Friday, 27 February 2009

BBC The Big Read - Top 200 Books

According to a BBC pole these are the actual Top 200 Favorite Books in the UK. I have tagged those I have read with this schema:

1) Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read.
2) Add a '+' to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
5) Add a '@' beside those you dont ever want to read.
4) Tally your total at the bottom.

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
- X +
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen - X
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
- X +
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling - @
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
- X
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne - X
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell - X
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis - X
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë - X
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller - X
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë - X
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
- X
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame - X
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens - X
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott - X
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell - @
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
- X +
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy - X
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
- X +
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
- X
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
- X
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
- X
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
- X
39. Dune, Frank Herbert - X
40. Emma, Jane Austen - X
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery - X
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams - X +
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
- X
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh - *
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
- X
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens - X
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
- X
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
- X
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
- X
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
- X
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
- X +
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake - X
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
- X
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
- X
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
- X +
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
- X +
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
101. Three Men In A Boat, Jerome K. Jerome
102. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett
103. The Beach, Alex Garland
104. Dracula, Bram Stoker
- X
105. Point Blanc, Anthony Horowitz
106. The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens
107. Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz
108. The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
109. The Day Of The Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
110. The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson
111. Jude The Obscure, Thomas Hardy
- X
112. The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, Sue Townsend - X +
113. The Cruel Sea, Nicholas Monsarrat
114. Les Misérables, Victor Hugo
- X
115. The Mayor Of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy - X +
116. The Dare Game, Jacqueline Wilson
117. Bad Girls, Jacqueline Wilson
118. The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
- X
119. Shogun, James Clavell - X
120. The Day Of The Triffids, John Wyndham - X
121. Lola Rose, Jacqueline Wilson
122. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
123. The Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy
124. House Of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
125. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
126. Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett
127. Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison
128. The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
- X
129. Possession, A. S. Byatt
130. The Master And Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
131. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
- X +
132. Danny The Champion Of The World, Roald Dahl
133. East Of Eden, John Steinbeck
- X
134. George's Marvellous Medicine, Roald Dahl
135. Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett
136. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
137. Hogfather, Terry Pratchett
138. The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan
139. Girls In Tears, Jacqueline Wilson
140. Sleepovers, Jacqueline Wilson
141. All Quiet On The Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
142. Behind The Scenes At The Museum, Kate Atkinson
143. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
144. It, Stephen King
145. James And The Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
146. The Green Mile, Stephen King
- X
147. Papillon, Henri Charriere
148. Men At Arms, Terry Pratchett
149. Master And Commander, Patrick O'Brian
- X
150. Skeleton Key, Anthony Horowitz
151. Soul Music, Terry Pratchett
152. Thief Of Time, Terry Pratchett
153. The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett
154. Atonement, Ian McEwan
155. Secrets, Jacqueline Wilson
156. The Silver Sword, Ian Serraillier
157. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
158. Heart Of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
- X
159. Kim, Rudyard Kipling - X
160. Cross Stitch, Diana Gabaldon
161. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
162. River God, Wilbur Smith
163. Sunset Song, Lewis Grassic Gibbon
164. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
165. The World According To Garp, John Irving
166. Lorna Doone, R. D. Blackmore
167. Girls Out Late, Jacqueline Wilson
168. The Far Pavilions, M. M. Kaye
169. The Witches, Roald Dahl
170. Charlotte's Web, E. B. White
- X
171. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley - X
172. They Used To Play On Grass, Terry Venables and Gordon Williams
173. The Old Man And The Sea, Ernest Hemingway
174. The Name Of The Rose, Umberto Eco
- X
175. Sophie's World, Jostein Gaarder
176. Dustbin Baby, Jacqueline Wilson
177. Fantastic Mr Fox, Roald Dahl
178. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
179. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, Richard Bach
180. The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery
- X
181. The Suitcase Kid, Jacqueline Wilson
182. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
- X
183. The Power Of One, Bryce Courtenay - X
184. Silas Marner, George Eliot
185. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
186. The Diary Of A Nobody, George and Weedon Grossmith
187. Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
- X
188. Goosebumps, R. L. Stine
189. Heidi, Johanna Spyri
190. Sons And Lovers, D. H. LawrenceLife of Lawrence
191. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
- X
192. Man And Boy, Tony Parsons
193. The Truth, Terry Pratchett
194. The War Of The Worlds, H. G. Wells
- X
195. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans
196. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
197. Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
198. The Once And Future King, T. H. White
- X
199. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
200. Flowers In The Attic, Virginia Andrews
- X

I've read 65/200. If you want to make this a meme based on the actual BBC list not the one currently floating around the blogsphere, just post and link back, or post a comment with your score.
The complete list of what I have read since October of 1995 is here.

