Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Peace on Earth! Have a wonderful day with your friends and family. Praise God our Heavenly King.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Read In Order to Make Room for Other Books

To a Very-Special Friend (Exley Gifts Books, 1997). Short, sweet.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success... (New World Library, 1994). People rave about Depak Chopra, but I just don't see it. This one did not speak to me. If it works for him, then great.

JonBenet: Inside the Murder Investigation (St. Martin's Press, 2000). Not sure what to say about this one. The failures of this particular investigation are good examples of a)why inexperienced officers should not be allowed at murder scenes; b) why written policy of how to investigate doesn't matter if it isn't followed; c) ineffective communication between officers and a DA office; d) how important intuition is to investigation, but that it doesn't mean anything if there isn't evidence to make the case; and e) politics can overcome investigations.

The Little Ice Age by Brian Fagan was really interesting. One of the many things he discusses is the influence of weather on art. It's almost a footnote to the book as a whole, but I found it very interesting to posit that you can measure climate changes by changes in art content, such as the number of winter scenes in certain centuries or the types of clouds that are being painted. We're keeping this one because Bill wants to read it too. It's very well written and though I didn't always agree with all of Fagan's conclusions, I did find it difficult to put this one down.

I also finished Jan Dargatz, 52 Simple Ways.... Of all the Christmas books of this ilk, it's the most helpful one I've read; though, it was repetitive in instances. Every Chapter was supposed to have a different Christmas related suggestion, but, at times, it seemed like suggestions would come in one chapter and then have their own heading later on, having already been mentioned under a different chapter heading. I enjoyed it though and actually took down some notes in my journal on suggestions for Christmas questions to contemplate in Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. I also took down some of the craft/packaging suggestions. For example, Dargatz recommended taking the fronts of of last year's Christmas cards and sending them as postcards in order to save money and paper. That seems pretty cute and clever. I'd recommend borrowing it from the local library, as I am glad I read it, but we don't need to own a copy.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I can't begin to explain how much I enjoyed The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. It was marvelous. If you love Rebecca or Jane Eyre, then please pick up The Thirteenth Tale. The only disappointing thing is that the author has published no other books (at least that I can find). It was a wonderful read. "Do you intend to tell me the truth?" one of its characters asks. Is that really the point of a good story?

It was mesmerizing. Finally, a book written by someone who clearly adores books and the written word. The story is dark, but not humorless. I certainly wont be putting this one up to trade on I loved it. It had everything that a novel should: it had a good point; it was superbly written; and I can't stop comparing other books to it. I finished it weeks ago, reading at least four other books since then and none of them compare.

Having finished The Haunting by Shirley Jackson shortly after the The Thirteenth Tale, it was a bit of a disappointment. I've enjoyed some of her others stories much more. It wasn't nearly as haunting as I had expected. The old movie was more interesting to me than the book, and don't even bother watching the remake. I'd probably eat blood pudding again rather than watch the remake, and that ended with me gagging, so you can imagine how good the movie was. Also, I don't think I've ever read such a short book with so many semicolons in it; perhaps, the driving test I took when I was sixteen compares.

Everyone raves about Jodi Picoult. She's definitely an accomplished writer, very adept at switching perspectives between characters. She has an identifiable style, but I was left with a who cares kind of feeling when I finished in Plain Truth. It might have been me. That's why I'm going to try one of her other ones.

The Last Duel by Eric Jager was fun. It was sort of like a short survey book of 14th century French culture told by through the rivalry between the Carrouges and the Gris. I was entertained by it, turning pages to see what happened to its characters. It certainly served to illustrate how brutal life can be. It provided some interesting information about what French 14th century culture was like, particularly for women. I found it to be informative, but I wanted more insights. The book wasn't without insights, but it was almost too short; I yearned for more from the author in the way of conclusions. Sometimes after watching a particular movie or book, I sit and think: Damn it. I wish someone else had made this or someone else had written this. I did not think that after finishing The Last Duel, but I did wish that Eric Jager had done something more with the piece. It was very good and I enjoyed it, but I felt like it was missing something--something that Jager could have given it.

