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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Quiet B.E.A.R.

When Nick was a first grader they had "Quiet B.E.A.R." time during the school day. B.E.A.R. stands for "because everybody always reads". That turned out to be a favorite part of his day - just like free-reading time in Mrs. Withee's fourth/fifth grade English class was for me.
We're big readers here, always have been. I remember my mom making me put down my books and go outside to play. My summers were spent at the library and the swimming pool (where I often had a book to read while sunbathing). When Greg and I started dating, he got me started on The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, then recommended Watership Down. We've spent hours together at the local public library, and the kids have gone with us since they were infants.
Nick has embraced reading as a pastime and some of his favorites are stories I remembered from my school days and recommended to him. He's a big science fiction fan, so he has lots of Star Trek and Star Wars books as well. When he moved out, he took the Lord of the Rings books, so I'm on the lookout for another set when I go to garage sales.
Jessi likes to read, but doesn't spend a lot of time with books at this point in her life. I know she liked Wuthering Heights enough to grab a copy of it from the school library when it was on the giveaway table. And she has a series of Francine Rivers books that we gave her for her birthday a few years ago. I need to borrow those.
Literacy was a special interest of mine when I taught preschool, and I was trained to present a "Read for Joy" workshop for parents and community members. I'm still trying to spread the love of reading by taking my niece and nephews to the library periodically for storytime, and helping them pick out stacks of books to take home.
All this to say, when I saw the following on another Nebraska mom's blog, I thought I'd pass it on. I see I've read many more than the estimated average, but there are some classics I've only seen in movie versions. A couple of my all-time favorites are listed, The Secret Garden and Wuthering Heights, as well as Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. Some of the books I read in High School and didn't necessarily enjoy - I'm not a John Steinbeck fan, sorry. And while I love Jane Austen's stories, I don't recall reading them, just seeing the various movie versions. They're on my "to read" list.
I recently finished the Twilight series (anxiously awaiting the movie opening!). Right now there is a stack of books waiting for me that includes The Other Bolyen Girl, The Host, Wicked, and several others.

What is your favorite book so far? I'd love for you to leave a comment and tell me about it. Who knows - it may be one I'd love to experience!

The Big Read is a National Endowment for the Arts program designed to encourage community reading initiatives.
Of their top 100 books, they estimate the average adult has read only six. (If you check out the web site, there are additional books featured besides this list.)

Here’s what you are supposed to do:

*Look at the list and bold those we have read. (My list is bold - I added an asterisk for those Greg has read.)

*Italicize those we intend to read.

*Underline the books we LOVE .

Share this list in your blog, too, if you like.

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 Traveler'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 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
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

1 comment:

Barbara Allen Moore said...

What a list! Yes I have read most and own many of the books there. might I suggest "Lorna Doone" by Blackmore. If you do read it you might want to do so in the abridged version. The unabridged is in an old english. When I read it in high school (my choice not theirs)I was adding "thee and tho" to my own language not to mention other old english words no longer spoken. It was an adventure! check out the "Black Jewels" trilogy by Ann Bishop. She creates a world in such detail that you just accept it as real. Also anything by Deborah Smith: Sweet Hush (about apples), Charming Grace (a bless her heart kind of woman), Silk and Stone, the Stone Flower Garden and more. She is a great southern writer and writes in the cadence of southern speaking. She is also owner of Bell books a publishing house and a writer of the Mossy Creek short stories with other wonderful women writers. JD Robb is another great read as is Janet Evanovich (for lots of laughs) when in college I took a class on Shakespeare. I was so nervous because I had read him on my own and seen BBC and PBS versions of his plays nothing in a class. So first day the professor shows the film version of Taming of the Shrew, I'm sitting in the back of the class with him seated behind me and we're the only people belly laughing at the antics on screen. No one else understood what was being said. Also authors M.M. Kaye, Elizabeth Peters, Diana Gabaldon (exceptionally good writer)and the old masters like Tennyson and Walt Whitman who's poems are stories. I learned about literature through the Book Of Knowledge encyclopedia's that the folks bought. Each book was the usual encyclopedia but about 1/4 of each was poetry, short stories, songs and novels like Lorna Doone. Thats where I began my love of reading. When on my travels I found an used book store up in Washington state that had a hard cover version of Lorna Doone. I was so happy to finally find one after 40 yrs that I burst into tears and bought it on the spot. The poor man owning the store just petted his fat cat,who was sitting next to the computer on the desk, gave me a gentle smile and happily took my money. We understood each other.