Link, He Came To Town

I don't post funny links that I find to this site though it's the typical place to do so. I use sillytech.com for the bizarre world of the internet. I try to keep this site mostly for personal thoughts, essays, memories and the like (well, maybe not essays).

When I Went to New York

It started at the Comedy Cellar in NYC, one of the most awesome nights of my life. Partners in crime: Alex, Clare, Tasha.

The stand-up is just starting his routine when a thug and his posse walks in and sits at a booth towards the back. Not long after, thug starts shouting at the comedian. It's hard to hear what he's saying over the comedian but he's loud enough to draw the comedian's attention.

Thug: Hey! Yo' face is tight!
Comedian: What?
T: Yo' face is tight!
C: My. Face. Is. Tight?
T: Yeah!
C: What? What does that mean?
T: It's tight. Like Skeletor.
C: It's tight... like Skeletor??

The comedian started riffing off his face being tight and then, sensing that this guy was gonna be way funnier than anything he had to say, started quizzing him.

C: What's that around your neck?
T(he's wearing some generic gold medallion, oh, and he's started puffing on a cigar): It's a pie.
C: A pie? A whole pie?
T: Yeah!
C: You're wearing a whole pizza pie around your neck?
T: Yeah.

Comedian surrenders and tries to start up his routine again. Enter guy in the front row.

Guy: How tall are you?
C: What? What the hell is going on tonight?
G: Six foot? Six two? You're tall.
C: I'm a tall guy.
G: So how tall?
C: What, you want to know who's taller, me or you?
G: Yeah.
C: Get up here.

And the comedian pulls him onstage and they do a height check. The comedian is taller. The bit ends and he tries, once again, to do his act. A joke occurs to him.

C: You know... if my face is tight like Skeletor, does that mean you can have a face loose like Orko?

Alex and I die laughing. The crowd gives him a good laugh.

C: What the? I get my biggest laugh of the night on an Orko joke?

He tells a couple jokes and then says goodnight.

Alex, Clare and I do a quick improv scene on Broadway for Tasha so we can say we performed on Broadway. Later on, I discover Hot Cocoa and Cognac, the greatest drink ever invented.

I'll never forget that trip.


Guaranteed Hit

After thinking a bit more about CBC Radio's 50 Tracks, I find it difficult to believe that no cover of the theme to Hockey Night in Canada has ever hit the charts in Canada. It doesn't even need lyrics... Mind you, from what I've heard, the lady who wrote the song guards the rights to it quite jealously.



There are two things in my way of making it to Germany for the World Cup next year.

1) Almost 4 million applications for 812,000 tickets. A 20% chance of getting tickets. Not too good. The upshot is that there are two more chances to score tickets later in the year. This is just the first phase.

2) I still don't have a job. That makes convincing my life partner that we will be able to afford the trip difficult. It kind of makes it difficult to convince me, too.



Five Easy Pieces

I have been drawn into a meme going around. I requested five questions aimed specifically at me they have been delivered.

1. You and your wife are about to embark on the life-long journey of parenthood. What aspect of this unknown voyage has you waking in a cold sweat some nights wondering what the heck you're getting yourselves into?

Well, my wife is mostly concerned that I'm going to forget to pick the kid up from soccer practice. I do have a terrible memory but if that's the worst I can do to this kid, then I'm set. I really don't know what to expect. I think the only thing I truly fear is having a child I hate. I can even tolerate a child I don't get along with but to hate one's own child would really, really suck.

I mean as an infant, there's not much to hate but children are born with their own personality. As much as nurture can do, nature has its fair shake. I get a good shot at shaping the kid but once he starts to make their own decisions, the important ones, I'm out of the picture.

I can only trust my child not to make decisions that would make me chew through my old man's cardigan but he will have to live with the consequences. And while there are only some extreme decisions that would result in my hatred, I can't imagine anything worse than hating your own child. So much so that even the remote chance of hating my child makes me quake in my boots.

I'm inviting a stranger into my house; he better not be a total ass.

2. You have a Masters (of the Universe) degree in Physics, are a member in an improv troupe and are writing (have written?) a book. What do you really want to be when you grow up?

I did my physics degree because I wanted to know more about how the universe works. I did my Master's because I was unsatisfied with my Bachelor's. I felt there were still too many unanswered questions. Once the Master's classes were done, I felt it was time to jet.

As I was doing my BSc, I got into improv. I love it but I live in Montreal. It's just too difficult to make a living doing English improv here. So that's not even an option for me.

