It’s only 175 pages, does that count?

I know I said I was going to stick to my reading list and only use alternates when I came across something that was boring, but a friend gave me a copy of “How to Survive a Horror Movie” by Seth Grahme-Smith and I couldn’t resist. The premise of the book is a breakdown of every kind of horror movie scenario and what one needs to do to ensure they’re one of the ones to survive for the inevitable sequel.

It covers everything from alien invasion, vampire attacks, zombies, slashers, possessed dogs, a-typically killer dogs (and sharks and birds and cats) as well as your sinister cornfields and haunted houses. This is essential reading for anyone who loves a good fright at the box office (and I’m not talking about the Spice Girls Movie).

So, my question is, having wandered from my book list, just  teeny tiny bit, does this count as an alternate or since it’s camp and a bit of a giggle, can I slide it under the radar?

Today’s Prompt: Write the last scene in a horror film with you as the main character. 500 words or less. Any genre and any outcome will do, Have fun, the more outrageous the better!

Quote for the day

Writers seldom choose as friends those self-contained characters who are never in trouble, never unhappy or ill, never make mistakes, and always count their change when it is handed to them.

-Catherine Drinker Bowen

The Book List

Every year I promise myself I’m going to read a book every week. I’m not rigid on the subject or genre, but I want to try to pull myself away from the TV and blockbuster rentals. Each year I make this promise, each year life gets in the way, I make excuses and I fail.

So, this year, I’ve made a list of the books I want to read. They’ve either been gifts, recommendations or 3 for 2 deals at Waterstone’s that I collected over the years and never got to.

I used to have a habit of wandering into the Waterstone’s on Fleet street when I was a bit down. I would launch myself at the fiction section and flick through the pages of the new hardbacks. I read the back covers of the paperbacks gathering the ones that caught my interested in my arm and replacing the ones that had the misfortune of having a poorly written publisher’s blurb on the back. I read the little cards on the shelves with the staff recommendations and nodded in approval at the ones I agreed with and chuckled to myself at the ones I disagreed with or I felt sounded too much like a book report.

This was my mini-break. I spent the whole of my lunch hour wandering between the shelves and trying to find the appropriate number to full-fill the requirements of the 3 for 2 offer. I inevitably had four in my hands and either had to sacrifice one for another day, or buckle and pick two more. I was their perfect sucker, promotion hound, target audience for whom these promotions were designed.

I’ve finally run out of shelf space in my house. There are officially too many un-read books on my shelf for me to justify buying any more until 2010. So, I’ve made a list of books that I’m determined to read this year (there are a few alternates in case some turn out to be duds).

The List

1. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
2. The Almost Moon – Alice Seabold
3. A Certain Slant of Light – Laura Whitcomb
4. The Road to Avalon – Joan WOlf
5. The Little Friend – Donna Tartt
6. The Land Girls – Angela Huth
7. The Light of Asia – Sir Edwin Arnold
8. Twilight – Stephanie Meyer
9. Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman
10. Acacia – David Anthony Durham
11. Making Money – Terry Pratchet
12. Fugitive Pieces – Anne Michaels
13. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
14. Tropic of Cancer – Henry Miller
15. The Wings of the Dove – Henry James
16. The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot
17. The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner – James Hoggs
18. The Trial – Franz Kafka
19. White Teeth – Zadie Smith
20. Fragile Things – Neil Gaiman
21. The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
22. Natural Selection – Bill Dare
23. Fury – Salem Rushdie
24. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
25. The Photograph – Penelope Lively
26. Heart Shaped Box – Joe Hill
27. The Scandal of the Season – Sophie Gee
28. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
29. The French Lieutenant’s Woman – John Fowles
30. The Magic Mountain – Thomas Mann
31. The History of England
32. Beloved – Toni Morrison
33. Q – Luther Blissett
34. The Seven Pillars of Wisdom – T. E. Lawrence
35. The Queen of Subtleties – Suzannah Dunn
36. Far From the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
37. In the Company of the Courtesan – Sarah Dunant
38. Rope Burns – F.X. Toole
39. Smashed – Koren Zailckas
40. New Moon – Stephanie Meyer
41. Lucky – Alice Seabold
42. Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
43. Intruder in the Dust – William Faulkner
44. Look Homeward, Angel – Thomas Wolfe
45. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
46. Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe
47. Daniel Deronda – George Eliot
48. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
49. Middlemarch – George Eliot
50. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
51. Human Croquet – Kate Atkinson
52. Sophie’s World – Jostein Gaarder

Right, that’s it. I’m allowing myself three alternates in case a few of them are boring and I need to swap.

Ok, so what’s your 52?

Good luck and happy reading.

Update: I’ll be highlighting them as I go along.

Quote for the day

To be nobody but yourself, in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

e. e. cummings –

Why, oh why are people so inconsiderate?

As I stepped out of my car last night and walked towards my building, I nearly fell over on what turned out to be an abandoned mattress right outside my front door. The sodden mattress and a chair with a cushion missing were left right on the step of my building, making it difficult to walk through and get to the door. According to my flatmate, the neighbours downstairs ditched the items by the rubbish bins the other day, were told to move them and after a few complaints to the property managers from other tenants, decided to move them to where they would cause the most bother. From what we can make out, the offending neighbours went on holiday on the 5th and the mattress has been there since.

So, why do people behave that way? All it takes is a phone-call to the council and it would be collected. I know that one of the other people in the building could handle this, but why should we? It’s not our rubbish and it’s irresponsible for people to assume that other people will clean up their mess…

I have a feeling that in the interest of clearing the walkway and making it safe, my flatmates and I will probably do something about getting it moved, but I resent it and every other case where people dump their trash on other people’s property or on the side of the road.

My first instinct was to torch the thing, but on reflection, I realised that it may not be the move in keeping with my desire to make the block of flats a safer place. 🙂

So, my question is, what is it that makes some people think that this sort of behaviour is ok?

Today’s Prompt: I can’t believe they did that….

Think about something that gave you a jolt and tell us all about it.

Happy New Year!

Well, the Earth has completed another trip around the sun and it’s time to start over with a new year. Every year, we all make plans, make promises to ourselves and others and make lists of what we want to do to make our lives better. Personally, my list starts huge and gets pared down as the months go by. I guess its because we have a tendency to try to change too many things at once.

I’m trying for a fresh start in all areas. I’m changing jobs next month, reading and writing every day, spending 30 minutes on the stepper, giving up my flat in town to spend more time near the sheep infested hills of my home and taking up knitting. Yes, knitting. I want to do something useful with my hands apart of typing on my lap top each day.

I know that as time goes on, the 101 things on my list I haven’t mentioned are going to be whiddled away. Having said that, I think the things I did mention are the most important and the ones I’m likely to stick to.

So, if you could only change one thing, just one, which would it be and why?

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