2006-05-31

 

What self cleaning windows, deodorizing lights and your skin have in common

Self cleaning windows are a marvel of modern technology. They are capable of breaking down grime and organic matter on their surface, thus reducing the amount of effort you need to spend cleaning them.

This is all achieved through the use of a relatively benign compound: titanium dioxide (or TiO2 for you chemistry freaks).

TiO2 is fairly inert and non-toxic. However, don't push it, everything is toxic in the sufficient amounts or if irresponsibly used - just think of dihydrogen monoxide (H2O). It is used almost everywhere as a whitening agent – toothpaste, icing, paint, plastics, etc – because it is incredibly white and non-toxic.

It does have one interesting property: it is a photocatalyst. That means it interacts with light and facilitates a chemical process, while not actually taking part in the chemical process. For example, nickel is used as a catalyst in the process of hydrogenating margarine (adding an extra hydrogen atom to a liquid fat and making it a not so good solid fat). Other metals like platinum, palladium and rhodium are used in the catalytic converter of your car’s exhaust to make the emissions coming out of your car less toxic) - this is a heat activated process.

TiO2 generates free radicals in the presence of ultraviolet light (UV). These free radicals then oxidize nearby molecules: water, organic molecules, oxygen molecules in the air - thereby breaking them apart. If your dirst and grime gets broken down, it gets cleaned. Simple.

This is achieved by bonding a very, very thin layer of TiO2 to the surface. The UV light is provided courtesy of the sun.

Deodorizing lights work on pretty much the same principle. Except in this case the UV source is a fluorescent light (one of those spiral shaped energy saving ones) - they have a little bit of mercury in them which is arced and this generated UV light, phosphors in the lamps coating absorb the UV and reradiate at a visible wavelength. In this case, the TiO2 is bonded to the outside of the light. The TiO2 catalyzes the oxygen molecules in the air (O2) to produce single oxygen atoms - which are highly reactive. These oxygen atoms then bond with organic molecules (odour molecules) in the air and this oxidation helps eliminate odours.

Since TiO2 is so good at absorbing UV rays, it gets used in sunscreen.

Now, I don't know about you, but I am a little leery of applying a chemical that becomes strongly oxidative in the presence of UV rays on my skin. With all the talk of how we need to eliminate free radicals from our lives (take vitamins C and D, eat leafy green vegetables, don't smoke, get rid of your ozone generator), it is surprising to me that a strong photocatalytic oxidizing substance is approved for use as a skin protector.

Is there is a conspiracy to hide the information. No. I believe it is more likely that people simply have not put the facts together. No lamp has lit in someone’s head.

It reminds about 15-16 years ago when we were eliminating lead (Pb) from everything, and someone asked, "Does the lead in lead crystal leech out?" Surprisingly, up to that time, nobody had even considered that. And yes, the lead in leaded crystal does leech out. So if you store your brandy in it, you are exposing yourself to lead (on a side note, the ancient Romans like the sweetness lead gave to cooking and wines).

Scientists are extremely narrowly focussed in whatever research they do. (I know because a friend of mine is an environmental scientist at McGill and whenever I look over his experiments, my mind simply races over a bazillion things I see he has not considered - to which he wearily replies that he cannot consider every variable because he would never get anything done. He simply controls for one variable at a time.

There are numerous active ingredients used in sunscreen to protect against ultraviolet (UV) exposure. To the best of my knowledge they are zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, octinoxate and oxybenzone.

The one which I have questions about is titanium dioxide and so I do not use sunscreen products containing TiO2. Zinc Oxide (ZnO) also is photocatalyst.

Personally, I think moderate sunlight exposure is good. UV rays produce vitamin D in the skin (which is why vitamin D is often called the sunshine vitamin).

A few days ago, the Canadian Cancer Society said that people should consider limited exposure to natural sunlight.

Disclaimer: I have no direct scientific evidence to back up this claim, nor am I aware of anyone who has done such research. However, a simple thought experiment using available data should prove it to be quite plausible. Yeah, this is me expounding on one of my pet crank theories ;-)

Image taken from here. Maybe the image will post tomorrow, blogger seems to be in one of its "I'm not posting images" moods

You can see more applications of TiO2 here,

Read more on the deodorizing light bulb here.

