It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Well-Read Book Meme

Scooped from Solo Mom:

Take the list below, paste it into your own blog, and mark them as follows:
READ for those you’ve read;
WANT TO next to those you are interested in;
AGAIN & AGAIN next to those you’ve read and loved, over and over;
REPEAT for those you’ve read more than once, without necessarily loving them;
MEH for stuff you read and weren’t impressed by;
STARTED for those that just never got finished;
and leave blank those you don’t care to read.

Title Rating
1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) One huge MEH.
(Did I even finish?
Sooo boring.)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) Again & Again
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) Repeat
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell) Read
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien) Read
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien) Read
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien) Read
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) Read
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry) Read
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling) Read
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown) Read
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling) Read
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving) Read
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden) Read
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Rowling) Read
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling) Read
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) Read
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien) Again & Again
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) Read
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) Repeat
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold) Read
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel) Meh
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) Read
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) Repeat
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis) Again & Again
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck) Meh
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom) Started
31. Dune (Frank Herbert) Meh
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) Started.
Made maybe 5 pages.
34. 1984 (Orwell) Again and again
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley) Read
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) Read
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel) Meh
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) Read
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom) Read
45. The Bible Repeat
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy) Read
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas) Started
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt) Read
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) Read
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb) Meh
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver) Meh
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens) Read
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card) Read
54. Great Expectations (Dickens) Read
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald) Meh
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence) Repeat
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling) Read
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough) Meh
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood) Repeat
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger) Again and again
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) Started
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) Started
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice) Meh
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis) Again and Again
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares) Meh
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller) Started
69. Les Miserables (Hugo) Want to
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) Read
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding) Read
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell) Started
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje) Started
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett) Repeat
76. Tigana (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith) Read
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving) Read
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence) Read
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White) Repeat
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley) Read
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck) Read
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier) Read
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen) Again and Again
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams) Again and Again
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) Again and Again
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields) Repeat
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding) Read
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck) Started
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd) Want to
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton) Read
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Wow. I’ve tackled 78 of those hundred books. (Read 69, started 9 more.) Decent achievement, that. Some weeks I read five to seven books; others, only one or two. It’s a rare week that I don’t finish a single book.

For someone who reads so much it must seem odd that there are only a couple on this list I express a desire to read. This is not because they don’t interest me, but because my reading is rarely planned in advance. But in the library, where I go almost every week, I am a kid in a candy store, pulling first one then the other off the shelves.

Anyone else who decides to tackle this meme, leave a note in the comments, and I’ll come have a look!

March 19, 2007 Posted by | books, memes and quizzes | 20 Comments

I’m Getting Married in the…


A mere ten years after the proposal, I have finally accepted. Doesn’t do to rush these things. Which is why we’re getting married in…May. In about ten weeks.

Do not expect… pew ribbons, bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, favours, bows, banners, flower girls, basket of rose petals, ring bearers, ring pillow, exotic honeymoon, cathedral wedding, big white dress, veil, train, tuxedos, aisle runner, an aisle, rice, confetti, bubbles, silk, satin, cummerbunds, white linen tablecloths, printed napkins, crystal, master of ceremonies, father of the bride, groomsmen, bridesmaids, matching dresses, matching shoes, spaghetti straps, first dance, garter, bouquet-throwing, reception hall, mother-of-the-bride dress, champagne, “Cherish”, save the date cards, organ music, gift registry, crystal patterns, china patterns, flatware patterns, any patterns at all, programs, place cards, videographer, limousine, heart-shaped mirrors, heart-sprinkled napkins, heart-monogrammed invitations, in fact, no hearts at all, newspaper announcement (I have a blog!), engagement party, mother-son or father-daughter dance, unity candles, kneeling bench, altar arrangements (nor altar)….Nor any of the other gazillion non-essential ‘essentials’.

There may be a cake. Possibly a rehearsal dinner.

There will be invitations (without a save the date card, and no seals on it, thanks to my graphic designer sis-in-law), and a guest book (but no fake-feather pen), a bartender (hello, Hope!), and photographer (Heya, brother-in-law!), and live music (Sheila, John, Tom), and an officiant (as yet unbooked), and rings (which we’ve been wearing for ten years now).

There will definitely be family, friends, food, drink, laughter, sincerity, faith and love.

