My twenty books meme

Thinking logically about the last post, it doesn’t really say that much about how widely (or otherwise) I’m read and what my real tastes are. There’s not that many science fiction or humorous books on either list, for example. So below (in no particular order,but grouping the same author together as it reflects my bookshelves) are 20 books I have, love and have probably read lots of times that aren’t on either of the ‘top 100’ lists from the previous post.

1. [x+] A Girl in the Head, J.G. Farrell
2. [x+] The Siege of Krishnapur, J.G. Farrell
3. [x+] The Singapore Grip, J.G. Farrell
4. [x+] Lucky Jim, Kingsley Amis
5. [x+] Take a Girl Like You, Kingsley Amis
6. [x+] Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
7. [x+] The Rituals of Infinity, Michael Moorcock
8. [x+] Drop the Dead Donkey 2000, Andy Hamilton and Alistair Beaton
9. [x+] A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson
10. [x+] Down Under, Bill Bryson
11. [x+] 2001 A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke
12. [x+] A Fall of Moondust, Arthur C. Clarke
13. [x+] Red Shift, Alan Garner
14. [x+] High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
15. [x+] Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby
16. [x+] The Benn Diaries, Tony Benn
17. [x+] Brainstorms, Daniel Dennett
18. [x+] Earthsearch, James Follett
19. [x+] The Death of Grass, John Christopher
20. [x+] The Damned United, David Peace

100%! Can anyone else claim the same list?

100 books meme

Apparently the BBC(#) thinks most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.

Instructions:
1) Look at the list and put an ‘x’ before those you have read.
2) Add a ‘+’ to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
4) Tally your total.

How many have you read? Only 11/100 for me …

1. [ ] – The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. [ ] – Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. [ ] – His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. [x+ ] – 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. [ x] – Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. [x+ ] – Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. [ x] – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. [ ] – Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. [ x] – 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. [ x] – 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. [x ] – 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. [x+ ] – 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. [x+ ] – 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. [x ] – 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. [ x] – 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

(#) … or do they? Here’s another one that claims to be a BBC list too – lots of controversy about both, by the looks of things. I do slightly better on this version – 18/100

1. [ ] Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2. [ ] The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3. [ ] Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4. [ ] Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5. [ ] To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6. [x]The Bible
7. [ ] Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8. [x+] Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9. [ ] His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10. [ ] Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. [ ] Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. [ ] Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13. [x] Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. [ ] Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. [ ] Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. [] The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. [ ] Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. [ ] Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19. [ ] The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20. [ ] Middlemarch – George Eliot
21. [ ] Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22. [ ] The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23. [ ] Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24. [ ] War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25. [x+] The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26. [ ] Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. [ ] Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. [ ] Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29. [ ] Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30. [ ] The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31. [ ] Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32. [ ] David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33. [x] Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34. [ ] Emma – Jane Austen
35. [ ] Persuasion – Jane Austen
36. [x] The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37. [ ] The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38. [x] Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39. [ ] Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40. [x] Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41. [x+] Animal Farm – George Orwell
42. [x] The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43. [ ] One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. [ ] A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45. [ ] The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46. [ ] Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47. [ ] Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. [ ] The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. [x+] Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50. [ ] Atonement – Ian McEwan
51. [x+] Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52. [ ] Dune – Frank Herbert
53. [ ] Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. [ ] Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. [ ] A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. [ ] The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. [ ] A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58. [x] Brave New World – Aldous Huley
59. [x+] The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60. [ ] Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. [ ] Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62. [ ] Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63. [ ] The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64. [ ] The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65. [ ] Count of Monte Cristo – Aleandre Dumas
66. [ ] On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. [ ] Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. [x] Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69. [ ] Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. [ ] Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. [ ] Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72. [x] Dracula – Bram Stoker
73. [ ] The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. [x+] Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75. [ ] Ulysses – James Joyce
76. [ ] The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77. [ ] Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78. [ ] Germinal – Emile Zola
79. [ ] Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80. [ ] Possession – AS Byatt
81. [ ] A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82. [ ] Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83. [ ] The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84. [ ] The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85. [ ] Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86. [ ] A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87. [ ] Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88. [ ] The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89. [ ] Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. [ ] The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91. [ ] Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92. [ ] The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Eupery
93. [ ] The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. [x] Watership Down – Richard Adams
95. [ ] A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. [ ] A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97. [ ] The Three Musketeers – Aleandre Dumas
98. [ ] Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99. [ ] Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100. [ ] Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

ED209 – Week 6

Temperament and development seemed endless as a chapter to study – but having flicked forward to next week’s topic (Origins of Development) and its heavy evolutionary and biological slant, I think this chanpter might start to have felt like it was a breeze!

Some of the concepts (individual differences, adult personality types, attachment) are familiar from DSE212, but what is more obvious is the distinction being drawn between temperament and personality – and how childhood temperament affects the development of personality.

The four temperament theories compared and contrasted towards the end of the chapter (Thomas & Chess; Buss & Plomin; Kagan and Dunn & Kendrick) look as if they could form the heart of an exam question, so I’ve paid particular attention to them and tried to get their differences of approach / emphasis straight in my notes for this week.

