October

This should be my favorite month because I’ve been so deeply tied to Just ‘Cause (think pink) and I love, love, love Halloween. But, all I can think about is the run. Here are the books, by the way!

  1. Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan 
  2. In a Strange City by Laura Lippman
  3. By a Spider’s Thread by Laura Lippman 
  4. Recognitions by William Gaddis 
  5. Maus by Art Spiegelman
  6. Lady Franklin’s Revenge by Ken McGoogan
  7. Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao* by Junot Diaz 
  8. Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  9. Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
  10. Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
  11. A Good Doctor’s Son by Steven Schwartz
  12. Drinking: a Love Story by Caroline Knapp
  13. Ancient Rome on 5 Denarii a Day by Philip Matyszak
  14. Nero Wolfe Cookbook by Rex Stout
  15. Treasure Hunter by W. Jameson
  16. Maus II by Art Spiegelman (Jan)
  17. The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat 
  18. In Xanadu by William Dalrymple
  19. The Assault by Harry Mulisch
  20. Wild Blue by Stephen Ambrose
  21. Shot in the Heart by Mikal Gilmore
  22. Greater Nowheres by David Finkelstein/Jack London
  23. Alma Mater by P.F Kluge
  24. Old Man & Me by Elaine Dundy
  25. Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
  26. Good Life by Ben Bradlee
  27. Underworld by Don DeLillo
  28. Her Name Was Lola by Russell Hoban
  29. Man Who Was Thursday by GK Chesterton
  30. Fires From Heaven by Robert Jordan
  31. Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
  32. Herb ‘n’ Lorna by Eric Kraft
  33. Polish Officer by Alan Furst
  34. Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan
  35. Walden by Henry David Throreau
  36. Reservations Recommended by Eric Kraft
  37. Selected Letters of Norman Mailer edited by J. Michael Lennon
  38. Chasing Monarchs by Robert Pyle
  39. Saturday Morning Murder by Batya Gur
  40. Bebe’s By Golly Wow by Yolanda Joe
  41. Lives of the Muses by Francine Prose
  42. Broom of the System by David Wallace
  43. Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan
  44. Little Follies by Eric Kraft
  45. Literary Murder by Batya Gur
  46. Bob Marley, My Son by Cedella Marley Booker
  47. Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  48. Southern Mail by Antoine de Saint- Exupery
  49. Measure of All Things, the by Ken Alder
  50. Two Gardeners by Emily Wilson
  51. Royal Flash by George Fraser
  52. Binding Spell by Elizabeth Arthur
  53. Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan
  54. ADDED: Castle in the Backyard by Betsy Draine 
  55. Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan
  56. Where Do You Stop? by Eric Kraft
  57. Everything You Ever Wanted by Jillian Lauren
  58. Murder on a Kibbutz by Batya Gur
  59. Flash for Freedom! by George Fraser
  60. Murder in Amsterdam by Ian Buruma
  61. Petra: lost city by Christian Auge
  62. From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman
  63. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  64. Flashman at the Charge by George MacDonald Fraser
  65. What a Piece of Work I Am by Eric Kraft
  66. Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson
  67. Ruby by Cynthia Bond
  68. Winter’s Heart by Robert Jordan
  69. Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan
  70. Murder Duet by Batya Gur
  71. Flashman in the Great Game – George MacDonald Fraser
  72. At Home with the Glynns by Eric Kraft
  73. Sixty Stories by Donald Barthelme
  74. New Physics and Cosmology by Arthur Zajonc
  75. Grifters by Jim Thompson
  76. Snow Angels by James Thompson
  77. So Many Roads: the life and Times of the Grateful Dead by David Browne
  78. Short story: Drinking with the Cook by Laura Furman
  79. Short Story: Hagalund by Laura Furman
  80. Lone Pilgrim by Laurie Colwin
  81. Not so Short story: The Last of Mr. Norris by Christopher Isherwood
  82. short story: Jack Landers is My Friend by Daniel Stolar
  83. short story: Marriage Lessons by Daniel Stolar
  84. Light in August by William Faulkner
  85. Not so Short story: Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood
  86. A Comedy & A Tragedy by Travis Hugh Culley
  87. Feed Zone by Biju Thomas
  88. Leaving Small’s Hotel by Eric Kraft
  89. Flashman’s Lady by George MacDonald Fraser
  90. In the Footsteps of Genghis Khan by John DeFrancis
  91. Faster! by James Gleick
  92. Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett
  93. ADDED: Families and Survivors by Alice Adams
  94. Inflating a Dog by Eric Kraft
  95. Castles in the Air by Judy Corbett
  96. Flashman and the Redskins by George MacDonald Fraser
  97. Queens’ Play by Dorothy Dunnett
  98. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  99. Petty by Warren Zanes
  100. Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
  101. Homicide by David Simon
  102. Then She Found Me by Elinor Lipman (AB)
  103. Disorderly Knights by Dorothy Dunnett
  104. Flashman and the Dragon by George MacDonald Fraser
  105. ADDED: A Cup of Water Under My Bed by Daisy Hernandez (ER)
  106. ADDED: Crows Over a Wheatfield by Paula Sharp
  107. ADDED: Time Traveler: In Search of Dinosaurs and Ancient Mammals from Montana to Mongolia by Michael Novacek
  108. Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman (Nov)
  109. Flashman and the Mountain of Light by George MacDonald Fraser (Nov)
  110. Pawn in Frankincense by Dorothy Dunnett (Nov)
  111. Andorra by Peter Cameron (Nov)