The first draft of the book is (more or less) done. I'm editing it (or at least I'm supposed to be). The plan is to get three first chapters in shape and start sending them around with the outline. If it makes as much money as I made on EI, I could possibly take another year off and write another. However, I can probably make double that with a new job and triple it pretty quick.

So, if I want a semi-secure, high-paying job, I work the 9 to 5. If I want to follow the dream, I need to sell the book. I'll leave it to the reader's imagination what I want to do when I grow up.

3. We've all been wilfully victimized by addictive activities. Which one do you most wish you could rescind and reclaim the lost time, health, money, intangibles...? If none, why not?

I have a very addictive personality. When I get fixed, boy, I go all in. I recently bought and played through Paper Mario: Thousand Year Door. I beat the game with 71+ hours logged in about two weeks. But I don't regret it.

I own a lot of Lego. More than I reasonably need. No regrets. A bunch of comics. I enjoyed reading them. A megaton of Magic cards that I spend hours (literally hours) simply sorting and indexing. I play with them every week in what has been called a "boy's quilting bee" with a bunch of my bestest friends.

I do improv at least twice a week. I blog on three sites (this, a sketch-writing-site-cum-internet-hang-out, and the improv troupe's site). I hang out on two message boards (an author's and fark.com). I've started a crazy writing website. I edit my book. I look for a job. Oh, and my wife is pregnant so I'm occupied with all that that entails. I attend to my addictions with careful time-management. Well, my best impression of time-management.

I had an operation in 2003, the only serious loss of health I've really expereinced and that seems to have disappeared which I don't think was brought about by any addictive activity. I bought a house and a car, the only major losses of money (the house isn't really a loss; a car always is) but I get great use out of both.

I'm a pretty conservative guy. Don't take a lot of chances, don't push too close to the edge. I carefully leave a margin of safety on nearly everything I do. So, no, I haven't really gotten burned in any significant way. Yet...

4. Describe in as much detail as you can recall / are willing to
share, the most vivid dream you've ever had.

Ok, I just wanted to take a moment to say I just felt the baby kick for the first time ever. Wow.

I almost never remember my dreams. The ones I can recall are few and far between. I've had my fair share of naughty thoughts. I even had a recurring dream of being in a bike race as a child.

One that stands out in recent memory, however, is the one where a good friend of mine and I are on a small plane flying over a snowy mountainscape. As we were zooming along, chatting idly, he suddenly leaned in and kissed me full on the mouth. And, at that same instant, the plane suddenly began a nosedive into the mountains below. The plane bounced and I came to (yes, I dreamed passsing out) and I was surrounded by snow, as though I had been caught in an avalanche. Being in dreamland, I don't recall being hurt but I distinctly recall the sensation of not knowing which way was up. I experienced what my imagination considers weightlessness and disorientation. It was very bizarre. I then remembered that you can drool and gravity will pull the saliva down so you can dig your way up. At that point I woke up.

I talked about it the next day with the friend in question. We had a good laugh. Then we made out.

5. Thirteen years later, you have the opportunity to spend one single
day with your dad. What do you do?

Hm. I didn't really know my dad all that well. He spoke to me when necessary and did all the fatherly things without much joy. I don't have a lot memories of him being happy; he was not the kind of person who was ready with a friendly smile.

I can recall him talking to me about a trip he had taken to Cuba. My parents had been separated for a couple years at this point and the only way I knew he had gone on the trip was when he called from Cuba to say hi.

When he got back, he sat down on a chair in the tiny computer room in my mom's old house (he was visiting; I was still living at home). And we talked. For the first and last time, my father talked to me like a person and not his son. Whether or not I hadn't really been listening to him before that moment is hard for me recollect, and I don't discount the possibility, but that conversation stands out so clearly as him treating me as an equal that I can't imagine having missed it before. I was 17 and I hungered for it.

He didn't have a great trip. It had been pretty cloudy in Cuba and he felt bad for having all the good food and money while so many people had so little. He was warned by the Cuban government not to tip anyone but, talking to the service people, he found he could leave bars of soap (and other small luxuries) as a tip. I asked him a bunch of questions about what he did and what he did like (the sunny days were really nice on the beach). It was the first time my dad actually talked to me like a person and not his son. And the last.

Less than month later, he was dead.

