Category Archives: books

Y’all, my library accepts PAYPAL!

I went online today to renew a book that was very nearly overdue and discovered that y’all: My library accepts PAYPAL!

I am historically TERRIBLE at returning books on time to the library. Sometimes I’m just lazy, sometimes I’m selfish and hang onto books  I haven’t even started for an extra week so I have a chance to read them. I imagine that my local librarians ruefully appreciate my tiny donations to their budget while trying to manage their frustration at my book hoarding.

I’m excited that I can pay off my fines in this faceless way – I don’t have to feel so apologetic, or struggle with that weird feeling of justification that it’s ok, it’s FUNDING THE LIBRARY. But first I think I’d better check with my local librarian to see if they see this paypal money or if I’m better off handing them the cold hard cash directly.


July 2007 Books

59. J is for Judgment by Sue Grafton
60. K is for Killer by Sue Grafton
60 1/2. Meow, Baby by Jason (graphic novel)
61. L is for Lawless by Sue Grafton
62. M is for Malice by Sue Grafton
63. N is for Noose by Sue Grafton
64. O is for Outlaw by Sue Grafton
65. Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
66. The Oathbound by Mercedes Lackey
67. The Oathbreaker by Mercedes Lackey
68. P is for Peril by Sue Grafton
69. Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Arial Levy
70. Q is for Quarry by Sue Grafton
71. My Husband Betty: Love, Sex, and Life with a Crossdresser by Helen Boyd

Nos 65 through 67 were re-reads. Comfort reading in times of lots of work, maybe? I enjoyed Female Chauvinist Pigs as it discussed one of my favorite topices, i.e., “buying into the patriarchy.”


I’m trying to decide if i should buy a serger. those things range in price between 200 and 2000 dollars, and are really complicated and scary looking with multiple threads and cutting instruments. it’s not a decision I am making uninformed so I got four books from the library all about sewing with sergers. I had to request them, so they came in over a period of days. I also requested female chauvinist pigs, and when I went to pick that up the librarian gave me a funny look. “what,” I said: “I like to read books about sewing machines and feminist theory.” and she totally cracked up.

June 2007 Books

48. The Green Grotto by Lemony Snickett
49. The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snickett
50. A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
51. B is for Burgler by Sue Grafton
52. C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton
53. D is for Deadbeat by Sue Grafton
54. E is for Evidence by Sue Grafton
55. F is for Fugative by Sue Grafton
56. G is for Gumshoe by Sue Grafton
57. H is for Homicide by Sue Grafton
58. I is for Innocent by Sue Grafton

Started the Kinsey Millhone series – I’d read a few of these when I was in high school, but not many. They go by quickly. and better yet, my library has all of them so I don’t have to wait for reserved books from other branches to arrive!

how to be a lifelong reader

one of my internet friends passed along this link to “14 ways to cultivate a lifetime reading habit.” y’all may be able to tell from all of my books posts that I am a big reader – and I thought this was especially timely after an email from friend Kathleen telling me that she’s read 27 books so far this year – putting her well on her way to her goal of 50! Rock out with your bad self, Kathleen!

I would say that 10 of the tips on that list I do already, and the other four would require having a kid, buying books from used book stores (or having a local used book store), or scheduling times for reading. Scheduling time for reading has never been the problem… it’s the scheduling time for SLEEPING that gets me!

May 2007 Books

32. Listen to me good: The Life Story of an Alabaman Midwife by Margaret Charles Smith and Linda Janet Holmes
33. The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones
34. Little Women by Lousia May Alcott
35. Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
36. Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott
37. The Old Wine Shades by Martha Grimes
38. Queen of Dreams by Chitra Banerjee Divakairuni
39 Year of the Griffin by Diana Wynne Jones
40. The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket
41. The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket
42. THe Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket
43. The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket
44. The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket
45. Sabriel by Garth Nix
46. Lirael by Garth Nix
47. Abhorsen by Garth Nix

No matter how many times I read Little Women it makes me cry at that ONE PLACE that I won’t specify in case someone out there hasn’t read it yet. It’s a great book, and Louisa May Alcott is one of my all time favorite authors.

