cyberspacial musings
bits about the real and virtual worlds

18 Nov 2010

BBC Book List Meme

The BBC published a list of 100 books. It’s been suggested that this list points out that most folks have only read 6 of the 100, but actually the BBC was looking for the UK’s best loved novel.  Nonetheless, here’s the list and my score. Looks like I’ve read 21 of them. At least as far as I can recall. There are a few on the list that I think I’ve read but just can’t remember anymore (those Bronte siblings!).  Is it a bad sign that there are only a couple of books on the list that are actually in my “plan to read” list?

This list was extracted from Evolving Thoughts.


1) Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read.
2) Add a '+' to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading. If you really want, put a (?) next to those you might have read :-)
4) Tally your total.

x+   1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
     2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
     3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
x+   4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
x    5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
x    6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
x    7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
x    8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
     9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
?    10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
*    11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller 
?    12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë 
     13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
     14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier 
x    15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger 
     16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame 
     17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens 
     18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott 
     19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
     20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy 
     21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
x    22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling 
x    23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling 
x    24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling 
x+   25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien 
     26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
     27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
     28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
     29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck 
x    30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll 
     31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
     32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez 
     33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
     34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
x    35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
     36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson 
     37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute 
     38. Persuasion, Jane Austen 
x    39. Dune, Frank Herbert 
     40. Emma, Jane Austen 
     41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
     42. Watership Down, Richard Adams 
     43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald 
?    44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas 
     45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh 
x    46. Animal Farm, George Orwell 
     47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens 
     48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy 
     49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
     50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
     51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett 
x    52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck 
x    53. The Stand, Stephen King
     54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy 
     55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
     56. The BFG, Roald Dahl 
     57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
x    58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell 
     59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer 
     60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky 
     61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
     62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden 
x    63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens 
     64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
     65. Mort, Terry Pratchett 
     66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton 
     67. The Magus, John Fowles 
*    68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman 
     69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett 
     70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding 
     71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
     72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
     73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett 
     74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
     75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding 
     76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
     77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins 
     78. Ulysses, James Joyce 
     79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
     80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
     81. The Twits, Roald Dahl 
     82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
x    83. Holes, Louis Sachar 
     84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake 
     85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
     86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
x    87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley 
     88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
     89. Magician, Raymond E Feist 
     90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
     91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo 
     92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel 
     93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett 
     94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
     95. Katherine, Anya Seton
     96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
     97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez 
     98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
     99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
     100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
12 Oct 2010

Smoking Photos

This Gizmodo post and the image to the right reminded me of previous post of mine, which has a photo that Alyssa took in early 2010.

11 Oct 2010

High Tech Fiction

imageI find it interesting that most of the books that I enjoy the most in the “Science Fiction” category are really not “Science Fiction” at all.  I’ve really enjoyed reading Zero Historyalt by William Gibson (not quite done yet!) and the other two books in the series.  While the publisher marks them as SF, they clearly aren’t.  There’s nothing really speculative about these books from a science perspective.  It reminds me of Cryptonomiconalt by Neal Stephenson, also categorized as SF but really just high-tech fiction.  And so my question is — who and what else should I be reading that falls in this category?  These aren’t quite suspense or spy novels, but they really resonate with me.

02 Jul 2010

Before and After

Some friends saw my Microsoft badge the other day and noted how different I look compared to 2006, before I lost a great deal of weight (about 75 pounds).  Here are three photos from vacations in Hawaii showing what I looked like before and after.  In case you are wondering, I still wear the hat in the first photo.


2006 (around 240 pounds)


2007 (down to around 170)


2009 (holding between 165 and 170)

22 Jun 2010

Facebook’s Effect on IE8

There’s some seriously bad behavior in Facebook that seems to kill IE8.  Leaving Facebook running overnight in IE results in the following memory utilization the next morning:

IE Working Set

That’s 1.7 GB of memory consumed by IE8 just for the tab that’s running Facebook.  You can usually tell that things have gone wonky because IE starts showing the error icon in the lower left hand corner.  Unfortunately, shutting down IE doesn’t always work — sometimes the Facebook tab keeps spinning in the background (each tab is running in a separate process).  The only recourse at this point appears to be to kill the process (just the Facebook tab process — easy to find because it’s the iexplore.exe process consuming more memory than any other), which crashes the tab and causes a reload.  IE stays alive (thanks to the multiple-process tab model) and reloads Facebook in its original, low memory state. 

It would be easy to blame IE8 for this behavior, but I suspect that this is really a problem with Facebook’s client-side javascript code.

06 Jun 2010

Amusing Comment from a Friend on Facebook

“People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it’s safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs.”

29 May 2010

Kindle eBook Pricing Problems

kindle book pricesThis seems like a pricing problem.  Look at the price of this book compared to the paperback.  Why are bits more expensive than atoms?  This is not a game — this is just unfortunate, especially for those of us who prefer our media in electronic form.

13 Mar 2010

Guess What I’m Cancelling in 6 Months?

seattletimeslogo_homeHello from,

As a Kindle subscriber to Seattle Times, you might like to know of a price change to Seattle Times. Effective March 12th, 2010 the price of Seattle Times has changed to $9.99/month for new subscribers.

As an existing subscriber to Seattle Times you will continue to be billed at the previous rate of $5.99/month for six more months (until September 12th, 2010) after which you will be billed at the monthly rate then in effect. We believe that the Kindle edition of Seattle Times continues to provide excellent value for customers with a free 14 day trial period, wireless delivery via Whispernet, no long-term commitments, and substantial savings vs. regular print subscription rates.

As always you are free to cancel your subscription at any time. If you are still in the 14 day free trial period of your subscription you will not be charged, otherwise you will receive a prorated refund for the unused portion of your subscription. To change or cancel a subscription, please visit

Sincerely, The Amazon Kindle team

21 Jan 2010

Apple Tablet vs. Kindle

kindleAm I missing something?  Given what little we know about the upcoming Apple Tablet, the rumors all seem to indicate that it’ll have something close to an iPhone compatible app store.  That should mean that the Kindle app, which now runs on PCs and iPhones should also run on the Apple Tablet.  Amazon may lose out on some Kindle hardware sales, but they should be able to open up the Kindle store to anyone with a Tablet and the app.  Then it’s a competition around who has the most content, but the consumer wins — publishers can publish through whatever store they want and I get the books I want.  Seems like this is the most obvious path to travel …

14 Jan 2010

One of Alyssa’s Photos

This is a photo that my daughter Alyssa took for a photography class. Nice work!

Butts and Addiction

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