Saturday, December 29, 2007

Catching up and books half read

I haven't been in a book-reading mood lately, which is odd for me. I think it has something to do with my being beyond tired by the time I collapse into bed at night. I manage to read for about 15 minutes before I pass out, book on my chest, bed-side light still on.

I've also been catching up on articles in the pile of New Yorker magazines I have next to my bed. Work and knitting have kept me from reading the magazines when they arrive. This week I read an interesting article on the former director of antiquities at the Getty in Los Angeles, an article on how simple check lists are saving thousands of lives in ICU units around the country, and a review of Led Zeppelin's recent concert at the Millennium Dome in London. Last week's New Yorker was the winter fiction issue, and since I'm not a big fan of the short story form, I just skimmed through.

But now I'm caught up, and I can finish reading Nature Girl, by Carl Hiasson, and Yes Man, by some British author. I borrowed the book from my sister while she was here for Christmas. My father-in-law gave me cash for Christmas, and I think I may use part of it to go book shopping. I don't have anything in my bookshelves that is really jumping out at me, despite a stack of unread books. I think it's time for something new. Plus, I have more yarn than I know what to do with right now.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Marie Antionette

This is the book, by Antonia Fraser, that Sophia Coppola based her movie on. I, for one, loved both the book and the movie. I think the people who had problems with the movie should read the book, because Coppola nailed it.

What amazed me the most about Marie Antoinette is that she wasn't the person we've learned about in our history books. She never said, "Let them eat cake," for one. She was actually a devoted wife and mother - she insisted on nursing her babies in an era when wealthy women, especially royal women, sent their babies off to wet nurses. She also personally supervised her daughter's education. When things started going really wrong for the royals, Marie Antoinette was offered the chance to flee the country, but she refused, saying her place was with her husband - which sealed her fate.

Yes, she spent lavishly. Yes, she had lots of parties. But those things were expected of the women at court. She had seen how other queens had been relegated to minor positions in the court while their husbands carried on with mistresses and decided that she wanted nothing to do with that. Antionette carried on as if she was her husband's mistress, making sure to entertain him and keep him interested.

Much has been made of her building the Petit Trianon, when in fact the palace already existed. She just refurbished it. Antionette used it as her escape from the intensely public life at Versaille, where people were allowed to wander through as the King and Queen ate their meals. While at the Petit Trianon, she was also able to dispense with the rigid formaily of the court, where she couldn't get dressed in the morning without having 10 different women hand her various pieces of her clothing.

And while she was queen, with the resultant priveleges, she didn't always have it easy. Her one job was to produce an heir to the throne, but her husband went more than 8 years without consumating their marriage, despite Antionette's best efforts. Not only did she have all of France waiting for her to get pregnant, Antionette had a constant stream of letters from her mother and brother, the Empress and Emporer of Austria, castigating her for failing in her one job.

Marie Antoinette's end was incredibly tragic. She was separated from her husband and her children. She was put on trial and accused of horrible, and very untrue, crimes against the nation. But throughout, she behaved with dignity.

Fraser's book really was a revelation. It entirely changed my perception of one of the most loathed women in history.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Other Boleyn Girl

I've read several biographies of Henry 8 and his wives, all of them, so I figured I'd read a "historical novel" about them all. The author, Philippa Gregory, is known as the "Queen of Historical Novels." I'm not sure that's a title I'd want.

The book was very frustrating at first, because, silly me, I expected it to conform to ummm, history. But no. Gregory takes a few theories about the lives of Mary and Anne Boleyn and runs with them. Like the theory that Anne surrounded herself with gay courtiers, including her brother George, and this was one of the reasons she was executed.

And while I knew that Henry had had a daliance with Anne's younger sister Mary, I'd never read anywhere that Mary gave birth to two bastard children by Henry.

Finally, I gave up trying to reconcile myself to the history and just read it at trashy fiction. As soon as I read it that way, I started having a lot more fun with the book, because boy is it trashy. It was the perfect thing for me to read this weekend when I was awake in the middle of the night with asthma-induced insomnia.