The Diana Wynne Jones books were super, too! Lorelei recommended the Dark Lord of Derkholm and she was right, I did enjoy it. She also lent me the Garth Nix books, and I really enjoyed them too – I read all three in the series on Memorial Day.
I’m breezing my way through the Lemony Snicket books that I haven’t read yet – I love reading childrens books: it’s like eating sweet morsels of candy. they’re so super.

April 2007 Books

25. The Case of the Not-so-nice Nurse by Mabely Maney
26. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
27. The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket
28. The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
29. THe Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket
30. The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket
31. Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis

I’d read the Lemony Snickett books in early 2005, but I wanted to finish the series so I re-read them all. I brought Babbitt with me to Japan as a big heavy book that I wouldn’t finish right away and wish I had more, but it was so boring that it took a lot of effort to finish it once I got home. I guess it’s something I should be more into – it makes a sharp point about consumerism and america, and it was written in the 1920s, but boy. it was LONG.

also, I updated Feb and March book posts and backdated them. Sneaky! I WOULD have updated with May books, but there is an outside chance that I will read another book or two by the end of the month. and by “there is an outside chance that I will” I mean “I will probably.”

March 2007 Books

21. Lord of the Far Island by Victoria Holt
22. The Changeling by Phillippa Carr (Victoria Holt)
23. The Irresistable Revolution by Shane Claiborne
24. Take this Bread: A Radical Conversion by Sara Miles

February 2007 Books

14. Oath of Gold by Elizabeth Moon
15. The Jackel’s Head by Elizabeth Peters
16. Domino by Phyllis A Whitney
17. The Age of Innocence by Edith Warton
18. In th Cut by Susanna Moore
19. Girl with the Curious Hair by David Foster Wallace (short stories)
20. Feather on the Moon by Phyllis A. Whitney

This month I did some shelf cleaning. I have a bunch of books that were either given to me or that I’d bought a long time ago, so I started trying to read them all and then donate them to a worthy cause.

January 2007 Books

I’m at it again!

1. The Hippopotamus Pool by Elizabeth Peters
2. Seeking a Large Cat by Elizabeth Peters
3. The Ape who Guards the Balance by Elizabeth Peters
4. The Falcon at the Portal by Elizabeth Peters
5. He Shall Thunder in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters
6. Cancel These Vows by Sam Webster
7. Lord of the Silent by Elizabeth Peters
8. The Golden One by Elizabeth Peters
9. Children of the Storm by Elizabeth Peters
10. Guardian of the Horizon by Elizabeth Peters
11. Tomb of the Golden Bird by Elizabeth Peters
12. Sheepfarmers Daughter by Elizabeth Moon
13. Divided Allegance by Elizabeth Moon.

I almost had an all-Elizabeth month! I’ve officially caught up with the Amelia Peabody books. If I could find my third book in the Moon series I would have read it too. Instead, I’m waiting for it from the library.

The fly leaf of “Cancel These Vows” says that “Sam Webster is the pseudonym of a well-known writer with several previous novels to his credit, including a current fiction hit published by a prominent hard cover publisher.” I’m trying to suss out what current fiction hit was published in 1962… I’d love to crack his pseudonym! He wrote a few pulps. It could be anyone! if Travels with Charley wasn’t nonfiction, I’d make wild assertations that Sam Webster is John Steinbeck. Lucikly, John is off the hoock.

