Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar eclipse

Today is Solstice, which I love, and this morning (at 1am) there was a full lunar eclipse visible from our house.
I set the alarm and Shel and I got up and went out to look at the moon. It was absolutely beautiful.
The sky was clear and the moon was bright and we stood there for about 2 minutes and then since the temperature was -27 degrees Celsius we went back inside and went to bed.
I am thrilled we were able to share the moment. It was awesome.

The Life I Planned verses the Life I Have

I was raised in a religious home. I attended a scripture study every day from Monday to Friday through my high school years. I served a mission in my early twenties for my church. For the past 15 years I have not actively participated in any organized religion at all, but I have remained interested in spirituality.
In my studies I have spent some time reading about Buddhism. One of the four noble truths of Buddhism is that "the cause of suffering can be ended".

The third noble truth is that the cause of suffering can be ended. Our struggle to survive, our effort to prove ourselves and solidify our relationships is unnecessary. We, and the world, can get along quite comfortably without all our unnecessary posturing. We could just be a simple, direct and straight-forward person. We could form a simple relationship with our world, our children, our spouse and friends. We do this by abandoning our expectations about how we think things should be.

I want to end suffering in my life. I am trying to implement this noble truth into my life and when I have been able to do so successfully I have seen that the principle works for me. Unfortunately I have a LONG way to go when applying the principle to parenting.

You see, although I always wanted to have children I didn't think in my lifetime it would happen. After coming out, my partner and I tried unsuccessfully to hear children. (HA! Freudian slip! I meant "HAVE" children, I am spending a lot of time now trying not to HEAR children!) We thought we would adopt, but the cost was prohibitive. We have now have successfully adopted through the foster care system and are the parents of two amazing boys. I have a lot of "expectations" about how my parenting will be - and it is not turning out that way AT ALL. As a result I am experiencing much sorrow and frustration, because I have not yet been able to abandon my expectations and accept things as they are.

For example...

I always wanted to have a child's room that was decorated beautifully. We had a theme, we had colours picked out. We had pictures for the wall and linens for the bed and we were excited to bring home our baby and put him in his room. Well, it didn't turn out that way at all. One of the challenges facing my son is sensory integration. He is overwhelmed by stimulus, particularly visual stimulus. When there is too much for his brain to "process" he cannot deal with his surroundings. His room was not a place where he wanted to be and where he could relax, but a place where he was so "over" stimulated that he literally had "fits" until the pictures came off the wall and everything came out of his room except his bed. We have managed to put a dresser and a night table back into his room but I think they are still too much for him.

And now my most recent disappointment:
Christmas.
In my ideal world we would put up the tree the first day of December. We would make cookies and sing carols, and do crafts. We would have nativities set up. We would have advents.
In reality - Christmas is too much.
When Max was two, and old enough to open presents, it took two days to get to everything under the tree. Not because there was much there, but because it was simply overwhelming.
Last year we found unopened presents at the back of the tree when we took it down - again too overwhelming.
We got the tree out to put it up on Sunday. We put it up and started to string the lights and Max started in. He is ADDICTED to lights. He has taken one string already and moved them three or four times.
I think I said "stop touching the lights" half a million times in the first ten minutes and then I was getting more and more frustrated until I actually said if he touched the lights one more time I was going to pick up the tree and throw it out the front door.
Don't ever say something if you don't mean it. He hasn't stopped touching the lights and I haven't thrown the tree out the front door.
We have a garland of red beads that look like they are cranberries. They are one of my favorite decorations. Max tied them around himself and CJ and they used them as a tug of war - which only resulted in the string breaking and beads going everywhere all over the living room floor. I managed to pick them up and bag them - where they still sit today.
So the tree is up. One string of lights is almost on. One string of lights is........hmn. I don't actually know where. And we are no closer to finishing the tree than when we pulled it out of the quonset.
On Sunday night I was so frustrated with the whole process I threw the boys in the tub, put them in pajamas and we all went to bed.
The problem is my expectations, but how do I change them? Max is THRILLED it is Christmas, more than he ever has been before, but it is still too overwhelming for him. I don't know how to adjust.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Reindeer Hokey Pokey

