to my family for that!

Learned to use several computer programs

There weren’t that many computers when I was a kid (I still remember having an old BBC computer in the primary school classroom!) and even once PCs did appear we never had one at home. My first introduction to a PC was in IT lessons as a teenager. Since then I’ve learned to use most of the usual programs (Word, Excel, etc.) and also four different translation memory softwares… soon to be five as I’m just starting with a new one at work! My computer scientist boyfriend would probably laugh at my so-called “skills” but personally I’m amazed that I can do anything on a computer! I’m still convinced they’re plotting to take over the world…

Learned to cook (and bake)

I consider cooking and baking to be a skill (and also something pretty much anyone should be able to do. Following a recipe isn’t that hard!). But I will be the first to admit that I’ve gone beyond the basics and can now whip up some pretty amazing concoctions. Being able to make an excellent Christmas dinner may not be particularly glamorous, but we can’t all be musicians, artists or geniuses and there aren’t many people who don’t enjoy a good meal (or delicious chocolate brownie…)

Aaaand that’s all for this series. Next time I ask myself what I’ve been doing all my life I’ll have to look back at this and remind myself that, actually, I have done quite a lot. Now if only I could figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life (other than not end up as a career woman, that is, however convinced my family may be that precisely that is my fate).

In case you missed them, links to the first two parts:


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35 before 35: Reading – Emma by Jane Austen

After reading a couple of other books, I decided it was time to get back to my 35 before 35 BBC Big Read challenge, so I picked up a copy of Emma by Jane Austen from my local branch of Thalia (you can purchase English classics there for the bargain price of  €3.99!). Here’s my review.

Emma by Jane Austen

Plot summary

English: "The sight of Harriet's tears&qu...

English: “The sight of Harriet’s tears” – Emma tells Harriet that Mr. Elton is not interested in marrying her. Austen, Jane. Emma. London: George Allen, 1898, page 144. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Emma Woodhouse, the title chatacter of the book, lives alone with her “invalid” (read: hypochondriac!) father. At the start of the book, the two of them have been “abandoned” by Emma’s old governess, Miss Taylor, who has just married and thus moved out of their house.  Throughout the entire book, Mr Woodhouse refers to the ex-governess as “poor Mrs Weston” (her married name). Emma’s sister, who is also married, is “poor Isabella”. According to Mr Woodhouse, nobody who has moved out of their own house to get married can possibly be happy.

Emma, who has led a charmed life as the spoiled favourite daughter of a wealthy man, fears that she is going to be bored now that her constant companion for years has gone off and left her, so she decides to take a young girl named Harriet Smith under her wing. Because she introduced Miss Taylor (as was) to her now husband, Emma has come to the conclusion that she has a talent for matchmaking and decides to find someone for Harriet. But first she has to persuade her to turn down Mr Martin, a farmer, who she feels is entirely beneath Harriet’s station. Harriet duly does so, and Emma sets her sights on Mr Elton – a family friend of the Woodhouses – as the perfect match for Harriet. Meanwhile, Mr Knightly, another family friend who has known Emma all her life, warns Emma not to give Harriet ideas above her station. He is proved right when it transpires that Mr Elton has never felt any affection for Harriet at all, and in fact had his sights set on someone else (trying not to give too much away here). Harriet is heartbroken, and Emma resolves never to do any matchmaking again.

Later, Mr Weston’s son, Frank Churchill (who was adopted and then brought up by his aunt and uncle after his mother died when he was very young, hence the different surname), turns up and starts flirting with Emma, who duly flirts back causing various people to think there’s something developing between them. Due to a  misunderstanding, Emma then comes to the conclusion that Harriet is in love with Frank and basically tells her to go for it if she wants, but not to expect any help from Emma (who is done with matchmaking, after all). Harriet takes encouragement from this and starts looking for signs that the object of her affections feels the same about her. When Frank turns out to be engaged, Emma assumes Harriet will be upset, only to find out that actually she’s in love with someone else. At which point Emma realises that she, too, is in love with that someone else and has been all along…

My thoughts
So, a rather long summary of the plot (some aspects of it anyway – more does happen). Now for my review.