The Damned United

I’ve just come across the trailer for the film of David Peace’s book “The Damned United”, which was the most memorable book I read last summer. While the portrayal of Brian Clough in the book (and presumably in the film too) has provoked criticism in Derby, I’m certainly looking forward to seeing it, because if nothing else the book was a well written piece of fiction. Or fact. Or faction perhaps?

Clearing out the attic

A couple of years ago, before I got embroiled in the madness that is OU study, I rescued a Compukit UK101 off ebay for about £60 and painstakingly found the parts and re-learnt soldering to make it work properly again. I came across it in the attic again a couple of days ago and when I get a few moments, I’m going to see if it still works.

Three photographs of mine (taken after it had been restored) are below:

My UK 101, complete with 1970's Black and White Television

My UK 101, complete with 1970’s Black and White Television

Inside my UK 101 - the TV modulator and smoothing capacitor in the top right hand corner are 2007 replacements, along with some of the 2114 RAM chips below them

Inside my UK 101 – the TV modulator and smoothing capacitor in the top right hand corner are 2007 replacements, along with some of the 2114 RAM chips below them

The UK101 Character Set

The UK101 Character Set

ED209 – Week 5

I must say that I’m enjoying getting back to reading the course books after a frustrating couple of weeks struggling with TMA01. I’m still not very happy with my essay, but I’ve decided to put it aside for the next few days as there are still a couple of weeks or more to go before the deadline.

Chapter 4 is on early cognitive development and seems to start exploring this from the viewpoint of Piaget and then providing evidence to support or contradict his conclusions. It’s not the easiest chapter to read, but distilling it down into a set of notes based on each idea and the evidence that supports or contradicts it seems to work quite well. It’s one of those chapters that you hope a ‘how far does’ or a ‘to what extent’ question appears on the exam paper as there’s plenty of material to construct an answer from.

Last night I listened to the ‘Mind Changers’ audio band on Piaget and if nothing else, I now understand why the idea of sandpits, big sinks and letting children get on with playing as part of education that I experienced in the 70’s must have been such a shock to my parents who were brought up when rote learning was practiced in schools. Piaget comes across in the programme as being a rather isolated figure and quite sad in some ways. The undoubted insights he had into child development could have been much more quickly developed if perhaps he hadn’t had this obstinate streak of wanting to prove his initial ideas were completely right by demanding his assistants produce more and more data to support them and ignoring data that didn’t support these ideas. A genius, certainly, and comforting (to me!) to know that even he had flaws.

Notes here.

Garages – they just aren't, anymore

I needed some de-icer for our cars this afternoon and was too late to get to Asda before it shut. No problem, there’s a garage just down the road. With a shop. I could have bought a whole range of groceries, sweets, chocolate, valentine’s day cards (what kind of person buys valentine’s day cards from a petrol station?), cuddly toys … but no de-icer. In fact, the only car related stuff was half a shelf of oil and the type of air fresheners only taxi drivers would buy. So I tried the next garage – and a similar story. Probably three times the floor area of the other shop, fresh coffee on sale, vegetables, nappies, more valentine cards … and the same paltry half shelf of oil and a bottle of de-ionised water. No de-icer. “We don’t stock it pet”, the cashier said, “no call for it. Asda sell it cheaper than we can”. Sigh.

Sleepless in Madrid

I’ve had an enjoyable couple of days in Madrid with work and hopefully, a productive one too. My flight back is at 0630, which means I need to leave the hotel in Tres Cantos at about 0430 to be sure of catching it. Guess what – I can’t get to sleep! Too worried about missing it I think.

Update: 6 February, 4.10pm

I didn’t miss the flight – but it didn’t land at Stansted! We were on final approach with about 5 minutes to go before landing and the runway was shut due to snow and ice. It’s been a frustrating day travelling back from Gatwick instead. Full credit to Ryanair – they managed to get everyone onto buses and away from Gatwick back to Stansted within an hour of landing. Shame about the A14 once I’d picked my car up though – but the snowmen along the side of the dual carriageway were a sign that I could have been stuck there a lot longer.

Madrid and TMA1

Weather permitting, I’m off to Madrid in the morning for a couple of days to work with my colleagues at Software AG in Spain. While the weather seems not too bad here at the moment, it looks as if Madrid might be in for some snow over the next couple of days, so I’m hoping that it all works out somehow as I need to be back in time to finish off the first draft of my TMA before my tutorial on Saturday morning. Well, I don’t need to be – it’s just that I want to keep up with the schedule I’ve set myself. The essay doesn’t have to be in until the second week of March.

I’ve gone for the first option – writing an essay on how far social and cultural influences are recognised in theories of child development. I’d forgotten how painful I find essay writing – I seem to go through six or seven attempts before I get something I’m happy with and it’s taken me all week to get a not very good half essay so far. Maybe Madrid will inspire me – and if not, perhaps the tutorial on Saturday will!

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