Friday, March 23, 2007

Mostly SingSoc stuff

This will be a long one – bear with me, I’ll use sub-headings. How organised of me. ;)

So SingSoc had a formal meal last Saturday. Three course meal, champagne, fire-jugglers, disco/karaoke and a masquerade ball theme. Pete (choir director and my singing teacher) did the food, and I offered to help. On the Thursday we went to Tesco for the ingredients, Friday I got my hair done in the morning and spent all afternoon and most of the night preparing 40 portions of sweet potato and red pepper soup and 20 potions of baked cheesecake. I had a slight panic when I burned one of the cheesecakes and had to go out for more ingredients, but it turned out okay, as the next ones were far better anyway.

Saturday I was in the kitchen all afternoon. I made the other soup (creamed spinach) and helped with the lasagnes for the main course (a meat one, a salmon and prawn one and a veggie one) by cooking the fish, and keeping an eye on the meat sauce - tasting and improving it, and making what seemed like gallons of white sauce, and grating huge blocks of cheese and shelling 24 boiled eggs. I also made chocolate cream for the pavolva. All in all, cooking for 50 is hard work, but it was very much appreciated by everyone and everything tasted really good. I was very proud of us and enjoyed it so much even if I was knackered afterwards.

I dashed off to get dressed just before we served up. I've never got dressed up in 10 minutes before, it was an experience! Luckily my hairdresser had made a fantastic job of my hair the day before and it still looked really good so I didn't have to do anything with it. I've had it coloured (it's a warm brown with fine red streaks in the top) and she straightened it and now I have to buy myself some ghd straighteners because they actually made my naturally wavy, frizzy and uncontrollable hair look shiny and healthy as well as poker-straight. Expensive straighteners FTW!

The dress was a different story. I'll do bullet points.

* Wednesday. I meet Pippa at Meadowhall.
* We go to Debenhams.
* I find a dress I like. Blue, simple but classy, floor length, little detachable halter neck strap.
* I try dress in an 18. Too big.
* We look for a 16. There isn't one.
* I ask at the till. They check with the Sheffield store to see if they've got one. They have. They reserve it for me.
* We got to Faith, where I buy shoes. Cream, high heel, round toe. I predict that they will kill me, but Pippa persuades me.
* We buy strapless bras. Pippa buys makeup and a brush.
* We head back to Sheffield.
* After some searching, we find the Debenhams.
* I pick up the dress.
* I try the dress on. Too small.
* I panic.
* I look for another dress, but can't find one I like in my size.
* I panic some more.
* I realise that I could buy the bigger dress and get it taken in, especially as it's only the bust that's a problem.
* I call the dressmaker round the corner from my house. She says she can alter the dress in time for the formal on Saturday.
* I steal Pippa's all-day tram ticket and go back to Meadowhall. She goes home to finish making masks for the decorations.
* I buy the dress in an 18.
* I head home on the train.
* I call in the dressmaker's on my way home. She askes me to try on the dress.
* I try on the dress. The dress fits.

I guess what happened was that the dress I tried originally was actually a 20, but had been sized as an 18. The third dress (the one I finally bought) was sized correctly. Debenhams will be receiving a complaining letter from me, as they caused me unnecessary hassle. Gits. But I got the dress in the end, and it looked fine. Would look better if I lost a few pounds, but still... it suited me, and I was happy with it.

And the formal was great fun. :)

And last night Pete asked me to be in charge of the food for next year, and I accepted. I'm actually very excited about it.

Last night was the SingSoc AGM, where new commitee members were elected. I nominated myself for Membership Secretary because I'd love to be on the commitee. Unfortunately I was running against Sarah, who is a friend of mine from the Small Groups choirs on Monday nights, and she's lovely. I'm going to refer to her as SopranoSarah from now on, because I'll be talking about another Sarah soon. We both felt pretty bad at having to run against someone we like, but as I pointed out it's better to lose against someone you like than someone you don't even know. SopSarah won the vote, but apparently it was very close. I didn't mind losing to her, I think she felt worse than me, so I allowed her to buy me a drink in the pub after rehearsal to relieve some of her guilt. How kind of me. I'm still going to help out with commitee stuff, even though I'm not on the commitee.

