Friday, July 31, 2009


Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up? 

I've a little x beside the ones I've read - most before the age of 17? Have I lost my love of reading? Or just steered away from the classics? At least it's more than 6? Joining the libraby tonight! 

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen -         x

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien - X

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte -         x

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling-X

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - X

6 The Bible - There are lots of bibles... x

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte -X

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell –

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman - X

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - x

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott - x

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy –

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller –

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare-

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier - x

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien - X

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk -

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger -X

19 The Time Traveler’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 - x

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky -

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck -

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll- x

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame- x

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy -

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens - x

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis -X

34 Emma-Jane Austen - x

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen - x

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis -X (

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 - X

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-X

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 – x

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth -

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon -

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens - X

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley -

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddonx -

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’s Diary - Helen Fielding- x

69 Midnight’s Children -

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville -

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens- x

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker - x

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett - X

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson -

75 Ulysses - James Joyce – x hated it though?

76 The Inferno – Dante -

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 - x

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 - X

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- x

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad -

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery - x

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks -

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams- x

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole -

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute -

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas - X

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare- x

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl -X

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo- x


Dribble really...

Haven’t blogged in awhile – have been busy in my own not getting nothing much done way. Quick recap on me:


  • Went to Limerick last week to visit my sister’s lickle dog Sophie’s new puppies (very cute). Heading home again tonight til next Wednesday for another weekend of being treated like a Princess by my parents (all part of their “lure Sharon home” from Dublin plot) whilst “my friends” slag my Dublin accent shame.
  • Been having really bad nightmares all the month of July and now have terrible bags under my eyes but have discovered the Cooling Eye Balm from One Cosmetics “8 hours sleep in a bottle”. It actually works!
  • Back to WW’s – lost like 9 pounds. Figure I’ll gain a bit over long weekend but hi ho…
  • Got started on the Buffy Season 8 comics, finished Sculduggery (kids book but I like it!) and am enjoyed TW’s Bay of the Dead.
  • I got an iffy’s haircut – kinda lopsided but I don’t hate it so much now. Next time I get my hair cut I’ll just have to have an actually idea in my head of what I want.
  • Really upset about Borders closing – my whole Sunday routine is up in the air now. No more strolling to blanch to spend too much time and money in Pet Stop, then Borders then Starbucks – perhaps a good thing…
  • SNAILS – bleedin’ everywhere. I’m like a ninja these days avoiding them walking home – our garden has a really nice snail bush as well.
  • I do love TodayFM… can’t decide if I like Facebook though.
  • I officially hate RTD – argh his so rude (I hate rude people) I may well watch Supernatural as well as go to THE HUB 3 in October (yes well I hate RTD not Torchwood and I’ll never get a chance to embrace Torchwood of old again!) as GDL has been announced. This might set back my Cardiff at Christmas plan however…
  • And finally do `I want one of Eve’s pup’s? Not really into small white fluffy things but aw a puppy is a puppy!

 Ps I love my new glasses?

