Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You've Got Some Readin' To Do

In case you didn't know, this--Sept. 27 to Oct. 4-- is Banned Books Week. I found this list at Fresh Ink Books. This is a list of the most banned books throughout the years. The idea is to bold the ones you have read, italicize the ones you have read part of, and asterisk*** the ones you own but haven't gotten around to reading yet. The list may surprise you. In any case, it will surely become obvious you need to catch up on your subversive reading.

1. The Bible
2. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
4. The Koran
5. Arabian Nights
6. Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
7. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
8. Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
9. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
10. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
11. The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
12. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
13. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
14. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
15. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
16. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
17. Dracula by Bram Stoker
18. Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
19. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
20. Essays by Michel de Montaigne
21. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
22. History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
23. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
24. Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
25. Ulysses by James Joyce
26. Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
27. Animal Farm by George Orwell
28. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
29. Candide by Voltaire
30. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
31. Analects by Confucius
32. Dubliners by James Joyce
33. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
34. Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
35. Red and the Black by Stendhal
36. Das Capital by Karl Marx
37. Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
38. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
39. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
40. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
41. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
42. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
43. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
44. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
45. Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
46. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
47. Diary by Samuel Pepys
48. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
49. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
50. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
51. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
52. Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
53. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
54. Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
55. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
56. Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
57. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
58. Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
59. Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
60. Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
61. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
62. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
63. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
64. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
65. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
66. Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
67. Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais
68. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
69. The Talmud
70. Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
71. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
72. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
73. American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
74. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
75. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
76. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
77. Red Pony by John Steinbeck
78. Popol Vuh
79. Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
80. Satyricon by Petronius
81. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
82. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
83. Black Boy by Richard Wright
84. Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
85. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
86. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
87. Metaphysics by Aristotle
88. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
89. Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
90. Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
91. Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
92. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
93. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
94. Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
95. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
96. Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
97. General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
98. Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
99. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
100. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
101. Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
102. Émile by Jean Jacques Rousseau
103. Nana by Émile Zola
104. Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
105. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
106. Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
107. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
108. Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
109. Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
110. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
111. Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
112. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
113. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
114. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
115. The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Keatly Snyder

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Where Are We Now?

Actually, we're home again. But I have not gotten around to posting about the rest of our trip, so today we "play ball" in Cooperstown, NY.

This is the Otesaga Hotel, a beautiful resort, where we ate lunch our first day in town. See the white umbrella on the far left on the terrace. That's us eating. Or, rather, it's Bill eating. I'm taking the picture. It sits right on the edge of Lake Otesgo, a small, shining lake with a tiny marina and harbor. The lake features prominantly in the Leatherstocking Tales of James Fenimore Cooper and is called Glimmerglass Lake in his stories. Cooperstown was founded by James's father and he grew up in the woods and countryside around here.

Here's the view from our table, overlooking the eighteenth hole of the hotel's golf course and the lake.
Most of the things we do on our jaunts are things I want to do, like visit gardens and museums, take in a few shops, and maybe see an historic site or two (although I think I'm safe saying we both like to do this). But rarely does Bill ever express a specific desire to see a particular thing; once in a while, but rarely. So on this trip to Vermont and then winding around New York State, he mentioned that he'd like to go to Cooperstown and see the Baseball Hall of Fame. Okay; we're there. I didn't really know what to expect, but I just figured it was best not to think about it too much ahead of time. Of course, I did think about it some and thought I'd probably be bored. Boy, was I surprised. Let me tell you--Cooperstown is a delight! There's the Hall of Fame, of course, but there's lots more to do that we both enjoyed.
First we just walked through the village which is tiny with one Main St. All the shops, and I mean all, are for baseball lovers.

I have to admit I found it all rather cute, because the town itself was charming (in a baseball sort of way).
Then it was time for the Hall of Fame.
Of course, who's the first person you meet right inside the door? Guess.

The first thing you see is a short film about baseball and its history, and then you wind through the exhibits and displays of all the teams and players. There is a tribute to "Baseball in the Movies," that reminds you of all the movies that feature baseball from Pride of the Yankees to The Natural to A League of Their Own. Fun to be reminded of some of these classic films.
Lucy and Ethel up to their antics.
They even have a place where you can sit and watch videos of famous comedians like Bob Newhart and George Karlin doing their routines on baseball as well as Abbott and Costello's Who's on First.
Bill was looking at everything, but after a few minutes, I just wanted to find Phillies' stuff. We have been following them closely this summer and, of course, you know that they just clinched the National League East Championship.
Sunday, October 1, 1950, the Whiz Kids, as they were affectionately known by their fans, clinched the National League flag on the season's final day by defeating the Brooklyn Dodgers, 4-1.

