Monday, October 22, 2012

Becky For President

A note before we begin:

This post is a satire.

The definition of satire is:

"Wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly.  A literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn."

In other words, I'm just trying to be funny.

Everyone say it together now:

SATIRE.

Moving on.


Campaign promises... Zzzzzzzzzzzz.  A good seventy-five percent of them are about as exciting to me as a trip down the plumbing aisle at Home Depot.

I wait with baited breath for the day when Obama is finally able to strengthen the International Atomic Energy Agency, and establish IAEA verification procedures that go beyond the additional protocol to strengthen the agency's ability to detect clandestine facilities and actives!

That will be so awesome!

I'm going to throw a party if Romney is elected and has the chance to organize all of our diplomatic and assistance efforts in the greater Middle East under one official with the authority and accountability necessary to to train all our soft power resources thus ensuring that Arab Spring does not fade into a long Winter!

Riveting.

Why don't presidential candidates ever promise stuff like this:

"If I'm elected, I will ensure better regulations on peanut quality control, so that no one ever has to eat the one nasty peanut M&M in a hundred that tastes like death."

That's the kind of candidate I would be.  I've got a little list going of stuff I would change if I became leader of the free world.  Here goes:

- Immediate legislation to make all tin cans pop top.  Seriously, we live in a world with FANTASTIC technology, yet I still have to whip out a can opener with an archaic crank mechanism if I want to open a can of tomatoes.

- It would be against the law to put gooey stickers on ANYTHING.  You know what I'm talking about.  The kind that take fifteen minutes a piece to remove from that set of ten plates you just bought... and there's STILL a stupid gummy residue when you're done.  Arghhhhhh!!!!

- Death penalty for improper use of four-way stops.  At the very least, a severe flogging.

- Dippable (what do you mean that's not a word?!) ketchup thingys (also not a word) in EVERY fast food restaurant.  I eat at Chick-Fil-A for their dippable ketchup alone... OK, and the decaf DC.  And the food.  I'm hungry.

- Speaking of restaurants, Cafe Rio would be required to put in drive up windows.  The times I need Cafe Rio most, are typically the days when I've been pushed to the limits of sanity and look like a zombie from the Thriller video.  Better yet, they would be required to deliver.  Yeah, delivery's good.

- I would demand that BBC have normal television seasons.  No more of this four episodes a year thing they've got going on.  I promise to work closely with the Prime Minister on this one.

What changes would you like to see in the world?  Longer lasting flavor in Bubba-licious bubble gum?  A law that does away with county, state, and country reports in elementary schools?  I'd love to hear your ideas!  Together we can make a difference!

If you write me in for president, I promise to do whatever it takes to make all your wildest dreams come true.  

I'm Becky Halls, and I approved this blog post.

Now, one more time... repeat after me:

SATIRE.

The last time I posted something "political" people rioted in the streets. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Book Was Better

There are few things I enjoy more in life than reading a good book.

Maybe eating chocolate while reading a good book... yeah, I enjoy that more.

I love losing myself in a different world... three different worlds at the same time.  This could explain my extreme scatterbrained-ness.  I'm very rarely on our planet earth.  


I want my kids to feel the same way about reading, but that's not always easy.  Reading sometimes feels like a chore for them, something they have to do for school.  

Most parents give this lecture to their kids: "I walked five miles to and from school uphill both ways in the snow."

I give this lecture: "I would give anything to have someone force me to sit down for twenty minutes a day on a comfy couch to read."

Seriously.  I read for ten minutes at lunch, five minutes while I'm waiting for the kids to get out of school, and TMI moment of the day: one minute in the bathroom a bunch of times a day... but that's usually accompanied by someone pounding on the door shouting "Mommmmmm!!!  Can I have an otter pop???".

Anyway... there are a handful of little things I do to keep my kiddos excited about books.  It works for us, I hope it works for you too!

1. We Love The Library

We go to the library a lot. We get comfy there.  The librarians know us by name.  

When we moved to Utah County I discovered that their library system was..... I'll be nice: Less than stellar.  Consequently, I pay an $80 a year non-resident fee to use the Salt Lake County Library System ($5 more per individual card for ride-on kids). It's only a 20 minute drive to the Draper Library, and well worth the $$$.  Online renewals, never waiting more than a few days for popular books, free DVDs, friendly employees, amazing facilities... I could go on all day.