Read more on catalytic reactions here.

[25-July-2007 @ 09:41, fix typo Deordorizing with correct spelling Deodorizing . Also add labels.]

[Update 13-May-2008 @ 13:15: an article in the Journal of Oleo Science confirms my hypothesis. As it says in the conclusion: "The zinc oxide pigment used in cosmetics and as a sunscreen active agent in commercial formulations causes significant damage to DNA under UV illumination."]

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2006-05-30

 

Deliverance

Sofia was griping that the folks who were going to deliver the new stove on Saturday where not able to give her a better delivery time than simply, "Sometime between 08:00 and 13:00".

Sofia was wondering why they couldn't give a better estimate (as I suppose many people do). The answer is simple: they don't know.

Couldn't they know? Couldn't someone write up a clever piece of software that would calculate the routes and times for them?

Yes, but it is not that simple.

You see, the problem is that the delivery company wants to maximize the number of items it delivers and minimize the distance traveled.

When we bought the stove the previous Sunday, I am pretty sure we were not the last people added to the delivery schedule the following Saturday. Consequently, other deliveries might be added which might influence the delivery route. Any changes to the delivery route may impact the delivery time.

Of course, once the delivery list is finalized, it should be possible for the company to give a better estimated delivery time - but this would require they ring you and update you (or you could call them). However, I suspect the company simply plots out the shortest route and does not bother to estimate the time for each delivery - since there are always various factors influencing each delivery (carrying a fridge up 3 flights of stairs versus taking it off the truck and simply wheeling it into the garage, people not being home when they said they would, traffic, etc).

You could book delivery times - the only catch is cost.

Image nabbed from here.

2006-05-29

 

The other woman

Inspired by Ingrid's post and from listening to Nina Simone singing "The Other Woman" on the way to work this morning.

The other woman finds time to manicure her nails
The other woman is perfect where her rival fails
And she's never seen with pin curls in her hair

The other woman enchantes her clothes with French perfume
The other woman keeps fresh cut flowers in each room
There are never toys that's scattered everywhere

And when her baby comes to call
He'll find her waiting like a lonesome queen
Cos when she's by his side
It's such a change from old routine

But the other woman will always cry herself to sleep
The other woman will never have his love to keep
And as the years go by the other woman
Will spend her life alone
- Jesse Mae Robinson.

2006-05-26

 

Would you lie for me?

Isn't life interesting? As it passes us by (or do we journey through it?), sometimes we find ourselves in circumstance were we are asked to do something for others - like lying.

If you are reading this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don't speak often or you don't know me at all) please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me. It can be anything you want - good or bad - but it has to be fake.

This is a do it yourself meme, borrowed from Ingrid who had done it a while back (unfortunately, the comments seem to have been lost). It was also done by Ms. Q - whose comments are not lost.

2006-05-25

 

Demotivation

Looking for a little something to uninspire you?

Look no further than here.

Note: I am fine. Just tickling my funny bone.

2006-05-24

 

Tribal Outcast

Ever notice how relationships can change when your status or position change?

Five months ago I was transferred to a different project (still in the same building - just on the other side). This means I lost my fantastic view and had it replaced with a view of the parking lot. sigh. Now I can't watch the little goslings in between blogging working.

However, there is a collective shun mentality that seems to come over people. I worked on the previous project for almost 6 years and of the remaining project members (it has shrunk over the years) some behave differently towards me now than others. I would say that interaction with former male colleagues has changed more than interaction with former female colleagues - not that I am terribly chatty or social at work, to begin with. Maybe this has to do with the way males and females interact or maybe it has more to do with not being part of the "tribe" anymore.

Are men more likely to shun outsiders than women? Do males prefer not to interact with those who are outside their tribal unit? Are the females who court with the outsider slightly subversive? Do I need to find more serious questions to ponder?

My relations with coworkers in other groups and divisions have not changed (except for the project I moved into, now they acknowledge me).

Note: none of this bothers me, since I only ever maintain professional and not personal relationships with coworkers. To me, work is work - is not a place I come to socialize. This is something Sofia does not understand. For her, work is a place to make friends. I am more upset about losing my wonderful cubicle and getting this less private one with a much less soothing view and a cubicle mate to boot! My previous cubicle was nice and private. sigh.