Now, Randy Pausch certainly gave his all to the Last Lecture. Much has been written about this. Websites all over the internet have his actual lecture posted in print and pictures. I wont go into the details of it here, because there's no reason to describe it where others have done so quite well. I'll simply say that my mother-in-law left the book here after there last trip in September. She seemed to think it was ok but not wonderful. I liked it. It made me laugh aloud; he preserved who he was in life while confronting horrible circumstances and the scariest thing of all: death. I found it pretty inspirational and I'm going to loan it to my Dad because I think he'll like it too. From it, I took this sound advice...Dream, help others dream, and enjoy the journey of making your dreams and others' dreams come true, because your journey may be both longer and shorter than you think.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Eats, Shoots & Leaves

Eats, Shoots & Leaves was hilarious. Portions of it were repetitive, but, if you've ever looked at a sign like "Shcool" or "Buckle Up/The Life You Save Could be Your Own Self" and thought "What the #*(RY@#*($?," then this is for you. It revived in me a desire to read punctuation and grammar manuals. Yes, I know they have doctors for this sort of thing.

Anyway, I've been tagged with a book meme, but it isn't an easy one. Posting my answers will have to wait for tomorrow.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

New Booty

My mother recently recommended that I read Child of the Sea by Elizabeth Goudge, then very shortly thereafter Kate wrote highly of Goudge. Trying to find any works by Goudge was like trying to buy fine wine in Burger King--nothing, absolutely nothing of hers was in stock/print at B&N. It was disappointing, but I'll continue to look elsewhere. I was able to make the following acquisitions:

  • Kate Atkinson, Case Histories (Back Bay Books, 2005). Thriller/Family Saga.

  • Thomas Gallagher, Paddy's Lament (Harcourt Brace, 1987). I was in a history mood. Who doesn't like a little Irish with their History?

  • Jodi Picoult, Plain Truth (Washington Square Press, 2007). Picoult seems to be extremely prolific, so I thought I'd give one a try.

  • Justin Pollard and Howard Reid, The Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern World (Penguin, 2007). Who doesn't like Dido?

  • Eric Jager, The Last Duel (Broadway, 2005). It was almost difficult to tell whether this should be in the history or the fiction section of the store.

  • Sheridan Hay, The Secret of Lost Things (Anchor Books, 2008). I like novels about books/bookstores and mysteries. This one appears to have received some what mixed reviews, but I'll just have to make up my own mind.

  • Thomas Sowell, Affirmative Action Around the World (Yale University Press, 2005). Sowell is a brilliant economist and sociologist. I can't wait to read this one or Race and Culture.

  • Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots, & Leaves (Gotham, 2006). This book looks absolutely hilarious.

  • Thomas C. Foster, How to Read Novels Like a Professor (Harper Paperbacks, 2008). I miss St. John's.

  • Brian Fagan, The Little Ice Age:How Climate Made History, 1300-1850 (Basic Books, 2001). Many actually think we are headed to another Ice Age. I thought I should bone up. Yes, that was meant to be taken in jest, at least partially.

  • Norman F. Cantor, Antiquity (Harper Perennial, 2004). I'm not sure, given its length, that it can meaningfully cover as much history as it purports to cover, but it looked like a light survey.

  • Joan Aiken, The Watson's and Emma Watson: Jane Austen's Uncompleted Novel By Joan Aiken (Sourcebooks Landmark, 2008). Don't mess with Jane unless you're up to the task. I like Aiken, but will withhold final approval for now.

  • Joan Aiken, Jane Fairfax: The Secret Story of the Second Heroine in Jane Austen's Emma (St. Martin's Griffin, 1997). I love Austen, so I just can't help myself when I spot a possibly good spin off. It strikes fear into my heart that there appears to have been a recent proliferation of Austen spin offs that may fall very short of the mark.

  • Amy Shuen, Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide (O'Reilly Media, Inc., 2008). This one is my husband's pick.

  • Tracy Chevalier, The Lady and the Unicorn (Plume, 2004). Art, history, fiction. What more can a woman ask for?

  • Sarah Waters, Fingersmith (Riverhead Trade, 2002). Some people have drawn comparisons between this book and the Usual Suspects. Yippee!

  • Rebecca Stott, Ghostwalk (Spiegel & Grau, 2008). Supernatural thriller.

  • Sally Beauman, Rebecca's Tale (Harper Paperback, 2007). I'll reread Rebecca before reading this one.

  • Ah. Now I get to sit down and read them. I'm thoroughly enjoying Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale at this time.