The cover of the book claims that it is now a major motion picture starring Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansen and Eric Bana. I haven't heard about the movie yet, so I'm wondering if it is so bad that it went straight to video.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Elizabeth I

I've long been fascinated by Elizabeth I, and this biography, by Alison Weir, is the best I've read. The others focused solely on Elizabeth's struggles with the religious strife in England during her reign or solely on her courtships and possible marriages and, of course, the hot topic of her legendary virginity.

Weir does a good job of balancing these two vital issues, while also spending a fair bit of time on what life was like in the royal court and on Elizabeth's very real problems. For being the most powerful woman in the world in an era when women were considered property of men, Elizabeth was a bit of a mess. She wavered on decisions, she made snap judgements and then regretted them, she flirted shamelessly with men and demanded their undying loyalty, and she couldn't make up her mind on what to do with her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots.

But when you learn about Elizabeth's life, you understand a lot more why she was such a mess. She was her father's favorite child, at least until her mother, Anne Boleyn, fell from grace and was executed. After her mother's death, Elizabeth was sent pretty much into exile, only being allowed at court when her stepmothers permitted her. When her old sister Mary, a devout Catholic, took the throne, all Protestants, including Elizabeth found themselves at risk of imprisonment and/or execution. Elizabeth even spent time in the Tower of London - the prison part, not the royal apartments. Once she became queen, everyone around her wanted her married off, which would have meant that she wouldn't be the real ruler of England. Whomever she married would have become King and taken over control. Throughout her reign she lived in fear of a possible uprising by any number of factions that claimed stronger rights to the throne that she supposedly had as a woman. She feared naming an heir, believing that if she did she would probably be murdered or taken from the throne in favor of a male.

Even though she was indesicive and insecure, she held her ground through it all and brought the country through some terrible times. She was much loved by her subject, and her ragtag navy defeated the Spanish Armada. That victory alone secured her place in the hearts of her subjects.

Speaking of Elizabeth I, if you get a chance, watch the newish miniseries with Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons. It's not always entirely accurate, but it is spellbinding. Helen Mirren does an amazing job of showing Elizabeth's many sides.

Friday, November 23, 2007


As I've said before, I'd read the phone book if it was written by David McCullough. 1776 was a revelation for me. I'd only known the school-book version of the American Revolution, which is all about how a rag-tag band of rebels beat the odds and bested the mighty British Army. The books leave out the fact that the first year of the revolution, after the successful capture of Boston, thanks to Henry Knox transporting cannons from Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain all the way to Boston in the middle of winter, was pretty much a disaster.

Washington didn't have battle experience; he hesitated; he changed his mind, all of which led to military fiascos. The Americans lost the Battle of Brooklyn very decisively. The only reason there was an army left after the battle was the astonishing retreat across the East River in the dead of night and shroud of fog. Otherwise, the American Revolution probably would have ended there. After Brooklyn, Washington retreated the troops all the way up Manhattan and into Westchester County and then into New Jersey, losing critical forts and troops - through injury, death, illness and desertion - the whole way.

The Battle of Trenton, in the dead of winter in 1776 was the crucial turning point for the whole escapade. Without that victory, we'd probably still be having afternoon tea.

Our family friend Jean recommended a book called Rabble in Arms, which is a fictionalized account of the Revolution from the Loyalists' point of view, and I'm now inspired to read it. One thing you do realize from McCullough's book is how many residents of the colonies were loyal to England. The success of the British on Long Island and at the Battle of Brooklyn was largely a result of the food, information, and shelter they received from residents who were loyal to the crown.

My only wish is that history books in school could be as entertaining and educational as this one. History class would have been a lot more fun, and I think I would have learned a lot more back in high school and college.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Spoiler alert - if you haven't read the book, don't read this entry.

I ordered the book from Amazon with guaranteed delivery on the publication date, but I ended up going to the bookstore that morning and picking up a copy so I could get started on it. I figured that with two copies of the book, B and I wouldn't have to share.

I started the book somewhat reluctantly - it was the last time I'd be opening a Harry Potter book for the first time. But then once I started reading, I didn't want to put the book down. Fortunately, the kids spent the night with their grandmother, and I spent the day in bed with a migraine, so reading conditions were perfect. I traded calls with my sister and my boss at Holt, each of us answering the phone saying, "I haven't finished; don't tell me what happened," instead of hello.

