Thursday, January 31, 2013

Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny

Nine Princes in Amber (Amber Chronicles, #1)Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My perception of this book is as a modern classic of the fantasy genre. It is the first in a 10 book series dubbed the Chronicles of Amber. This is the start of Corwin’s story. He wakes up in hospital with amnesia and some rather strange abilities. It is clear from the beginning that he is incredibly clever and doesn’t lack guts or self confidence. To reveal more, I think is to lessen the enjoyment of the unfolding story.

The storytelling has a very noirish feel which is something I’ve not encountered in a fantasy novel before particularly one that also has a number of high fantasy elements. It was an interesting mix. Corwin’s amnesia provides a clever way of presenting the exposition and introducing the world of Amber.

Overall it was an original take on the traditional high fantasy novel.

I listened to this book downloaded from Audible, narrated by Alessandro Juliani. The narration is excellent and his voice fits Corwin and the style of the book very well. Some of the voices for the other characters (like Random) are a little too much but it wasn’t a huge deterrent.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Best Three Austen Adaptations - Emma (2010)

You can read about my other two choices for Best Austen Adaptations: Pride and Prejudice (2005) and Sense and Sensibility (1995).

 I don't have the advantage as with the other two on the list that I've watched dozens of times.  I've had plenty of time with those films to figure out why they speak to me so.  With this new-ish BBc adaptation of Emma however, I have just seen it once, last night and just know that I really liked it but not entirely sure why.  Previously I had really liked the theater film version with Gwenyth Paltrow and that might have even been on this list but its been booted in favor of this newer and much longer adaptation.  Here are my thoughts on why I think I liked this 4 part miniseries so much. 

1) The casting.  I think the casting here is really the key to the whole thing especially Romola Garai as Emma.  She's stunning and effervescent and believably on the one hand snotty and too full of herself while also being easily lovable.  Basically, I think she nails Emma.  I saw some grumbling in reviews that she's a little too "modern" in some of her body language and such but it didn't bother me at all.  Johnny Lee Miller is a fantastic Mr. Knightley and the evolution of feelings between the two is believable and not creepy at all.  Te rest of the cast is also quite lovely, including Michael Gambon who makes the ridiculous Mr. Woodhouse into something a bit more then just ridiculous. 

2) The dressing.  The costumes are lovely and understated.  Everybody looks amazing.  The homes and grounds and village are lovingly decorated and create in Highbury a kingdom for Emma to rule and love. 

3) The theatricality.  I think Emma is the book that is most ripe for adaptation to the screen and it translates all the elements well.  With four hour long segments there is room to explore and it does so without getting bogged down.  Each installment ends at just the right spot.

I think that's all I have to say about this one at this point.  I'll have to see if it holds up to multiple re-watchings and if I continue to appreciate the four hour running time.

What did you think of this adaptation of Emma?  How do you think it compares with the Gwenyth Paltrow version?  Who do you like best Gwenyth Paltrow or Romola Garai?  What are your favorite Austen adaptations?

Best Three Austen Adaptations - Sense and Sensibility

This is number two in my favorite three Austen Adaptations.  You can read about the first of the list here: Pride and Prejudice (2005).

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Director: Ang Lee

Cast: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Greg Wise, Alan Rickman

This is my favorite Austen book and this is an excellent adaptation of it.  It's the triple threat of fabulous screenplay, fabulous cast and fabulous director that makes it special.  And the fact that its just a really terrific and interesting story.   Here are some of the things that make me love it. 

1)  The complex message:  On the surface this novel has a very clear message - that sense is better then sensibility.  Emotional reserve and selfless courtesy are the proper way to live ones life.  If you look closer, however Austen seems to be a little unsure of this.  For sure Colonel Brandon is a good man but can anyone really get excited about he and Marianne? And why show us Willoughby's remorse, regret and unhappiness.  She of course could be making the point writ large, implying that if you give into your emotions your damned to the boring old colonels and the rich but soulless women.  But its hard not to feel that Marianne and Willoughby have lost something very precious.  The movie captures this intricacy of the book perfectly without being overdone.

