thank you Helen for drawing this

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Welcome to Ali's blog. A blog that has absolutely nothing to do with juggling monkeys. It doesn't really have anything to do with much, just me rambling on about random things.

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Thursday, October 23, 2003
Ooh, I got 11

Oh and Helen is right, This is ludicrously addictive. My high score is only 10 though.

What have I been up to then? Nothing much. It's a free listing day at ebay, so I am listing a few things, if you know anyone that likes Kylie then I have the perfect Christmas present for them: Look!

Anything else. Oh, yes, the BBC Big Read, for those who don't know, the BBC is looking for the nation's favourite book. They had voting open a while back, to select the top 100, they have ranked the top 100 based on number of votes. They haven't yet ranked the top 21, those have been shortlisted as finalists to find the nation's favourite book. There are programmes over the winter about each book and people can vote online, on the phones or by text messages. I haven't watched any programmes, I've only got information via the library where I work and the internet. I don't really fancy watching a programme about a book, but the concept does appeal to me. Anyway, I was looking at the top 100 and the top 21 and we were all counting and competing to see who'd read the most, I've read 37, not as many as Helen, but more than most of the people counting (The proportion of Terry Pratchett on the list pushes us geeks up a bit) and I thought it'd be a good goal to try to read them all. I am going to try to start with the top 21 and try to have read them all by the time the voting is over December 13th. Then I'm going to try to read the whole of the top 100 by the end of next year. I don't know if that's a little ambitious, let's see, here is the list and I'll cross out the ones that I've already read.

Big Read Top 21 (crossed out I've read)

Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks

Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres

Catch 22, Joseph Heller

The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger

Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling

His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien

Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier

War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy

The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne

Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë

Of course, the problem with this is there're some very boring looking books on that list. Can I be bothered to read Jane Austen? And I don't like Philip Pullman. Oh well, I've borrowed Captain Corelli's Mandolin today, so let's see if I can at least get a good portion of the list done. It doesn't bode all that well for me completing this task if I'm having second thoughts on the day I decide to do it.

The thing with this whole favourite book is that I think it's probably affected by the type of people who vote, I mean there's a lot of fantasy on the list, but no family sagas, why? It's certainly not because people don't like family sagas, so could it be because the type of people who vote in these are the type who read fantasy? Also different people have different views on what to vote for, my idea of "favourite book" is the one that you enjoy to read, that you take to bed with you, that you re-read and just love, not necessarily the best-written book, not necessarily a classic, not something that's "good literature" but something you really enjoy. I appreciate that for some people the book that does this for them might be "War and Peace" but sometimes I think people vote for something because it's somehow more literary and good, not because they actually love it. Having said that I did really enjoy many books which you might say are more of a "good book" than an enjoyable one. Of course I am hypocritical in this anyway since I looked at the list and see Jacqueline Wilson and thought, honestly, they aren't good books! Then realised what I was doing. Kids enjoy them, they are the favourite books of a lot of children, so why shouldn't they vote for them. I think in a way they should have done adults and kids separately, I don't really want to read "Girls in Love," scary teenage books, aargh. Oh well, if I want to accomplish my task I'll just have to, anyway it'll probably be easier going than some of the others that I'll have to plod through.

Do you want to see what I've read of the runner's up list then? Okay, here's the rest of the top 100 with ones I've read crossed out:

22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien

26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky - in process of reading (started months ago though)
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

Oddly, now I've crossed everything out and counted I seem to have read 38. I must have counted wrong before. Weird though, cos I counted twice, to make sure. Only now it's 39 'cos I've just amended the top 21 as I realised that I have read Winnie the Pooh.

Random observation of the day

At times when I don't get round to posting I think of many random observations, yet now when sitting here posting I can't think of any, why is that? I even had one when I came to write my blog, but as soon as I started typing I forgot it. I'm not sure if this counts as an observation or not. I have observed this phenomena though, so maybe it does, although in classing this in itself as an observation I have proved my observation to be wrong, because I have blogged and I have observed something, but if it's wrong, then it can't count as an observation and therefore I have failed to find an observation, which in turn means that it is true. AAAAAAArgh, the logic is looping, she canna take it no more cap'n!

Wednesday, October 22, 2003
I don't have anything interesting to say. Went to a woods with Rob, Helen and Emma on Sunday, didn't climb trees. Well, I went a little way up one, but I didn't really feel like over exerting myself, or possibly getting stuck. Maybe if it had just been me I would have. That's stupid isn't it? If there was no-one around, therefore meaning it's much more dangerous if anything does happen, then I'm prepared to do more stupid things. I'd probably have done it with Helen there.

Anything else? Well, Hullabaloo is on this Sunday, it's not meant to be, but on Sunday morning I was told that we couldn't have the hall on the first Sunday in November, since Hullabaloo is the first Sunday of the month it meant moving it or cancelling it, I've booked time off work for the second week in November, so I thought I'd better move it forwards. It means another rushed planning week though, aaargh.

Must have done something vaguely interesting, but I am racking my brains and really can't think of anything.

Random observation of the day

This half term kids seem to be doing their homework sooner rather than leaving it till the last minute like usual. That's a very generalised observation, but it's true at my library and 2 others have mentioned it too.

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