Bottom line, the book didn't disappoint. There are certain parts that just didn't fit. The whole section inside the Ministry getting the locket from Umbridge was a bit contrived, and the bit in the middle as Harry and Hermione wander the country not doing much of anything dragged on. But oh, having Dobby die was just too much for me. I cried. I also cried that one of the Weasleys and Lupin and Tonks died. That just wasn't fair.

But I was thrilled that Neville got to be a hero at the end. His character developed so much through the series, and I'm glad Rowling let him shine.

The final showdowns between Harry and Voldemort was somewhat anticlimactic though. Once I knew Harry had survived the scene in the forest, I knew he'd make it through the final battle without a problem. It was just a question of how it would happen.

One final bit that didn't sit well with me was having Harry and Ginny marry. I always saw Ginny and Neville marrying each other. And I pictured Harry and Luna together. But the final line of the book was just perfect. As was having Harry name his son for Dumbledore and Snape. As nasty as Snape was, I always knew he wasn't a bad guy, even after he killed Dumbledore. I was so glad to be right about that one detail.

And Rowling's revelation about Dumbledore's being gay - didn't bother me in the least. I kind of shrugged and said, "Hmmm. Interesting," and let it go at that.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Devil's Teeth

I picked this book up on a whim at BookPeople because the cover and the back blurb looked interesting, and I am so glad I did. I've always been fascinated by sharks, perhaps because I grew up going to the beach at least once a week. I briefly contemplated studying marine biology - at least I thought about it until I saw the core chemistry and biology classes I had to get through before I could start on the marine biology stuff.

The book is about a group of scientists that have been studying great white sharks that congregate off the Farallones Islands, which are 27 miles off the coast of San Francisco. It's the largest group of great whites in the world that have been seen congregating in the same place year after year.

Susan Casey, the author, obtained permission to go to the Farallones to be with the shark researchers. The islands are federally protected areas, and people can't even set foot on them without jumping through all kinds of hoops. The researchers Casey met are as interesting as the sharks they're studying.

I finished wanting to visit the Farallones, or at the very least just cruise by them, and to read more about sharks. But I haven't done either yet.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Great Bridge

Basically, I'd read the telephone book if it was written by David McCullough. I love his style of writing, and I've read all of his books except for the one about Teddy Roosevelt. After I read this book for the first time about five years ago, I made it a life's goal of walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Two years ago, I went to NYC with two friends, and as we were planning the trip I told them the only thing I HAD to do was walk across the bridge. One laughed at me, until everyone she told about the trip said to her, "You just have to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It's the coolest thing!" So she gave up and agreed to join in the adventure.

I think the walk across the bridge meant more to me just because I knew the story of it. Roebling the father died before the bridge got underway. Roebling the son became the chief engineer after his father's death, but spent most of his time observing the progress from the window of his house in Brooklyn Heights due to debilitating pain from the bends, which he got after visiting one the caissons used to dig the foundations for the towers. Roebling's wife then oversaw much of the day-to-day opersations on behalf of her husband.

It's a miracle the bridge got built at all. I realize I'm not an engineer or an architect, but the Brooklyn Bridge is a piece of engineering genious and a work of art, all at the same time.

During our trip, Heidi, Lisa and I all walked across the bridge, marvelling at the architecture and the view. After brunch in Brooklyn Heights, Heidi and Lisa took off to do their own thing, and I walked back across the bridge, stopping at the midpoint to just sit and watch the world go by.

I re-read the book this past year, after I bought a huge photograph of the bridge for our bedroom. Having walked the bridge and seen it in person, the enormity of the feats of engineering really hit home. The bridge is just so huge. It's amazing it was built given the technology and machinery available at the time. I'm looking forward to my next trip to NYC so I can stroll across again.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Red Tent

I'm so close to finishing this book, but I can't bear to pick it back up and read the last 20 pages. It's been a slog so far. I'm amazed I've read as much as I have. I picked it up on a whim at the bookstore a week ago when I dashed in to grab a gift card for a birthday party we were late getting to. The book was right at the front and had a big sign saying it was a special printing in honor of the book's 10th anniversary. I figured that any book that had a special 10th anniversary printing must be worth reading. Plus it was a NYT best seller. I should have remembered that Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh have both had NYT best sellers, so that label doesn't mean much.