2) The music.  Like Pride and Prejudice (2005) the music in this film is beautiful and enhances and informs the general atmosphere.  One of my favorite scenes is when Brandon walks in on Marianne singing - the song is beautiful and you can see why Brandon is immediately enchanted.

3) The wit:  Emma Thompson, in her writing and her acting really captures the wry wit of Austen perfectly.  For a story that actually focuses quite a bit on tragedy and loss there are many subtle funny moments that are pitch perfect.  Austen's voice is really captured.  And witnessing Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson exchange ultra dry witty repartee is something to behold.

4) The emotional scenes:  And by this I guess I really mean the emotional scenes for Elinor.  First, at Marianne's sick bed when she loses it and begs her sister to stay with her.  Not only does it express her love for her sister but it also shows the audience how Elinor is truly suffering under all the blows she and her family has taken - she's shouldered them all with a straight back but deep inside she is a wreck.  And of course the scene where Edward reveals he is not married.  I was recently watching the Vicar of Dibley and there's an episode where they are making fun of the astonishing noise Emma Thompson makes as she loses it ("Who makes that Noise?" only to set up the VoD character making this noise later for real)  - it is a little funny but again is sort of a perfect reaction  - that visceral, deep down response to letting heartbreaking disappointment go.   

5) The bit parts:  The cast here is just all around lovely.  Lucy Steele is appropriately conniving and odious, John Dashwood and his wife are the perfect pair of manipulator and manipulatee, Greg Wise is a dashing and sympathetic Willoughby, Lady Middleton and Sir John are gloriously feckless, gauche and irritating, and finally Imelda Staunton and Hugh Laurie as the Palmers cannot be bested.

6) The pretty:  And the film just looks gorgeous.  This is a strength of Ang Lee and he really delivers.  The whole film has a look that settles into your memory.  

How do you like this adaptation of Sense and Sensibility? What did you like or dislike about it?  What are your top three Austen adaptations?  Do you think Austen's message is a little confused in Sense and Sensibility or do you think she comes down solidly for sense?

Next up...Emma.

Best Three Austen Adaptations- Pride and Prejudice (2005)

I am one of those arguably annoying people who really, really love Jane Austen and could go on about her books and the adaptations of her books for days.  So I feel it is only fair, that if I’m going to start talking about her I should do so in small snippets.  This topic was inspired by discovering a new favorite adaptation just last night.  Which just goes to show that there is no such thing as too many Austen adaptations! NOTE TO FILMMAKERS: Please keep making them! 

NOTE TO READERS: As I started writing this I realized that I really can go on ad nauseum so I've decide to split into three  posts.

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Directed by: Joe Wright 

 Starring: Keira Knightley and Mathew MacFadyen

I thought I'd start with what I suspect to be the most controversial.   I actually prefer this adaptation to the much-loved 1996 BBC mini-series starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.  Don't get me wrong, I really really like the 1996 mini-series and I do prefer Jennifer Ehle's Elizabeth Bennett to Keira Knightley's along with Julia Sawalha's crazy Lydia.  But there are SO many things I admire in Joe Wright's adaptation that I have continued to follow his directing career (Atonement, Hanna, Anna Karenina, The Soloist) and count him as one of my favorite directors.  So what do I love about this adaptation?

1) The dirtiness.  The Bennets are meant to be several steps below Darcy and Bingley on the social and financial ladder and here they really look it.  They have servants and a large house but the house is worn, their hair inexpertly coiffed, their dresses of an inferior fabric.  And they re-wear articles of clothing.  The contrast is very clear when in other productions, they were more concerned with making everybody look fabulous, which I appreciate, but I also appreciated this different take on the Bennets.

2) The near perfectness of the stories shortening.  I think Joe Wright achieves admirably in just over 2 hours what the BBC took over 5 hours to tell.  There are some moments of exposition awkwardness and we maybe lose a little Wickham but for the most part everything's there and it doesn't feel rushed.  Not that I mind spending five hours watching Austen but I was impressed how well this shorter version worked.