Today was the Christmas Concert because it was cancelled yesterday. Maxies class did the reindeer hokey pokey. The curtains opened and he froze! He has such stage fright. He recovered for the last ten seconds with the help of his aide (whom we LOVE).

video

I managed to get ten seconds on tape......
My boy is the one on the far left.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow day

It is rare, but today the Christmas Concert at the elementary school was cancelled due to heavy snowfall. Thankfully they have just postponed the concert until tomorrow so we will still get to see Max singing his hokey pokey reindeer version song. Last year he just sat on the stage and didn't sing a word. Knowing how he is in front of people I can't imagine he will do any better this year, but he is cute all the same!

We were under a heavy snow warning for about 24 hours - ending early this morning  - and I can verify - heavy snow fell.
Last night I charged up the snow blower and put it to work. I went out twice and what a thrill it was. I purchased the snow blower two summers ago and last year we didn't gt enough snow to use it. I was bummed. This year Shel brought it out and put it by the back door so it would be accessible when (we were hoping) the time came to use it.
YAHOO!
In the time I had it out - about an hour all together - I did as much moving snow that in the past would have taken me over five hours of backbreaking labour to move.
I am thrilled. In fact, I love it so much I can't wait to get home and use it again!
Max of course came out to "help". He is a trooper.


No hamburgers on the grill tonight!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

365/16; L.D.

Try this: make a list of 365 people whose names you remember and who were interesting to you. And then, if you can, write down a few words about each of them before they're gone from your memory. If you can't do this, it might be wise to spend the next 365 days meeting more people in person who are interesting to you. Learn their names.

I have recently been reading the blog of an active Mormon BYU student who is gay. (If you are interested you can check out his blog HERE). He is currently writing about his mission and it has really been on my mind lately. I am not as brave as he is, nor is my mission experience anything at all like his, but thinking about my mission has brought me to this post.

One of the things about going on a mission and coming home and then coming out as a gay person is that the people you served with and other people in the LDS church often assume that you went on a mission for the wrong reasons and that you were not faithful or chaste as a missionary. That's a horrible assumption to make.


First of all when I was on my mission I had NO idea I was gay. I was in fact convinced I wasn't. The thought of homosexuality repulsed me. I HAD experienced ONE situation of same sex attraction prior to my mission, and I met with my bishop, my stake president and a general authority prior to being permitted to serve. I was convinced I was NOT gay, and I was hypersensitive on the topic of homosexuality.

L.D.was my mission president.. He was not my first mission president, and I have heard from other missionaries who had two presidents during the time they were missionaries that it is frequently a difficult transition from one to the other. This was the case with me. (I also know that there are people who absolutely LOVED L.D. and who had wonderful experiences with him. Not so for me.)

I was a very hard working missionary. I am proud of the way in which I served my mission. I had struggles for sure, but overall I would say my mission was a success.

Enter L.D.

For some reason the guy instantly disliked me, which I found strange because I had not done anything I believed to warrant being disliked. Let me give you an example. (This is just one small example of the many I had with L.D.)

There was scheduled to be a sister missionary "conference" near the mission office. I was serving in the area the furthest from the office. President called me up and told me what was on the agenda and asked me what I thought. I thought it was a waste of time. For me and my companion to get to the conference we would have to get a member of the ward to drive us to the meeting place, wait around for us, and drive us back. It was something the members were MORE than willing to do, and something I would not have hesitated to ask for, but the agenda for the day involved having someone from Mary Kay come and do a demo on make-overs. This to me was completely pointless and a waste of time. I rode a bike.  In a skirt. Every day. Many of these days it was raining. Regardless of how many times I met with someone from Mary Kay I was unlikely to change what I wore or put makeup on to go out in the rain on a bike.
L.D. did not like that I said I thought it was a waste of time, and proceeded to reprimand me for not being supportive and telling me I had no choice in the matter, but I WOULD attend, and I WOULD take part and he would not accept anything less.

WHOAH BULLET!