Other Sarah, and social stuff
I noticed AltoSarah last year, sitting at the front of the alto section. Actually I noticed her guide dog, and wondered how on earth you can manage to sing in choir when you can't see what the conductor's doing, or read the music, especially when the conductor says something like "Right, let's start from bar 11, top of page 4". Being me, I was too nervous to say hi because I didn't know her, until we both went to a SingSoc picnic in October. I took Summer, so that broke the ice a bit - we got chatting and she's really nice. We took the dogs for a walk afterwards and got on well, so I've made the effort to go and talk to her when I see her, because she can't see me and can't really approach people.

I'm full of respect for her, especially with the way she copes with the problems of singing. I have enough trouble, and I can read the music and see the directions and the beat that Pete's giving us.

I do find it difficult though, mostly because I don't know how much help to offer her. I don't want to ignore her needs, because obviously she does need consideration, but I also don't want to offend her by trying to do too much, and babying her. I'm approaching it by just being honest, and telling her to let me know what she needs me to do, and to complain if I'm being really stupid or something.

She's said a few times that she often feels very left out, especially in the pub after rehearsals, because no-one talks to her. And of course she can't approach them as she can't see who people are, and can't see obstacles, etc. And she can't go ot the bar to get her own drink because of her dog, and she can't find her way back to the table. Recently she's stopped going at all, and just goes straight home, which is a shame. And she's thinking of leaving SingSoc, which is an even bigger shame.

I think that, ironically enough, people just don't see her. They talk to their friends and that's it. It's not just her, it's everyone who isn't part of what I call "the hardcore group", i.e. people who've been in SingSoc for ages, know comittee members, or are part of Small Groups (because there are fewer people, it's easier to get to know everyone) - the ones who go to the pub and socials and join in with stuff that isn't related to the main concerts, like carol singing and the recent 24 hour sing. And there are little cliques even outside the hardcore group. And I don't think the committe realise what's going on.

It's going to be my mission to sort it out. I'm going to talk to SopSarah and Pippa (who is the new Social Secretary) about how we can integrate people more. I was thinking about some sort of cheesey team-building type events, like ice-breaker stuff. Maybe starting with putting people into groups of maybe 5, then asking them to find out 5 interesting facts about each person. Then the groups present all the facts to everyone, maybe from memory. And hopefully we'll all then find out eveyone's name and remember at least one thing about them. Anyone else have any good getting-to-know-you type activities I can steal?

The new kitchen is now under way. We decided to incorporate the unility room into the kitchen design, and we'll have units and worktops in there. There's a door in their that's now been bricked up, and a new window put in overlooking the orchard. Yesterday the installation of a new hotwater/heating boiler in the utility was finished. Once everything's in place, the fridge and the washing machine will be in there, and we'll have a dishwasher in the main kitchen under the sink (where the washing machine is now). There will be a new oven and hob, new dishwasher, new microwave, and all the cupboards will be new. Once it's fitted (hopefully by the end of next week) we'll choose a new floor and wall tiles and redecorate. Loads of work to do. but it's going to look fantastic.

I'm feeling okay. I'm dealing with the uni situation by not thinking about it until everything's sorted with the kitchen. then I'm going to talk to a different doctor, and tell my tutor I'll be repeating Level 2 next year (but possibly I might do a couple of the modules in the summer to lighten my workload a little in the autumn semester).

Actually being busy seems to suit me, because I'm sleeping better and I generally feel better if I haven't got as much time to worry about stuff. And I'm trying to think more positively - I'm happy with myself right now and I think I'm dealing well with my self-esteem issues, so next I'm going to work on my other negative thinking about stuff outside me. Like thinking that things are going to go horribly wrong no matter how hard I work, things like that. I'm not feeling negative like that at the moment, but it will probably come back at some point and it's better to work on it before it starts to make me feel shitty.