 3) The lush romanticism.  The score of this movie is astonishingly beautiful and romantic and adds to the atmosphere immeasurably.  The initial proposal scene here practically bursts with passion.  And how can you forget the image of Darcy walking across the fields through fog, knee high boots and shirt collar open in the penultimate scene.  Sigh...

4) The little things: Joe Wright does a number of things that some might find gimmicky but I truly love.  The continuous shot during the Netherfield ball scene is probably the most fantastic example as the camera circles the party highlighting all the Bennet's foibles.  Later in the ball, towards the end of Darcy and Elizabeth's dance, all the other couples in the room ever so briefly disappear highlighting the intensity of focus between these two people.  Time passing while Elizabeth twirls on a swing and watches the farmyard around her change.  Focusing in on Darcy's hand as he flexes it after seemingly nonchalantly handing Elizabeth up into a carriage.

5) The characters.  The wonderful characters here are of course Jane Austen's but there are some interesting things done with the script, and acting/directing choices that I think really make these characters come to life.  First of all there are several scenes shot in such a way, as well as some unscripted moments of acting, that really make the Bennets into a crazy, loving family in a way that I think is unique.  The girls tussling and raucously trading chores for a coveted piece of clothing, them huddled together eavesdropping as their parents talk of the new neighbors, Lizzie and Jane whispering and giggling under the covers after the assembly.  There were moments where I actually felt for and understood Mrs. Bennet (played well by Brenda Blethyn) which is a miracle and we even see some moments of true affection between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet (they do have 5 children together after all!).   I think one of the DVD extras highlights that the Bennets operating as a real family was something Joe Wright really focused on and perhaps even had the cast that make up the family spend some time together outside of shooting to become really comfortable and close with one another.

6) Mr. Darcy.  This could be lumped in with #5 but he's important so I'm pulling him out for special consideration.  I LOVE Mathew Macfadyen's portrayal of Darcy and prefer him infinitely to Colin Firth (blasphemy!).  It drove me crazy when the movie was out, that everyone kept talking about how brilliant Keira Knightley was and practically no one even mentioned poor Mathew.  I'm probably going to piss some people off by saying that the character of Darcy is wonderful but he's also a bit of a problem.  His transformation from snotty, jerkwad to kind, generous lovable Darcy is rather abrupt.  Darcy's portrayal in this adaptation deals with this problem quite well by emphasizing that while Darcy is certainly a snob, the perception of his pridefulness is dramatically exaggerated because he is rather socially awkward, shy and reserved.  So it makes sense that when Elizabeth shows up at Pemberly, his manner is so altered in response to: 1) her admonishing him that if he is to overcome shyness and awkwardness he must practice at conversing and being more sociable and 2) his realization from her refusal of his proposal that his reserve has lead to her having wildly false ideas about him.   Mathew Macfadyen plays this Darcy so well and gives him a slight vulnerability that makes Darcy a little more complex.  

7) The proposal scene.  Both of them.  The first proposal is almost hot with the heaving tension between them as they drip with rain.  Then the second and final with its early morning quiet, the intimacy,  both of them informally attired, Darcy stuttering over his ardent declaration of love - its just - guh...  Are the scenes a little over the top.  Maybe.  Would Jane approve?  Hmmm... possibly not.  Did I still rewind and rewatch these scenes over and over and over again once I got the DVD.  Yup.

So what did you think of this adaptation of Pride and Prejudice?  What did you like or dislike about it?  What is your favorite adaptation of Pride and Prejudice?

Next up... Sense and Sensibility.


Monday, January 28, 2013

The Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton

The Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin, #1)The Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My path to Agatha Raisin is a twisty one. I came to M.C. Beaton based on my somewhat foolish over-fondness for the Hamish MacBeth TV Series. That led me to pick up some of the Hamish Macbeth books which were fine but I became disappointed with them after reading only a few mostly because I found them not nearly as charming as the show. M.C. Beaton doesn’t seem overly concerned with creating characters that the reader likes (or she just likes different people then I do;) and her writing style is somewhat unusual for this genre of cozy mystery. Her style is clipped, blunt and straightforward and she barrels forward leaving very little room to sit and breath with a character or situation. This isn’t really a bad thing but for me it kept me from understanding her characters motivations (which often baffled and irritated me) and kept me at a distance from them. Since her characters are so important to the enjoyment of her books, I couldn’t stay engaged for more then 1/3 of the series. The books have all these elements that I love but there is something in her writing style that keeps me from being immersed.