Today, I would fly to Europe with my dad and take him to the biggest soccer game I could find. I get my love of soccer from him. During the Montreal Olympics, the only thing he went to was a Soviet soccer game (don't recall the opponent). I'd tell him pretty much what I'd been up to since he had died. We go out to a bar and have a drink. I'd tell him about my wife and the baby. I'd ask him about what he'd done before he came to Canada. I'd just try to get to know him over a beer (I have a lot of memories of my dad with a bottle of Guinness in hand). I'd have another talk with my dad, as a friend.

If you want to get five personalised questions from me, email me.


And Bad Mistakes, I've Made A Few

1) "All tolled" - Once you've added it all up, that's what the end result is. "All told", the correct expression, escaped me for years.

2) "Sworded affair" - It's quite a combatative affair with dirty tricks (all sword fights have dirty tricks; it's a fact). "Sordid affairs" still don't make a lot of sense to me.

3) "Throw cosh into the wind" - What is cosh and why are people throwing it? I can see why throwing it into the wind is so reckless though. Ohhhh! Caution! Note: don't try to throw tanh into the wind...

4) "Fiery" - Rhymes with "cheery". 'Cause, y'know, field, fiend. You couldn't spell it "firy" like "wiry", eh?

5) "Anemone" - Annie moan, kinda like telephone. an-EH-mun-ee? Huh? Wuzzuh?

6) Cookie Monster - I'm a teenager, oh yes, over the age of twelve, watching the C-Monster on TV tear into a... cookie... and... Oh. No. The cookie... It just crumbled into pieces. He didn't actually EAT ANY OF IT! All those years of wasted cookies!! Damn you, Cookie Monster! You fiend!!


Bet on the World

Just a great piece.

"10 Things I Have Learned" by Milton Glaser

Something I Wrote In 2001

I was in a used book store the Friday night and I found a few copies of Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson sitting amongst the clutter and the stacks. I have a friend who recommended it to me and it seemed like a short read (Don't be fooled; it's NOT!) so I browsed through what must have been required reading for last semester's college curriculum. There were several copies, some solid, some frail.

However, one immediately caught my eye with seemingly random letters from the title blacked out (I could never discern any coherent message.). Within, an enterprising student saved a few hectares of trees by using the book itself as a notebook for the class. Scattered throughout were a great many underlined passages and comments obviously written in an academic frame of mind. "Wife given what she never had." "Always seeking pain."

Perhaps this wasn't a student. Perhaps this may have been some studious fellow who enjoyed commenting on books as they read them. It's not unheard of. It's not impossible. And yet... and yet...

This person, male or female, I could not say, chose to also put their personal judgements of the character's actions and dialogue on paper. Most frequently in single words (with surprisingly few expletives) and also with very little sympathy. Chapters ending with comments like "Naive" and "What the f*ck is going on?". Paragraphs underlined with the simple comment of "Sucker!" by the side, condemning the fictional characters to forever be labelled as such.

I didn't read the passages so outlined to prevent the colouring of my own read. And so with heavy heart I replaced what would have certainly been a fantastically entertaining read and picked up another less editorialised copy. It was in better condition and, for some obscure reason, cheaper. Is the store placing some higher price on the book for its extra content? I did not dare ask.

And now I read the book, untutored by any anonymous mentors, the pages blank and lacking in both personality and cruel mockery. I am forced to admit that I am a little saddened by this quiet book. A faint regret fills me as I read: "Is this the 'bastard'? Am I at the part where someone is a 'Sucker!'?"

I wonder who will one day pick up this book and share in the views of this remote critic. Will they be upset that they were forced to buy such a copy, filled with the mutterings of an acerbic fool? Or will they cherish the joy of sharing a read with an old friend? A friend who likes to share their thoughts as they read along, invisible by your side.


Burn, Baby, Burn

You have a box of matches and two lengths of rope. Each length of rope will burn from one end to the other in exactly one hour. However, the burn rate along the length of each rope is not guaranteed to be uniform (ie: you don't know if the rope is, as an example, 60cm and burns at 1minute/cm all along its length; it might be different rates at different places along its length).

Using the two lengths of rope and the matches, how do you measure exactly fifteen minutes?


Test of Endurance

- Bold those you've read,
- Italicize started-but-never-finished,
- Add three of your own.