Friday, July 10, 2009

RIP Ianto Jones

You should have seen me the last few weeks counting away the days (literally) until the 5 part series 3 of Torchwood - my one surviving and beloved TV show. I'm not one for soaps or reality TV - it's re-runs of Star Trex, Buffy, X Files and Angel or the odd box set of now defunct series like Battlestar or Firefly that I would have missed. Bit if a theme? Yes I'm a geek - I wouldn't achieve a high level of geekdom perhaps if tested but a geek all the same.
 Early last year the John Barrowman biography was given too me by someone in work. I like bio's but I didn't know who John Barrowman was. I didn't expect to get past the first chapter but strangely I intrigued. Not only was this man involved in Musical Theatre (I do love Jazz hands), on some Sci-Fi programme called Doctor Who (I do love Sci-Fi) but he was a force of nature so focused, positive and driven how could I not like him.
 Off I went to investigate Doctor Who and Captain Jack Harness. I might seem odd I didn't know too much about Doctor Who at this stage but in Ireland Doctor Who hasn't the same status as it does in the UK. In Ireland we have The Late Late Show or Bosco - only people living on the East Coast of Ireland could pick up the BBC (illegally). 
Pretty soon I was up to date on both Doctor Who and Torchwood. Torchwood in particular tipped my interest. I love Doctor Who but it's easy viewing mainly like enjoying a good Disney movie. I trust it's going to deliver. I know that they might kill Bambi's Mom but in the end that heartache will be forgotten and I'll have a nice warm fuzzy feeling. On the other hand I want the under dog Torchwood to deliver but I don't trust it will (and that’s somehow more exciting). I've thrown my hands up in disgust as much as I've punched the air with joy.
Character development in my humble opinion was always Torchwood's downfall not dodgy storylines about alien necklaces. Everyone was introduced but never explored. It was always a rush job - quickly tell loads of stories before we get cancelled. Gwen the heart of the Hub? She's the viewer's point of view? (No that’s Rose in Doctor Who?) She's caring and connected to the outside world - blah blah blah. Gwen was never the Hub's heart in fact the big mistake they made in Series 1 that made her so instantly unlikable was her affair with Owen whilst making puppy eyes at Jack. Ianto's character was more confused than complicated. He managed to catch a dinosaur on his first day yet Jack gives him a job making coffee? Cyberwoman (some people love it some people hate it) had no set up and no follow up. Jack is going to shoot Ianto for keeping his Cyberwoman girlfriend in the basement - the next time we see Ianto on screen Jack gives him a pat on the back for checking weather patterns. One minute Ianto is telling Jack his going to get revenge when he least expects it and the next his dangling a stopwatch. There simply isn't enough pieces of the puzzle for the viewer to get a clear idea of who these people are or what the want. All the relationships are strained or forced or simply misunderunderstood. In Fragments we take a step back and see how Jack recruited Tosh, Owen and Ianto. It was a show all fans loved. A simple bit of back-story can make the world of difference. Of course Tosh and Owen die the next day but it wasn't a waste. Now you cared when they died because you knew a little bit more. Killing them was harsh but fair. The show was sluggish - weighted down by too many people and subplots needing airtime. At least they went out with a bang and two amazing performances.
Watching Torchwood COE I thought WOW they've actually got the balance right. They have carefully backtracked. Gwen is better suited and better written as a kick ass action hero who’s happily married with the slight complication of a baby on the way. Bringing in Rhys for a bit of light comic relief was a stroke of genius. PC Andy though is still sadly under used. Jack is a lot darker which is great because being buried alive for a few hundred years isn't something you should take lightly. Ianto's puppy love for Jack feels genuine. (However Ianto's speech in the radio play "The Dead Line" was far superior to the "Bloody Beans" scene) The introduction of Rihanna and Alice brings a new depth to Ianto/Jack but are both pretty great characters in their own right. Ianto's Brother-in-law in fact stole the show for a brief few moments. Torchwood 3 has three members, that we are finally getting to explore, who are finally stable with great chemistry. The storyline is epic - creepy alien wants 10% of the kiddies while Torchwood is down but not out thanks too the dodgy government (the Doctor should of let Harriet Jones stay in charge we wouldn't of had a recession or 4 dead PM's and the year that never was). 
Another reason I was looking forward to this week was because I was going to see the new Harry Potter film (will post review after Irish Premier on Monday or link from my Film Blog) but that actually left me cold. I'll explain why in a tick but I'll say Torchwood cheered me up considerably after my disappointment. Then last night in my opinion RTD threw it away - he killed off Ianto. This not only made me cry buckets but also got me highly annoyed. His death was bloody useless. It hadn’t a scratch on Tosh or Owens’s death last year in terms of emotion. Jack didn’t even say I love you back? That’s so rude? Buffy was polite enough to tell Spike she loved him when he was dying to save the world?
Now we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. You can’t bring Ianto back to life – it’ll be silly? But how is a S4 possible with just Gwen (who people were coming around to but now will just resent her and blame her for RTD killing off Ianto) and an even darker Jack with some tag along minor characters from Children of Earth or Who rejects like Martha. It’s like your in the middle painting something and it’s going to be your best work and then someone comes in and pours black paint over it. Why start again? It’s ruined.
The one good thing was at least it affected me and everyone I know who liked the show – the last minutes of the latest Harry Potter I should of being crying like my new puppy got run down but it fell short. It was limp. Torchwood was able to deliver that heart-wrecking blow that has me talking and thinking of Torchwood the next day. It’ll go down in popular TV History with powerful scenes such as Buffy stabbing Angel and sending him to hell or Jen dying in Dawson’s Creek not because the scene was particularly good but for the love of a character.

However killing off everyone’s favorite character whilst shocking and even interesting isn’t either clever or brave. Like Ianto accompanying Jack to visit the Alien to tell them “not one single child” without a back up plan or counter threat or the common sense to run for a suit or even to open the air lock to shot it might well prove to be a fatal move. 

Monday, July 6, 2009

RIP King of Pop

I love tv and film. I've mentioned before Music is not so much my thing. My first ever memory is my Dad bringing home The Smurfs. I don't know what age I was but I remember hugging his leg and I came in just about under his knee. I thought for the majority of my very early years that my Dad knew about a secret channel on the TV that made my favourite cartoons come on (I loved the bady muppets) and I remember being gutted when I got my head around the idea of a video recorder. My Dad wasn't magic after all he was the only one who knew how to set up the video recorder. My parents owned a chain of video stores when I was a kid so I always got to see the latest films first. I started helping out there at 11 my parents couldn't stop me from going in there and soon I was nearly full time - it was my own personal play ground. When I was 6?7?8? I came across Moonwalker the first video I liked that wasn't a cartoon- no one ever rented it. I watched it over and over and over and over with my legs crossed and nose touching the screen (no wonder I now need glassse). The thing had no plot I could follow but all the dance routines had me spellbound. Moonwalker being a film got me interested in music - if it'd been a tape or on the radio I'd of paid no attention. My first CD bought a few years later was Thriller, my first concert was Michael in the RDS in 97? I even had a poster with lip gloss marks? Ugh I think my sister kissed it to be honest. I'd completely forgotten all this until I turned on Sky News to find out Michael Jackson had a heart attack and TMZ were reporting he'd died. It was a different kind of saddness then when Heath Ledger died - then I'd been in completely shock and immediately gutted but with Michael it wasn't really shock. I wasn't been the only one to predict Michael wouldn't complete the upcoming tour. Then after a few days that fact that at some point I was actually fan hit me. I listened to Thriller when my first boyfriend dumped me, my sister could moonwalk (kinda) on the fireplace, and my Dad let me think my confirmation money was enough to buy us all tickets to go see him in concert - it wasn't! my Dad got them but pretended to me I'd bought them - I probably hadn't enough to buy my own but I remember waiting in line in Empire Records in Limerick with my Dad to get them. 

Michael Jackson was really dodgy and I don't know how history will judge him but I'll just remember I was a fan lucky enough to see him live. I might buy Moonwalker if I see it.