So why pick up the first book in the Agatha Raisin series? 1) Simon Savidge of Savidge Reads and The Readers podcast count these among his most treasured guilty pleasures; 2) I like cozy mysteries and stories set in small U.K. villages; and 3)despite what seems like a lot of criticism above, I don’t actually dislike M.C. Beaton’s books - I just didn’t absolutely adore the H.M. series even though I felt like I should. I felt she was worth another try.

Quiche of Death is the first book in a series featuring Agatha Raisin, a 50-something successful London PR professional who decides to retire early and move to a quaint village in the Cotswolds. She immediately embroils herself in village scandal by submitting a store bought quiche into a village competition and said quiche then poisons and kills the judge of the competition. It is quickly determined to be an accident but Agatha’s not so sure and she feels an obligation to figure out the truth and revitalize her reputation.

The mystery is fine and is really less of a who dunnit then a how dunnit. However the meat of the book revolves around Agatha and this life change she’s embarked upon. I think this is actually why I liked the book more than perhaps I might have. I actually identified quite a bit with Agatha. She’s pushy, selfish and a little tone deaf as to how to deal with other humans as equals. I hope I share these traits with Agatha only minimally, but I definitely relate with the single older woman, very career focused with a very romantic idea of small town life and being part of a community. Her disorientation and loneliness after her move, her almost immediate disillusionment with her romantic ideas, are very understandable. However, with the vicar’s wife as a role model she begins to develop a conscience and sense of “being good” while still being irascible and…well… Agatha. It was a nice “personal journey”, not overdone or taken too seriously.

Overall, a quick and light read. There is definitely still that barrier for me that keeps me from getting too into the book but I think Agatha worked a little better for me then Hamish. In the end, Agatha will either speak to you or she won’t. I’ll definitely give a few more in the series a try to see how long she continues to speak to me.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Seeds are Here! and I'm a Garden Planning Fiend!

The bulk of my seed order is in!  This is so freaking exciting.   If you don't understand this excitement then you are likely not a gardener or perhaps you live in a sunny warm place with a year round growing season.  Being in Iowa makes me long for spring and receiving and starting the seeds is one of the things that makes the winter bearable.

The Garden Situation

I have a small and shady yard which is about as lousy as you can get for growing vegetables.  I've dabbled in gardening for several years now but didn't get serious about it until I bought this house and had some land of my own to cultivate.  If I had been savvier I would likely not have bought this house with its small shady yard and as I walk around the neighborhood I always eye south-facing sunny yards with envy. On the plus side it gives me an excuse for when things go horribly wrong in the garden - it couldn't possibly be that I don't know what I'm doing;0) On a more serious plus side it's helped me to explore and experiment with smaller space gardening and be creative in my planning.
In the past I have wanted to grow as many types of veggies as I could squeeze in my small space.  However I have relatively low harvest rates from what I plant  (again I blame this on the fact that the sunniest spot in my yard gets maybe 4 hours of sunlight a day - most veggies want 6-8 but its also my sadly steep learning curve) so the more varieties I try to squeeze in my small space the less yield I get of each vegetable.  And then there are a couple vegetables that I have tried growing for a few years now for which I just don't have the knack or situation (onions, potatoes).  It's ended up being frustrating and expensive. 

