Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Book List

Here are the books I read in 2007. Just because.

A Lesson Before Dying - Ernest J. Gaines
The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
The Tenth Circle - Jodi Picoult
The End - Lemony Snicket

The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls
The Other Boleyn Girl - Philippa Gregory

The Catcher in the Rye* - JD Salinger
Blue Water - A. Manette Ansay
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter - Kim Edwards

The Grapes of Wrath* - John Steinbeck
Serenity - Keith R.A. DeCandido
Monkeewrench - P. J. Tracy

The Annotated Walden* - Henry David Thoreau
Grime and Punishment: A Jane Jeffry Mystery - Jill Churchill
The Odyssey* - Homer
Pickering’s Lane - Jeremy Pack & Cindy Aitchison

A Green Journey - Jon Hassler
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer* - Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn *- Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens)

The Color of Water - James McBride
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster

Creatures of Habit - Tom Fassbinder & Jim Pascoe
Catch-22* - Joseph Heller
Guilty Pleasures - Laurell K. Hamilton
Lord of the Flies *- William Golding
Live Bait - P.J. Tracy
To Kill a Mockingbird* - Harper Lee
Crossing to Safety - Wallace Stegner

For Whom the Bell Tolls* - Ernest Hemingway
Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White
S if for Silence - Sue Grafton

The Idiot Girl’s Action Adventure Guide - Laurie Notaro
We Thought You’d Be Prettier - Laurie Notaro
The Count of Monte Cristo* - Alexandre Dumas
Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
The Idiot Girl’s Christmas - Laurie Notaro
Autobiography of a Fat Bride - Laurie Notaro

Cry the Beloved County - Alan Patton
Great Expectations* - Charles Dickens
In the Woods - Tana French
Of Mice and Men* - John Steinbeck
Tales of the Slayer, Volume 1 - Various authors
There’s a (Slight) Chance I Might be Going to Hell - Laurie Notaro

The Life of Pi - Yann Martel
The Old Man & The Sea* - Ernest Hemingway
The Laughing Corpse - Laurell K. Hamilton
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest* - Ken Kesey

*books on my "Classics Book to Read" list

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Cuckoos Nest

I read Mr. Kesey's book, even knowing the ending, which was spoiled for me a long time ago. I've never seen the movie but remember being told about its ending. So I am reading the book, knowing full well how it ends. I don't like that.

The book itself feels like a psychedelic acid trip. Not that I know what that's like, mind you. :) The book is told in the first person by an Indian named Chief Bromden, who is mentally ill (schizophrenic). The things he imagines happening to him in the asylum on a daily basis are ...well....crazy. Kesey writes his delirium so well (it is said Kesey took drugs and had electroshock therapy so he could know what the patients went through back in the day). Chief believes the walls are alive, that there are invisible strings pulling people along. That there is a "Combine," a group/a machine/ workings that run everyone and everything and he's trying to fight against this Combine.

The asylum is run by the hard-nosed Nurse Ratched, a tyrannical nurse who has everyone and everything, including the doctors, under her thumb and does not hesitate to get people moved or fired if they don't adhere to her idea of order. She has everyone in there, patients and staff, afraid of saying or doing anything. It's almost as if her oppression of these men mirrors the oppression Chief and his family felt at having their land taken from them. New location, same oppression by the Combine.

In comes Randal McMurphy, a young "punk kid" who gets himself checked in as sort-of a retreat. He doesn't want to work, he wants to relax. He's a gambler, a womanizer, and freeloader, and he brings life to the ward. Forever butting heads with Nurse Ratched, Randall eventually brings everyone out of their shells...and pays a very dear price.

Even knowing the ending, I was sad. I hated the Nurse, hated what she, in my opinion, did to Billy and I hated Randall's punishment for his reaction to Billy's demise. She lost in a way. Everyone was gone, but what happened to Randall and Billy made me feel she won more than she lost and it angered and saddened me.

It's a great book and the last book of my Classics list I will be reading in 2007. On to 2008!

Merry New Year!

We had a great Christmas. Of which I took like 3 pictures - go figure.

After celebrating David's birthday early, Niki left on Monday morning. Monday evening, my youngest sister Lissette, her husband John and their daughter Lyric drove up from West Palm Beach after John got off of work. Lyric loves coming here because it's like a toy store threw up in here. We spent the night playing games and goofing. On Tuesday, we woke up and opened presents. The "boys" were very surprised with their Wii. Thanks go out to my nephew Jonathan for helping me locate one and getting it to me in time.

After presents, we got dressed and started cooking Christmas day dinner, which was more like a late lunch. My Tampa-Sister Jany and her husband & 2 kids came over around noon.

We had a terrific dinner, set in our new dining room with mom's old china from the 70's. the setting were beautiful, and I took exactly zero pictures of it. *sigh*

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Next Generation

I'm actually quite tired of Friendster not allowing anonymous comment posting, so I am testing the waters over here at Blogger.

Update: Well, keeerap. I think I may lose the blogs over at Friendster. I'm still trying to figure out how to export old blogs out before cancelling the account.