    Sunday, July 06, 2008

    Good Reads

    Happy Fourth!

    I recently finished Tom Robbins' Jitterbug Perfume, Penelope Fitzgerald's Bookshop, Kevin Dwyer and Jure Fiorillo's True Stories of Law and Order: Special Victim's Unit, and Angela Rixon's The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cat Breeds.

    Jitterbug was titillating. Never having read any of Robbins books before I have to admit I have not been a fan of the contemporary novel. Characters in them often seem bored with themselves and I'm left wondering: "If your character is bored with himself and you sound bored with your character, why should I be interested?" This novel, though, is different. Personally, portions of it were an affront to my sense of morality; yet, I realized "Erleichda, Erleichda" was meant for me too. You'll have to read the book to know what that means. (Robbins doesn't appear to be a fan of Christianity). I am; however, one can't fail to appreciate the completeness of what Robbins creates. It's nice to read something with an actual point of view. His characters operate outside the bounds of morality--that's the point. "The universe does not have laws. It has habits. And habits can be broken." There could be too much of a good thing in reading his novels one after the other, but I will return to Robbins in due time.

    I'm not sure that I liked The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald. The story feels like it's over before it has begun. The characters are considerately crafted, but what a downer. She artfully recreates the backbiting and constant gossip of a small town where the inhabitants attempt to keep things the same or control all things at all costs. How dare anyone attempt to elevate themselves without their permission? It was very well-written, but I can't say it was enjoyable to read about people behaving horribly.

    True Stories was a quick read. Can't say it was incredibly good or bad. It was what it purported to be: summaries of the real crimes that inspired SVU episodes. This one was a gift from my mother in law. Given what I do, I can't say I'm surprised that she thought of me when she came across the book. Plus, we do share a love of SVU and old Law and Order episodes. The book doesn't really provide any substantial insights, but simply provides easy-to-read, brief summaries of the criminals and their crimes.

    Angela Rixon's book was quick and cute. Love the kitties.

    Sunday, June 29, 2008

    Short Post

    While catching up on work and spending time with friends and family over the last few days, I've finished a Tom Robbins book and am in the process of finishing a Penelope Fitzgerald book. Posts about them shall follow later this week. I wish we had something other than Barnes and Noble in town--maybe a Borders. I truly miss the Tattered Cover (Denver). This next weekend we'll try to do some second-hand book shopping or make it to the Green Valley Book Fair. Nonetheless, here are some of our newest acquisitions from the Barnes:

  • John Williams, Augustus (First Vintage, 2004). Who doesn't miss the HBO series' Rome.

  • Tom Robbins, Wild Ducks Flying Backward (Random House, Inc., 2005). I think I liked Jitterbug Perfume, probably. I am, at the very least, interested.

  • Patricia Hampl, Blue Arabesque: A Search for the Sublime (Harcourt Books, 2006). I'm not fond of art books without pictures. Yes, I know how that sounds. Would you find reading a cookbook without ever trying its recipes fulfilling? This one looks very interesting though, so we'll give it a try.

  • Angela Rixon, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cat Breeds (Wellfleet Press, 2008). This one was a gift from my Mom. It probably doesn't have much new information in it compared with books on cats that we already possess, but it has some good skeletal drawings and pictures that should help with the Life with Cats series that my husband is working on.
  • Saturday, May 03, 2008


    Newest acquisitions:

  • Steven Pressfield, Gates of Fire (Bantam Book, 1998). One of my favorite books (if not my favorite book) is Thucydides' History of the Pelopennesian War. His description of the Battle of Thermopylae is epic, memorable, and, to this day, brings me to tears. I look forward to this one.

  • Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford (Penguin Books, 2005). Looks warm, peaceful. Can't beat something they bother to make a BBC version of with Judi Dench starring.

  • Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale (Simon & Schuster, 2006). One of the reviews on the back compares the book to Jane Eyre and Rebecca. I'll take eerie and fascinating any day.

  • Jon Spence, Becoming Jane Austen (MJF, 2003). Apparently the movie Becoming Jane Austen, used this book and it's author as a consultant in the course of making its movie. I, of course, love all things Jane Austen.

  • Marilynne Robinson, Gilead (Picador, 2004). It purports to reveal the human condition. Keep your fingers crossed.