Happy Wedding to me us.

March 16, 2007 Posted by | commemoration, individuality, wedding | 43 Comments

Oh, yeah. Uh-huh…

Thanks to Peter, for this bit of blog-holiday fluff.

I’m trying to picture doing my job dressed in granny panties and a bustier… Mind you, those bullet-deflecting bracelets and the lasso might come in handy for those times I have a Biter on board…

Your results:

You are Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman
Green Lantern
The Flash
Iron Man
You are a beautiful princess
with great strength of character.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

March 14, 2007 Posted by | memes and quizzes | 7 Comments


I’m on holiday! La, la, la, la, la…

I have no kidlets swarming around the floors. I have no puke and boogers stories.

I’m on holiday.

Off I go to the gym – in the MIDDLE OF THE DAY!!!!


See you later, maybe.

March 12, 2007 Posted by | holidays | 10 Comments

Power Struggle with Subtitles

“Okay, guys! Naptime!” Timmy, Anna, Emily, Nigel. Each receives their kiss and hug, and lies down to snuggle under their quilts in their separate rooms. Malli, old enough that she doesn’t nap every day, sleeps on a low cot in the kitchen. As I enter the room, she is standing by her cot.

Hm. This could mean trouble. Let’s see…

“Hey there, sweetie. Let’s get you into that bed.”

“I no have a nap.”

Not necessary a problem. She only naps some days; this may not be defiance, but merely clarifying the expectations.

“That’s right. You don’t have to sleep. You can just have a quiet time instead. Lie down, please.”

“I no lie down.”

Ah. Outright rebellion. First response: Pretend it’s not happening and proceed. This works a surprising amount of the time. Smile warmly.

“Here’s a stuffed toy, and a book. Lie down, lovie.”

Say it like you just matter-of-fact-ly expect this thing to happen. Most natural thing in the world.

“I no lie down.”

Okay. That didn’t work. Time for the direct approach. Take some of that warmth out of the smile. Show something a little sterner, speak slowly and with emphasis, display the iron in my soul.

“Malli, it’s naptime. You don’t have to sleep, but you will lie down. You have a toy and a book. It’s time to rest now.”

No coaxing. Just repeat the expectation. Firmly.

Malli draws herself up to her full almost-a-metre. Her brown eyes are slightly narrowed, stern and unyielding. A blond wisp falls into the glare. Surprisingly, it manages not to disappear into a sizzling puff of black char.

I say No.”

You little bugger, you! You honestly think that carries any weight right now? Okay, Mary. Don’t laugh! Don’t, don’t, don’t laugh. Hands gently on her shoulders. Strong eye contact. Voice friendly but completely firm. Got it all together yet? Okay, then…

“Well, I say Yes.” Okay, so I laughed a little, but in combination with the body language and tone of voice, it looked like insouciant self-confidence. “And guess what, Malli? I am the boss here, not you. Now, get into bed, silly girl.”

Don’t wait for compliance. This is the time to pull rank. Lift her up, lay her down, and put the blanket over her rigid body. Okay, now. Is she going to fight this? Any violent struggles happening? … Ha! No. She’s probably lost enough battles of will by now. She’s learned the futility of resistance.

Time to be a gracious winner. Leave her her self-respect. “You want a stuffed toy?”


Heeheehee… She’s two. I may be a gracious winner, but she’s not about to be a gracious loser!

“You want your book?”


“Wow, I guess you must be very tired, then.”

No harm in reinforcing the idea. Because she obviously is. Okay, though. Victory is tenuous enough that she might just pop up out of that cot the second I leave the room. Getting her in a second time would not be pretty, so I think I need to stall a bit.

“I’m going to make my lunch now. Have a nice nap.”

Turn my back. Move quietly about the kitchen for a few minutes. Don’t look at her – that’ll just make her think you expect her to get up. Ears are peeled, though! And in four minutes…

Malli has settled into the steady-stare-and-slow-blink phase of falling into sleep. I slip quietly from the room.

Heh. “I say No.” I think she honestly thought that would work. Little monkey. Heh.

March 8, 2007 Posted by | power struggle, sleep | 17 Comments

Anna’s Apple

greenapple.gif“Ap-puw! Ap-puwww!”

Anna holds a shiny green apple aloft. Her little round face shines with pleasure.

“Ap-puw! Ap-puww!”

“Thunk. The apple hits the floor and rolls away.