2.  Reading before school

I'm a meanie.  I make my kids get up waaaaaay before school starts.  Showered & ready for breakfast by 7:15.  After breakfast they read and practice piano.  Any extra time leftover, they can play the ipad, computer, legos... whatever.  I have found over the years that if the required reading doesn't get done before school, it doesn't get done at all.  We are just too busy after school... so many other things pulling us this way & that.  Side note: Waking your kids up early, makes them tired enough to zonk out at 8:30. Mommy free time anyone??!


3. Incentives

A few years ago my friend Natalie mentioned that she paid her kids a penny a page for books.  I thought that was about the most brilliant thing I had ever heard.  I started it right away.  My rules for getting a penny a page are this:  It has to be a chapter book at or above their reading level, and it has to be a book they haven't read yet.  My kids LOVE the penny a page reading incentive.  Trev got over $15 for reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  More important than that?  He discovered a love for reading at the same time.  I almost got choked up just now...  I don't know if it's because I'm so glad he likes reading, or if I'm just so thrilled it was Lord of the Rings that did it.  You can track their pennies a page however you want... I used to have my kids write their pages on a Post It note, but that got too messy.  I made a spreadsheet, but it was boring.  Today I designed a cute little freebie printable, 'cause I love ya :)  Download it HERE.  (Click "Actions", drop down to "View all sizes", click "Download large 1024 size".  Print!  Easy peasy :)

4.  Movie Night

Let's face it, the book is ALWAYS better...  But, the movies can be fun too. So if there's a movie version of the book my kids are reading, they get a special movie night with me when they finish the book (even if it's a school night)!  Spencer & I just watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban last week... it was awesome, and it was special one on one time that we rarely get :)


5. Be a good example

If you want your kiddos to love reading, let them see you read!  Suggest your childhood favorites to them, get excited about book releases & their movies. Show your children by example that reading isn't a chore, it's a privilege :) 


Monday, July 16, 2012

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Stuff.

I have something in common with David Tennant (insert girlish squeal here)!!!


Before we go any further: In order to get the most out of this bloggie post, you absolutely must read it in a British accent.  It was written in one, so it won't sound proper at all if you don't.  

I used to watch the old Doctor Who series with my brother Doug when we were teenagers.  Sitting in the basement of our old house watching The Doctor on a TV that didn't even have remote control... dang! (or should I say blimey!) Those are some good memories.  We watched Star Trek re-runs too... but that was mostly to make fun of Captain Kirk.

A while ago Doug told me I needed to watch the new Doctor Who series.  My sis Deb raved about it too.  I put it off forever because I was crazy busy.  

ALL THE WASTED YEARS!!!!!!!

It's official: I'm hooked.  I'm a Whovian.  I'm geekier than I've ever been before. 

- I love Doctors 9, 10, and 11 (emphasis on the 10... more girlish squealing).

- I think Daleks are hilariously evil.  Plunger arms & all.

- Do you think it's too late to re-name my two year old daughter Rose, Martha, Donna, or Amy? Trev, would you mind if I nicknamed you Rory?

- I'm outraged that TARDIS isn't accepted as a real word in "Words With Friends".

- American accents are beginning to sound foreign.

- Forget about pinning home improvement & recipe ideas on Pinterest, I'm all about the geek boards baby.

- I'm frightened to death of weeping angel statues.

Speaking of weeping angel statues, true story:

I watched the episode "Don't Blink" for the first time whilst running on my treadmill.  I was so completely freaked out when the first angel moved, I almost fell off.  If I hadn't grabbed the rail, I would've hit the wall with an unceremonious smack.  As it was, I completed my run with one hand covering my eyes (peeking through only just), with the other hand firmly gripping the rail... I'm not making this up.  Freakiest. Thing. Ever.  Don't say I didn't warn you.  Oh, and whatever you do, don't blink!

So I watched all 6 seasons of Doctor Who (rather quickly... I run 5 days a week) thinking that season 7 was already out. To my horror, I just discovered that season 7 doesn't air till Fall 2012!!!!


What the?!  If I had known that I would've watched them slower... savored them!!! Yeah, whatever...  Boromir said it best:


Told you I was a geek.  I love Lord of The Rings almost as much as Doctor Who.  Which reminds me:  My favorite Doctor Who episode is "The Shakespeare Code" in which Harry Potter is referenced a bunch of times... Freaking brilliant!!!  Here's my Geeked Out board on Pinterest... it's an oddball mix of Potter, Star Wars, LOTR, Doctor Who, Pikachu, and such.  