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. 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. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. 1984, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
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. 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 Sorcerer's/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 Garcia Marquez
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. 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. 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. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Susskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. 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. 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 Garcia Marquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
101. Three Men In A Boat, Jerome K. Jerome
102. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett
103. The Beach, Alex Garland
104. Dracula, Bram Stoker
105. Point Blanc, Anthony Horowitz
106. The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens
107. Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz
108. The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
109. The Day Of The Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
110. The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson
111. Jude The Obscure, Thomas Hardy
112. The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13 1/2, Sue Townsend
113. The Cruel Sea, Nicholas Monsarrat
114. Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
115. The Mayor Of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy
116. The Dare Game, Jacqueline Wilson
117. Bad Girls, Jacqueline Wilson
118. The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
119. Shogun, James Clavell
120. The Day Of The Triffids, John Wyndham
121. Lola Rose, Jacqueline Wilson
122. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
123. The Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy
124. House Of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
125. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
126. Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett
127. Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison
128. The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
129. Possession, A. S. Byatt
130. The Master And Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
131. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
132. Danny The Champion Of The World, Roald Dahl
133. East Of Eden, John Steinbeck
134. George's Marvellous Medicine, Roald Dahl
135. Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett
136. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
137. Hogfather, Terry Pratchett
138. The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan
139. Girls In Tears, Jacqueline Wilson
140. Sleepovers, Jacqueline Wilson
141. All Quiet On The Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
142. Behind The Scenes At The Museum, Kate Atkinson
143. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
144. It, Stephen King
145. James And The Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
146. The Green Mile, Stephen King
147. Papillon, Henri Charriere
148. Men At Arms, Terry Pratchett
149. Master And Commander, Patrick O'Brian
150. Skeleton Key, Anthony Horowitz
151. Soul Music, Terry Pratchett
152. Thief Of Time, Terry Pratchett
153. The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett
154. Atonement, Ian McEwan
155. Secrets, Jacqueline Wilson
156. The Silver Sword, Ian Serraillier
157. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
158. Heart Of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
159. Kim, Rudyard Kipling
160. Cross Stitch, Diana Gabaldon
161. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
162. River God, Wilbur Smith
163. Sunset Song, Lewis Grassic Gibbon
164. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
165. The World According To Garp, John Irving
166. Lorna Doone, R. D. Blackmore
167. Girls Out Late, Jacqueline Wilson
168. The Far Pavilions, M. M. Kaye
169. The Witches, Roald Dahl
170. Charlotte's Web, E. B. White
171. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
172. They Used To Play On Grass, Terry Venables and Gordon Williams
173. The Old Man And The Sea, Ernest Hemingway
174. The Name Of The Rose, Umberto Eco
175. Sophie's World, Jostein Gaarder
176. Dustbin Baby, Jacqueline Wilson
177. Fantastic Mr. Fox, Roald Dahl
178. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
179. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, Richard Bach
180. The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery
181. The Suitcase Kid, Jacqueline Wilson
182. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
183. The Power Of One, Bryce Courtenay
184. Silas Marner, George Eliot
185. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
186. The Diary Of A Nobody, George and Weedon Gross-mith
187. Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
188. Goosebumps, R. L. Stine
189. Heidi, Johanna Spyri
190. Sons And Lovers, D. H. Lawrence
191. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
192. Man And Boy, Tony Parsons
193. The Truth, Terry Pratchett
194. The War Of The Worlds, H. G. Wells
195. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans
196. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
197. Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
198. The Once And Future King, T. H. White
199. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
200. Flowers In The Attic, Virginia Andrews
201. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
202. The Eye of the World, Robert Jordan
203. The Great Hunt, Robert Jordan
204. The Dragon Reborn, Robert Jordan