The 2013 Plan

So with my situation in mind I've made some pretty significant adjustments with the goals of harvesting good yields and not spending as much money as I have in the past.  To this end, I am cutting back on the types of vegetables I'm growing and planting more of each and I made an effort to save some seed from last year so I didn't have to buy all my seeds.  I also shifted some of my beds around.  I have two 3'X6' beds that just don't get enough sun for the fruit bearing plants.  What I think is the sunniest spot in my yard is where I had my herb garden.  So... I dug all that up (saving some of the plants) and will replant the herb garden in the two 3X6 foot beds.  There should still be some room in those beds for me to also plant some greens  - Spinach, Lettuce, Chard, Kale.  I replaced the herb bed with a 2X12 foot raised bed. 

Below is the list of what I'll be planting.  As you can see I prefer to use heirlooms and Iowa-based Seed Saver Exchange is my favorite source.  However there are a couple of hybrid varieties (like the Sweet Success cukes) which I do really like and for which I make an exception. 

Seed Savers Exchange 

Empress Green Beans
A friend of mine planted these last year and gave me some seeds after my initial planting of green beans was felled by disease.  Despite being planted late they grew and produced well and were super tasty.  My friend indicated that when serving these beans to guests she had more than one say they were the best tasting they had ever had. 
Lacinato Kale
This is a big hearty Kale with dark green wrinkled leaves which is also known as Dinosaur Kale. It is my favorite for the things I like to do with kale such as using it in soups.  It's also rather striking in the garden.
American Spinach
Never grown this one before, we'll see how it goes.
Fish Pepper
I've never grown these either but was intrigued by the description of them traditionally being used a lot in seafood houses on the Chesapeake Bay which is close to my roots.  We'll see how they do for other things since Iowa is generally not known for its seafood;) And this is what I love about heirlooms - they come with stories!
Round Tomato-shaped Pimento Pepper
I love pimento peppers - they are thick-walled and sweet and can be pickled to make, well, pimentos.  The fruit in this variety is on the larger size and the plants produced really well last year.
Tolli's Sweet Peppers
Because of my lack of sun, I can't really produce bell peppers.  These are a good alternative and generally heavy producers.
Dragon Carrots
I have a serious brown thumb with root crops and these were the first carrots I was able to grow to a good size.  Plus they are so pretty (purple skin but orange inside) and yummy.
Beam's Yellow Pear Tomato
I planted these for the first time a couple years ago and they immediately became my favorite tomato. Small, yellow and pear-shaped they are sweet and delicious and the plants produce like crazy.  I am traditionally not a huge tomato-lover but these started me along the path to true love.
Gold Medal Tomato
These are some seeds that I kept from last year and did a germination test on and they still had a 90% germination rate.  They were planted in a bad spot last year and didn't produce very much but the few fruits I got from it were really yummy.  Kind of a mottled orangey pink tomato.


Sweet Success Cucumbers
This variety is reminiscent of an English type cucumber: practically seedless, long and relatively slender.  They are sweet and never bitter with a tender skin.  Great slicing cucumber.

John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds

Fukagawa Bunching Onions
#3220 Fukagawa Japanese Bunching Onions: 60-70 days 
 I grew these last year in a container and they grew great, were yummy and stayed edible in the ground almost all summer From the catalog:
"This slim, straight, non-bulbing variety is most popular with Japanese cooks. It grows easily and quickly and has a wonderful sweet taste: not at all unpleasantly hot like some scallion varieties. Best used within two weeks of harvest, these ambrosial delicacies are wonderful finely sliced fresh in garden, potato or macaroni salads, dressings, sandwich spreads, crostini toppings and dipping sauces; as a garnish atop soups, chili and tacos; or cooked in savory bread and cheese crumbles atop bubbling casseroles, California-style pizza toppings and in stir-fries. For a caramelized treat, brush these sweet, sugary beauties with olive oil and grill for two to three minutes. For an ambrosial taste: brush with olive oil and grill briefly over low heat. These sweet beauties brown in minutes because of their high sugar content. (OP.)"

Lovely Lettuce Mesclun
Haven't planted this particular mix before but the lettuce varieties included look good and cut and come again leaf lettuces have become on of my favorite staples in the garden.  Not to mention that they do really well in  my shady yard.

Random left over from last year:
Sugar Snap Peas:  Not really a real special variety but germinated well and pea pods were plentiful and delicious.