DNF = Did Not Finish; AB = Audio Book; ER = Early Review; DNS = Did Not Start; EB = E-Book


June ’12 is…

June 2012 is…not late! For once! I have to rejoice in simply being on time for the first time in oh, I don’t know how long and I’m too lazy to look. June. What about June? June is a retirement luncheon with some people I barely know. June is a graduation party for someone I love more than a sister (and only she will really get that statement and not misinterpret it as some lesbo love declaration). June is another charity walk – a no-pressure walk of sorts. No fund raising, no training (3.1 miles, a walk in the park – or around a business park as the case may be). June is a few birthdays, but no parties. June is the opening of the pool and June is the beginning of our Hawaiian vacation (lest I forget). We’ve already nixed horseback riding due to age and weight (over 65, under 10 and under 235lbs). That wipes out all but two of us. Anyway, more on that later.
June is also National River Cleanup month, the best time to visit Norway and the month to celebrate fathers. And that is the perfect segue to books:

  • Kristin Lavansdatter by Sigrid Undset ~ in honor of Norway. This is actually in three parts (totaling over 1,000 pages) so I’m going to parse it out: The Wreath in June, The Mistress of Husaby (The Wife) in July and The Cross in August.
  • A River Runs Through It and Other Stories by Norman Maclean ~in honor of river cleanup month.

For Hawaii, two books I can read and leave behind**:

  • Damage by Josephine Hart ~ in honor of Father’s Day
  • Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (a reread) ~ in honor of Father’s Day as well

I have been notified that I have “won” two Early Review books from LibraryThing (such an honor). I have been having some problems with delivery but if they arrive they are:

  • How Should a Person Be: a Novel From Life by Sheila Heti ~ this has been described as “seriously strange” by a respected author on Heti’s website. I’m intrigued!
  • Waterlogged by Tim Noakes ~ this is something I cannot wait to read. I have been told I need to drink more water and while I don’t consider myself an athlete (this book focuses on them) I am curious about “the facts of hydration.”

** I should add that I plan to load the iPad with ebooks in case I finish the Father’s Day books sooner than expected. I really want to read on the beach one or two days and of course I’ll need to read on all those flights!!


March ’12 is…

What is March 2012 all about? Hard to say . Or as they say on Monhegan, hard tellin’ not knowin’. Fitting I suppose for a reading project still in limbo. I’m still reading books off my own shelves and borrowing books from my own library. To those not in the know that sounds strange, but there you have it.

Here are the books I *think* I’ll be reading in March:

  • A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o (baptized James Ngugi) ~ in honor of March being African Writers Month
  • Little Town in the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder ~ in honor of the Dakotas (series was started in January)
  • Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101 Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest by Stephen Ambrose ~ in honor of March 4th being “Hug a GI Day.” Since I don’t have a GI to hug, I’ll hug a book about World War II.
  • Lord of the Rings: Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien ~ in honor of New Years (series was started in January)
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte ~ in honor of March being National Literature month.

For the Early Review program for LibraryThing – I never got the February book so we’ll see if it comes in March…Incidentally, I just checked the LibraryThing website and I was awarded a March book as well. Now the race is on to see which book makes it here first.


January ’12 is…

Happy freakin’ New Year!

I am making the resolution to clean up the blogs from 2011. In reviewing everything I read through the year I am noticing some that didn’t get tagged properly, some that weren’t put into the right categories and, horror upon horrors, one that didn’t even get published! WTF?! By all counts I *think* I read 65 fiction titles, 25 nonfiction titles, 12 Early Review/Librarything books, 2 for-fun books and 9 poems. This is, of course, cheating because I included the “attempts” as finished. As promised, I did get at least 50 pages into each failed read.

So, what about 2012? I am still off the reading schedule but have come up with a temporary plan. Kind of like when the plane breaks down and you realize you have to drive to your destination. Think “Trains, Planes & Automobiles.” You need a new map. No, wait. That line was from “Tommy Boy.” Wrong movie. Anyway. So, here is the plan of attack for January 2012:

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit or There and Back Again and finish The Gravedigger’s Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates. That’s it. Not a crazy ambitious reading list for such a long month, but I’m taking one road at a time and not mapping out the entire journey like I usually do. This is a different year so I’m looking forward to reading a little differently as well.

Happy New Year!


