Thanks for the Books

November was a stressful month. The injury that sidelined me for the last half marathon of the season continued to plague me & myself but I pushed through it – ran 70 miles for the month. I don’t think I have ever mentioned this here but…back on January I was a dumbass and agreed to a 1000k challenge. By November 1st I had 267k left to go. I’m now down to 151k. Almost 100 miles. But enough of that. It stresses me out to even think about it.

Here are the books finished for November:

  • Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton. I thought of this as a short story because it’s less than 100 pages long.
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • The City and the City by China Mieville (AB)
  • Advise and Consent by Allen Drury – confessional: I knew that a fictional political book might bore the crap out of me but what I didn’t expect was outright disgust after the election. I couldn’t stomach the contents of Advise and Consent.


  • Then There Were Five by Elizabeth Enright. (AB)
  • Love Songs From a Shallow Grave by Colin Cotterill
  • Toast to Tomorrow by Manning Coles


  • Living Poor by Moritz Thomsen
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn (audio and print)
  • Baby Doctor by Perri Klass
  • The Fifties by David Halberstam

Postscript: it came in too late for me to mention here, but I DID get that Early Review book that I was pining for. I’ll review it next month.

Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Hilton, James. Goodbye, Mr. Chips. Charleston: Acra Foundation, 2013.

Reason read: National Education Week is in November.

When one thinks of Goodbye, Mr. Chips I am sure they are transported back to movies like Dead Poet’s Society and Mr. Holland’s Opus, two movies very similar in nature to Goodbye, Mr. Chips. Mr. Chips, the much loved teacher and sometime acting Head of Brookfield was devoted to his students and loved teaching them with a passion. Even when the boarding school tried to get him to retire they were unsuccessful. How do you rid yourself of pillar of the institution?

My favorite Mr. Chips quote: “In my mind you never grow up at all” (p 42). I chose this line because of Natalie Merchant (it’s her birthday). In the song How You’ve Grown she sings, “in my mind you’re frozen as the child you will never be again”. She and Mr. Chips share the longing that those they care for should remain forever innocent.

As an aside, I am always leery of reading boarding school stories. I guess I am too afraid of making comparisons to my own experiences having attended one.

Author fact: Hilton also wrote Hollywood screenplays.

Book trivia: Goodbye, Mr. Chips is so popular it has been made into two different movies and one television show.

BookLust Twist: this book was mentioned three times by Nancy Pearl. First, in Book Lust in the chapters called “100 Good Reads, Decade By Decade (1930s)” (p 176) and “Teachers and Teaching Tales” (p 230), and again in More Book Lust in the chapter called “Nevil Shute: Too Good To Miss” (p 198). Obviously, Goodbye, Mr. Chips was not written by Nevil Shute so it doesn’t really belong in the chapter.

Know Your November

I am trying to move into this month without cracking up or breaking down. I’ve lost the run temporarily and even a small interruption sets me back. You know it is with a mental stability that isn’t quite that solid. I don’t want to say anything more than that.

Here are the books. Nonfiction first:

  • Living Poor:  a Peace Corps Chronicle by Moritz Thomsen – in honor of the month Ecuador’s civil war for independence ended.
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn – (AB) in honor of the holidays and how much they can stress you out. I’m reading this and listening to it on audio.
  • The Fifties by David Halberstam – in honor of finishing what I said I would.
  • Baby Doctor by Perri Klass – in honor of National Health Month.


  • Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton –  in honor of National Education Week. This should take me a lunch break to read.
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – in honor of Gaiman’s birth month.
  • Advise and Consent by Allen Drury – in honor of November being an election month (and is it ever!).

Series Books:

  • Then There Were Five by Elizabeth Enright – (EAB = electronic audio book) to continue the series started in September in honor of Enright’s birth month.
  • A Toast To Tomorrow by Manning Coles – to continue the series started in October in honor of Octoberfest.
  • Love Songs from a Shallow Grave by Colin Cotterill – to END the series started in May in honor of Rocket Day.