I'm probably not going to be around that much until my house stops being a building site. So don't worry if I don't post, or don't come into chat. I'm contactable by text though - if you haven't already got my number then mail me and I'll consider passing it on... ;) - replace the AT with @.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Why is it all so complicated?

I went to see my Level Tutor (Paul) at uni on Monday, to talk about my (lack of) attendance. I explained the fibro situation. He basically said that although they do take medical conditions into account when calculating the final grade, it will only actually make a difference if I'm on the boundary between grades (then they'll give me the benefit of the doubt and put me in the higher grade). Also as my condition is chronic and won't go away, they won't be able to compare my work to my normal "baseline" level (without the illness) so they won't be able to assess exactly how much the fibro does affect me. They'll give me deadline extensions and extra time in exams, but can't do anything else.

I have three choices now.
1) Try to catch up and finish Level 2 this year, doing some of the exams in August if necessary.
2) Take the Level 2 Autumn exams in the summer, then do Spring Semester next year.
3) Do the whole of Level 2 as normal next year.

Of course, 2 and 3 involve an extra year of studying, which has financial implications. I can't say I'm all that happy with the way things are being dealt with, because there doesn't seem to be much effort being made to make day-to-day studying any easier for me. Paul says that Level 3 is easier in terms of having more coursework, and hardly any early morning lectures, so once I get through Level 2 I'll struggle a lot less. Can't say that makes me feel any better now.

And I went to see my new doctor yesterday. They don't have my notes from my old surgery, so I had to explain everything over. When I'd finished, the doc said, "What do you want me to do about it?" in a you're-wasting-my-time kind of way. I replied that I didn't know. I'm not a doctor, after all. He's given me refills on my prescriptions and asked me to make an appointment with a nurse to check out my diabetes. He also says I can't take codeine for the pain anymore because it's addictive and affects mood, and that I need to start a graduated exercise programme and lose weight.

I feel cheated. He's right, but I don't just want to be told that he can't help me and that I'm doing things wrong. I want step-by-step instructions, because when I even think about how I'm going to implement a healthy eating/exercise plan or in fact any kind of lifestyle change at all, my brain won't work (to many variables to consider) and I just want to go back to bed and not deal with it. It's too much. He obviously didn't believe that sometimes I can't actually think in a straight line and make rational decisions, and how badly this can affect my memory.

After all this, I tried to talk to Michael last night. I was thinking about how to do it most of the evening, because I know he's practically counting the days until he doesn't have to support me financially anymore. So it was 10.30pm when I broached the subject of potentially doing another year of studying - he said he didn't want to get into a discussion because it was loo late in the evening. I really wanted to talk though the options with him and how I felt and what the problems were, to sort things out in my own head as much as anything. The fact that he said it wasn't an convenient time to discuss something which is going to have such a major effect on my life somewhat annoyed me, and disappointed me as well. I snapped at him a bit, and later when he tried to say something I told him it wasn't convenient to talk to me right now. I also said I was going to make decisions without his imput, and just tell him what I'd decided once it was all sorted out.

Guess I'm mostly hurt that my life, my future, isn't as important as getting 8 hours sleep.

And dammit, why isn't anyone hearing me? I need help, I can't do this by myself.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Barnes photos - installment 4

Last ones, I promise!A male wigeon, lying down eating the grass. Like breakfast in bed, I guess.

Few more wigeons, three males and a female. I love their colours.

Couldn't resist. Wigeons and pigeons. Wood pigeons, to be exact.

Shovellers. They have weird beaks, and I like their colours too. There's also a pair of tufted ducks.

Can you see it? There's a snipe hidden in there.

A male teal - I didn't manage to capture the irridescent colurs on the head, which look blue, green or purple depending on which way you look at them.