At no point, ever, did I say I would not attend. He called me, (I didn't call him) and asked my OPINION on something and I shared it. Then he ripped on me for sharing it, and made assumptions that I was not attending! His wife called me later to tell me that she thought it would be a good idea for me to come down (again, I never said I wasn't) and that it would be the boost I needed to my self esteem if I would get a makeover. She offered to pay for me to go and professionally get a makeover. I declined the offer.

L.D. was someone who I found interesting. The way he interacted with me and with other missionaries in my area who were all leaving at the same time as me left much to be desired. I certainly learned from him how I would never want to lead, if I were ever given the opportunity. It was unfortunate that my mission experience was clouded in this way by his interactions with me. Having said all that about him - he did teach me something. He taught me how to write a check. He taught me when writing out the value of the check to put a line in front of and behind the written amount so people couldnt add things on the line. Many of my interactions with him were about money.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

365/15: Homa

Try this: make a list of 365 people whose names you remember and who were interesting to you. And then, if you can, write down a few words about each of them before they're gone from your memory. If you can't do this, it might be wise to spend the next 365 days meeting more people in person who are interesting to you. Learn their names.



Homa was a professor at the university where I got my undergraduate degree. I was majoring in psychology and I had completed all the credit requirements for my major and was still short of credits for graduation. I was taking random classes just to get credit and I took an introduction to Sociology class from Homa.
I was absolutely captivated. Captivated by the topics (enough to change my major to Sociology) but more captivated by this AMAZING woman.

She was from Iran and her father was a senior administrator for the Shah of Iran. Her family was exiled and she grew up and was educated in Europe. She taught the Sociology of Conflict and her life experience as well as her knowledge impacted me in such an immense way it changed the course of my life.
We got to know one another personally outside of the classroom. She advised me on my directed readings as a senior Sociology student. When I graduated she gifted me with some of the texts she used when she was a sociology student. They were some of the most meaningful books I have ever been given.

I graduated and moved and she left the university. Over the years we have lost touch and I miss our friendship greatly. This past November I went back to the university and visited with another Sociology professor with whom I became close. She has over the years maintained some sporadic contact with Homa, but lost touch again. I heard from her that since I last saw Homa, she became involved in a very abusive relationship that took her years to get out of. I could scarcely believe my ears. This SMART, funny, amazing, beautiful woman was a part of something that destroyed her mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. I couldn't comprehend it. I ache for the pain she has endured. It is hard to believe that someone who impacted my life for the positive would have face such destruction in her own life.

If one day we could be in contact again it would be a dream come true. I just hope now that where-ever she is that her life is good. She deserves it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday movie meme

This meme is hosted by the Bumbles. You can link to their blog here to see other participants!


This week's movie topic is all about Family Dynamics...

Here are my favorite families in film:

Four Christmases - Both Children of divorce, a couple visit all four parents at Christmas.

The Other Sister - A mentally handicapped girl moves out on her own and challenges her families expectations of her. Diane Keaton is a phenomenal mother in this movie.

As Good as It Gets - A single mom develops a relationship with an eccentric older man.

The Sound of Music - The Von Trapps! Is there a better movie family anywhere?

Set it Off - O.k. some will argue this movie is about friends and not families, I believe that sometimes we create our own families out of necessity when our families of origin are not available to us.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

12 of 12: December

Chad Darnell hosts 12 of 12 - I look forward to it every month. Check out the photos others from across the globe took on this day by linking to Chads site HERE.

1. 12: 16 am
I got home from work (UFC) and Shel was in the kitchen waiting for me making salad. YUM! It was after midnight and "officially" the 12th so I started to snap pictures. Here is the oven clock just before we head upstairs..


 2. 7:00 am
CJ is in bed with us watching t.v.
It's our weekend morning ritual.

 3. 2:00pm
It is the foster care family Christmas party today. The party is held at the bowling alley, the boys are fascinated by the video games.

 4. 3:00pm
What is there to do that is more fun than running alongside the bowling lanes?

5. 4:30pm
Present time! max is helping C.J. open his present.

6.4:45pm
The safest place to drive a school bus is under the pool table and away from all the feet!

