The Book Meme

Stole this just because…

Where do you fall in the list? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here.

Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read. If you want to, tag other book nerds.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen x
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien x
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte x
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling X
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee X
6 The Bible x
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte x
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell X
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens X

Total: 9

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller X
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare 1/2 X read quite a bit
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien X
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger X
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger (saw the movie)
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

Total: 3.5
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald X
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams X
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky x
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck X
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll X
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame X

Total: 6

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles DickensX
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis x
34 Emma-Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis x
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden (sitting on my shelf, unread)
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne X

Total: 3

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell X
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown X
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany – 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 X
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan (also sitting on the shelf)

Total: 3

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert X
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen x
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens X
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley X
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (sequel to lust and malaria)

Total: 4

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck X
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas x
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac (read some of it)
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville X
Total: 3

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens X
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker X
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante X
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt

Total: 3

 81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens X
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker x
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 X
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom x
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle X
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

Total: 5

 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 X
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare X
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl X
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo X

Total: 3

Grand Total: 42.5

Damn Brits, trying to make me feel like I am illiterate and uneducated.

Private School Blues & What is a High IQ Worth Anyway

A dear friend and I had a long discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of private school. The premise of this discussion was whether private schools offer a real and significant advantage over public schools.

It is a timely question. Both of us have children attending private schools. Both of us are public school graduates. Both of us have done ok for ourselves professionally. We may not be wildly successful and or bathed in wealth, but we are ok.

As responsible parents we are interested in doing everything that we can to help our children. Education is of paramount importance to us. We want our kids to have the best that they can possibly get. Material things can be taken from you, but a good education stays with you forever.

There is no disagreement between us about this. The real question that we struggle with is the financial aspect of paying for school. It is a significant sum and one that you cannot ignore, at least we can’t. So we sit there and ask ourselves how to truly evaluate our investment in the kids’ education.

Private school tuition requires making sacrifices. In concept I haven’t any issue with doing so to help my children.Why would I. In reality though it has been a rough road at times and a weight upon my shoulders. It means that I have to put off retiring for a while.

It is kind of funny. At 25 I put money into my 401k without really thinking about. I did it because I knew that it was smart, but retirement was so far off I couldn’t picture. At 40 I think about it differently. I am much more conscious of the passage of time.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind making sacrifices for the children, provided that they make sense. Private school doesn’t just impact my retirement. I can’t take the family on some of the vacations we would like to go on. I have a more modest home than I would otherwise own.

At the moment I am comfortable with my decision because the local public school is absolutely abysmal and moving hasn’t been a viable option. But this is a marathon. The dark haired beauty is in kindergarten. Her brother is in third grade.

It won’t be that long before it will be time to worry about a Bar Mitzvah, let alone the Bat Mitzvah that will follow.

Circling back a moment I look at private school and I ask myself what is necessary to help my children be successful in life. On a side note it is probably worth taking time to establish what the definition of success is. I posit that this is subjective and that there isn’t necessarily going to be a uniform agreement about that.

For the purpose of this post I’ll say that success is doing something that you find to be fulfilling.Ideally that thing is something that pays the bills. If you love your work life is much easier, but that is a different topic.

I am reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. The book delves into success and why some people attain it and others do not. It is an interesting book and one that I am enjoying. He spends time discussing how it is that certain people become superstars in their field and why others do not.

Thus far three things have really caught my attention:

1) Natural ability isn’t enough. Sometimes you just have to be good enough.
2) Luck and opportunity have a real impact.
3) It takes about ten thousand hours to become an expert in a particular field/task.

Got to get back to work. More on this later.

This Sounds Interesting

I have a gift card for Borders that I haven’t used yet. I might pick this up.

“He was 11 years old, riding in a Cessna in a blizzard through California’s San Gabriel Mountains in 1979, on his way to pick up a trophy he won in a skiing competition.

“The gray clouds were just pressing against the windows; it didn’t even seem like we were moving,” he recalls. “Then, there’s a limb reaching out of that fog and disappearing. Then another one and another one.

“Then realizing we were in the trees.”

The plane crash that followed killed his father and the pilot and badly wounded his father’s girlfriend, who with young Norman was tossed violently onto the top of an 8,600-foot mountain in the freezing, February chill.

“I felt three thuds. The third one must have knocked me cold,” says Ollestad, now 41. “I remember feeling those thuds in my spine — a clear memory of that. Then I woke up who knows how long after.”

The ensuing nine-hour, life-or-death descent — in the end, he was the only survivor — is the topic of “Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival.”

What I Am Reading

I am currently reading Made To Stick. Here is an excerpt from the website:

“Mark Twain once observed, “ A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.” His observation rings true: Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus public-health scares circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas—businessmen, educators, politicians, journalists, and others—struggle to make their ideas “stick.”

Why do some ideas thrive while others die? And how do we improve the chances of worthy ideas? In Made to Stick, accomplished educators and idea collectors Chip and Dan Heath tackle head-on these vexing questions. Inside, the brothers Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that “stick” and explain sure-fire methods for making ideas stickier, such as violating schemas, using the Velcro Theory of Memory, and creating “curiosity gaps.”

In this indispensable guide, we discover that “sticky” messages of all kinds—from the infamous “organ theft ring” hoax to a coach’s lessons on sportsmanship to a product vision statement from Sony—draw their power from the same six traits.