In the book place

Magdalena and I just spent a tonne on books from Amazon, with the idea that we’ll build up our collection of classics for the coming 2010 season of the Berwick Manor Book Club. We established the book club in April 2007 and I’d estimate we’ve read close to a book a month since then. When we were recently down in Mandurah for a long weekend we discussed some titles that we’d like to read, and came up with a list similar to this (in alphabetical order):

  • “Animal Farm” by George Orwell
  • “Emma” by Jane Austen
  • “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley
  • “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck
  • “Persuasion” by Jane Austen
  • “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen
  • “Sense and Sensibility” by Jane Austen
  • “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger

You might notice there’s a few Jane Austen novels in there – Amazon were doing a 3-pack for $8 which was hard to go past. We’ve found so far that we most enjoy reading books that you’d regard as classics for our book club, like George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty Four”, Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and Anthony Burgess’ “A Clockwork Orange.”

As a side project, I’m running another book club (of which I am the only member) where the focus is on classic adventure stories that boys should have read growing up. To be on this list, the book has to have been written before I was born. I wanted to read some of the books that my father read as a boy, and even some that his father might have enjoyed too.

Magdalena didn’t think she’d be interested in a lot of the titles, so I’m doing it solo. Feel free to play along at home if you’re interested – I’ll use to keep you informed of the titles as I start them. There will be some cross over with “Lord of the Flies” and “Frankenstein” being on both the lists, however I have added (again, in alphabetical order)

  • “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne
  • “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass” by Lewis Carroll
  • “Around the World in Eighty Days” by Jules Verne
  • “Casino Royale” by Ian Fleming
  • “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” by Jules Verne
  • “Live and Let Die” by Ian Fleming
  • “Moonraker” by Ian Fleming
  • “Peter Pan: Peter and Wendy and Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens” by J.M. Barrie
  • “Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe
  • “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain
  • “The Complete Sherlock Holmes: All 4 Novels and 56 Short Stories” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • “The Invisible Man” by H.G. Wells
  • “The Swiss Family Robinson” by Johann D. Wyss
  • “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells
  • “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson

When I was a kid I had a pop up book about Tom Sawyer, and it was the most amazing book ever. I have such fond memories of it, but alas, it seems as though eBay, Amazon, and even Google don’t have a recollection of it. I guess it’s destined to remain a memory. Watching the recent Sherlock Holmes film was the final motivational push I needed to start creating a list of the all-time classic adventure stories that I really should find the time to read.

I’ve also seen the latest Bond film, Casino Royale, and know that Lewis Carroll was not on LSD when he wrote “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” (though he probably should have been). In “Back to the Future III”, Doc Brown recalled with a great fondness reading Jules Verne’s work when he was a child, and that ol’ time-traveller knew what was what. I probably watched a Disney version of Peter Pan as a child. All up, that’s my experience with these stories, and I’m very excited about the prospect of changing that.

Call me sentimental, but I think it’s a romantic notion that one day my son, or daughter, will want to read these books too. If that day comes, these novels will be already waiting on the shelf, eager to be devoured by yet another generation.

Which of these titles have you read, and which would you like to read in the future? What do you think I’ve forgotten? Will you be playing along at home?

You know who loved the cock?

Shakespeare, apparently.

Maggie’s teaching Shakespeare’s sonnets at the moment with one of her classes and we were talking about them last night. She mentioned that there was some controversy over the fact that he wrote these love poems, yet the adressee was apparently a male.

This raised a couple of questions. How long has this been suspected? I’m guessing it wasn’t worked out in the last ten years so how come I didn’t get taught that at school? Was I just not paying attention that day? Does anyone else (Mark, Emma, Radford, Jack…) remember “Big Bird” or any other English Teacher letting on to the fact that Willy had a thing for boys too?

We definitely studied them at high school, but I can’t remember if it was year 10 or during English Literature, in year 11 or 12.

I was educated at a government school a dozen years ago, and here Maggie is teaching at a Catholic school modern-day. I wonder if things have changed that much in ten years or if it was just a case of different teachers and their styles or boundaries.

My favourite sonnet is number 20, where the story goes that Mother Nature made this woman that was so beautiful that she fell in love with her, so to get around the issue of girl-on-girl action she added a penis to her and made her a dude. Way to go Billy.

Movies recovered (recovered)

The below post managed to sit in my drafts queue without me noticing. I thought I published this but obviously I didn’t. Note: this happened before the recent Sun Ray Server Software re-install.

I took a few minutes this evening to investigate why the hard disk that has all our movies on it wasn’t working anymore. We had 288 movies on the drive and it suddenly stopped working a few weeks ago. It turns out that the problem was… drum roll – the drive wasn’t being mounted in /etc/fstab.

I have no idea why it wasn’t there or how it might have fallen off but I think it might have happened around the time I installed a new terrabyte disk a few months back. I must have rebooted the system and not entered it in the /etc/fstab file so it didn’t mount on reboot.

Almost 300 movies – saved!

LTJ Bukem & MC Conrad, and The Baroness

Tonight I went to see LTJ Bukem alongside MC Conrad at Shape nightclub.

Mark came around at about 10:20PM and Aaron picked us up shortly after. Aaron had sorted tickets out earlier so we went in without any problems, plus there wasn’t a line either. We saw Cindy and Shenandoah inside and said hello.

Mark messaged Steve to see what he was up to and after a few messages back and forwards, Steve was on his way. When he got to the club though he was told it was sold out and that he couldn’t get in. It’s a good thing that [censored] works for the company that provides security services to the club. After a quick chat with [censored] on the door we were told there’d be no problem but we’d have to wait 10 minutes for these dickheads to get out of the way. Some chumps were trying to start trouble so security was tied up keeping them out of the club. After 10 minutes or so we went around the back and were escorted in straight away. Too easy. Steve didn’t even have to pay! It felt good to again be on the receiving end of some luck with bouncers as this kind of thing normally happens to other people.

Bukem smashed out a pretty solid set and the crowd were really into it. I started to fade at 2:00AM which was when his set was meant to finish but he played for another 45 minutes due to public demand. I felt sorry for the DJs that were put in a holding pattern but also figured that they’d rather hear another 45 minutes of Bukem too.

The BaronessAaron dropped Steve home and then me about 20 minutes ago. I spent 10 minutes “surfing the web” (how old is that saying?) and I found this picture of The Baroness.’

Sienna Miller is playing her in the upcoming G.I. Joe film.

I talk about that a lot, don’t I?

Those of you that watched the O.C. might (should) remember the episode where Summer dressed up as Wonder Woman for Seth. In case you can’t remember, it was pretty damn hot. You should check it out even if you do remember what I’m talking about.

Maggie… if you’re reading this… Wonder Woman is nice an’ all, but The Baroness is better ;)

The Handmaid’s Tale: finished

Last night I finally finished The Handmaid’s Tale. I don’t remember the ending from year 12 – I think I might have skipped it to be honest. It was good to finish it though because it’s taken a few weeks (months?) it had started to become a burden. Regardless, I like the story and enjoyed the read, even though I’m glad to have finished it.

We’re currently working our way through Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus in our book club. I refer to it as Men Are From Mars, Women Love The Penis. That shouldn’t surprise any of you.