First of all, I have to say that in the beginning I did not like Emma as a person at all. She’s spoilt, selfish, vain and thinks she knows best about everything. Some of her thoughts about the neighbours are just plain bitchy (and towards the end she even makes one horrible comment out loud, although she does have the grace to feel bad when Mr Knightly points out that what she said was just plain rude and the person being insulted understood her perfectly well). She does redeem herself later when she realises she’s been wrong about pretty much everything, despite thinking herself oh-so-clever.

Harriet Smith annoyed me as well, with her “Oh dear Emma, if you say it then it must be true” attitude. Way to make a spoiled little rich girl even more big headed! And as for the father, with his imaginary illnesses and insistance that practically every food you can think of is bad… including apples (unless they are baked in exactly the right way… Let’s just say I certainly wouldn’t have pandered to his every whim as the characters in this book did! I think my favourite character was Mr Knightly, one of the few people that actually treated Emma like a real person and not some kind of goddess. With everybody else constantly fawning around her and telling her how wonderful she was, every time Mr Knightly pointed out that she had done wrong (the verbal equivalent of the good slap that I felt she desperately needed when the novel started!), I found myself rooting for him.

All that said, I did actually like the book. It was well written, and Emma’s observations were often quite clever, even if there was a mean element to them. I thought the story, with all its twists and turns, was interesting as well and found myself genuinely hoping that Harriet did end up with someone, especially once she got some self-confidence and stopped fawning at the wonderful Emma’s feet. Emma herself did change towards the end of the novel, and at that point I started to like her more. looking back, it seems a lot of her faults were related to her age (at the start of the novel, she was only 21), and the arrogance of youth. Underneath it all, she always did mean well, even if she did go about things in entirely the wrong way and seemed to have trouble understanding that anybody could ever think differently than how she wanted them to. Once she fell in love and started to grow up a bit, she became much more likeable and I was left thinking there was hope that she could actually become a decent person in time!

Overall, I thought that Emma gave some great insights into what life was like in the 1800s (particularly for women), but in many ways the story is timeless. Not many people these days have as much time on their hands as Emma Woodhouse, but how many women can honestly say they’ve never tried to matchmake their friends, or come to an wrong conclusion  based on their own flawed interpretation? At eighteen, I probably could have been an Emma… although hopefully not quite as oblivious to everyone else’s opinion… Emma is not about to become my favourite book, but I’m sure I will read it again some day.

Aside from reading Emma, I have also managed to read one non-fiction book The Importance of Being Trivial: In Search of the Perfect Fact by Mark Mason. Here’s the synopsis: Convinced that our love of trivia must reveal something truly important about us, Mark Mason sets out to discover what that something is. And, in the process, he asks the fundamental questions that keep all trivialists awake at night: Why is it so difficult to forget that Keith Richards was a choirboy at the Queen’s coronation when it’s so hard to remember what we did last Thursday? Are men more obsessed with trivia than women? Can it be proved that house flies hum in the key of F? Can anything ever really be proved? And the biggest question of them all: is there a perfect fact, and if so what is it?

I quite enjoyed this book, although some of his conclusions about women made me want to track the author down and punch him! The random facts he inserted were interesting though, as were the various conversations he had with experts. This was perfect light-hearted reading for my daily commute.


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35 before 35: Reading

I’ve already managed to read two of the books on the BBC Big Read Top 200 list that I hadn’t already – not bad going! My first two books were Pride & Prejudice and Rebecca. Here are my thoughts.

English: Français : Une gravure de 1833 illust...

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I don’t think I need to say too much about the plot – I suspect most people know it already, but it is basically the story of the five single Bennet girls and their mother who is determined to get them married off. Most of the story focuses on Jane and Elizabeth ( Lizzy) – the two oldest Bennet daughters and their relationships with two young men, Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy.