  • Mark Helprin, Freddy and Fredericka (Penguin Press, 2005). This one comes highly recommended by Carly. Satire and parody suck if they aren't well executed. Carly assures me that this book does both justly.

  • Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, Steel (Norton, 1999). This one makes it on to many must-read lists.

  • Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reformation (Penguin Books, 2003). History and religion--Oh my.

  • Patrick Taylor, An Irish Country Doctor (Forge, 2004). The title says it all.
  • Wednesday, April 30, 2008

    Unread LibraryThing Meme

    Consider yourself tagged if you are reading this. When you post your list on your blog, please track back to mine so that I can read your lists too.

    The rules:
    Bold what you have read, italicize books you’ve started but couldn’t finish, and strike through books you hated. Add an asterisk* to those you’ve read more than once. Underline those on your tbr list.

    Jonathan Strange & M. Norrell
    Anna Karenina
    Crime and Punishment*
    One hundred years of solitude
    Wuthering Heights*
    The Silmarillion
    Life of Pi: a novel
    The Name of the Rose
    Don Quixote
    Moby Dick*
    Madame Bovary*
    The Odyssey*
    Pride and Prejudice*
    Jane Eyre*
    A Tale of Two Cities
    The Brothers Karamazov*
    Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies? I think I've read this but am not entirely sure
    War and Peace*
    Vanity Fair
    The Time Traveller’s Wife
    The Iliad*
    The Blind Assassin
    The Kite Runner
    Mrs. Dalloway
    Great Expectations
    American Gods
    A heartbreaking work of staggering genius
    Atlas shrugged
    Reading Lolita in Tehran
    Memoirs of a Geisha
    Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
    The Canterbury tales*
    The Historian
    A portrait of the artist as a young man*
    Love in the time of cholera
    Brave new world
    The Fountainhead*
    Foucault’s Pendulum
    The Count of Monte Cristo I have read this, but it was so long ago that I can't count it.
    A clockwork orange
    Anansi Boys
    The Once and Future King
    The Grapes of Wrath
    The Poisonwood Bible
    Angels & Demons
    The Inferno*
    The Satanic Verses
    Sense and sensibility
    The Picture of Dorian Gray*
    Mansfield Park*
    One flew over the cuckoo’s nest
    To the Lighthouse*
    Tess of the D’Urbervilles
    Oliver TwistA long time ago.
    Gulliver’s Travels*
    Les misérables
    The Corrections
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
    The curious incident of the dog in the night-time
    The Prince*
    The Sound and the Fury
    Angela’s Ashes
    The God of Small Things
    A people’s history of the United States : 1492-present
    A confederacy of dunces
    A Short History of Nearly Everything
    DublinersThe unbearable lightness of being
    The Scarlet Letter*
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves
    The mists of Avalon
    Oryx and Crake : a novel
    Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
    Cloud Atlas
    The Confusion
    Northanger Abbey
    The Catcher in the Rye*. I didn't really like it.
    On the Road
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
    The Aeneid*
    Watership Down*
    Gravity’s Rainbow
    The Hobbit*
    In Cold Blood
    White teeth
    Treasure Island
    David Copperfield
    The Three Musketeers

    Saturday, April 26, 2008


    I read--ok, skimmed--a book while waiting for my husband to finish up at work, and it occurred to me: Thank God for books like these. Else, what would we use as kindling? I am sure that someone somewhere will learn to appreciate this book. It's one that I've put on Book Mooch--have at. Only because it's one that I am trying to off load will I spare naming it here.

    Gracian's The Art of Worldly of Wisdom was interesting. I read it (along with the one above) while getting a pedicure and waiting for my husband. It definitely has some gems in it. For example, "...Virtue alone is sufficient unto itself: and it, only, makes a man worth loving life, and in death, remembering."

    So, today the fam' spent a day shopping, and, I, as a result, have some new acquisitions:

  • Dave Barry, Dave Barry's Greatest Hits (Ballantine Books, 1988). With my job, I could use some laughs.

  • Steve Martin, Born Standing Up (Scribner, 2007). I think he wrote this a long time ago, but I am not sure. This was one of Bill's picks.

  • Dava Sobel, Longitude (Walker and Company, 2005). If Patrick O'Brian and William F. Buckley like it, then that's good enough for me.