Looking at it all together makes me panicky and want to try to squeeze more in.  I will likely plant a couple more pepper plants, the bunching onions, and some more lettuce and kale in pots and half of my other 3X6 foot bed.  But what about chard and beets!  I must resist and try and focus this year.  Not get lured in by other sexy vegetables.

Is anybody else out there dealing with a similar garden situation?  What are your favorite vegetable varieties to plant in small spaces?  Any advice and wisdom to pass along?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

100 Books Project - 5 year Challenge

 I recently came across the 100 Books Project and thought it looked like a pretty nifty idea. The objective is to make a list of 100 books that you have been meaning to read but just can't seem to get read.  So to motivate and organize your wayward self you make a list of these books and give yourself 5 years to get through them.

While I like this idea, I do have some concerns.  I read roughly 60-70 books a year and am pretty much wholly a whim reader.  So committing to the idea that fully one-third of the of the books I read must come from this list is a little daunting. The first and even second year wouldn't be too bad but the last couple years might backfire. I considered cheating and just doing 50 books but when I looked at my list I felt like 98% really should be on there.  So hopefully the fact that I did try to fill the list primarily with books I truly wish to read will keep me from flaking out.

My list is a little bit of mixed bag of some classic books/authors that I feel like I should read and a whole lot of books that are high on my To-Be-Read list.


  1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  2. The Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton
  3. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  4. Wild Seed by Octavia Butler
  5. The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye by A.S. Byatt
  6. Death Comes to the Archbishop by Willa Cather
  7. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  8. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  9. The Passage by Justin Cronin
  10. Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield
  11. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  12. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  13. Howard’s End by E.M. Forster
  14. A Room With a View by E.M. Forster
  15. Loving by Henry Green
  16. Gillespie and I by Jane Harris
  17. Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey
  18. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  19. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  20. Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson
  21. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
  22. The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
  23. The Golden Bowl by Henry James
  24. Except the Dying by Maureen Jennings
  25. Some Kind of Fairytale by Graham Joyce
  26. The Gunslinger by Stephen King
  27. Hood by Stephen R. Lawhead
  28. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
  29. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  30. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
  31. The City & The City by China Mieville
  32. Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford
  33. The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
  34. The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch
  35. Bellefleur by Joyce Carol Oates
  36. 1984 by George Orwell
  37. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
  38. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
  39. Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith
  40. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
  41. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  42. A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
  43. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  44. The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton
  45. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  46. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  47. Jamaica Inn by Daphne DuMaurier
  48. 11/22/63 by Stephen King
  49. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  50. The Native Star by M.K. Hobson
  51. The Fault in our Stars by John Green
  52. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
  53. Quiet by Susan Cain
  54. Shadow and Bone  by Leigh Bardugo
  55. Defending Jacob by William Landay
  56. Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature by Kathleen Dean Moore
  57. In the Garden of Iden (The Company #1) by Kage Baker
  58. Mister Slaughter by Robert McCammon
  59. The Providence Rider by Robert McCammon
  60. Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant
  61. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
  62. A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh
  63. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  64. Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shin
  65. Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg
  66. Sabriel by Garth Nix
  67. The Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
  68. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  69. Crazed by Ha Jin
  70. Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas
  71. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  72. Rabbit Run by John Updike
  73. Of Men and Marshes by Paul Errington
  74. Our Endangered Values by Jimmy Carter
  75. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
  76. Silas Marner by George Eliot
  77. Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
  78. Little Women By Louisa May Alcott
  79. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
  80. The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas
  81. Utopia by Thomas More
  82. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  83. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  84. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  85. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  86. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  87. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  88. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  89. Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
  90. The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons
  91. The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
  92. Dust and Shadow by Lyndsay Faye
  93. The Likeness by Tana French
  94. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
  95. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  96. Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by Elizabeth Moon
  97. Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self  by Claire Tomalin
  98. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
  99. Nine Princes of Amber by Richard Zelazny 
  100. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

 So do you have 100 books you've been meaning to read??