I'm sure there are lots of women who have and who will love this book. It's set in old testament days and is about Dinah, sister of Joseph - Joseph with the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I had hoped there would be some real historical lessons woven through the story, but no. It's supposed to give voices to the women of the old testament, who are mentioned in passing and don't have a real role in the Bible. But I'm not sure the author has succeeded here.

Most of the action takes place in the "red tent" of the title, the special tent where women are banished for three days during that time of the month because they are unclean. Diamate, the author, presents this tent as a magical place, where women bond with each other and celebrate the teachings of the women who went before them, blah, blah, blah. I found it stifling and overly mother-earthy.

So maybe I'll finish it some day and find out what happens to Dinah in Egypt, where she flees after her brothers slaughter her husband and all the men in his village. Or maybe I won't.

Friday, November 2, 2007

"Ham of God"

I had loaned my friend my copy of Plan B by Anne Lamott and had forgotten about it completely until she read my post on Spalding Gray, which has a rant about people not returning boks. Anyway, my friend returned the book to me yesterday, and I threw it in my diaper bag. I pulled the book out this morning while waiting for my doctor's appointment, and I read "Ham of God." I had forgotten how much I love this story; it's probably my favorite of all Lamott's pieces. She read it when she performed in Austin, and I cried while listening to her.

I'm not a particularly religious person, but I do believe in moments of grace, pure grace. This story is one of the best examples of grace I've ever heard: an unexpected, unwanted ham turns into salvation for a woman who desperately needs it.

And the story contains what is going to be my new mantra when I'm having one of my little panic attacks - left foot, right foot, breathe.

I'm going to re-read the whole book because I need the grace that Lamott offers in her writing.

Monday, October 29, 2007

My bookshelf

Ever since we bought this house, five years ago, we'd been struggling for a good way to store books in our bedroom. We have a very long wall at the foot of our bed, but it's interrupted by an air intake for the A/C unit, which means we can't cover it over. We couldn't figure a creative way to build in bookshelves while avoiding the intake.

As a result, most of our books resided in an old bookshelf that B had built years ago, but when we turned the guest room into Campbell's bedroom, the bookshelf had to go. As a result, all the books moved into our closet onto the top shelves, which quickly reached the point of collapse.

Then I went to IKEA, which opened in Austin last winter and has quickly become my favorite store, other than Target, and I found my dream bookshelf. Making it really, really perfect is that it has an open back, which means that we can put it in front of the air intake without a problem. As a thank you to B for putting the bookshelf together with me, I even gave B a few shelves for his Stephen King books.

And I have a cubby just for my grammar/style/editing collection. B laughed and called me a geek because I have enough of those books to warrant a whole cubby just for them.

As big as the bookshelf is, it doesn't hold all of our books. Some still reside on the top shelves of the closet - most of them are B's science fiction and horror books (we have VERY different tastes in literature), but quite a few of mine are ending up there as well.

The girls are developing quite a collection of books, too. I cleaned up their bookshelf the other day, hoping to weed out some of their books. But other than the give-away books from fast-food chains, I didn't get rid of any. Their collection is slowly creeping up the bookshelf; soon we'll have to find new places to store the knick-knacks that are on the upper shelves.

Some day I hope to have a house big enough to have my very own library. My great uncle Donald had a lroom that had been converted to a study that was filled to the brim with books. The house my grandparents lived in when I was little had a real library, with a big fireplace and leather chairs and shelf after shelf of books. I never read any of them, but I loved curling up by the fire in one of the big chairs with my own books. I think sitting by the fire there fostered my love of reading.

In the meantime, I'll continue amassing my collection and hope for a bigger house with more space for bookshelves.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I first heard David Rackoff on NPR, reading a piece about camping in the wilds of Alaska. I laughed out loud at the story, so I went out and bought his book. I didn't laugh so much. The stories are entertaining, but not laugh out loud funny, at least not to me. They read like he was trying to be another David Sedaris, who is a friend of Rackoff's, but he couldn't quite get there.

While Rackoff's written word doesn't crack me up, his spoken word does. I've heard him read many times on NPR's "This American Life," and his pieces can send me into hysterics. One time I was running while listening to him read a piece about his adventures in TV watching after years of not watching any. I was laughing so hard I couldn't run. I literally had to stop and stand on the sidewalk, doubled over, to catch my breath from laughing. I'm sure people driving by thought I was a loon.