  • Vanora Bennett, Potrait of an Unknown Woman (Harper, 2007). Historical Fiction has been on my mind recently. Henry VIII's court and the English in general around that time interest me. Note to authors: if you put Sir Thomas More on the covers to your books, I'm at least 50% more likely to buy it than not.

  • David Liss, A Conspiracy of Paper (Ballantine Books, 2001). Historical thriller. Could be horrible. Looked worthy. We shall see.

  • Martha Cooley, The Archivist (Back Bay, 1999). It's described in one review as valuable and rare. I've liked Byatt's spin on literary detective stories, so I thought I'd try this one.

  • Mortimer J. Adler, Aristotle for Everybody (Touchstone, 1997). Thank God for used bookstores.

  • Kelly Jones, The Seventh Unicorn (Berkley, 2005). Art detective story.

  • Edwin Thomas, The Blighted Cliffs (St. Martin's Press, 2005). Naval adventure.

  • Matthew Pearl, The Poe Shadow (Random House, 2007). "Thick with intrigue." We shall see.

  • Charmaine Craig, The Good Men (Riverhead Books, 2002). A historical novel about the Cathar Rebellion. It's probably a lot about the failures of the Catholic Church. I hope it does more than harp on those failures and is, instead, informative about the Cathars.

  • John Irving, The Cider House Rules (Ballantine Book, 1993). Let's hope it's as good as they say it is.

  • Alison Jenkins, The Antique Sampler Set (Reader's Digest, 2007). Looks like some good crossstich projects may be in my near future.

  • Caleb Carr, The Italian Secretary (Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2005). I loved the Alienist, which I read nearly 10 years ago; so, keep your fingers crossed, please (I know I will).

  • Ken Follett, The Pillars of the Earth (New American Library, 2007). Oprah and I don't generally overlap in our reading selections. I guess I can make one exception.

  • Michael Shaara, The Killer Angels (Ballantine Books, 2007). One of my favorite (most inspiring) speeches ever is in this book. At some point, I'll post about it.
  • Thursday, April 24, 2008


    Well, it took much longer than expected, but, finally, the vast majority of our books has been entered into LibraryThing (or enough that I feel comfortable changing from a private to a public setting). I'm not going to add all of our music scores, as they would all have to be hand entered and I simply don't have the patience for that. Our library is under Voracious_Reader should anyone be looking for it--see the side bar as well for a direct link to our library. LibraryThing really is terrific for keeping track...especially at 1,665 and counting.

    Monday, April 14, 2008

    Not Bad

    I read She said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall by Misty Bernall yesterday. Cassie's mother's expresses that her daughter's death matters more or at least as much as what lead to her answer of "Yes" at the hands of the Columbine shooters, than that she simply said "Yes."

    She makes the case that without faith and parents that happened to find out that their child was in trouble, Cassie could have had a very different, but equally infamous life. The story is of what was--as well as what could have been--for a deeply troubled, but incredibly determined teen.

    It is the power of a mother's love that hopes all things, that brings us Cassie's story. Her mother asks "why my daughter?" "My death is not my own, but yours, and its significance depends on what you do with it" she quotes from a Hebrew prayer service for fallen soldiers. What significance does her daughter's death have?

    Whether or not the exchange between the gunman and Cassie actually took place, which is apparently debatable, doesn't really matter. We want that exchange to have happened. She's a heroine. For evil to have looked into the face of good, and for good, even in the face of death, to have triumphed is uplifting. Faith does not come easily for Cassie, nor most of us. Yet, in the end, when it was really all that mattered, it did come. She was not alone, and she did not doubt. So, it isn't the truth of the exchange that matters. The significance is the desire within us to answer "Yes."

    Sunday, April 13, 2008

    Much News

    I always feel that so much time elapses between posts that I can hardly decide what to write each time. I wont discuss work, as I have done nothing but for a month. In terms of books, our library was recently finished, and I am still busy cataloging all the books. It's not easy, but it is a lot of fun.

    On a related note, one of my dearest friends has mentioned being a devoted Book mooch member and I have finally joined as well. It's almost cult-like. I find myself checking to see when my friends last longed onto the site. Creepy? Perhaps. It really is a lot of fun though. There will be a hyperlink or a cloud on the left-hand-side of this blog to get to the site. If you love books, don't always want to keep what you've read, you have access to the Internet and the post office, then this is perfect for you.