7. 5:30pm
Left over drinks. Who decided it was a good idea for little kids to drink pop at a Christmas party? I know it is Christmas, but these kids have to come home with us after - and pop before bed does not an easy bedtime make.
8. 6:30pm
Parties over. Shoes are off.

9. 6:30pm
Well someone has to clean off the vehicle so we can see where we are going!
It's snowing pretty hard which is par for the course for the foster party. I think it would not be typical for there to be good weather on this day...

10. 8pm
The birdfeeder is getting buried.

 11. 9:00pm
This is the best this flowerbed border looks all year!

 12. Bedtime.
The day ends the same way it starts. On mom's bed.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Conversation with Max

Max has been really weird with his food lately (again or still?) He doesn't like potatoes all of a sudden - when that's the thing he loved the most (in the past). Shel made mashed potatoes for the boys the night before last and he told her he didn't like them. Then tonight he asked for them!
This is the conversation he had with Shel a few minutes ago...


Max just asked for mashed potatoes next time I make them. (mix them up, mommy)


Shel explained that since we didn't have a mixer, she can't make them the same way.

Why we don have one?

Well, you took it out and mixed the mud and then washed it.

Yeah, I plugged it in too!

When I do that, we need to buy new one, Mommy!

How do you spell relief?

STATS IS DONE!
My eye is twitching which it usually does when I am super tired or stressed, but I think it is just the relief of stress that is causing the muscle twitch. I have been fighting a head cold for a few days and I'll be darned if I let it get the best of me now.
This weekend is going to be GLORIOUS!
Sunday there is a party for foster care and we get our five year appreciation certificate. (I think five years was a good commitment to the foster program - and now perhaps we are done.)
There seems to be enough snow for me to bust out the snow blower.
One more week of work and then I am off for Christmas.
I know how to spell relief - it is TODAY!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: The gift of giving

Other people participate in Thursday Thirteen and you can check them out by visiting this site.  I enjoy seeing the lists other people make.

One of the things I love the most about the Christmas season is the spirit of giving. I love giving gifts. I am going to make a pretend list here of gifts I would like to give people if I had unlimited funds. It would be nice to give gifts of healing to my family members and friends who are ill and so forth, but I have no control over things like that, but maybe one day I will have loads of money and will be able to give people really cool presents - so this is what I would give if I could.....

1. My friend L.G. - I would give 1000 books. The best books ever.

2. My friend Mel - I would give a mannequin. (Just kidding Mel!) Actually, I probably would, just cause that's funny shiznet right there.


3. My Spouse - I would give a trip to Alaska and the Yukon, and I would even go with her!


4. My Mother - I would give a home in a WARM location, closer to her kids and grandkids than the other side of the world where she is now, and unlimited travel miles first class to visit her family whenever she wants.

5. My oldest son - I would give a working car wash (which is what he wants for Christmas.) I just wouldn't put it in his bedroom (which is where he wants it!)


6. My youngest son - I would give a tractor. A real one!



7. My dad - a toupee. Oh, that made me laugh daddy. No, I would give dad a state of the art theater room all decked out with a sweet screen and sound system and keep him supplied with any movie he ever wanted - without people coughing or sneezing or standing up in front of the picture cause the movies people "give him" are sometimes accidentally "pirated"! And maybe tickets for him, my mom, my brother (I would give one to Justin but I don't think he would use it so I'll give one to Jared) and myself to a Liverpool soccer game at Anfield.



8. My friend Dave - I would give an assistant to do all his typing and reports for work (Or a computer system he can talk into that does all his typing for him). First however I would give him a floor stripper and waxer because once I told him if I ever were rich enough to afford it I would give him floor wax. He's a mean stripper.

9. My In-laws - a trip a year to whatever Casino they want. (and maybe some money to spend while they are there!)



10. My whole family - I would give a family vacation together where no-one has to do anything but have fun.

11. My Aunty Bren - I would give a vacation. Anywhere she wants for however long she wants.

12. The public library in our town - I would give a comprehensive collection of every LGBT book every written.

13. My pets - I would give the best food and toys EVAH.  

How about you? What would you give?