Image grabbed from here.

2006-05-22

 

"Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart."

Quote is generally unattributed, although one or two places attribute it to Eleanor Roosevelt.

Image grabbed from here.

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2006-05-21

 

Cybermen

Long before Star Trek had the Borg (overly complicated in my opinion), Doctor Who had the Cybermen.

I can hardly wait until they start airing the episodes in Canada.

Image grabbed from here.

You can get your Doctor Who fix over here.

2006-05-20

 

Halo of Darkness

One cold rainy autumn evening several years ago, I went to pick up Sofia from the Customs Canada Revenue Agency building (tax building) on Heron Road (it is the building just south of the red blip).

It was an evening saturated with gloomy foreboding. The trees were bare and the wind drove a chilling rain. The roads were greasy and shiny from the oily black rain. A tumultuous and turbulant wasteland of scarred clouds boiled in the sky.

As I approached the building, I noticed what I thought was some weird atmospheric phenomena around the top of the building - a swirling ring of dark cloud, a freak eddy of winds herding noxious nightime vapours into a black halo around the building.

When I got out of the car, I realized that it was not some freak wind and clouds, but thousands upon thousands of crows circling the building, cawing loudly.

I have no idea if this is normal crow behaviour, but it certainly was very atmospheric.

2006-05-19

 

Overbooked

(I hate blogger, it ate my post after I invoked spell check - what follows is a severely curtailed version of my original post).

I went to the Millionaire Mind Intensive workshop this morning.

They were overbooked (apparently a computer glitch and this has never happened before).

My name was not on the books (although my friend's daughter's name was - despite my friend requesting this be changed last week). I Suppose I sould have gone as Melody instead of Richard.

They managed to squeeze in an extra 200 people. I was one of the lucky ones. However, I opted instead for the turn away package which was $10,000 worth of audio material (yeah, right) and guaranteed premium seating for the next event in November.

Impressions: poorly organized and coordinated. Certain registration queues were much longer than others (the R-S queue, mine and my friend's, was significantly longer than others). There was a lack of simultaneous translation equipment so they had to stop the presentation to translate (Quebec is a French province and many attendees were unilingual Francophones).

On the plus side, I get to spend the weekend with my family (it is an extra long weekend since Monday is a holiday - Victoria Day).

My original post was longer and offered more impressions, comments, opinions and analysis, but I don't feel like redoing it - so you get the executive summary version ;-)

2006-05-17

 

Is it a Cheetah?

Instead of an internal developmental reality that affects every aspect of a child's life, "intellectual talent" is more and more perceived as synonymous with (and limited to) academic achievement.

The child who does well in school, gets good grades, wins awards, and "performs" beyond the norms for his or her age, is considered talented. The child who does not, no matter what his innate intellectual capacities or developmental level, is less and less likely to be identified, less and less likely to be served.

A cheetah metaphor can help us see the problem with achievement-oriented thinking. The cheetah is the fastest animal on earth. When we think of cheetahs we are likely to think first of their speed. It's flashy. It is impressive. It's unique. And it makes identification incredibly easy. Since cheetahs are the only animals that can run 70 mph, if you clock an animal running 70 mph, IT'S A CHEETAH!

Certain conditions are necessary if it is to attain its famous 70 mph top speed. It must be fully grown. It must be healthy, fit and rested. It must have plenty of room to run. Besides that, it is best motivated to run all out when it is hungry and there are antelope to chase.

If a cheetah is confined to a 10 X 12 foot cage, though it may pace or fling itself against the bars in restless frustration, it won't run 70 mph.

IS IT STILL A CHEETAH?

If a cheetah has only 20 mph rabbits to chase for food, it won't run 70 mph while hunting. If it did, it would flash past its prey and go hungry! Though it might well run on its own for exercise, recreation, fulfillment of its internal drive, when given only rabbits to eat the hunting cheetah will run only fast enough to catch a rabbit.

IS IT STILL A CHEETAH?

If a cheetah is fed Zoo Chow it may not run at all.

IS IT STILL A CHEETAH?

And finally, if the cheetah is only six weeks old, it can't yet run 70 mph.