Previous Posts:
BBC The Big Read - Top 200 Books
Meme 100 Books 2009-02-25
Meme 100 Books 2007-04-28

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Meme 100 Books


The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.

How do your reading habits stack up?

Instructions:
1) Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read.
2) Add a '+' to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
5) Add a '@' beside those you dont ever want to read.
4) Tally your total at the bottom.

Here's the list:

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 - @
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
- X
6 The Bible - X +
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte - X
8 1984 - George Orwell - X
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
- X
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott - X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy - X
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller - X
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - X
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurie
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
- X +
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
- X
19 The Time Traveller’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
- X +
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh - *
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
- X
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame - X +
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
- X
34 Emma - Jane Austen - X
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen - X
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
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
- X
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell - X
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - X
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - X
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving - X
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
- X
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
- X
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding - X
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
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 - Mark Haddon - X
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - X
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
- X
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
- X
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
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 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
- X
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
- 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
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
- X
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery - X +
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
- X +
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

I've read 51/100. I have also done a differ meme on 100 books. Now I can not find any record of this on the BBc or trace it back. They do have a listing of the Top Books for the UK.

If you want to play link back and share your results.
The complete list of what I have read since October of 1995 is here.

Previous Posts:
BBC The Big Read - Top 200 Books
Meme 100 Books 2009-02-25
Meme 100 Books 2007-04-28

Monday, 23 February 2009

The Ear, the Eye and the Arm by: Nancy Farmer


The Ear, the Eye and the Arm
Nancy Farmer

Orchard Books
ISBN 0531068293


This is a wonderful children's story, woven with myths and legends from Africa. It is a tale of a secret walled garden, three special
children, a man-child, a holy innocent who helps to guide them, and three detectives Ear, Arm and Eye who help to track the children down.

It is the story of becoming, and of belonging, and of finding your place and purpose in the world. Incredibly well-written, it will keep most non-readers glued to the pages.

(First written as Journal Reading Notes in 1999.)

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Amiri & Odette by Walter Dean Myers and Javaka Steptoe

Amiri & Odette
Walter Dean Myers (Author)

Javaka Steptoe (Illustrator)

Scholastic

ISBN 9780590680417


Madeleine L'Engle always insisted that stories were real and had power - power to help and inspire or power to hurt. This is a story of that power struggle in the lives of youth. It is masterfully written. It is the retelling of the classical story of Swan Lake, in an American setting in the Swan Lake Housing projects.

The story is told in poetic style, and the lyrical format adds to the intensity of the story. The illustrations are raw, visceral and powerful. They are painted and collaged onto actual pieces of asphalt. Combined it makes for a very intense experience reading the book.

I could see this done as a dance piece on Dancing with the Stars with Twitch playing Amiri, Will playing Big Red, and Odette being played by Katie. The piece would be directed and choreographed by Mia Michaels.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Peter Pan by: J. M. Barrie

Peter Pan
J. M. Barrie
Various Editions


This was an interesting book, full of adventure but also has a more serious side about the need to grow up and grow in wisdom. It makes us realize the consequences of our actions and also the importance of family and friends.

The questions it left unanswered for me were:
-What school is it that Hook went to? What is known for its slouch and walk?
-The question of fairies that are unsure of their sex? Androgynous like angels?
-Forget fairies and you kill them the power of naming or unnaming

A great read for children of all ages, and if you like Peter Pan then check out Capt. Hook by J.V. Hart for an introduction to Hook as a young man.

(First written as Journal Reading Notes in 1999.)

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

The Moon Shines Down by Margaret Wise Brown

The Moon Shines Down
Margaret Wise Brown (Author)

Laura Minchew (Additional Verses)

Linda Bleck (Illustrator)
Thomas Nelson
ISBN 9781400312993


This book was found in a trunk 65 years after the author passed away, with additional verses crafted by Laura Minschew to be similar in style and structure to Wise Brown's own. It tells the story of the moon being over the whole earth, and as we pray for God to bless the moon we can pray for him to bless those whom the moon shines upon also. It is a book that will help children pray for other children around the world.