205. Fires of Heaven, Robert Jordan
206. Lord of Chaos, Robert Jordan
207. Winter's Heart, Robert Jordan
208. A Crown of Swords, Robert Jordan
209. Crossroads of Twilight, Robert Jordan
210. A Path of Daggers, Robert Jordan
211. As Nature Made Him, John Colapinto
212. Microserfs, Douglas Coupland
213. The Married Man, Edmund White
214. Winter's Tale, Mark Helprin
215. The History of Sexuality, Michel Foucault
216. Cry to Heaven, Anne Rice
217. Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe, John Boswell
218. Equus, Peter Shaffer
219. The Man Who Ate Everything, Jeffrey Steingarten
220. Letters To A Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke
221. Ella Minnow Pea, Mark Dunn
222. The Vampire Lestat, Anne Rice
223. Anthem, Ayn Rand
224. The Bridge To Terabithia, Katherine Paterson
225. Tartuffe, Moliere
226. The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
227. The Crucible, Arthur Miller
228. The Trial, Franz Kafka
229. Oedipus Rex, Sophocles
230. Oedipus at Colonus, Sophocles
231. Death Be Not Proud, John Gunther
232. A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen
233. Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen
234. Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
235. A Raisin In The Sun, Lorraine Hansberry
236. ALIVE!, Piers Paul Read
237. Grapefruit, Yoko Ono
238. Trickster Makes This World, Lewis Hyde
240. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
241. Chronicles of Thomas Convenant, Unbeliever, Stephen Donaldson
242. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
242. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon
243. Summerland, Michael Chabon
244. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
245. Candide, Voltaire
246. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, Roald Dahl
247. Ringworld, Larry Niven
248. The King Must Die, Mary Renault
249. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein
250. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L'Engle
251. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
252. The House Of The Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne
253. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
254. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
255. The Great Gilly Hopkins, Katherine Paterson
256. Chocolate Fever, Robert Kimmel Smith
257. Xanth: The Quest for Magic, Piers Anthony
258. The Lost Princess of Oz, L. Frank Baum
259. Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon
260. Lost In A Good Book, Jasper Fforde
261. Well Of Lost Plots, Jasper Fforde
261. Life Of Pi, Yann Martel
263. The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
264. A Yellow Rraft In Blue Water, Michael Dorris
265. Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
267. Where The Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
268. Griffin & Sabine, Nick Bantock
269. Witch of Black Bird Pond, Joyce Friedland
270. Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH, Robert C. O'Brien
271. Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt
272. The Cay, Theodore Taylor
273. From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg
274. The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Jester
275. The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
276. The Kitchen God's Wife, Amy Tan
277. The Bone Setter's Daughter, Amy Tan
278. Relic, Duglas Preston & Lincolon Child
279. Wicked, Gregory Maguire
280. American Gods, Neil Gaiman
281. Misty of Chincoteague, Marguerite Henry
282. The Girl Next Door, Jack Ketchum
283. Haunted, Judith St. George
284. Singularity, William Sleator
285. A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
286. Different Seasons, Stephen King
287. Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk
288. About a Boy, Nick Hornby
289. The Bookman's Wake, John Dunning
290. The Church of Dead Girls, Stephen Dobyns
291. Illusions, Richard Bach
292. Magic's Pawn, Mercedes Lackey
293. Magic's Promise, Mercedes Lackey
294. Magic's Price, Mercedes Lackey
295. The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Gary Zukav
296. Spirits of Flux and Anchor, Jack L. Chalker
297. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
298. The Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices, Brenda Love
299. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace --
300. The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
301. The Cider House Rules, John Irving
302. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
303. Girlfriend in a Coma, Douglas Coupland
304. The Lion's Game, Nelson Demille
305. The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars, Stephen Brust
306. Cyteen, C. J. Cherryh
307. Foucault's Pendulum, Umberto Eco
308. Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson
309. Invisible Monsters, Chuck Palahniuk
310. Camber of Culdi, Kathryn Kurtz
311. The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
312. War and Rememberance, Herman Wouk
313. The Art of War, Sun Tzu
314. The Giver, Lois Lowry
315. The Telling, Ursula Le Guin
316. Xenogenesis (or Lilith's Brood), Octavia Butler
317. A Civil Campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold
318. The Curse of Chalion, Lois McMaster Bujold
319. The Aeneid, Publius Vergilius Maro (Vergil)
320. Hanta Yo, Ruth Beebe Hill
321. The Princess Bride, S. Morganstern (or William Goldman)
322. Beowulf, Anonymous
323. The Sparrow, Maria Doria Russell
324. Deerskin, Robin McKinley
325. Dragonsong, Anne McCaffrey
326. Passage, Connie Willis
327. Otherland, Tad Williams
328. Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay
329. Number the Stars, Lois Lowry
330. Beloved, Toni Morrison
331. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, Christopher Moore
332. The mysterious disappearance of Leon, I mean Noel, Ellen Raskin