“Ap-puw!” Anna chortles as she trundles after it.

“Where did she find that thing, anyway?” I ask my sweetie, who shakes his head at the mystery of it all. “She doesn’t appear to have realized she can E-A-T it, either.”

“No, she doesn’t. Not that it’s preventing her from really enjoying it.” He’s right about that. Anna is in chortling possession of the apple again. She takes an exploratory lick. And another, just tracing the thing with her tongue. It sparkles a bit.


She flares her lips against it and rubs her face to and fro. It’s now shinier than ever, slick with a glistening mix of snot’n’saliva.

“I think we’ll just let her take it home with her, don’t you?”

“Yes. She’s having so much fun with it after all.”

“Be a shame to deprive her.”

“But I think I’ll warn her parents that it’s not really edible any more.”

“You might want to do that, yes.

March 7, 2007 Posted by | eeewww, food | 4 Comments

Risk-Averse Parenting

We live in a risk-phobic society. Parents are particularly risk-phobic. It’s become part of ‘responsible parenting’ to bubble-wrap our children, to shield them from every possibility of harm. I’ve written before about how misguided this is. A little risk is a necessary thing, a good thing.

In my previous post on the subject, I suggested that protecting our children too rigourously against all physical harm creates children who are at greater risk of that harm. If they never experience risk, if they never take a fall in any sense, they will never learn to evaluate risks and take them wisely as adults. Shit happens. We have to prepare our kids to deal with it.

But here’s something I hadn’t considered before. In an interesting take on the subject, The Onion, in its unsurpassed satiric way, suggests that the risk-phobia which passes for good parenting on this continent robs children of something else – something essential to childhood. Go have a look!

Good stuff.

March 6, 2007 Posted by | controversy, parenting | 12 Comments

It beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick

Nigel chatters to himself as he rotates round and round his right foot.

“Woe, woe, woe, woe, woe,
Je-gee-dow, fwee
Meh-lee, meh-lee, meh-lee, meh-lee


A do-it agin?

Je-jee dowa, fweem
meh-lee, meh-lee, meh-lee, meh-lee

Whheeee!! Go roundaroundaround…

Je-jlee downa, fweem
meh-lee, meh-lee, meh-lee, meh-lee

Do it agin? Go round, a-round-a-rounda-round…
Fall down!
And he lies on his back, watching the ceiling spin slowly around, while he claps. Oh, the cuteness.

(Recognize the “song”, anyone?)

March 5, 2007 Posted by | the cuteness! | 14 Comments

Waiting by the phone…

It started snowing last night. We got about 15 cm (6 inches). In the early hours of this morning, we heard the distinctive fizzing hiss of ice pellets against the window. It’s been coming down for three or more hours so far. We expect about 5 – 10 mm of ice pellets. Oh, and then another 10 cm of snow.

Our car is encased in a glassy coating. The branches of trees are crystal lace. It’s very pretty. But…

The snow we could manage. The ice on top of the snow? Not so good. The snow on top of the ice on top of the snow? Yuuuuuuk…

I have the radio on: all school busses are cancelled. There are a raft of cancellations – meetings, classes, events. Accidents all over the city. The temperature’s not bad, only -7C (20F), but winds gusting to 46 km/hour (28.5 mph). Power lines are down in rural areas across the eastern part of the province, people without power in pockets all over. People are being asked not to drive in the city if not essential. In short, it’s a mess.

None of my kids take school busses, but no one should go out in this if they don’t have to. When Adam came down to the kitchen, I told him he could have the day off if he wanted. “Woo-hoo! Snow Day!!” He grabbed a Neo-Citran for his headache and congestion, and headed back up to bed.

So far I’ve received two phone calls. Nigel will not be in today!! Emily is staying home!!

But what about Timmy? And Anna?

Just like my kids, I’m hoping for a Snow Day.

No Snow Day for me.

March 2, 2007 Posted by | holidays, Ottawa | 14 Comments

Nobody’s Perfect…

But seems I came close enough this week!

Someone thought my Good Mommies, Strong Mommies post warranted being noted as a Perfect Post.

Thanks to So-Called Supermom, and to all who read and enjoyed the post. Over 800 of you so far! Thanks for dropping by, thanks for all the comments, and I hope it’s helpful.

March 1, 2007 Posted by | commemoration, memes and quizzes, our adoring public | 8 Comments