If you want something fun to watch, something different, something so campy it's golden... look no further.  It's fantastic.  It's brilliant.  It's magnificent.   Seasons 1-6 are streaming on Netflix.  What are you waiting for?  Allonsy!!!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Andrew Says The Darndest Things



This is Andrew.  Just about the cutest six year old on the planet.  Forget the "just about", he is the cutest.  There, I said it.
  
One of the things I love most about my Drew-drews, is his hilarious sense of humor.  The kid is funny.  So funny that most of the time I'm trying not to laugh when he's misbehaved... nothing undermines a Mommy's authority like choking back giggles. Sometimes I have to leave the room.

My boys have all been infamous for saying random goofy stuff.  I've been jotting down the funnies since my oldest was an itty bitty.  I get a good collection, and then I make a scrapbook page.  10 years later, we still get a kick out of Trevor's quote: "I'll take my training wheels off when I'm in college."  

If you've got a kiddo that keeps 'em rolling in the aisles, do yourself a HUGE favor, and write the funny stuff down!  You'll be so glad you did someday, no joke.  If you're not a scrapbooker, at least type them up & give your comedian a copy when he's older.  Better yet, read them out loud at the wedding breakfast!

Do you need a good laugh today? Of course you do.  Here are some of Andrew's gems from the last year or so.  You're welcome in advance °Ü°


Andrew Says The Darndest Things


"Mom, would you miss me if I fell down the toilet?"

Me: "Good night Andrew, I love you!"  Andrew: "Hey Mom?  Since you love me so much, can we go to Cafe Rio tomorrow?"

"If we didn't have cheeks, our food would fall out."

"I only poke Melanie when I see a slug bug.  If you hit girls the police will under arrest you cause it's against the law."

"I wish I had three arms.  That would be so cool."

"Wanna hear a joke?  Why did the Jedi kill the monkey?  Cause he hated monkeys!"

"I don't want to wear stupid idiotic pants!!!"

Me: "Andrew, get ready for church really fast!"  Andrew: "But Mom!!!  I thought you said only eight and older fast!!!"

"I wish everyday was spring break."

"I put the straw in my nose & sniffed & the milk came up!"

Me: "Look Andrew!  It's the wishing star!  What do you wish for?"
Andrew: "Pizza!!!  Pepperoni Pizza!!!"

Andrew had some toy handcuffs & said: "I want to under arrest something."

"Mom, I would marry you if I could, but Daddy already did."

"It's dangerous to read newspapers on the toilet, cause you might fall in."

In his prayers one night: "Bless all our family to get to heaven someday, and that we'll have fun at the second coming."

As we got soaked by a rainstorm on the way out to our car: "I told you we shouldn't have gone to the mall!  (big sigh) But girls just love shopping."

Me: "Andrew, you better put your scooter away so someone doesn't steal it in the night."  Andrew: "Who would want to steal that dumb old scooter?!"

Daddy let Andrew help pull the car out of the driveway.  Andrew said: "Hey Dad, maybe I can drive to church next week!"  Dad: "No, you can't drive on big roads."  Andrew: "Don't worry Dad!  I'm five!"

Me: "Andrew, have you listened to a word I've said today?"  Andrew: "No."

"Mom, when the twins die, can I have their room?"

Andrew: "Mom, can I go to a friend's house?"  Me: "No, it's Sunday."  Andrew: "Awwwww, freakin' heck."



Here's Andrew's scrapbook page from when he was a fledgling comedian:



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Meals That Won't Make You Melt

Note to self:  Publishing a braggy bloggie post about your mad meal planning skills will inevitably be followed up by an invite to teach those said skills in Relief Society.  That's how you get yourself talked into these things Becky, it's your own fault. 

Second note to self: Whatever you do, don't publish a braggy bloggie post about your mad exercising skills.  Nobody in the Relief Society wants to see that.  Let's face it, you're not one of those people that looks hot while they're exercising.  I mean, you do look hot... it just looks like you've been wandering around lost in a desert for 3 days.  That kind of hot.  But I digress...

As nervous as I am to teach a class in Relief Society (this will be only the third time in history I've taught RS... I'm the tiniest bit out of my element!) I am passionate about meal planning, and if I can help others get excited about it, well heck, I'll do it :)

My class is on Summer meal planning.  Specifically Summer meals that won't make you melt into a puddle on your kitchen floor.  I love comfort food more than life... casseroles, homemade breads, soups... but even I say goodbye to them when it's hot outside. 