One of her other books, Goodnight Moon, has sold over 14 million copies and is available in dozens of languages. This book, now in print for the first time, is sure to become a children's picture book classic. So pick it up and share it with the children in your life.

(This is the first book I have reviewed as part of the Thomas Nelson Blog Reviewers program.)

Monday, 16 February 2009

A Pocket Guide to Confession by Michael Dubruiel

A Pocket Guide to Confession
Michael Dubruiel

Our Sunday Visitor

ISBN 978152763313

Michael Dubruiel passed away a few weeks ago. I have reviewed a few of his books, and read parts of others. His passing is a great loss to the Catholic faith community. His writing brings alive the faith in fresh and insightful ways. I had the pleasure of corresponding with him and can only state that he was a gentleman and a scholar.

This little book is meant as a guidebook to confession, but it accomplishes so much more than that. He had a way of making the faith more vital, more real, more experiential. In this little book, he walks the reader through the purpose, practice and experience of the sacrament of reconciliation. He draws extensively from biblical sources to support the church's teachings and his own arguments. He also references the catechism of the Catholic Church to show why he is stating what he explains in the book. He shares from his own experience. He states "Our sins rupture our relationship with God. They hurt Him." This book will help you understand the practice of confession better and get the most out of it. It will help you restore your relationship with God, your relationships with others and help you develop a plan and tools to grow your own spiritual life through examination of conscience and through praying after confession and meditations on the experience of forgiveness. This is a great little book from which all Catholics could benefit.

His publisher, Our Sunday Visitor, is doubling his royalties to start a college fund for his children. You can help by ordering his books here. His books have always been towards the top of my 'To read List' his sudden passing has prompted a greater priority in my reading schedule. For we never know how much time we have.

Michael's Books are:

John Paul II's Biblical Way of the Cross - with Amy Welborn
A Pocket Guide to Confession
A Pocket Guide to the Mass
The How-to Book of the Mass: Everything You Need to Know but No One Ever Taught You
The Church's Most Powerful Novenas
How To Get The Most Out Of The Eucharist
Praying the Rosary: With the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries - with Amy Welborn
The Power of the Cross: Applying the Passion of Christ to Your Life
Praying the Rosary: With the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, & Glorious Mysteries - with Amy Welborn
Praying in the Presence of Our Lord with Fulton J. Sheen

Sunday, 15 February 2009

The Owl Service by: Alan Garner

The Owl Service
Alan Garner

Harper Collins

ISBN 0006754015


This was a bizarre little book. It is a retelling of an old Welsh legend - a legend of a curse that is relived in each generation, again and again, in the same Welsh Valley. The main characters are Allison and Roger who are Step Siblings and Gwen is the son of the flitch - the wise man of the valley.

The book captivated and I could not put it down. Various kinds of discrimination and prejudice pervade the plot and the book is full of dark twisty turns in the plot and sub-plots, one of which is the condensation of the English to the Welsh and its corollary in the Welsh resentment of English wealth. The class divide is on many different levels: between a working class boy and richer children, between a land-owning family and a businessman's family and finally there is the divide between urban Welsh and the Welsh-speaking country people. It was a fantastic book and as I stated earlier I could not put it down.

(First written as Journal Reading Notes in 1999.)

Friday, 13 February 2009

Boo Hoo Bird by Jeremy Tankard

Boo Hoo Bird
Jeremy Tankard
Scholastic

ISBN 9780545065702


This is the second book by Tankard in this series. It is fantastic. The first book Grumpy Bird was great also. In this story Bird is playing catch with Raccoon and gets bonked on the head. All of Bird's friends try to make it better by different means. A kiss, a hug, a cookie, a game and a band-aid all do not help. All of Bird's friends, Beaver, Raccoon, Sheep, Beaver and Fox cry because they cannot help bird.