Perhaps I should download his books onto my iPod - maybe I'd find his stories funnier if I listened to him read them to me.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Books I haven't finished

When I was in college and graduate school, I mastered the art of reading several books at a time. I had too many to read to be able to devote all of my attention to just one book. I still read books that way; I'm likely to have two or three in progress on my bedside table at any given time.

It took me much longer, however, to accept that I didn't have to finish every book I started. In school I had to because I would likely have to write a paper or exam on the book, and the professor expected me to have read them all the way through. I slogged through an alarming number of books as a non-student thinking that I was going to be tested. Then I was reading We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates, and I just hated the book. I hated the characters; I hated the writing. I dreaded picking it up to read. Then one day I realized it was just stupid and pointless to keep going. So I put the book back in the bookshelf and didn't pick it up again until it was time to donate it to Ella's school's used-book sale.

Right now I have several books in progress that I haven't yet decided whether I'll finish.

One is a biography of Edith Wharton, who is probably my favorite writer, by Hermione Lee. I tried to read Wharton's autobiography, called A Backward Glance, and got frustrated with how shallow it was. She didn't reveal much about her childhood or troubled marriage or life as a writer. It was mostly a recitation of all the people she met and had dinner with. I quit reading when she devoted pages to her car rides with Henry James. So when Lee came out with seemingly exhaustive study of Wharton, I splurged and bought the hardcover edition. And now it's just sitting on the table. Lee is certainly exhaustive in her research; I know lots about where Wharton lived and the books she may have read, but I can't say that I've actually learned anything about Wharton that I didn't already know. Perhaps one day, when I'm out of other things to read, I'll pick it up again.

I quit reading Elinor of Aquitane by Allison Weir out of frustration. Elinor was one of Europe's most powerful women, but so little is known about her. Weir's book largely consists of speculation about what Elinor may have done and where she may have gone. I want first-hand documentation, please. Give me letters, personal accounts, something other than speculation based on items listed in royal accounting books.

I also gave up on Wars of the Roses, also by Weir. She tries to cover too much ground in too short a book and ends up not doing a thorough job on any of it. Plus, those damn Brits keep changing their names, and I just can't keep up. One minute someone is the Duke of X, then he gets promoted or knighted or whatever, and then he's Earl of Q. I can't remember everyone's multiple names, and Weir doesn't help with tracking them at all.

I think those are the only books I've left unread lately. It's a much shorter list than I anticipated. Next up, maybe, the list of books I want to read.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

I've been working my way through this series of books, picking up a book here or there from the bookstore or borrowing one from my neighbor. It's the perfect kind of series to read in this way - a little bit here and a little bit there. I've finished book four, and I don't remember which incident happened in which book, but I have the whole series of events socked away. I don't have any problem picking up the next book and jumping right into the story.

The books are set in Botswana and center around Precious Ramotswe, the first lady private dective in the country. The stories revolve both around the cases she solves and her personal life, which includes a fiance, Mr. J.L.B. Matekwoni, and two foster children.

The language and dialogue are absolutely charming throughout. And while some of the storylines are heartbreaking - the backstory on the foster children made me cry - the books are just delightful.

I think I may pick up book number 5 this afternoon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Knitting Rules - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Mom gave me the book for my birthday in an attempt to convert me to the dark side of sock knitting. It took a few more months before I went over, but after I knit my first sock, I read the book. I'm glad I didn't read it before, because it would have scared me off. Not that the book isn't funny, because it is. It's just that I don't think I could ever become THAT obsessed with knitting and yarn. I don't have a stash of yarn hidden away for future projects, and I only have one project cast on at a time. Then there's that whole chaper on knitting a swatch. Yikes!

Still, it was a helpful read and, obession aside, it did make me want to knit more. I like that she included basic recipes for hats and socks. I have some baby hats I need to make, and I'll be able to do so using her recipes.