IS IT, THEN, ONLY A *POTENTIAL* CHEETAH?

Schools are to extraordinarily intelligent children what zoos are to cheetahs. Many schools provide a 10 x 12 foot cage, giving the unusual mind no room to get up to speed. Many highly gifted children sit in the classroom the way big cats sit in their cages, dull-eyed and silent.

A zoo, however much room it provides for its cheetahs, does not feed them antelope, challenging them either to run full out or go hungry. Schools similarly provide too little challenge for the development of extraordinary minds. Even a gifted program may provide only the intellectual equivalent of 20 mph rabbits (while sometimes labeling children suspected of extreme intelligence "underachievers" for NOT putting on top speed to catch those rabbits!) Without special programming, schools provide the academic equivalent of Zoo Chow, food that requires no effort whatsoever. Some children refuse to take in such uninteresting, dead nourishment at all.


Adapted from an article by Stephanie S. Tolan, which can be found here.

Image taken from here.

2006-05-15

 

Off peak performance

Ever notice that your mental state is bleh?

Over the past little while (years, not weeks), I have been noticing definite connection between how much sleep I get and how I mentally feel the next day (actually, it has more to do with what time I get to bed). Sleepiness is easily controlled, but mental attitude is not - whether you are feeling good about yourself, the world, etc or not.

I also notice that calorie dense foods have the same effect. While cashews, chocolates, or cookies may satisfy some immediate need for gratification, the bloaty, bleh, I'm in insulin shock feeling that follows is not conducive to being a happy and chipper camper.

So where am I going?

(Home in a few minutes to cook dinner)

As I get older, I find there seems to be a lot of truth regarding healthy living and taking better care of oneself than I gave credence when I was younger (mind you, I have never really abused myself like some have).

So what do you think, is a younger body able to accept more punishment and abuse without feeling the effects so much or is it just that younger people aren’t sufficiently cognizant of what is happening to them?

In other words, when we were younger, were we just too stupid to recognize that we were off our peak performance?

2006-05-14

 

Millionaire Mind Intensive

A friend of mine invited me to an intensive 3 day Millionaire Mind Intensive workshop this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday. How intensive? 09:00-23:00, 09:00-22:30 and 08:00 - 19:00, respectively.

It is a free invite as she had attended a The Power Within workshop last year (and purchased some materials related to this upcoming workshop).

Originally, she had planned to go with her daughter, but since she was busy, I got the invitation instead.

Hopefully it will help kickstart my motivation or perhaps give me new perspectives.

To quote from the promotional literature:

This course will transform the way you think, feel, and act in terms of
money and wealth. More importantly, you will learn exactly what it takes
to "win the money game". You will also learn specifically what may be
holding you back from reaching your full potential right now. Many of
the positive changes you make will occur instantly, right at the course.
Others will occur over time, as you practice your newly learned wealth
habits and exercises.


Reflections after the course will naturally follow.

2006-05-13

 

Fool's gold

When Sofia and I went shopping for wedding bands in Canada, she was shocked that the purest rings were 18kt. For her, that was unacceptable. She kept asking how many grams of gold was in each ring - the salesperson had no idea.

In Peru, you buy the gold and get your rings made - so you know how many grams of gold you have. She was trying to convince me that anything less than 24kt was shameful - nobody in Peru would buy such cheap rings as we have in Canada.

Fortunately, I prevailed and we bought our bands in Canada (I have a 10kt band and she has a 14kt band) - which I tihnk look much better than the ones her siblings have. Of course, when they heard that mine is only 10kt, you could see the disbelief in their faces that we settled for such cheap imitations.

Image grabbed from here.

2006-05-12

 

Mother update

For those who have been praying for my mother, a continued hearty thanks.

She was released from the hospital 9 days ago (previous Wednesday). She said it was good to be able to sleep in her bed again.

Her blood work continues to show that her recovery is progressing well and her new bone marrow seems to be recovering well.

Her immune system is still very weak and we will not be seeing her this Sunday because Sofia and JJ are sick and on antibiotics (I think Tania needs some too, since her initial treatment does not seem to have taken).