A bank of grandstand seats they saved from the old Connie Mack Stadium when it was torn down.
There were exhibits on everything from World Series rings to baseball cards. But the real heart of the place is the actual Hall of Fame where plaques of all the members are displayed.
Here are our guys.
Connie Mack

The beloved Richie Ashburn

Steve Carlton
Robin Roberts

Jim Bunning

And, of course, Mike Schmidt.
So, all in all, it was a fun experience and now it's over. It really is.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cruising The Lake

I'm really behind with blogging this trip and it's already Tuesday night. But I want to go back to Saturday when we took a cruise on Lake George because it was really interesting to see the lake. Lake George is in New York State at the southeast base of the Adirondack Mountains. It flows north into Lake Champlain and then into the St. Lawrence River and ultimately to the Atlantic. It's about 32 miles long and the boat cruises for about 14 miles up and back and takes about 2 hours. We also had lunch on board. Very peaceful and relaxing. Our boat was the Lac du Saint Sacrement, the largest of the 3 boats that cruise the lake. There was a sailboat regatta going on. . .see the white dots in the distance.

At the point where the boat turns to come back down the lake is a beautiful hotel sitting out on a spit of land. It is the historic Sagamore Hotel which we've decided we're coming back and staying in--maybe next year. Very elegant.

On the way back to the pier, I played a little with my camera. Here are some shots.

All in all, a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Since we couldn't find a President's house in Manchester, we had to settle for the son of a President's house instead. We went to Hildene, the summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln, the eldest son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. It is a gracious, liveable house with beautiful proportions. Interestingly enough, they allowed photography inside the house unlike most historical sites, so I have some pictures below.

This is the formal dining room;

I loved the wallpaper mural on the wall

and the beautiful silver service on the buffet.

The central staircase was exceptionally lovely.

The ballisters are arranged in sets of four; each one of the four is a different design.

Another nice thing about this house was the light. Many of the historical houses we've been to are so dark. Blinds are down, drapes are closed, or there is some kind of light-reduction film on the windows to preserve the furniture and carpeting. It sometimes makes for a somewhat dreary tour. This house was light and bright; windows and doors open and sunlight flooding in.

In this bedroom upstairs everything was pink and flowery. The long windows looked out onto the rose garden which must have been a delightful view. Unfortunately for us, they had a large tent erected for a wedding that was going to be held there, so we were deprived of that particular vision, but it was easy to imagine how wonderful it would have been to wake up in that room and gaze out at the gardens.

This shot is looking back towards the house. See how the second floor windows are obscured by the tent. Lucky bride though, to have her wedding at such a beautiful spot.

This little saying was hanging over the headboard. It says:
My Wish For Thee

May every good and perfect gift
That cometh from above
Be thine from Him who varies not
The God of light and love.

A fitting sentiment for a light and lovely room.
The Schumacher wallpaper and fabric is a faithful reproduction of the original and was donated by Schumacher when the room was redone several years ago.

The gardens and views were spectacular.

I could spend my summer vacation here.

Four Days In The Country

We spent last week in Manchester, Vermont. Foggy mornings, chilly nights, crispy days. Not quite leaf peeper time yet, but lovely just the same. One morning we took a ride to the top of Equinox Mountain, a trip I could probably have done without. There were several hairpin turns on the way up, but the ride down was so steep that Bill had to keep the brakes on practically the whole time. We even stopped half way down to let them cool off. Pretty, though.

Somewhere along the way we stopped to look at an old marble quarry. The Manchester area has a lot of marble. Probably if you went out in your backyard and started digging, you would find marble. Many of the sidewalks here are made of marble, they just have so much of it. This quarry in Dorset dates from 1785 and calls itself the oldest quarry in the U.S. It has been abandoned for over 100 years, but it is a little eerie and interesting to photograph. I like the way the old cut blocks of marble reflect in the pool.
The signs of fall are all over and my favorite holiday decorations are out. The Equinox Garden Center had a great display. Very creative.

Pretty fall color wherever you look.

More to come from Vermont.