Tankard tells simple stories with great illustrations that will teach children great messages. His books are ones I share with my children and think they are great for children of all ages.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Tribes by: Arthur Slade

Tribes
Arthur Slade

Harper Trophy Canada

ISBN 9780006391708


Arthur Slade is one of my favorite children's/teen authors. His books are imaginative, unique and always a great read. I read my first Slade book when Dust won the Governor General's Literary Award back in 2001. I loved it so much I picked up this one, and was not disappointed.

This is the story of Percy Montmount Jr. and his friend Elissa who are in their final year of high school. Percy, whose father was an anthropologist, examines the social environment of high school through the eyes and methods of an anthropologist. The names of the tribes, and the social commentary associated with them, is hilarious. Some of the tribes are:

The Busybody Tribe
The Logo Tribe - exists to only wear name brands.
The Digerati Tribe - Worships bytes and silicon Chips.
The Lipstick/Hairspray Tribe
The Gee-The-Seventies-Were-Great-Even-Though-I Wasn't-Born-Yet Tribe
The Hockey Tribe - Subdivided into Canadians, Oilers, Rangers and 32 sub clans.
The Jesus Freaks
The Madonna Tribe (But in decline and near extinct)

Join Percy and Elissa as they navigate their senior year, and as Percy must come to grips with his own anthropological reality. This is a great fun and very enjoyable read.


Books by Arthur Slade:
John Diefenbaker: an Appointment with Destiny (2000)
Dust (2001)
Tribes (2002)
Monsterology (2005)
Villainology (2005)
Megiddo's Shadow (2006)
Jolted (2008)
Shades: 17 Startling Stories (2011)

Hunchback Assignments Series:
The Hunchback Assignments (2009)
The Dark Deeps (2010)
Empire of Ruins (2011)
Island of Doom (2012)

The Northern Frights Series
Draugr (1997)
The Haunting of Drang Island (1998)
The Loki Wolf (2000)

The Canadian Chills Series
Return of the Grudstone Ghosts (2002)
Ghost Hotel (2004)
Invasion of the IQ Snatchers (2007)


Books as Stephen Shea: 
The Not So Simple Life
Damage
Viper - Short Story


Visual Bibliography for Arthur Slade
Author profile interview with Arthur Slade.

Author profile interview with Stephen Shea.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Dust by: Arthur Slade

Dust
Arthur Slade
Harper Canada
Browse Inside

ISBN 9780006485940

This book won the Governor General's Literary Award back in 2001 for Children's Literature. I loved it. Set in a small town in rural Saskatchewan of Horshoe something strange is going on. Robert's younger brother has gone missing and soon no one seems to even remember him. The story set in a depression era dust bowl farm community, has many unique twists and turns.

The strange things started happening when Abram Harisch arrived in town; he appears to be taking control of the townspeople through his magic, mirrors and bewitching nature. Harisch has promised the town a rain-making machine, and in following this dream they are slowing losing all they care about and don't even notice. But Robert does and he knows he needs to avoid Harisch and figure out what is really going on or the whole town could be lost.

There are two different cover jackets for this book. I prefer the original to the newer one but either way it is a great adventure read.

Books by Arthur Slade:
John Diefenbaker: an Appointment with Destiny (2000)
Dust (2001)
Tribes (2002)
Monsterology (2005)
Villainology (2005)
Megiddo's Shadow (2006)
Jolted (2008)
Shades: 17 Startling Stories (2011)

Hunchback Assignments Series:
The Hunchback Assignments (2009)
The Dark Deeps (2010)
Empire of Ruins (2011)
Island of Doom (2012)

The Northern Frights Series
Draugr (1997)
The Haunting of Drang Island (1998)
The Loki Wolf (2000)

The Canadian Chills Series
Return of the Grudstone Ghosts (2002)
Ghost Hotel (2004)
Invasion of the IQ Snatchers (2007)


Books as Stephen Shea: 
The Not So Simple Life
Damage
Viper - Short Story


Visual Bibliography for Arthur Slade
Author profile interview with Arthur Slade.

Author profile interview with Stephen Shea.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

The Sword in the Stone by: T.H. White

The Sword in the Stone
T.H. White
Various Editions

This is an interesting little book. I read it as part of my children's literature course back in 1999. The book is partially Arthurian Legend, part social commentary and part farce.


I did not like the inappropriate references for the time of the story, trains, buses … As well I didn't appreciate the mixing of Robin Hood (Wood) in the 12th Century with Arthur of the 6th Century.