Sticky Finger Salad Copycat


I'm going to assume that everyone has already read my braggy bloggie post about menu planning. Wait, what?  You haven't?Well you should!  It's been my most popular post to date... major Pinterest repins baby :)  Again with the bragging...

Anyway, instead of printing the recipes out for everyone (we'd deplete one complete rain forest with the size of our ward) I'm putting links to some of my latest favorite Summer recipes right here on my bloggie.  These meals are quick & easy to prepare, with the added bonus that I've tried every one of them... if it's here on the list, you can trust this foodie fanatic: it's good eats :)

Penne With Chicken & Asparagus - This meal is light & calorie friendly, yet it tastes amazing!  What?!
Grilled Chicken With Lemon Basil Pasta - This is a Pioneer Woman recipe, need I say more?
Easy BBQ Ribs - Cooks all day in the crockie. Recipe says to broil at the end... that heats up the kitchen too much. I put 'em on the grill... you're gonna love these :)
Cafe Rio Copycat - Recipes for Cafe Rio's sweet pork, chicken, and beef... plus all the fixins!
Chili's Monterrey Chicken - This is what I order at Chili's every time.  Now I make it at home!  It's every bit as good as the restaurant, and faster than driving over there. You'll love me for sharing this one!
Grilled Chicken & Pineapple Quesadillas - Another recipe from The Pioneer Woman... oh man, these are good... and soooo easy!
Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches - Sounds weird, right?  Trust me, it's good :)  Serve up on Costco dinner rolls & top with with honey mustard and coleslaw... tastes amazing & it's zero effort!
Winger's Sticky Finger Salad - This is my favorite copycat hands down.  You won't believe how easy it is!  Make the sticky fingers as directed.  Grab a bagged salad, top with chopped sticky fingers, ranch dressing, shredded cheddar, cherry tomatoes & Craisins.  It's heaven on a plate. Or a bowl.  Whichever holds the MOST.
Simple French Dip Subs - Super tasty, especially with melted swiss.
Classic Potato Salad - Ok, so I know this is a side, but I've been known to eat enough of it to count it as a full meal.  I also know it's blasphemy to make a potato salad that's not your Mom's recipe, but even she would like this one better ;)

The above are just a few of the many recipes I enjoy cooking in the Summertime... here is another quick list of other yummy Summer meals that I don't have links for.  These are tried & true recipes from friends & family... they come from good old fashioned cookbooks.  I'm sure you all have versions of these meals, but if you don't, feel free to message me on the comment board & I'll gladly email you my recipe :)

Chicken Tacos
Sloppy Joes
Tin Foil Dinners (Meat & Taters, or Southwestern Chicken)
Broiled Chicken Subs
Hawaiian Haystacks
Taco Salad
Spicy Chicken Quesadillas
Marinaded Chicken or Steak (ask me for my marinade "recipe"... it's the best!)
Broccoli Salad
Pasta Fruit Salad
Rainbow Rotini Pasta Salad
Chicken Salad on Croissants
Crock Pot Baked Potatoes
BBQ Burgers & Hot Dogs (Not really a recipe, but something we eat all Summer long!)

So there you have it... Move over comfort food.  We'll see you in September!  Maybe I'll post links to all my favorite Paula Deen-ish calorie laden recipes in the Fall.  Until then, enjoy easy breezy Summer cooking! Just don't brag about it on your blog, you've been warned ;) 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Cannot Live Without Books

Thomas Jefferson said: "I cannot live without books!"

At least I think he said it.  The internet never lies.  Ask Abraham Lincoln.


I have trust issues.  That and I'm very easily distracted... what were we on about?

Books.  Like TJ, I can't live without 'em.  I have an irrational fear that I might someday run out of good books to read... I really do!  There are only so many classics... my heart hurts just thinking about it.

My love of reading started as a little tike.  Mom took us to the library all the time... I can remember grabbing stacks of Beatrix Potter books.  They were my favorite!  Especially the one where the mice break into the doll's house... I stared at those pages with absolute wonder.  I think that book is one of the reasons I have an insane desire to make miniature doll houses someday. 

I couldn't get enough of Beverly Cleary, Laura Ingalls Wilder, L. Frank Baum... I could go on all day. 

