Friday, February 27, 2009

100 must-read books (shamelessly stolen)

I've mentioned I read a lot of books and I've even mentioned a couple of good ones here, but I think I need something more. Cathy emailed me an interesting new blog the other day and once I started reading it, I'm actually enjoying it.

So, first thing to steal - the books I (apparently) have to read. 100 of them. This could take me a few weeks.

Yes, I did mention I have stolen it and I'll even put a link to the original article before I edit it for my liking (and ease of reading) - 100 must-read books.

So, here goes a few things ... 100 to be exact
TBR - To Be Read
RI - Read It
RA - Read Again
NRA - Never Read Again
FR - Finish Reading)

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald TBR
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli TBR
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut TBR
1984 by George Orwell RA
The Republic by Plato TBR
Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky TBR
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger TBR
The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith TBR
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway TBR
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde TBR
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck TBR
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley TBR
How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie FR
Call of the Wild by Jack London TBR
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris TBR
Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss FR
Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac TBR
The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer TBR
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller TBR
Walden by Henry David Thoreau TBR
Lord of the Flies by William Golding TBR
The Master and Margarita by by Mikhail Bulgakov TBR
Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut TBR
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand TBR
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka TBR
Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins TBR
White Noise by Don Delillo TBR
Ulysses by James Joyce TBR
The Young Man’s Guide by William Alcott TBR
Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy TBR
Seek: Reports from the Edges of America & Beyond by Denis Johnson TBR
Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky TBR
Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse TBR
The Book of Deeds of Arms and of Chivalry by Christine De Pizan TBR
The Art of Warfare by Sun Tzu FR
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra FR
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer TBR
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri TBR
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien RI
The Rough Riders by Theodore Roosevelt TBR
East of Eden by John Steinbeck TBR
Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes TBR
The Thin Red Line by James Jones TBR
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain TBR
The Politics by Aristotle TBR
First Edition of the The Boy Scout Handbook TBR
Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand TBR
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller TBR
The Crisis by Winston Churchill TBR
The Naked and The Dead by Norman Mailer TBR
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen TBR
Animal Farm by George Orwell TBR
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs TBR
Beyond Good and Evil by Freidrich Nietzsche TBR
The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison TBR
Moby Dick by Herman Melville FR
Essential Manners for Men by Peter Post TBR
Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly FR
Hamlet by Shakespeare RA
The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn TBR
A Separate Peace by John Knowles TBR
A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway TBR
The Stranger by Albert Camus TBR
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Dafoe FR
The Pearl by John Steinbeck TBR
On the Road by Jack Kerouac TBR
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson TBR
Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole TBR
Foucault’s Pendulum - Umberto Eco TBR
The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux TBR
Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard TBR
Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose TBR
Paradise Lost by John Milton TBR
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck TBR
American Boys’ Handy Book TBR
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer TBR
King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard TBR
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky TBR
A River Runs Through It by Norman F. Maclean TBR
The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells FR
Malcolm X: The Autobiography TBR
Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris TBR
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas FR
All Quiet on The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarq TBR
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane TBR
Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans by Plutarch TBR
The Strenuous Life by Theodore Roosevelt TBR
The Bible FR (literally - god damn it! why?!)
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry TBR
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett FR
The Long Goodbye by Raymond ChandlerTBR
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee RI
The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden TBR
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara TBR
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin TBR
The Histories by Herodotus TBR
From Here to Eternity by James Jones TBR
The Frontier in American History by Frederick Jackson Turner TBR
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig TBR
Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson TBR

There are actually many in that list I'm NOT looking forward too. This is only slightly depressing. There are a number I have started reading (when I was so much younger) that I will have to go back and start again. There are others that are so jam packed full of Americana that I know I'm going to have trouble with them.

But here goes nothing, almost 100 books to jump into and see what sort of person I am at the end.

Now don't worry, I'm not going to be reading so much that there's no more entries - I'll be reading and posting about all the inane chatter that some of these titles are. It's going to be an interesting experience.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

1, 2, miss-a-few, 99, 100

Quick update before bed. It's a bit of a cheating one too. But ah well, I'm rather tired.

Here's a list I stole from somewhere that out of 245 films, I've seen a couple.