Male tufted duck, trying to hide his face from the camera.

Male ruddy duck. I still can't get over the fact that they have blue beaks. Crazy.

Don't know about these two. The blue beak and the head looks just like a ruddy duck, but the body colour is wrong. Pass. Juvenile?

Think this one's one of the captive ducks, that I forgot to post with the other captives. Anyway, I don't know what it is but it sure is weird-looking.

See above. Some weird ducks.

Froggies! I mean, ring-necked parakeets. These guys either escaped or were deliberately released - they're originally from India - and now they breed over here, in the south. They look so tropical, I've no idea how they survive our not-so-tropical winters.

Rat under the feeders. And another wood pigeon.

Pretty sure this is a rare Petebird, which was trying to entice females into his nestbox. It didn't work.

Barnes photos - installment 3

Bewick's swan.

Coot. Not a great picture, but it has atmosphere.

Coot's arse. *snigger*

Never seen that many crows together... usually if you see a group of big black corvids, they're rooks. But these are definitely carrion crows.

More duck porn. Mallards at it this time. I feel sorry for the female - the male looked like he was enjoying it though.

Greylag goose (it really is one this time!) and Canada goose. They've definitely formed a pair bond - we wondered whether the two species could interbreed, and what the offspring would look like. Apparently they can, and here's what it looks like.

Feral pigeon.

Probably my best shot of the day. A male goldeneye with two females, nice little threesome. They were charging up and down the pond. Michael got a pic of a male at Carsington last weekend, but mine is better. ;) The one he got was diving a lot though, so much harder to catch. Funky-looking birds.

A bit dark, but I love these guys so I had to post this one. Great crested grebes, which never fail to make me excited for no real reason. I'd love to see them doing their courtship thing, they dance together holding either end of a bit of weed, and give each other presents like a stone, a twig, a crisp bag, romantic stuff like that.

Another bird I like, the grey heron. I love how they stand so still, or stalk through the water and suddenly stab at a fish. And all those unnecessary hangy feathers. A coot in the foreground, and some shovellers to the right.

Lots of gulls. Mostly black-headed gulls. The big chap at the back is a great black-backed gull, and it's entirely possible that the common gull Pete spotted is in there too.

Another one of my favourites, a little grebe, moving very fast. We heard pairs duetting together lots of times. Cute. :)

Mute swan. Big, beautiful, and too dangerous to mess with.

Barnes photos - installment 2

And now for a few birds.

First the captive/domestic ones that Pete wouldn't let me tick. ;)

It's a hard life being a barnacle goose. The other guy is a red-breasted goose.

These are Indian runner ducks. And this is duck porn. We had to cover Mark's eyes, he's only 17.

Some more red-breasted geese. Pretty little things.

Can't remember what these are. White goose things. [Edit: Snow geese, according to Pete]

Greylag goose. The one that our farmyard geese were bred from. [Edit: it's actually a white-fronted goose. I did see some a few weeks back, so I should have know. In my defence, I was right about farmyard geese being bred from greylags though ;)]

Barnes photos - installment 1

I borrowed Michael's camera for the trip yesterday. It's a Panasonic DCM FZ30, and I haven't really used it before, except for occasional snaps of garden birds. He gave me a quick lesson on how to do stuf like change the card and battery, change to manual focus, stuff like that.

I'm actually very pleased with some of the photos I got, considering the fact that I don't know much about it, and mostly just pointed the camera and pressed the button.

I'm going to subject you to loads of pictures because I can - some of them because I'm pleased with the shot, some because I like the birds and some because I like the mood.

I'll start with a few non-bird-ish ones, mostly views from hides. Impressive to see a place like that so close to a city - you can clearly see buildings in the background.

This one's actually a hide! It's octagonal, and looks out on all directions.

The dark guys are cormarants, and there are a few grey herons and (mostly black-headed) gulls.

I thought we'd stumbled into a B movie.