Yet all in all it was a fun book - easy to read.

(First written as Journal Reading Notes in 1999.)

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Inner Geek – Updated February 2009

Last year I set a very aggressive exam schedule, but due to situations in life it did not happen as planned. But now I am back on track again. Last week I achieved MCSA and wrote 2 exams in 20 days to do so. Exam 70-290 and 70-291. I am going to try and do one a month for the next 6 months to use up the last of my exam vouchers from school. It feels good to be back at it. These exams are a mix of CompTIA exams and Microsoft Exams.

So here are my current designations:
CompTIA IT PRO, A+ ITT, A+ DT, A+ RST, Network+
Microsoft MCSA, MCP, MCTS Business Desktop Deployment, MCTS Vista Configuration, MCITP Enterprise Support, MCITP Consumer Support, MOS

The logo's are:


Exams Written:
Server 2003 Infrastructure - Exam 70-291

Server 2003 - Exam 70-290
MCTS Deploying & Maintaining Vista Client Office System - Exam 070-624
MCITP Desktop Support Consumer Support - 070-623
CompTIA Network+ 2007 - JK0-012 JK0-010
MCTS Windows Vista Client Configuaration - Exam 072-622 070-622
MCITP Desktop Support - Exam 072-622 070-622
CompTIA A+ Depot Technician - Exam 220-602
CompTIA A+ Remote Support Technician - Exam 220-603

CompTIA A+ IT Technician - Exam JK0-601 220-602
CompTIA A+ Essentials - Exam JK0-601
Microsoft PowerPoint - Exam 810
Microsoft Outlook - Exam 813
Microsoft Access - Exam 807
Microsoft Excel - Exam 804
Microsoft Word - Exam 801

Exams Planned:
Maintaining Server 2003 - Exam 70-293
Active Directory 2003 - Exam 70-294
Security 2003 Server - Exam 70-298
Security 2K3 Server - Exam 70-299
Exchange Server 2003 - 70-284

SQL Server 2005 - 70-431Security+ - Exam SY0-101
Linux+ - Exam XK0-002

Then add the upgrades to Server 2008.


These exams were written either at a Prometric Testing Center or at a Certiport Testing Center for the Office exams. The Exams names that have links link to reviews of the books I used to prepare for those exams.


Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Exam 70-291 Implementing, Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure by Greg Bott

Exam 70-291 Implementing, Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
Greg Bott
Microsoft Press
ISBN 9780735620308

In working on my certification exams, I have used a variety of books from different providers: Wiley Press, Thompson, Sybex and Microsoft Press. The official 'Approved Microsoft IT Academy' books in this series are great. I have used them for 2 of the Vista Exams and for 2 of the Win 2K3 Server exams. Greg Bott does a great job of introducing a lot of concepts and practices in a very short space. Botts' writing was a pleasure to read.

The key feathers that make this book great are: First, each chapter has a concise learning objectives at the beginning of the chapter. Second, the body of the chapters has practical exercises, and these exercises are further supplemented by Lab Manual. Bott writes in a clear concise manner. There are also three reader aids throughout the books that help you dive deeper. They are: Note - Real world examples, Important - Essential information reinforced, and More Info - Cross reference material for additional resources. Then each chapter has short hands-on exercises, end of chapters review with a variety of exercises and case studies, and the chapter summaries that reinforce and confirm the key concepts of that chapter.

The Student CD has a plethora of extra resources to help you along. The eBook of the textbook. Practice software from MeasureUp with over 300 practice questions. PowerPoint slide for each chapter. And a second disk with the 180 day trial version of the Win 2K3 software so you can do all the exercises. This book will give you everything you need to prepare for and pass the 70-291 Exam.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

The Devil Said Ouch by: Natalie Babbitt

The Devil Said Ouch
Natalie Babbitt

Harper Collins Canada

ISBN 9780062050663


This is a cute retelling of one of Grimm's tales. It is about a boy born with a birth mark that foretells he will be a king.

The current king tries to get rid of him three times. The final is the quest to get three of the devil's golden hairs. He is helped by the ferryman, and the devil's own Grandmother, who not only protects him, but gets him the hairs and a treasure chest.

He then tricks the King into getting trapped as the ferryman. All the others live happily every after. A fantastic novelette.

(First written as Journal Reading Notes in 1999.)