For those who tuned in late, my mother was diagnosed in January-2005 with non-Hodgkins lymphona. After completing her initial treatment in August-2005, the cancer recurred in January-2006 - whence she underwent a second (and final) treatment. Apparently, the chances of the cancer recurring are 3%.

2006-05-10

 

My life rates a 7.4 out of 10

Following a recent trend of insubstantive posts and borrowing from others (in this case Sassy Lady) - I have bared my soul to an electronic oracle that promised to rate my life.

It is probably more or less on par for the course for this middle aged, middle classed, middle expanding guy.

This Is My Life, Rated
Life:
7.4
Mind:
7.3
Body:
6.1
Spirit:
8
Friends/Family:
6.4
Love:
7.3
Finance:
7.6
Take the Rate My Life Quiz


My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people. —Orson Welles

2006-05-09

 

"... veneration of history ..."

I was listening to CBC radio the other day and there was an interview going on with Derek Walcott (Nobel Prize winner for Literature in 1992).

On the whole it was not terribly interesting, but he was a good speaker and kept you listening. In answering how he became a writer, he digressed a bit on how people perceive art and commented "Europe suffers from a veneration of history." I was immediately struck by it because it was such a beautiful expression "suffers from a veneration of history" or more simply "veneration of history".

It has a way of rolling around on the tongue, it feels weighty and substantial. It could launch a hundred papers or a thousand discussions. It would make a credible paperweight.

What are your thoughts? Is it a weighty thought and phrase or is it simply some academia speak generated by a random jargon generator efficiently leveraging accessibility managed trends through dynamic convergence of synergistic principles and participles? Could you take it and run with it?

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2006-05-08

 

Hunh? Hey? Whah?

Ingrid is currently canvassing for folks to help her with a perception survey of Greenpeace as part of her Master studies in International Communication Management.

I will personally vouch for Ingrid as I have known her since 1992 and she is a wonderful person .

The survey is anonymous, although it does require some demographic information.

You can jump directly to the survey here.

As an incentive to encourage people to take the survey, I am willing to describe how I met Ingrid and my initial impressions of her - if 5 or more readers of this blog take the survey (just leave a comment saying you did - I may check with Ingrid just to be sure no one is stuffing the ballot box).

NOTE: there are quite a few questions and many of them require you to fill in text boxes (i.e. you have to put on your thinking caps) - so, it takes a more than 5 minutes.

(and, if you do like me, and leave one check box unticked, it won’t accept the form – but it won’t tell you which question you didn't answer either. sigh. Mine was whether I thought Greenpeace was chic)

Image grabbed from here

2006-05-07

 

What your house says about you.

I think mine says I need to practice drawing more. Some of the pictures on this sight are awesome.

This is meme was gently borrowed from Ingrid.

"Your house tells the world that you ought to be a leader. You are a freedom lover and a strong person. You are shy and reserved. If you've drawn a cross on each of the windows, you always want to live alone. Once you have a problem, you need a friend with you. Your life is always full of changes.

You will avoid being alone and seek the company of others whenever possible. You love excitement and create it wherever you go. You see the world as it is, not as you believe it should be.

You added a flower into your drawing. The flower signifies that you long for love. It also safe to say that others don't see you as a flirt. You don't think much about yourself."


Draw your own house here.

2006-05-06

 

Twitch

As you probably know, Luigi Galvani used to entertain himself by making severed frogs legs dance. This would occur because he used to hang the legs on an iron rail and skewer the legs with a brass rod. By touching the brass to the iron, a small electric current would flow and cause the legs to twitch.

Since January of this year, I have noticed some "twitching" in my own mental processes – rather like Frankenstein's monster being energized into life. It is very refreshing.

For several years I was in a rather down mental state. It seemed as though I had been switched into a permanent "flight mode" and simply looked and grasped at anything I thought might help me escape. Fortunately, this seems to have ended about 9 months ago (not withstanding small normal ups and downs) - although, to be honest, it was more like treading water, just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Since January 2006, I have noticed that my mind seems to be filling with more ideas and that I get energized with small bursts of motivation and anticipation. Nothing sustained so far - but, then again, I have never had a sustained level of motivation - just curiosity and inquisitiveness.