    Regarding recent reads, my mother-in-law gave us two huge bags of books to read and dispense with however we should chose. Yippee! I wont give a list of the acquisitions here because the books are already tucked away in the library. Most seemed highly readable, some are keepers, and others will make a graceful exit to the Book mooch pile when we've finished with them. Either way, it was really very nice of her to think of us.

    On an earlier visit she had brought a pile and in it was Daniel Tammet's Born on a Blue Day. It's an autobiography by a man who has two unusual genetic syndromes: (1) autism and (2) synesthesia. He has a highly functional form of autism called Asperger's with which I am somewhat familiar because one of my friends has the same syndrome. Asperger's manifests itself in a variety of ways, but most people who have it are highly intelligent and lack the ability to develop social skills from the same set of stimulus as others. In short, they tend to be smart and awkward. Synesthesia can mean the ability to see words as colored, numbers have personalities or shapes etc.

    Hence, born on a blue day does not mean a rainy day, but that Tammet experiences Wednesdays, the day on which he was born, as blue. It was entertaining and uplifting, but I still get the sense that I don't entirely know him. It's not clear whether that's as a consequence of his syndromes keeping him from adequately expressing himself, that it's my failure as a reader, or, that, in his late twenties, he simply isn't old enough to know himself. He is clearly highly creative and mathematical in the way that he experiences and interprets things. In some ways, he is able to describe the difficulties of his life as concepts and experiences, but not as feelings. I found myself filling in the gaps in emotion with my own. He verges on poetic at times--mostly, as he describes his experiences of synesthesia--and has wrought an inspiring tale. Being entirely unfamiliar with autobiographies, I can draw no comparison. If you like reading about the human mind, I would recommend it.

    On an entirely different note. I was entirely ready to call Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl a delicious piece of smut, and, then I realized that that simply wasn't giving it it's just due. It was an exceptionally quick read for being slightly over 700 hundred pages. If you enjoy light historical fiction, I would highly recommend it, having no idea how it compares to the movie, which I've not seen.

    It was fun if not entirely historically accurate. I wont go into the deviations from accepted history, as that would ruin aspects of the story. I realized that anyone writing about Henry VIII's wives would find it difficult not to read a little bit like a romance novel at times. Gregory really didn't slip too often into lurid details, and she really gave a good feel for the comings and goings to and from the Tudor Court. In terms of historical drama, I prefer Gulland's ability to craft characters with greater depth and sense of purpose to Gregory's entertaining but weaker narrator and a 21st century perspective that creeps around all four of the book's corner, but I will gladly read another Gregory book.

    Monday, February 11, 2008


    My husband and I are having bookshelves built into the walls of our library. It has been so exciting-and a little frustrating if truth were told-to watch as a room, with hundreds of books piled as high as the eight-foot ceiling, has slowly transformed. We are still waiting for the process to be completed; yet, I can feel the books, which have been packed away for over a year, call out to me: Read Us! I can’t wait to put them away, thumbing through the ones I have read and the ones I haven’t and deciding things like, does Spinoza get shelved with religion or philosophy? What a delicious exercise to categorize and reread as I go, and, finally, to be able add them all to Library Thing. I’m doing mental cartwheels if you can’t tell already.

    Yet, while I relish the prospect of seeing and putting away our beloved books that have been collected by us over the course of 30 years from library sales, garage sales, dusty, used bookstores where we literally had to hack our way through a film of dust and cobwebs, as gifts, and from a multitude of other places, I found out earlier this week that some of our friends experienced a terrible flood and lost a number of their dearly-loved texts. I’m not sure that anyone could love books more than my husband and I do, but, if anyone could, they’re pretty good candidates. Their loss, but also a wonderful description of their experiences regarding their books can be read at If you love books, please visit their blog. The entries regarding the flood made me mourn; they also made me incredibly grateful. I’ve been privileged to fall in love over and over again with books and the characters and ideas therein and to have many wonderful discussions of Great Books (and not so Great Books) with insightful friends. I am hopeful for my friends that they shall not only recover the collection they lost-so that it can be passed on to their son-but that they will continue to delight in reading together and enjoying relationships they have with other booklovers. It doesn’t matter how many texts they have at any given time; they will always be able to pass on their abiding love of reading and writing.