Once I’d got used to the old-fashioned spellings (chuse for choose!), I quite enjoyed the book. It’s well written and gives great insight into how people think and the relationships between them. I liked the character of Lizzy, who was strong and independent. Despite living in a society in which the only way that women could gain any form of secuity was to find themselves a husband, she refused to get married for anything less than love. The one thing that did annoy me about her was her attitude to her sister, Jane. Lizzie’s thoughts on other people are mostly realistic (except when it comes to Mr Darcy, whom she originally takes a dislike to), but Jane, in her eyes, can do no wrong. Jane is the epitome of all that’s kind and good-tempered, but is also very naive and almost ridiculously innocent, a trait that I’m sure Lizzie would have found annoying in anyone but her marvellous big sister Jane! I wouldn’t say this is my favourite classic, but I would probably read it again.

 

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca / Daphne du Maurier

Photo credit: lalagonca

 

The famous opening line of this book – “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again” – sets the scene for the entire story, which consists of the unnamed bnarrator (she is only ever referred to as Mrs DeWinter, but at the beginning of the book she isn’t even that) reminiscing about the past. While working as the companion to a rich American woman – Mrs Van Hopper – vacationing in Monte Carlo, the narrator meets rich widower Maximilian DeWinter. Mrs Van Hopper comes down with an illness, leaving the narrator free to spend her time with Mr DeWinter. After a fortnight, Mrs Van Hopper decides she wants to go home, at which point Max DeWinter suddenly asks the narrator to marry him. After a honeymoon, the DeWinters return to Max’s home, Manderley, where he presents his new wife to the staff, including the creeper housekeeper, Mrs Danvers. later, we find out that Mrs Danvers was devoted to the original Mrs DeWinter, Max’s first wife Rebecca, who died ten months earlier in a boating accident.  Rebecca’s presence can still be felt in every room of the house, and the narrator often compares herself unfavourably with the seemingly perfect dead woman.

Rebecca is a difficult book to classify. It’s certainly gothic, with elements of romance (it has been labelled as such), but to me it also has a slight air of mystery about it. Little by little, things come out that don’t seem to fit in with what’s been said before. And, of course, there’s the whole Cinderella rags-to-riches element of the young girl being rescued from a life as a companion by the wealthy widower. You could say there’s something for everyone.

I really enjoyed this novel. With so many twists and turns, I was disappointed every time I had to put the book away and get on with something else – I was desperate to know what was going to happen next! The caharacters are well developed, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the poor, insecure narrator – thurst into a new life that she had absolutely no experience with and having to hear time and time again how wonderful everyone thought Rebecca was. I would highly recommend this book, particularly to those who enjoy novels like Jane Eyre.


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Things I can do

Not quite 30 candles

Photo credit: hankword

I recently started reading a book entitled “Turning 30: How to get the life you really want“.

The “You know you’re turning 30 when…” list could almost have been plucked directly from my brain (I say almost because not everything applies… I can’t say I’ve ever felt particularly jealous of anyone’s hanging baskets!), but one thing in particular struck a chord with me:

You come face to face with the realisation that you are but passing through this life…
And if you don’t settle down and have kids soon it might be too late…
And you really ought to be doing something with your life…
And you’re destroying brain cells every time a quick drink turns into a big night out…
And look at that – a full set of non-stick saucepans and you get a milk pan thrown in…

Well, maybe not the last one (I get more excited about plates than saucepans), but you get the idea.

The aim of the book is to get you through what the authors call “The turning 30 blues” by helping you figure out who you are and what you actually want from life. To that end, they include lots of exercises that are supposed to make you think and help you decide what you need to do next.

i can on 19 February 2010 - day 50

Photo credit: Leonard John Matthews

One such exercise is entitled “Uncovering your strengths”. The task is to write a list of things you believe you are good at (they want you to list these under the three headings “Physical/Manual”, “Intellectual” and “Social/Relationships”, but that seems a bit complicated to me!)