Whether I will eventually manage to harness all this, I don't know – I certainly have not in the past. On the other hand, I have more motivators than in the past, prime of which is the loss of immortality.

To top this all off, this past Thursday and Friday were definitely confident feel good days. Hmmm … who knows, perhaps I shall eventually learn to plan and take charge of my own life rather than being a wandering tourist.

Image nabbed from here.

2006-05-05

 

"The butcher with the sharpest knife ... has the warmest heart."

The Prisoner, "A Change of Mind"

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2006-05-04

 

Questions

I wonder about a lot of things and questions pop into my head all the time (clearly the government is conspiring to drive me insane by beaming incessant questions into my brain via zero-point energy microwaves transmitted from cell phone towers – luckily I know how to protect myself).

Anyway, while taking a break from thinking about “Why am I different from other people?” (clearly a narcissistic exercise, but arguably better than my former line of thought “Why are other people different from me?” – which was definitely arrogant), I pondered some genealogical questions.

I will be the first to admit my understanding of familial relations is pretty weak. I really don't understand things like "great aunt thrice removed". Maybe this has to do with growing up with only my parents and two siblings and no other relatives anywhere near Canada.

So, my question is … actually, it is two questions:

Preamble: If I have children with the same woman, they are siblings. If I have children with different women, then the children are half-siblings.

That much makes sense to me.

(1) If I have children with a woman and her sister, does that result in half-siblings or 3/4 siblings?
(2) If I have children with a woman and her identical twin sister, does that result in half-siblings, 3/4 siblings, or just siblings?

From a genetic point of view, I would argue that having children with identical twins results in full siblings.

2006-05-03

 

DNA Analysis

The personal DNA test gave me some food for thought.

I do not disagree with the description Reserved Experiencer - it seems to suit me to a T. Capturing my contradictory nature of being both hungry for new experiences and cautious in approaching them.

I was surprised by my Confidence rating (80% of respondents claim more confidence than I) and Agency (88% of respondents claim more control over their lives than I).

I cannot deny there are areas I lack confidence. However, I think this is likely a reflection of inherent shyness and tendency to think first, act later (I find most people, and you are free to disagree, tend to act first, think later – which, I think, leads to regret because a post mortem analysis may indicate that the actions were inconsistent with the perceived values of the person)

As regards to believing that my life is mostly controlled by factors external to me … hmmm … I think it would be fairer to say that I have little control over factors external to me, rather than them controlling me.

I am not in the habit of blaming people, claiming that others have wronged me or cheated me. I don’t believe in conspiracies or a world controlled by Illuminati. I believe many things are random. I believe I got to where I am by a combination of consistency, competency and some luck, rather than any clear focus and purpose. In life, I am more inclined to drift rather than be purpose drive. I would argue it is less influenced by me than it should be, rather than my having less control.

Note: I am not taking this test too seriously. It was, for me, fun and gave me some food for thought

Lord Palmerdale: Are you in charge here?
The Doctor: No, but I'm full of ideas.

Doctor Who, "The Horror of Fang Rock"

2006-05-01

 
[Found this meme on Ingrid's blog, thought it might do in lieu of anything original from my brain]

Look at the list of books below. Bold the ones you've read, italicize the ones you might read, cross out the ones you won't, underline the ones on your book shelf, and place parentheses around the ones you've never even heard of.

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
(The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger)
(His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
The Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien - started it, but it was really boring
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
1984 - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling
(One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
(The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini)
(The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold)
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
(The Secret History - Donna Tartt)
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis - another truly dull book I couldn't finish
(Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides)
(Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell)
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë
(Atonement - Ian McEwan)
(The Shadow of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
(The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath)
Dune - Frank Herbert - yet another unfinishable book
(Sula by Toni Morrison)
(Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier)
(The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo)
(White Teeth by Zadie Smith)
(Gain by Richard Powers)
(Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner)
(Mulligan Stew by Gilbert Sorrentino)
(Veronica by Mary Gaitskill)
(Wake Up, Sir! by Jonathan Ames)
(The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle )
(Crescent by Diana Abu-Jaber)
(Brick Lane by Monica Ali)
(The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov)
(The Gospel according to Jesus Christ by José Saramago)
(Cathedral by Raymond Carver)

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