Browsed by
Month: July 2008



1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicise those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them 

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6. The Bible (The Old Testament. The sequel lagged and got all moralistic.)
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare 
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
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 
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis 
34. Emma – Jane Austen
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis 
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
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown 
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery 
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid's Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52. Dune – Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon 
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
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
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones' Diary – Helen Fielding
69. Midnight's Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
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
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 
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton 
91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. Watership Down – Richard Adams 95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl 
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo


SBWC 2008

SBWC 2008

Through the generosity of two specific people I was able to attend the Santa Barbara Writers Conference after all, if only for two days. 

I am certainly not the first person (or the millionth) to observe that writing is a very solitary and sometimes lonely endeavor.  Plodding through the year on our own, trying to stay disciplined, and trying to get better at what we do is hard.  Making those awesome cognitive leaps that happen so rarely, when not only do we put something together that works but for the first time we understand *why* it works and *ding!* We've Become 1 Better at Writing — those moments are awesome, but they're also a little bit lonely.  Once a year I get to steep in the company of some really great, successful writers, and some struggling novice writers like myself, and some newcomers who are discovering that they really aren't alone.

I remember the thing that struck me about my first conference, five years ago, was that immediately after someone learned your name, they asked “What do you write?”  That was so validating.  I love asking newcomers that question.  They light up, and I can almost see their thoughts: I really am a writer. 

Several friends have books out this year.  I am particularly looking forward to Lorelei Armstrong's In the Face, which will be released in October.  I brought home Lisa Lenard-Cook's The Mind of Your Story (it is beautiful and should be added to your collection of writing books posthaste.)  I was doubly excited about Lisa's book because I love her workshop so much, but due to scheduling conflicts I've never been able to spend more than a day with her.  I was delighted to find I could bring her workshop home with me this time and keep learning from her all year long. :)

It would have been great to be there for the whole week, and next year I intend to pick up my duties and get back on the staff, but those two days seem to have been exactly what I needed: a reminder that we are not alone, a refresher on some of the tools of the trade, a swift kick in the ass, and a spark to ignite the imagination again.

I came home and quickly completed 'Ill Angels.'  It needs work, but I got to the end, and felt more energized than I have in a long time.

This was immediately followed by another round of rejections.  But you know, every single rejection now ends with something like “not this one, but I want to see more of your work,” which can only be a good thing.

So, back to work.  I've got a beginning to chop off of 'Habitat,' a massive rearrangement of 'Red Carpet' to do (and wouldn't an ending be nice?!) several revision passes to make at 'Ill Angels,' another 100 words to cut out of 'Devotions,' and a market to find for 'Sweetwater Kill.'  That should keep me busy for a while.