I checked out a book from Maurice Sendak every time... Those illustrations!  Those simple, yet powerful stories!  He was one of the greats.  Rest in peace.

One day I was at the WJHS library scrounging around for something to read.  A book with what I thought had an AMAZINGLY good title popped out at me: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.  I grabbed it... had no idea what it was about.  I figured with a title that good, how could I go wrong?  I thought I loved reading before that day.  Not. Even. Close.  That was a defining moment for me.  Since that day, I have never been without a book. Ever.  I always have a book ready to go for when I finish the one I'm currently reading.  I cannot live a day without books!!!  I read three books at a time.  Currently reading: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Cold Comfort Farm, and The Buccaneers.

I admit to being a classic's snob.  Nothing in the world like a good Dickens.  Nothing.  I do enjoy contemporary novels once in a while (Hello World's biggest Harry Potter Fan!), I just like the oldies soooooo much more.

My top three favorite books of all time:

1. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Changed. My. Life.  Don't take my word for it... read it!

2. War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Scriptures aside, War & Peace is the most spiritually uplifting book I've ever read in my entire life.  Read it, you'll thank me and Tolstoy.

3. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

I'm sitting here trying to put into words why I love this book so much, but I can't.  I just love it.  Like David Copperfield, it simply changed my life.  Taught me how to be a better person.


Yep, that's Mrs. Potts & Chip sitting next to my War & Peace collection.  Beauty & the Beast is my favorite movie of all time... But that's a bloggie post for another day :)

My heck & sakes alive, this is turning out to be a lengthy post.  I'm not even remotely surprised.  So anyway... I thought I'd do ya a solid & post my book list.  These are all the books I've read.  Well, most of 'em... I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch, and this doesn't include all the books I read as an iddy bitty (those books don't make it on the list till I give them a re-read as an adult) but it's a pretty decent list, and I figure it might help you figure out what you want to read next.

Now do me a solid:  Look over my list.  If there is a book missing that you simply can't BELIEVE I've not read yet, please tell me!  A friend noticed a couple years ago that I hadn't read Gone With The Wind... I was so ashamed.  

As a cute little girl named Matilda once said, "I'm wondering what to read next...."