Would it be excessive....

... to post 47 pictures of the Barnes trip on here?

Perhaps in installments.

Anyway, I got up at the unpleasant hour of 5.30am. Washed, dressed, had breakfast. Went to railway station, grabbed my pre-booked tickets from the machine. Walked through the underpass to platform 2, and get the appropriate ticket ready. Realised that I had only 5 bits of card - one Chesterfield-London ticket, two seat reservations and two receipts. Panicked slightly as I could see my train and I'd already lost a ticket. Michael dashed back to the machine and retrieved it. Bless him. Train left promptly at 6.31.

Train journey was uneventful, I spent the time reading my bird ID book, and playing a couple of levels of Kirby on my DS. Got to St Pancras at 8.45 - it's a beautiful piece of architecture, even thought they are doing building work at the moment, making a restaurant or something I guess. Then I walked round to the other end of the building to get the Tube.

I haven't been on a tube train in years (that's probably because I haven't been to London in years), and I seem to have memories of it being complicated. But it isn't. I bought an all-day Travelcard for Zones 1-2 (£5.10) from the machine, followed the signs for the Hammersmith line, and waited 3 minutes for the train. I remember the tube being really crowded, people squashed on and most people standing up, but apparently that's not the case at 9am on a Saturday. There were loads of spare seats.

Got to Hammersmith at 9.20, then found the bus station. Then I caught the "Duck" bus to Barnes, and was pleased to find out that my Travelcard covered the fare, saving me £4 for the two journeys. 9.45 I was at the Wetland Centre, where Pete, Nic, Mark, Hugh, Elizabeth and Malcolm were waiting for me. I haven't met Mark or Hugh before.

The Wetland Centre is really nice, and it was a beautiful sunny day. Shame about the cup of mud, I mean coffee, that I suffered in the café. It took 8 little cartons of milk to make it drinkable.

Some great birds... I won't bore you all with the complete list but I counted 38 species (there may be a few more but I didn't see them so I didn't count them), with 8 year ticks for me and 5 life ticks - ring-necked parakeet, pintail, common gull (not that common before you ask), snipe, and bittern (very few of those around anymore and they are very hard to see). I wanted a water rail but didn't get one (I "dipped" in birderspeak). never mind, the bittern more than made up for it.

I was amused and enchanted by a small child as we were watching the ring-necked parakeets (which are bright green). The mother pointed and said "Look at the birds!" and the kid, obviously delighted by them, said "Froggies!". Bless.

It was also fun to catch up with people I haven't seen for a while.

The journey back was fine, except for the couple of lads on the train who'd obviously had a few drinks and kept talking very loudly, downloading songs on their phones then singing along, again loudly. I don't mind people having a laugh but I don't want to hear their inane conversations, such as the following...

Lad 1: Where's Derby? (one of the stations the train was calling at)
Lad 2: It's at Epsom.
L1: No, not the Derby, where's Derby?
L2: Epsom!

Maybe I'm biased, because Derby's in my home county of Derbyshire, but that narked me a bit, and even thought they eventually (correctly) came to the conclusion that it was "somewhere in the middle". Other snippets were, "Do bald people get nits (head lice)?" and "How far north are we now?" (My answer - we're 20 minutes out of London - so not very. Shut the fuck up already) And I appreciated their rendition of Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" even less, especially as it's a song I can't stand in the first place. Once they started singing to Girls Aloud I had to resort to drowning them out with my mp3 player. I'd have preferred to drown them. At least they got off at Kettering, after thanking us all for being lovely companions. Like I said, they'd been on the pop (as we say round here).

Got back to Chesterfield at 18.40 and dashed home, washed and changed then went out for dinner with Michael's parent (Pat and Ron), his two brothers (Martin and Shaun) and their respective partners (Rita and Elaine). We went to a little Italian place which was lovely, great food and atmosphere. Very busy, but that's a good sign in a resturant, and they showed no signs of rushing us or wanting us to leave when we'd finished. Good company too, I haven't laughed so much in ages - the three of them, plus Ron, are so daft when they get together!