(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
(x) Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
() Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
() Airplane

(x) The Princess Bride
() Anchorman
() Napoleon Dynamite
(x) Labyrinth
() Saw
() Saw II
() White Noise
() White Oleander
(x) Anger Management
(x) 50 First Dates
(x) The Princess Diaries
() The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total so far: 13

() Scream
() Scream 2
() Scream 3
(x) Scary Movie
(x) Scary Movie 2
(x) Scary Movie 3
(x) Scary Movie 4
(x) American Pie
() American Pie 2
() American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp
Total so far: 18

(x) Harry Potter 1
(x) Harry Potter 2
(x) Harry Potter 3
(x) Harry Potter 4
(x) Resident Evil 1
(x) Resident Evil 2
(x) The Wedding Singer
() Little Black Book
(x) The Village
(x) Lilo & Stitch
Total so far: 27

(x) Finding Nemo
(x) Finding Neverland
() Signs
(x) The Grinch
() Texas Chainsaw Massacre
() Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
() White Chicks
(x) Butterfly Effect
(x) 13 Going on 30 (Suddenly 30)
(x) I, Robot
(x) Robots
Total so far: 34

(x) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
(x) Universal Soldier
(x) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
(x) Along Came Polly
(x) Deep Impact
() KingPin
(x) Never Been Kissed
(x) Meet The Parents
(x) Meet the Fockers
() Eight Crazy Nights
(x) Joe Dirt
(x) KING KONG (which version? - Matt)
Total so far: 44

(x) A Cinderella Story
(x) The Terminal
() The Lizzie McGuire Movie
() Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
() Dumber & Dumberer
() Final Destination
() Final Destination 2
() Final Destination 3
() Halloween
() The Ring
() The Ring 2
() Surviving X-MAS
(x) Flubber
Total so far: 48

(x) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
(x) Practical Magic
() Chicago
() Ghost Ship
(x) From Hell
(x) Hellboy
(x) Secret Window
() I Am Sam
(x) The Whole Nine Yards
(x) The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 55

(x) The Day After Tomorrow
() Child's Play
() Seed of Chucky
() Bride of Chucky
(x) Ten Things I Hate About You
() Just Married
() Gothika
() Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
(x) Remember the Titans
() Coach Carter
() The Grudge
() The Grudge 2
(x) The Mask
() Son Of The Mask
Total so far: 60

(x) Bad Boys
(x) Bad Boys 2
() Joy Ride
() Lucky Number Slevin
(x) Ocean's Eleven
(x) Ocean's Twelve
(x) Ocean's Thirteen
(x) Bourne Identity
(x) Bourne Supremacy
(x) Bourne Ultimatum
() Lone Star
(x) Bedazzled
(x) Predator I
(x) Predator II
() The Fog
(x) Ice Age
(x) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
(x) Curious George
Total so far: 74

(x) Independence Day
() Cujo
() A Bronx Tale
() Darkness Falls
() Christine
(x) ET
() Children of the Corn
() My Bosses Daughter
() Maid in Manhattan
(x) War of the Worlds
(x) Rush Hour
(x) Rush Hour 2
Total so far: 79

() Best Bet
(x) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
(x) She's All That
(x) Calendar Girls
(x) Sideways
(x) Mars Attacks
(x) Event Horizon
(x) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
(x) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
(x) The Terminator 3
Total so far: 92

(x) X-Men
(x) X-2
(x) X-3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
(x) Sky High
() Jeepers Creepers
() Jeepers Creepers 2
() Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
(x) Freaky Friday
(x) Reign of Fire
(x) The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
(x) Cruel Intentions 2
() The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2
Total so far: 106

() Swimfan
() Miracle on 34th street
(x) Old School
(x) The Notebook
(x) K-Pax
() Krippendorf's Tribe
()A Walk to Remember
() Ice Castles
() Boogeyman
(x) The 40-year-old Virgin
Total so far: 110

(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total so far: 116

(x) Baseketball
() Hostel
() Waiting for Guffman
() House of 1000 Corpses
() Devils Rejects
(x) Elf
(x) Highlander
() Mothman Prophecies
() American History X
() Three
Total so Far: 119

() The Jacket
() Kung Fu Hustle
() Shaolin Soccer
(x) Night Watch
(x) Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
() Shaun Of the Dead
() Willard
Total so far:123

() High Tension
() Club Dread
(x) Hulk
() Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Hook
(x) Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
(x) 28 days later
() Orgazmo
() Phantasm
(x) Waterworld
Total so far: 128

(x) Kill Bill vol 1
(x) Kill Bill vol 2
(x) Mortal Kombat
() Wolf Creek
(x) Kingdom of Heaven
() the Hills Have Eyes
() I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
() The Last House on the Left
() Re-Animator
() Army of Darkness
Total so far: 132

(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x)Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
(x) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
(x) Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 140

(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
() Evil Dead
() Evil Dead 2
() Team America: World Police
(x) Red Dragon
(x) Silence of the Lambs
(x) Hannibal
Total so far: 147

() Braveheart
(x) Gladiator
(x) 300
(x) Shawshank Redemption
() Killer Bees
(x) Alien Vs. Predator
Total: 151

Apparently there are 245 films in that list, I really have no idea. Strange how I seem to have seen quite a number of them. Time to widen my movie watching habits I think. Perhaps even those of my (only 81!!) girlfriend. Slacker.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I tried to find an interesting news article today - but for some reason everyone seems to be overwhelmed by recent events.

There's some sort of big fire off in some place ... and then there's a few people who don't seem to be able to pay bills.

Yes, yes, I know - it's all really serious and people have died. Hell the bush fires are really bad too. But we'll pull through as we all do when something serious hits us.