Beckys Book List
(**Denotes my Favorites)
Agatha Christie- And Then There Were None
Aldous Huxley- Brave New World
Alexandre Dumas-The Count of Monte Cristo **
Alexandre Dumas- The Three Musketeers
Anne Radcliffe- The Mysteries of Udolpho
Bram Stoker- Dracula
Brandon Mull- Fablehaven Series
     Fablehaven
     Rise of the Evening Star
     Grip of the Shadow Plague
     Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary
     Keys to the Demon Prison
C.S. Lewis- The Chronicles of Narnia **
     The Magicians Nephew (Book 1)
   The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe (Book 2)
     The Horse and His Boy (Book 3)
     Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia (Book 4)
   The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Book 5)
   The Silver Chair (Book 6)
     The Last Battle (Book 7)
C.S. Lewis-Mere Christianity ** 
C.S. Lewis-The Screwtape Letters **
Candace Thomas- The Vivatera**
Candace Thomas- The Conjectrix**
Charles Dickens- A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens- A Tale of Two Cities **
Charles Dickens- Barnaby Rudge
Charles Dickens- Bleak House **
Charles Dickens- David Copperfield **
Charles Dickens- Dombey and Son **
Charles Dickens- Great Expectations **
Charles Dickens- Hard Times For Our Times
Charles Dickens- Little Dorrit**
Charles Dickens- Martin Chuzzlewit
Charles Dickens- Nicholas Nickleby **
Charles Dickens- Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens- Our Mutual Friend**
Charles Dickens- The Life of Our Lord
Charles Dickens- The Mystery of Edwin Drood**
Charles Dickens- The Old Curiosity Shop
Charles Dickens-The Pickwick Papers** 
Charlotte Bronte- Jane Eyre **
Charlotte Bronte- Vilette
Clive Cussler- Atlantis Found
Dan Brown- Angels & Demons
Dan Brown- The Da Vinci Code
Dan Brown- The Lost Symbol
Daphne Du‘Maurier- House on the Strand
Daphne DuMaurier- Jamaica Inn **
Daphne DuMaurier- Rebecca **
Daphne DuMaurier- Tales of the Macabre
Daphne DuMaurier- Frenchmans Creek
Daphne DuMaurier- Hungry Hill
Daphne DuMaurier- The Kings General
Daphne DuMaurier- The Scapegoat
Daphne DuMaurier- The Glass Blowers
Daphne DuMaurier- The Flight of the Falcon
Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson- Peter and the Starcatchers Series
     Peter and the Starcatchers
     Peter and the Shadowthieves
Douglas Adams- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy**
Elizabeth Gaskell- North and South
Elizabeth Gaskell- Wives & Daughters
E.M. Forster- A Room With a View
E.M. Forster- Howards End 
Edgar Allen Poe- Tales
Edith Wharton- Ethan Frome
Edith Wharton- The Age of Innocence
Emily Bronte- Wuthering Heights **
Emma Orczy- The Scarlet Pimpernel **
Ernest Hemmingway- A Farewell to Arms
Ernest Hemmingway- The Old Man and the Sea
Frances Hodgson Burnett- The Secret Garden
F. Scott Fitzgerald- The Great Gatsby
Fyodor Dostoevsky- Crime and Punishment
Gaston Leroux- The Phantom of the Opera
George Elliot- Daniel Derona
George Elliot- Middlemarch
George Kaufman- You Can’t Take it With You **
George Orwell- Animal Farm
George Shaw Bernard- Pygmalion
Gerald Lund- The Kingdom and the Crown Trilogy
  Fishers of Men (Book 1)
     Come Unto Me (Book 2)
Behold the Man (Book 3)
Gerald Lund- The Work and the Glory Series
  Pillar of Light (Book 1)
     Like a Fire is Burning (Book 2)
Truth Will Prevail (Book 3)
Thy Gold to Refine (Book 4)
     A Season of Joy (Book 5)
Praise to the Man (Book 6)
No Unhallowed Hand (Book 7) 
     So Great a Cause  (Book 8)
H.G. Wells- The Invisible Man
H.G. Wells- The Time Machine
H.G. Wells- War of the Worlds **
H.G. Wells- Complete Short Stories
H.G. Wells- The Island of Doctor Moreau
Harper Lee- To Kill a Mockingbird **
J.R.R. Tolkien- Lord of the Rings **
     The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1) 
     The Two Towers (Book 2) 
     The Return of the King (Book 3) 
J.R.R. Tolkien- The Hobbit **
Jack London- The Call of the Wild
Jack London- White Fang
Jack Weyland- Charly 
Jack Weyland- Sam
Jane Austin- Emma **
Jane Austin- Lady Susan
Jane Austin- Mansfield Park **
Jane Austin- Northanger Abbey
Jane Austin- Persuasion **
Jane Austin- Pride and Prejudice **
Jane Austin- Sense and Sensibility ** 
JK Rowling- The Harry Potter Series ** 
  Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone (Book 1)
     Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) 
     Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) 
     Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) 
     Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5)
     Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Book 6)
     Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)
JK Rowling- Tales of Beedle the Bard **
John Knowles- A Separate Peace
John Steinbeck- East of Eden
John Steinbeck- Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck- The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck- The Pearl
Juanita Brooks- John D. Lee Biography **
Juanita Brooks- The Diaries of John D. Lee
Lemony Snicket- A Series of Unfortunate Events
  The Bad Beginning