If you want to read more of her stuff, check out her blog at It's a riot.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Morning, Noon and Night

Lisa R. and I went to see a show called "Stories Left to Tell," which was a celebration of Spalding Gray's life and works put together by his wife. Various writers/performers/singers read selections from Gray's works, including his diary entries after the devastating car crash that destroyed his body and his already fragile mental health. The stories spiralled downward, leading to his last journal entry, left for his wife and family, before he committed suicide. There wasn't a dry eye in the house when the theater went dark. The lights came back up, and the show ended wonderfully though. One of the performers read a piece from this book about a fun evening in the house, with Spalding, his wife, and their children dancing to Chumbawumba in the living room. The performer turned on a boom box and played the song, while in the background there was a screen with a video of Gray on stage demonstrating the wild leaps and turns his kids were doing. That's when I truly lost it and started sobbing. I now can't listen to "Tubthumping" without bursting into tears, mourning the loss of such an original voice.

What makes me even sadder, though, is that his three kids don't have a dad. Ever since I had kids, even hearing about kids who have lost a parent can push me over the edge into a crying jag. I don't know why, but it does. So now I tend to avoid news that might include stories of that nature. Gray's youngest son, the baby in the picture on the cover of the book, was at the show, and Lisa and I got to meet him. I just wanted to hug him, but instead I muttered something foolish about how nice it was to meet him. I was dumbstruck by a 10-year-old because I was afraid I'd start crying all over him.

Lisa bought this book before the show and loaned it to me when she finished. It took me a while to read it, because I was afraid it would be sad, and at that time I couldn't handle any more sadness in my life. Instead, it is just a wonderful account of a man who came to fatherhood late in life but then embraced it with all he was worth. Every child should be so lucky to have a love story written to them in this way. They will be able to read this book and know just how much they meant to their father.

I need to give the book back to Lisa, because one of my pet peeves is when people don't return books I loan them and I don't want to be guilty of committing the same sin, but I've held onto it because I flip through and read sections here and there at random times. It makes me smile. I suppose I should just go out and buy my own copy, but given that she bought this one from Gray's son, the book holds more meaning for me. Hmmm. Perhaps I should I buy another copy and give that one to Lisa. She'll never know the difference. And since I know she doesn't read my blog, despite repeated reminders to do so . . . I won't have given up the secret.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Yokota Officers' Club

I recently saw the author, Sarah Bird, perform at a show called "Dick Monologues," which isn't as profane as it sounds. Bird's reading, about her stint as a romance novel writer, was one of the highlights of the show for me - I laughed until I cried. I left the theater wanting both to meet Bird and read one of her books.

Since I figured there was no way I'd get to meet and have a cup of coffee with her, I went to BookPeople the next day to pick up one of her novels. I bought Yokota because it was the only one of hers that I'd heard of. I was hoping for laugh-out-loud funny, like Bird's essay in the monologues, but the book wasn't funny. I was disappointed at first, but I got caught up in the story of the family and its military travels. The book may not have been a comedy, but it was a touching, well-written story of a family struggling to survive.

Next trip to the book store, I'm picking up another of her books.

Eat, Pray, Love

I read this on Liz's recommendation. I took it with me on my trip to DC, and it was the perfect vacation book.

I was a bit worried at first. I don't have anything in common with her. I'm not a well-paid writer; I'm not facing a devstating and painful divorce; I'm not able to take a year of my life off to live in three different countries.

Turns out I shouldn't have worried. My favorite section was the one set in Rome. I would love to spend three months eating my way through Rome, sampling every gelato place I can find. I didn't really like the section set in India. Spending months in a hot, spartan ashram learning how to reach a trascendtal state isn't my cup of tea.

On the whole, though, I enjoyed the book, often laughing out loud.

My first book entry

Several years ago there was an article in the New Yorker about a man who read a book a week for a whole year, and I thought to myself, "I bet I could do that." Then I came to my senses and realized that while I read a lot, reading 52 books while raising two kids (this was pre-Campbell, obviously), freelancing, volunteering and keeping up with the house was probably a bit ambitious. So I decided to go for 26 books in a year. I journaled my reading over at my old blog. It was an interesting exercise, both the reading and the journaling. If you're interested, check out the book lists for 2004 and 2005. I was going to cut and paste the journals here, since my old Web site is pretty much defunct, but the entries were just too long.

This past week I was tagged by Barb with questions about books, and it got me thinking about my reading habits. I decided that maybe it was time to start a new reading journal. So now I'll be posting about the books I read here. And if you have any recommendations on good read, I'd love to hear about them.