Came home, watched the lunar eclipse for a while, and looked through the pictures I'd taken during the day. Then went to bed, exhausted.

All in all, a really good day. :)

Friday, March 02, 2007


Just caught sight of something large and brown and flappy in one of the gardens that backs onto mine.

So I grabbed the bins, thinking it might just be a rook or similar with the sun shining on it - but it wasn't. It settled on the satellite dish on the back of their house and I got a good look at it. Sparrowhawk. Beautiful bird - it's always such a thrill to see a bird of prey, and again it's not exactly a common visitor. A year tick. I can't decide whether it was a male or female - it looked a bit big for a male, but it was a little orangy around the face so I'm leaning towards male.

Anyway, I grabbed Michael's camera, switched it on, set it to "sports" mode and tried to zoom in on the sprawk. Black screen. Why won't it work? Lens cap, dammit. I removed the lens cap and the sprawk flew off. Damn. I did get a great view of it flying over my garden though.

And typically, I've just had a similar problem with a couple of long-tailed tits on the fat feeder. I grab the camera, point and press the shutter. Blur. Again. Blur. LTTs leave. I realise that the camera's on manual focus.

Technology is conspiring against me... so I'll leave you with some pics that I've stolen. Imagine I took them, okay?

Long-tailed tit

Male sparrowhawk


I'm not well. Again.

I felt pretty out of it yesterday - all heavy and tired and headachy and the back of my nose/throat all clagged up, and somehow cold and shivery and uncomfortably hot at the same time. But I managed to get to rehearsal and had a pint afterwards with choir people.

Got home about 11.45pm feeling worse. My body felt like several people had been hitting me all over with big sticks, and I couldn't breathe through my nose. So I filled my hot water bottle and covered myself in ibuprofen gel (and promptly stuck to the bedsheets), but I just couldn't get comfortable.

Around 1am I turned over and suddently got cold. I shivered so hard I actually woke Michael up. He kindly got me another blanket - but I didn't get warm enough to fall asleep for another hour.

Then I started with the waking up (what felt like) every few minutes having to move because I was in pain. Also having frustration-type dreams (which involved something to do with trying to memorise a huge list of pictures, including on of a bar-tailed godwit - make of that what you will).

And a little later I realised that although I was still shivering, I was also way too hot. So I kicked off the extra blanket. And then slept a little better.

8am, Michael brought me some co-codamol, but refused my request for him to stay home from work and look after me. Bah. And I slept some more, and woke at 11am feeling a bit better.

Now I'm still very achy, don't feel like eating (that never happens to me), headache and swollen sinuses. But I'm much better. Fingers crossed that I'll be okay for Barnes tomorrow! I'm going even if I'm too exhausted to walk - I've paid for the train tickets and I want a ring-necked parakeet dammit (Pete promised me several). I'm actually quite looking forward to navigating the tube once I get to London - I've never been to London on my own.

I'm pretty cheerful today really, I've fed Mr Robin his mealworms and I saw one of the wrens and I heard a great tit singing nearby, which was a treat as I've only ever seen one once in the garden. No idea why, they are so common but don't grace me with their presence. Loads of blue tits, starlings, house sparrows, blackbirds, of course Mr Robin (he has such a beautiful voice) and some jackdaws and rooks and a collared dove out there today. And a lovely sunny warm spring day.

And my new oven arrived!!! All I need now is a new kitchen to put it in...


Stolen from Pete, although I've seen it a few times now.

*Look at the list of books below.
*Bold the ones you’ve read.
*Italicize the ones you want to read.
*leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.
*If you are reading this, tag your it. if you so want.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With the Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)

8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)

14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)

20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)

55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)

77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)

87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth(Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

So, 28. And loads I mean to read someday. I'm just to cheap to buy many books and too lazy to go to the library. ;)