333. Summer Sisters, Judy Blume
334. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo
335. The Island on Bird Street, Uri Orlev
336. Midnight in the Dollhouse, Marjorie Filley Stover
337. The Miracle Worker, William Gibson
338. The Genesis Code, John Case
339. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevensen
340. Paradise Lost, John Milton
341. Phantom, Susan Kay
342. The Mummy or Ramses the Damned, Anne Rice
343. Anno Dracula, Kim Newman
344: The Dresden Files: Grave Peril, Jim Butcher
345: Tokyo Suckerpunch, Issac Adamson
346: The Winter of Magic's Return, Pamela Service
347: The Oddkins, Dean R. Koontz
348. My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
349. The Last Goodbye, Raymond Chandler
350. At Swim, Two Boys, Jaime O'Neill
351. Othello, by William Shakespeare
352. The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, Dylan Thomas
353. The Collected Poems of William Butler Yeats, William Butler Yeats
354. Sati, Christopher Pike
355. The Inferno, Dante
356. The Apology, Plato
357. The Small Rain, Madeline L'Engle
358. The Man Who Tasted Shapes, Richard E Cytowick
359. 5 Novels, Daniel Pinkwater
360. The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Juliet Marillier
361. Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
362. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
363. Our Town, Thorton Wilder
364. Green Grass Running Water, Thomas King
335. The Interpreter, Suzanne Glass
336. The Moor's Last Sigh, Salman Rushdie
337. The Mother Tongue, Bill Bryson
338. A Passage to India, E.M. Forster
339. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
340. The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux
341. Pages for You, Sylvia Brownrigg
342. The Changeover, Margaret Mahy
343. Howl's Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones
344. Angels and Demons, Dan Brown
345. Johnny Got His Gun, Dalton Trumbo
346. Shosha, Isaac Bashevis Singer
347. Travels With Charley, John Steinbeck
348. The Diving-bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
349. The Lunatic at Large by J. Storer Clouston
350. Time for bed by David Baddiel
351. Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
352. Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre
353. The Bloody Sun by Marion Zimmer Bradley
354. Sewer, Gas, and Eletric by Matt Ruff
355. Jhereg by Steven Brust
356. So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane
357. Perdido Street Station, China Mieville
358. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte
359. Road-side Dog, Czeslaw Milosz
360. The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje
361. Neuromancer, William Gibson
362. The Epistemology of the Closet, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
363. A Canticle for Liebowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr
364. The Mask of Apollo, Mary Renault
365. The Gunslinger, Stephen King
366. Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
367. Absalom, Absalom, William Faulkner
368. The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
369. Dreamhouse, Alison Habens
370. Hyperion, by Dan Simmons
371. Prospero's Children, Jan Siegel
372. Gaudy Night, Dorothy Sayers
373. Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond
374. Enchantment, Orson Scott Card
375. Cetaganda, Lois McMaster Bujold
376. Beauty, Sheri S. Tepper
377. The Hour of the Star, Clarice Lispector
378. The Patron Saint of Liars, Ann Patchett
379. Sexing the Cherry, Jeanette Winterson.
380. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula Le'Guin
381. Assassin's Apprentice, Robin Hobb
382. The Axis Trilogy, Sara Douglass
383. Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie
384. Sabriel, Garth Nix
385. Maurice, E.M. Forster
386. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer
387. The Wild Swans, by Peg Kerr
388. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
389. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
390. Welcome to the Monkey House, by Kurt Vonnegut
391. The Stranger, by Albert Camus
392. Angry Candy, by Harlan Ellison
393. Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
394. Motherless Brooklyn - Jonathan Lethem
395. The Brains of Rats - Michael Blumlein
396. Cowboys Are My Weakness, Pam Houston
397. Faking It, Jennifer Crusie
398. John Adams, David McCullough
399. Swiss Family Robinson, Johann Wyss
400. The Black Stallion, Walter Farley
401. Strangewood, Christopher Golden
402. Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton
403. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Robert Heinlein
404. The Lays Of Beleriand, JRR Tolkien
405. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Alan Sillitoe
406. Native Son, Richard Wright
407. The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara
408. Stargirl, Jerry Spinelli
409. Rain of Gold, Victor Villasenor
500. Red Tent, Anita Diamant
501. The Atrocity Archives, Charles Stross
502. Broken Angels, Richard K. Morgan
503. The Dust of Empire, Karl E. Meyer
504. Experience, Martin Amis
505. The Red and the Black, Stendhal
506. The Empty Space, Peter Brook
507. The Heat of the Day, Elizabeth Bowen
508. Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth
509. Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil: John Berendt
510. Belly Laughes, Jenny McCarthy
511. Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott
512. Go Ask Alice, Anonymous
513. Millicent Min, Girl Genius, Lisa Yee
514. Forever, Pete Hammill
515. Unless, Carol Shields
516. Ronia the Robber's Daughter, Astrid Lindgren
517. The Hero and the Crown, Robin McKinley
518. The Lions of Al-Rassan, Guy Gavriel Kay
519. The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck
520. The ABC Murders, Agatha Christie

I guess I had better get cracking...