Dorky 2006 book statistics

Even though I say every year I want to make it to 100 books, this is the first time I’ve really done it, since I’ve started keeping track. rock’n’roll. So to celebrate, here are some dorky book stats:

  • total number of books read in 2006: 102
  • number of non-fiction: 21
  • number of fiction: 81
  • number of YA books: 24
  • number of YA romances: 14
  • number of mystery novels: 26
  • number of religious books: 9
  • number of graphic novels: 2
  • number of series read in their entirety: 3 [Lord Peter Wimsey, Brian McLaren, Sue Barton Nurse books], but also read a lot of the sunfire romances so maybe 3 3/4? And I’m about 1/2way done with the Amelia Peters books.
  • number of biography/autobiography/memoirs: 8

December 2006 books

96. A Mother’s Gift by Britney and Lynne Spears
97. The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan
98. Lion in the Valley by Elizabeth Peters
99. The Deeds of the Disturber by Elizabeth Peters
100. Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
101. The Last Camel Died at Noon by Elizabeth Peters
102. THe Crocodile, the Snake, and the Dog by Elizabeth Peters

when I found out that Britney Spears wrote a YA book, I had to read it. and it was at my library! it also wasn’t that bad. It’s a decent addition to my list of BOOKS WRITEN BY CELEBRITIES.
The Worst Hard Time won the National Book Award this year, and I drove home listening to an interview with the author on Fresh Air. I went straight into the library and picked up the book straight-away, and told the librarian how excited I was to read it! she was like: “oh?” I don’t think my dedication to picking up a book right away impressed her.

Look forward for dorky book stats!

November 2006 Books

88. The Last Word and the Word After That by Brian McLaren
89. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
90. I, Robot by Issac Asimov (audiobook)
91. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
92. Heidi by Johanna Spyri
93. The Serpent on the Crown by Elizabeth Peters
94. The Curse of the Pharoahs by Elizabeth Peters
95. The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters (audiobook)

When I was a kid, we had an old, beautifully illustrated copy of Heidi. I read it over and over and over again. it smelled delicious, and the plate illustrations were so pretty. I have no idea where it is now, but I loved that book. it’s the only thing from my childhood that I don’t have now, that I wish I did.

Also, accidentally, it seems that Kathleen and I are reading the Elizabeth Peters/Amelia Peabody books at the same time! I listened to a couple of them by downloading them from the library. I heart that feature. it kept me company as I reupholstered my couch for 10 hours, and again as I sewed on my dress that is still not done, and also as I cleaned cleaned cleaned before my cocktail party.

It’s a few days into december already, and I’m already 3 more books down.. that means that I have a super-excellent chance of hitting 100 this year!

October 2006 books

76. The Secret Message of Jesus by Brian McLaren
77. Sue Barton: Student Nurse by Helen Dore Boylston
78. Sue Barton: Senior Nurse by Helen Dore Boylston
79. Sue Barton: Visiting Nurse by Helen Dore Boylston
80. Sue Barton: Rural Nurse by Helen Dore Boylston
81. The Story We Find Ourselves In by Brian McLaren
82. Sue Barton: Superintendent of Nurses by Helen Dore Boylston
83. Sue Barton: Neighborhood Nurse by Helen Dore Boylston
84. Alligator by Lisa Moore
85. Electric Michaelangelo by Sarah Hall
86. April Lady by Georgette Heyer
87. Giant’s Bread by Mary Westmacott

I didn’t even know Agatha Christie wrote books under a nom de plume (Ms. Westmacott). I can read just about anything, but man, the plot and general story of Giant’s Bread was so convaluted and horrible. The writing was great, natch – but too much romance and selfish and people making noble decisions and other people not being noble. I didn’t have the heart to read the other five books she’d written as Mary Westmacott. Although she might have improved the formula, it just wasn’t worth it to find out.

September 2006 books

56. It Ends with Revelations by Dodie Smith
57. All that Remains by Patricia Cornwall
58. The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery Vol II: 1910-1924
59. Blowfly by Patricia Cornwall
60. Life Support by Tess Gerritsen
61. Blindsight by Robin Cook
62. Gravity by Tess Gerritsen
63. Laura by Vivian Schurfranz
64. Nora by Jeffie Ross Gordon
65. Diana by Mary Francis Schura
66. Jacquelyn by Jeffie Ross Gordon
67. Jenie by Jane Claypool Miner
68. Josie by Vivian Schurfranz
69. Margaret by Jane Claypool Miner
70. Corey by Jane Claypool Miner
71. Veronica by Jane Claypool Miner
72. Cassie by Vivian Schurfranz
73. Julie by Vivian Schurfranz
74. Caroline by Willo Davis Roberts
75. Venitia by Georgette Heyer
* the books with girls names are all sunfire books, which are books featuring young girls in various tulmultous times of american history. I used to read them in middle school and I learned a lot about various epic adventures. of course, they’ve all got the same basic structure: girl in thrilling period of american history must choose between two totally different but equally devoted suitors. this page is a great reference. you know, if you’re interested in learning more. I bought a lot of 15 from ebay in the spring.