I have faith in the people who will survive both situations. But until we're over the melodramatic news articles, I'll have to bide my time before something good is in there.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I finished Ben Elton's Blind Faith last night. While some may view this book as the worst possible theory that anyone could imagine, others may see the world really is turning towards something similar to what Mr Elton views.

I for one do see the world becoming slowly (or quickly) in a lot of ways similar to his novel. The major being the recent increase in the "Nanny State", particularly with the Federal government's continued push towards 1984 mentality and technology in their "Play the role of the parents" internet clean feed.

While I could comment about the religious and political nature of the book - the other thing that hits me (which I suspect a lot of people would by pass) is the desire to be "proud" of one's own body. To the point of being overly arrogant to how others may think of their body. This I can see happening. More and more every day we are forced to accept a "normal" perception of the human body - while more and more every day people force feed themselves to hide from their inability to get the "normal" body. Eventually this will snap back - I'm just not sure which way it will go.

I'd love to say I can see it going towards the future where everyone is nice and healthy and the best body they can have. I just doubt this very much.

I have been told that people see this book as very sad, very negative in it's outlook of human future. I, on the other hand, can see something different. While I see the crap and the stupidity that rules this world, I can also see that it's just another black time in human history. We've had them before and again in this case it will get through it. If we do go through something like this in the "real" world, the idiots who make these sorts of laws will eventually retire and die and other idiots will make other laws - good or ill who really knows.

The future probably won't be golden - but neither will it be as bleak as some have predicted. But whatever it is, I can see that there will always be a portion of the population who will be able to stand up, brush themselves off and make the best of things. I just hope that these people will still have the ability to keep the rest going.

I for one have serious thoughts about the reasons behind keeping those people around. Although I'm not sure I'd want to live in a world where everyone is going at 100%, 100% of the time. That would be a little scary.


I watched a very interesting show this evening. Unfortunately I must use the word "show" as it was on FreeToAir (Yes, that is the required name, the advertising doesn't seem to include a budget for spaces). Fortunately it was on the ABC (government funded and all that jazz) so I'm trying to think it's somewhere in the warm zone between the frying pan and the fire.

Anyway, it was presented by a favourite actor/comedian/all 'round nice guy - Stephen Fry. It was nicely titled "Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive". Nice it was, informative it certainly was, educated as only Stephen Fry can be. Yet I was still waiting for it to go that little bit too far. I was preparing to cringe whenever a school yard was walked through. Whenever a lab with white coats floating around was filmed I almost grabbed a cushion to hide behind.

But I'm glad to say, I didn't cringe nor hide. This being a UK / IWC Media production, there was just enough information to bring thought into the subject but not over the top that one had to turn off for not wanting to cringe right out of the room.

The subject matter was good for me, it opened my eyes a little to something that very few people want to discuss and those that are able to discuss it never seem to be able to express what is going on. Mr Fry's frankness about this side of his being let me view the subject matter without too much emotion but employ some empathy to allow me to understand his point of view. Then to extrapolate this into other situations and people around me, including a few people I went to school with and thought there was something beyond punishment that they needed. I doubt many of them are getting much more than that to this day.

It also made me question, once again, what we consider normal. It's just an odd thing that I detest using it to describe myself. While I might not be "special" and perhaps I am "the all singing, all dancing, crap of the world" I still think there are parts of me that are certainly not normal when looked at seperately. One must realise that at times it is the destination, it is the whole that matters, not just the little pieces or the next corner that is used to describe everything there is to be.

I've noticed I'm being lazy

Especially when it comes to blogging. So I've given myself a few ideas.

Actually I'm stealing a few ideas in the hope that I can trick myself into posting more. Perhaps even about interesting and varied things.

So, stolen idea #1 - book review. With a twist. I'm not going to review a book I'm reading currently, nor am I going to actually "review" the book. I'm going to review my thoughts that, in reading the book, I was able to dwell on and savour.

Stolen idea #2 - interesting news article. Actually I have no idea where I stole this from, but with all the recent "exciting" articles in the news (and other sources) I figure I could have some sort of opinion on them too. Even if it's just me typing "THIS IS SHIT" over and over again. We'll see.

Stolen idea #3 - Other media review. As with my book reviews, but in this case movies, TV, etc. Well actually just movies and TV. I couldn't be bothered with anything else.

Stolen idea #4 - Actually I think this is one of my own, but knowing my luck if I said that someone would find a link to where it "really" came from. So, I stole it - but I have no idea where from. Random thoughts. Just one or two lines, nothing too much. Just pure random garbage that I won't actually go in to until after the fact. So to speak.

So there we go, lots of ideas to keep me busy and away from people poking me and asking why I'm not blogging. Perhaps it's that a lot of my thoughts are for me alone and I'm not about to share them with all and sundry - or perhaps they are thoughts I want to share with a select few people. Really, when will people learn that creativity isn't something that can be poked and forced.

And yes, I have been lazy. To use a statement from a book I just read "Get over yourself".