99 things to do: Number 18 finish stats class

Tomorrow morning I am writing the final exam for my stats class. This is the final class I have to complete for my Masters degree in Education. I have a thesis to complete, but this is the VERY last class I have to take.
Getting to this point has been a trial at the best of times.
Oh man I cannot express how happy I am to have reached this milestone in my educational journey.
I have not studied NEARLY enough as I should have for the FIVE HOUR exam tomorrow, but I am so stinking happy to be done that I doubt I will study at all.
I have really given a lot to this class in terms of time (driving to Burns Lake) and completing homework assignments (one assignment alone was 16 pages) and studying (for my midterm that is!) and to see the end of it is so fantastic I could do a dance of joy. In fact, I will.
Don't get me wrong. I am a school nerd. I love school. I love learning. I look forward to working on a doctoral degree, but to get this over and done with is a thrill beyond measure. I think the only person in the world comparably as excited to see the end of this as I am is my spouse. Congrats Shel!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Shopping for Christmas

I absolutely LOVE Christmas and I am excited that #1 - This is the first Christmas with our boys as "officially" ours and #2 - That they are both old enough to be excited about it themselves.

Shel sat with them and composed letters to Santa.
CJ wants tractors and Max wants a Car Wash for his room.
A tractor we can handle... A car wash? Hmn.

I went with Max to shop for a present for CJ and it was RIDICULOUS. I cannot justify spending the amount of money these toys cost for the cheap, plastic junk that is being sold. Whatever happened to "REAL" quality toys? Unfortunately for me we are only at the very beginning of our lives together shopping for Christmas. It will only get more expensive from here on out I know. Somehow I don't think they will be excited at all to get socks and underwear. It may be a little early to start that tradition!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday Movie Meme

From the Bumbles Blog:
Feature Presentation...


MONDAY MOVIE MEME


This week's movie topic is all about Movie Theater Pet Peeves...


I WISH we lived closer to a movie theater so I could attend more often. Movies in a theater are my FAVORITE and I miss going to the theater desperately.
My spouse and I used to go to matinees in the middle of the week and have the theater to ourself. It was awesome.

A movie pet peeve for me is.... broken chairs or broken cup holders. Do I not pay enough to keep the place maintained?

and once.... I can't really say it is a pet peeve because it only happened once, but it was really nasty. This guy behind me leaned forward and puked on the floor. I heard him puke, it splashed all up the back of my pants and then ran down and was all over the bottom of my shoes. The smell was enough to make me want to puke. I can't remember why I didn't leave. It was NASTY.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

No - there WON"T be snow in Ethiopia this Christmas.

I have mentioned that I am a fan of the music of Christmas, but there are a few exceptions. Band Aid, in 1984 recorded the song "Do they know it's Christmas" to raise money for food for Ethiopians affected by drought. It is written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure and one of the lines states " There won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime."
This is one of the most annoying lines of a song to me. It's a song to raise money for ETHIOPIA.

IT DOES NOT SNOW IN ETHIOPIA PEOPLE. If it snowed in Ethiopia the children there would have more to worry about than hunger.

I know it seems like a minute thing to find annoying. I think it is wonderful that people got together to raise money for others. I just think that there should be some level of awareness about the world in which we live. This song for me represents the ignorance of the western world regarding issues the rest of the world faces. Of course when I turned on my sirius radio Christmas music channel this was the FIRST song that played.

Friday, December 3, 2010

How's THAT for Timing?!

Literally the MINUTE I posted my entry about waiting for paperwork my spouse and kids dropped into the office bearing gifts in the shape of brown envelopes from the Court.
THE PAPERWORK has arrived.
We are absolutely thrilled beyond words.
Tonight we will celebrate at the Santa Claus Parade in town followed by photos with Santa!