** Venitia is NOT a sunfire romance, it was a selection of the chicklit book club and is a 1958 regency period novel. I really enjoyed it.

*** mom has passed along quite a few thriller mass market paperbacks, and I did my best to read all the odds and ends on my bookshelf this month. I’m passing them along to the lending library at my gym, or to Kathleen. I hope someone else enjoys them!

**** I can NOT believe I’m up to 75 books. It’s because they’re all trash, but whatever. I’ll take it. I am so well on my way to 100 books this year. as long as I don’t start watching lots of dvds, I’ll totally make it.

new books posts

I updated my reading list for the last 6 months – if you’re interested, it’s easiest to find them all here. There’s not a lot of details about my impressions, so by all means if there are any curious readers out there leave a comment and I’ll get into more detail.

I have to admit, in July I was a little concerned that I’d never achieve my general goal of 100 books/year. but now that I see I’m up to 55 at the end of august, and knowing that I’ve already got two down this month, maybe it’s not hopeless! Though I was up by 4 books comparatively in August 2005.

August 2006 Books

44. The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery – Vol. 1, 1889-1910
45. The Unpleasantness of the Bellona Club by Dorothy Sayers
46. Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers
47. The Fiver Red Herrings by Dorothy Sayers
48. Have His Carcase by Dorothy Sayers
49. Murder Must Advertize by Dorothy Sayers
50. The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers
51. Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers
52. Lord Peter (short stories) by Dorothy Sayers
53. Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy Sayers
54. Thrones, Dominations by Dorothy Sayers and Jill Paton Walsh
55. Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Finished up the Lord Peter novels, which I enjoyed very very much. Excellent beach reading for my two trips there!

June and July 2006 books

31. Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
32. Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett
33. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
34. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
35. Having Faith: an Ecologists Journy Towards Motherhood by Sandra Steingraber\
36. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
37. Goodbye Chunky Rice by CraigThompson
38. The Town in Bloom by Dodie Smith
39. The New Moon with the Old by Dodie Smith
40. A Tale of Two Families by Dodie Smith
41. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers
42. Whose Body by Dorothy Sayers
43. Unatural Death by Dorothy Sayers

I didn’t seperate these two months in my paper book journal.  I did a Lot of reading after the breakup at the end of may – some heavy books that are still in progress, actually, but a lot of other books to just keep me company at night.

I also went on a Dodie Smith binge because I enjoyed “I Capture the Castle” so very much, and at the end of July I got around to starting the Lord Peter Wimsey series by Dorothy Sayers. Luckily my very wonderful library was able to interlibrary loan me everything I wanted to read!

May 2006 Books

23. Bait and Switch: the (futile) pursuit of the American Dream by Barbara Ehrenreich
24. Black Silk by Metsy Hingle
25. Megan by Vivian Scherfranz
26. The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad
27. A New Kind of Christian: a tale of two friends on a spiritual journey by Brian McLaren
28. Miracles Happen: The Life and Timeless Principles of the Founder of Mary Kay Inc. By Mary Kay Ash.
29. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
30. Gabrielle by Mary Francis Shura

I won an ebay auction for a bunch of the sunfire romances, which were my absolute favorite when I was in middle school. honestly, I learned more about american history from these books than I did from school – thank goodness they were reasonably correct!

April 2006 Books

20. My Life with the Saints by James Martin
21. Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine
22. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

Not too many. was cleaning my apartment, having a birthday, enjoying others birthdays.