Rather than just putting it on paper, I decided to turn my list into a blog post. So, as I approach the big 3-0, here are the things I can do:

  • Cook and bake
  • Make a tasty meal out of very few ingredients without consulting a recipe
  • Translate reasonably well
  • Read fast
  • Remember the lyrics to hundreds of songs
  • Cross stitch
  • Speak German
  • Spell (in English)
  • Sew on a button
  • Remember people’s birthdays
  • Dye my own hair

That’s all I can think of. The next step is to ask other people what they think your strengths are – I’m going to ask Jan when he gets in from work. Then I think I want to find some new things to try (this one is my idea – not the book’s). My list seems rather short to me and I’m sure there must be something else out there I could be good at – I just need to find it!


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Friday letters

Another Friday (hurrah!)… another round of letters from me to the world.

lettres

Photo credit: christing-O-

Dear snow. You looked very pretty this morning and I wanted to take photos, but I was already running late to catch my train. Please stick around til I can get out there with my camera.

Dear new boots. You are beautiful and I can’t wait to show you off! (Post with pictures to follow soon).

1° Flickr-compleanno. 1st Flickr-birthday.

Photo credit: mao_lini

Dear S. Happy first birthday! I can’t believe you’re one already! This year has gone so fast…

Dear unread books. I see you eyeing me up from the bookcase every time I walk passed. Please be patient – I promise to get round to you soon. (Pride and Prejudice, you’re next. You can stop glowering at me now ;-))

Dear self. STOP SPENDING MONEY! And yes, that did need to be in caps!

Dear readers. Thank you for sticking around despite all the “I’m going to be 30 soon” and “All my friends are having babies” induced whining I’ve been doing lately. You are all amazing.

Dear TV. We are hopefully coming to get you this weekend. I can’t wait to be able to watch DVDs on a proper screen!

PhotobucketI hope you all have a great weekend, however you’re planning to spend it. I’m at a party tonight and hoping to spend the remainder of the weekend getting a lot further with my current cross stitch picture!


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New challenge for the 35 before 35 list

Read all those books from the BBC Big Read Top 200 list of books that I haven’t before.

English: An owl on an open book with a hat

Photo: Wikipedia

I’ve already read:

  1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
  2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
  4. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
  5. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
  6. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
  7. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
  8. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë (and never loathed a book so much in my life!)
  9. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger (didn’t like this one much either)
  10. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

    Wind in the Willows

    Wind in the Willows (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  11. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  12. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
  13. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
  14. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
  15. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
  16. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
  17. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
  18. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
  19. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
  20. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
  21. Dune, Frank Herbert
  22. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
  23. Watership Down, Richard Adams
  24. Animal Farm, George Orwell
  25. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
  26. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
  27. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  28. The BFG, Roald Dahl
  29. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
  30. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell (still makes me cry, every time!)
  31. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
  32. Mort, Terry Pratchett
  33. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
  34. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
  35. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
  36. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
  37. Matilda, Roald Dahl
  38. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
  39. The Twits, Roald Dahl

    The Twits

    The Twits (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  40. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
  41. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (not his best, in my opinion)
  42. Dracula, Bram Stoker
  43. The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, Sue Townsend
  44. Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett
  45. Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison
  46. The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
  47. Danny The Champion Of The World, Roald Dahl
  48. Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett
  49. Hogfather, Terry Pratchett
  50. The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan (hated it!)
  51. James And The Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
  52. The Green Mile, Stephen King
  53. Men At Arms, Terry Pratchett
  54. Soul Music, Terry Pratchett
  55. Thief Of Time, Terry Pratchett
  56. The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett
  57. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
  58. The Witches, Roald Dahl
  59. Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White
  60. Fantastic Mr Fox, Roald Dahl
  61. The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery (read in German, but since the original is actually French it still counts!)
  62. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
  63. Goosebumps, R. L. Stine (this is actually a series, but I’ve read at least 10 Goosebumps books so will let it count!)
  64. Heidi, Johanna Spyri
  65. The Truth, Terry Pratchett
  66. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans
  67. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
  68. Flowers In The Attic, Virginia Andrews

So, 68 down. Only another 132 to go. Should be doable in 5 years!
Next one to read is Pride and Prejudice (number 2 on the Big Read list) because I already have the book.

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