Waiting for paperwork

We know the adoptions are final because we got the call from our adoption worker on November 19th. We are now (still) waiting for the official paperwork to come in the mail so we can get working on ordering new birth certificates (which I kind of don't like the idea of - but it's what happens so we will do it) and getting the boys passports so we can TRAVEL.
We have been telling the boys that we will go on a vacation once the adoptions are final because up until now we have not been able to leave the country with them to visit cousins and grandparents in the USA. Max has decided he wants to go NOW and he asks us every day if he can go on a plane and stay in a hotel. Poor kid doesn't get the concept that we still have to WAIT.
Shel thinks we should just go and stay with them in a hotel which is not a bad idea, but I have a hard time doing ANYTHING in the winter months. (This is bad considering we live in Canada!)
I can't wait for the paperwork to arrive so we can get started on preparing for a "real" vacation in the summer of 2011. The reality of the adoption completion is sinking in SLOWLY.

Survivor quitters are LAME

I have watched all 21 seasons of Survivor. There is nothing that bothers me MORE than people quitting in the middle of the game. It drives me insane. There are SOOO many people who would do anything to be on the show, and others who are voted off who would do anything to STAY on the show that for people to quit is an insult to everyone, and also to the viewers.
There should be some kind of penalty to them, and there is NO way they should sit on the jury to decide the fate of those still playing. How lame.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: Christmas Carols

Link HERE to check out others who participate in Thursday Thirteen.

I love Christmas. I love Christmas Music. A LOT. IMMENSELY. HUGELY.
I can't get enough of it.
I like it enough to listen all year, (but other people tend to complain.)

Here are some favorites:

1. Shine for Me Again, Star of Bethlehem - I LOVE this song, but this is not the best version ( I don't like the singer in this version, but I couldn't find any other versions). Sorry!



2. There's Still My joy - Indigo Girls



3. Who Would Imagine a King - Whitney Houston (or in this case - Katherine McFee)




4. Sarah McLachlan - Song for a Winters Night



5. Bing Crosby and David Bowie - Little Drummer Boy



6. Boney M - Mary's Boy Child



7. The First Noel - Crash Test Dummies



8. Gabriel's Message - Sting



9. Face of Love - Jewel



10. What Child is This - Andrea Bocelli and Mary J Blige



11. Oh Holy Night - Susan Boyle



12. Ave Maria - Beyonce




13. Were you there on that Christmas Night

and Mary's Lullaby...

Sorry I couldnt find decent versions of the last two songs!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Carol Lynn Pearson

One of my all time favorite poets is Carol Lynn Pearson. In my own mind I like to think we are connected. She is close to someone who is close to my family. In my imagination, we are friends.

She is Mormon and long before I was "out" I was captivated by her poetry. I felt as though the words she wrote were meant specifically for me and I cannot even count the times that I was comforted, or uplifted, or motivated, or inspired by her words.

In my REAL life I am no longer affiliated with the Mormon church. In my REAL life I have pain as a result of my former affiliation with the Mormon church. Pain in the relationship with my mother (and she has pain also).

I have mentioned before that I love my mom. Please don't ever think for a moment that I don't. And still there is pain in that relationship. Pain born of my homosexuality and my mother's religious beliefs.

You might ask - how did I get "here" from a blog in which I began posting about Carol Lynn Pearson. Well. She is Mormon, and a mother, and intimate with the topic of the church and homosexuality. She has this idea, called Proposition Healing to increase love and hope "Breaking Bread and Building Understanding" for Mormons and Gays.

In my imaginary world, this friend of a friend is a path to a connection, a healing, with my own mother.

Here is one of her poems:

UNFED


We feed one another in rations,
Serve affection measured to
The minimum daily requirement,
The very acceptable least--


While love bursts the walls
Of our larder,
Wondering, amazed,
Why we are afraid
To feast.

Totally Loving this Song.

Trying to find the BBC 100 list

Try as I might, I cannot find the origin of the list that is going around from the BBC that allegedly states that people have only read 6 of the 100 books listed. Believe me I have looked.
What I HAVE found is a list of books on the BBC that were posted as the Nation's BEST LOVED Novel. You can check out the list yourself by Linking HERE.

Since these are the favorite books read it is highly likely that you will have read MORE than six of them.... I am going to highlight the ones I remember reading..... (turns out to be exactly the same number as the last list - even with different books listed! How funny.)

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
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
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
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
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
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
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
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
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

52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
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
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
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
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
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