December ’11 is…

December started off with a little drama. We call the week before exams “Dead week.” It has nothing to do with being deceased or wearing tie dye. It simple means the week of no class assignments, no papers due, no tests, no early exams. Nothing is supposed to be happening that week. Hence, dead. It’s an internal term not used campus wide and no one outside the library would get it. Except…my new guy posted the hours of “Dead” week on every campus announcement he could find: students, staff, faculty, admin, you name it. They all got it. Lucy, you have some ‘splaining to do! Of well. It could be worse. Last week someone thought we stole a leather chair from the Trustees room.

Anyway, December is the month I go quietly insane. I am brimming with good intentions and somehow get knocked sideways. All those intentions are knocked out of me at the 11th hour (i.e. Christmas Eve). For reading it’s not much better:

  • The People’s History of the Supreme Court by Peter Irons ~ in honor of the first Chief Justice being appointed in December (John Jay).
  • Gideon’s Trumpet by Anthony Lewis ~ for the same reason (hey, I’m in a legal mood).
  • To What End: Report from Vietnam by Ward Just in honor of Just’s birth month
  • A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor ~ in honor of Southern Fiction

That’s it. That it is all I really have planned for the month. Nothing too earth shaking, shattering or whatever. I think I’ll do enough of that on my own, thank you very much.


November ’11 was…

Where do I begin with this freakin’ month. It went by way too fast, I’ll tell ya that much! When I look back on what I read, what I did, it’s all a gigantic blur. I am still mourning the loss of my cousin; still haven’t found the strength to search death certificates to find out what really happened to him. Maybe I, deep down in the depths of my soul, really do not want to know how he met his demise. Maybe I am not strong enough to handle the truth or his tortured life.
I’m also in denial about the runner I used to see everyday on my way into work. His case is a little harder to wrap my heart around. He is a complete stranger who made an impact on me with his little red hat and bony knees. I don’t know his name. I don’t know if he’s dead or alive. All I know is that the tenacious, determined soul I saw every morning is gone. I have to admit I am a little less inspired to start each day.

Given all that, my reading hasn’t been inspiring either:

  • Death at an Early Age by Jonathan Kozol (oh how ironic). I enjoyed this as much as anyone could reading about an underfunded urban school trying to serves underprivileged kids.
  • Primary Colors by Anonymous. This is one book that I actually read during the proper month – on honor of Election month, something political.
  • Victorian Lady Travellers by Dorothy Middleton. I think I mentioned this before but I was really disappointed Middleton used so many quotes from the ladies she was writing her about. They wrote more of the book than she did.
  • By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I think when I read this I was looking for some relief from the woe-is-me I had been reading earlier.
  • Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. This was a reread from my high school days. If I had been following the reading schedule this would have been read in December in honor of King Arthur but since this wasn’t about King Arthur per se I guess I am okay.
  • Beyond the Bedroom Wall by Larry Woiwode. My one incomplete of the month. I just couldn’t get into it. Shame on me.
  • Nop’s Trials by Donald McCaig. Shame on me (again) for ended with another tearjerker of a story. Yes, it ends happy but it definitely has it’s sad moments.

So, there is it. What else happened in November? I got to see some really great music – Futhur and Bela Fleck (not together, although that would have been freakin’ ah maze ing). Kisa and I tried to make it up to Monhegan for Thanksgiving but ended up being here. Again. Sigh. Of course the weather was perfect for days afterward….c’est la vie.


October ’11 was…

What do you get when you add a vacation to two road trips and a freak snow storm in which I lose electricity for two days? Answer – a boat load of books read in one month; so many books that I haven’t been able to review them all.

In the first week of October I went home. As past posts can tell you I like nothing more than reading on an island, especially one on the tail end of a hurricane. There is something so book-worthy about a rain soaked afternoon or two by the raging ocean…
On Monhegan I was able to read:

  • Anil’s Ghost by Michael Onjaatje (e-book),
  • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (stolen from my childhood bookcase),
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (stolen from my sister’s childhood bookcase)
  • Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris (another e-book) and part of
  • The Stand by Stephen King

On a road trip to New York (to see Natalie Merchant ~ more on that on the Other Side) I was able to finish

  • The Stand by Stephen King and
  • Spy Trap by Edward Packard and
  • Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

I started reading Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann when I forgot Immortality by Milan Kundera at work. I finished both those books and Last to Die by James Grippando during the freak snow storm/power outage (and to think people wanted me to come out with them because they had cable!!). As long as I candles and blankets I was in heaven.
But, probably the hardest book to get through was Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan (another e-book). I started Altered Carbon the first week of October and slogged through it until October 27th. Talk about a complicated story! I am struggling with the review because the plot was so intense.

So, there it is. Nearly a dozen books for the month of October. True, four of those books were for kids (Phantom Tollbooth, Johnny Tremain, Spy Trap and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) but Altered Carbon, Last To Die and Buddenbrooks were “adult” enough to offset the kiddie stuff.

What’s in store for November? Well, considering I have no trips to Monhegan (or anywhere for that matter), Thanksgiving is this month, and we have a power back, I have no idea. 🙂