     The Reptile Room
     The Wide Window
     The Miserable Mill
     The Austere Academy
     The Ersatz Elevator
     The Vile Village
     The Hostile Hospital
     The Carnivorous Carnival
     The Slippery Slope
     The Grim Grotto
     The Penultimate Peril
     The End
Leo Tolstoy- Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy- War and Peace **
Lewis Carroll- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll- Through the Looking Glass, And What Alice Found There
Lloyd Alexander- The Chronicles of Prydain **  
  The Book of Three (Book 1)
     The Black Cauldron (Book 2)
     The Castle of Llyr (Book 3)
   Taran Wanderer (Book 4)
   The High King (Book 5)
Louisa May Alcott- Little Women
Lucy Maud Montgomery- Anne of Green Gables Series
     Anne of Avonlea
     Anne of Green Gables
     Anne of the Island
     Annes House of Dreams 
Margaret Mitchell- Gone With The Wind**
Mark Twain- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn**
Mark Twain- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer**
Markus Zusak- The Book Thief**
Mary Ann Shafer/Annie Barrows- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society**
Mary Shelly- Frankenstein
Mary Stewart- My Brother Michael
Mary Stewart- Madame Will You Talk
Mary Stewart- Nine Coaches Waiting
Mary Stewart- The Ivy Tree
Mary Stewart- This Rough Magic
Mary Stewart- The Gabriel Hounds
Mary Stewart- The Moon Spinners
Mary Stewart- Rose Cottage
Mary Stewart- The Merlin Trilogy **
  The Crystal Cave (Book 1) 
     Hollow Hills (Book 2) 
     Last Enchantment (Book 3) 
     The Wicked Day (Sequel to Trilogy) 
     The Prince and the Pilgrim (Sequel to Trilogy)
Mary Stewart- Wildfire at Midnight
M. Russell Ballard- Counseling With our Councils**
Nathaniel Hawthorne- The Scarlet Letter **
Orson Scott Card- Ender’s Game
Orson Scott Card- Speaker for the Dead
Ray Bradbury- Dandelion Wine **
Ray Bradbury- Something Wicked this Way Comes **
Ray Bradbury- The Illustrated Man
Rick Riordan- Percy Jackson and The Olympians**
     The Lightening Thief
     The Sea of Monsters
     The Titan’s Curse
     The Battle of the Labyrinth
     The Last Olympian
Roald Dahl- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory**
Roald Dahl- Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
Roald Dahl- Danny the Champion of the World **
Roald Dahl- James and the Giant Peach
Roald Dahl- Matilda
Roald Dahl- The BFG
Roald Dahl- The Twits
Robert Louis Stevenson- Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Shannon Hale- Austenland
Shannon Hale- The Goose Girl
Stephenie Meyer-Twilight
Stephenie Meyer- New Moon
Stephenie Meyer- Eclipse
Stephenie Meyer- Breaking Dawn
Stephenie Meyer – The Host
Suzanne Collins- The Hunger Games **
Suzanne Collins- Catching Fire **
Suzanne Collins- Mockingjay **
Terry Brooks- Magic Kingdom of Landover
  Magic Kingdom for Sale: Sold! (Book 1)
The Black Unicorn (Book 2)
Wizard at Large (Book 3)
Tangle Box (Book 4)
Witches Brew (Book 5)
Terry Brooks- The Shannara Series **
     First King of Shannara (Prequel)
     The Sword of Shannara (Shannara Book 1)
     The Elfstones of Shannara (Shannara Book 2)
     The Wishsong of Shannara (Shannara Book 3)
     The Scions of Shannara (Heritage Book 1) 
     The Druid of Shannara (Heritage Book 2)
     The Elf Queen of Shannara (Heritage Book 3)
     The Talismans of Shannara (Heritage Book 4)
     Isle Witch (Voyage of the Jeryl Shannara Book 1)
     Antrax (Voyage of the Jeryl Shannara Book 2)
   Morgwar (Voyage of the Jeryl Shannara Book 3)
     Jarka Ruus (High Druid of Shannara Book 1)
     Tanequil  (High Druid of Shannara Book 2)
     Straken (High Druid of Shannara Book 3)
Terry Brooks- Word and the Void Series
     Running with the Demon (Book 1)
     Knight of the Word (Book 2)
     Angel Fire East (Book 3)
Terry Brooks- Genesis of Shannara Series
  Armageddon’s Children (Book 1)
     The Elves of Cintra (Book 2)
     The Gypsy Morph (Book 3)
Terry Goodkind- Wizard’s First Rule
Thomas Hardy- Far From the Madding Crowd
Thomas Hardy- Tess of the DUrbervilles
Thomas Hardy- The Mayor of Casterbridge 
Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black- The Spiderwick Chronicles
  Book One: The Field Guide
Book Two: The Seeing Stone
Book Three: Lucinda’s Secret
Book Four: The Ironwood Tree 
     Book Five: The Wrath of Mulgarath
Victor Hugo- Les Miserables **
Victor Hugo- The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
Wilkie Collins- The Moonstone **
Wilkie Collins- The Woman in White **
William Golding- Lord of the Flies
William Goldman- Princess Bride **
William Makepeace Thackeray- Vanity Fair
William Shakespeare- A Midsummer’s Night Dream**
William Shakespeare- Hamlet **
William Shakespeare- Macbeth
William Shakespeare- Much Ado About Nothing**
William Shakespeare- Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare- The Comedy of Errors**
William Shakespeare – The Merry Wives of Windsor**
William Shakespeare- The Sonnets
William Shakespeare- The Taming of the Shrew
William Shakespeare- The Tempest**
William Shakespeare- Twelfth Night