Saturday, December 12, 2009

Books Read in June, July, August, September, October & November

Um, I've been busy?

Charlaine Harris: Shakespeare's Landlord
Sally Gardner: I, Coriander
John Le Carre: Single & Single
Libba Bray: The Sweet Far Thing
John Sedden: Mudlark
David Almond: Skellig
Eva Ibbotson: The Secret of Platform 13

Barbara Nadel: Belshazzar's Daughter
Jared Diamond: Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Tracey Chevalier: The Virgin Blue
Charlaine Harris: Living Dead in Dallas
Paulo Coelho: The Devil and Miss Prym
Sam Savage: Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife
Graham Joyce: Do the Creepy Thing

Manuel Puig: Kiss of the Spider Woman
Jacqueline Winspear: Maisie Dobbs
Georgette Heyer: Charity Girl
Isabel Allende: The House of Spirits
Kate Atkinson: Emotionally Weird
Charlaine Harris: Club Dead

Joseph O'Neill: Netherland
James Patterson: Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment
Wangari Maathai: Unbowed
Paulo Coelho: The Zahir
Dorothy L. Sayers: The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club
Sara Gruen: Water for Elephants
Ian Rankin: Knots & Crosses
Sharyn McCrumb: If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him . . .

Patrick Rothfuss: The Name of the Wind
Charlaine Harris: Dead to the World
Dorothy L. Sayers: Murder Must Advertise
Philip Pullman: The Tin Princess
Sebastian Faulks: Engleby
Daniel & Dina Nayeri: Another Faust
Margery Allingham: Police at the Funeral
Mary Doria Russell: The Sparrow

Georgette Heyer: These Old Shades
Charlaine Harris: Dead as a Doornail
David Clement-Davies: The Telling Pool
Stieg Larsson: The Girl Who Played With Fire
Terry Pratchett: Truckers: The First Books of the Nomes
Herbie Brennan: Faerie Wars
Jodi Picoult: The Tenth Circle
Stephenie Meyer: New Moon*
Eoin Cofler: The Wish List

*I will NOT be reading any other books in this series. Blech!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Books Read in May

A short list of mostly long books:

Joyce Carol Oates: The Gravedigger's Daughter
  • Excellent, of course. The protagonist, Rebecca Schwart, is a tough, ruthless version of Faulkner's Lena Grove.
Eva Ibbotson: The Dragonfly Pool
  • Set mostly at an English boarding school during WWII, this is a wonderful YA novel that -- without having a bit of magic, sorcery, or wizardry in it -- seems magical.
Libba Bray: Rebel Angels
  • The second novel in the Gemma Doyle trilogy. I'm looking forward to the film version of A Great and Terrible Beauty in 2010, and am reading the third novel, The Sweet Far Thing, right now.
Karen Maitland: Company of Liars
  • An easy-to-read thriller set in 1348 England during the Black Plague.
Matthew Skelton: Endymion Spring
  • A YA fantasy novel that alternates between present-day Oxford and 15th-century Germany. With the Gutenberg Press and dragons!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Few Snaps from the Trip to Prague

A view of the River Vltava and the Stare Mesto, or Old Town

A street near Prague Castle

Stained glass window by Alphonse Mucha in St. Vitus' Cathedral

A tram bearing evidence of my family's coffee empire


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Holy Cow!

Kim arrives this Friday! Woo hoo!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Reading List for March & April with Bonus Snaps from the Keukenhof

Audrey Niffenegger: The Time Traveler's Wife -- Excellent! Not at all what I expected.

Kate Atkinson: Behind the Scenes at the Museum -- My love affair with Kate Atkinson's books continues.

Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird -- I reread this because it had been assigned to one of my students. I had forgotten why this book is a classic. I worry, though, that it's wasted on 9th graders.

Tana French: In the Woods -- A compelling mystery with a disappointing ending.

Gregory Maguire: What the Dickens: the Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy -- Disappointing -- a great premise, but the book read like a rough draft.

Charlaine Harris: Dead Until Dark -- Southern-fried, raunchy vampire fun!

Sonya Hartnett: Thursday's Child -- An excellent YA novel that is probably better appreciated by adults.

Steig Larrson: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -- The first in a series of Swedish mysteries. I'm definitely reading the second and third books.

Norma Fox Mazer: When She Was Good -- Another excellent YA novel.

Tobias Hill: The Cryptographer -- Boringly oblique? Obliquely boring?

MT Anderson: The Game of Sunken Places -- Really disappointing -- another work from a prominent YA author that reads like an early draft.

Sarah Addison Allen: Garden Spells -- Fun chick-lit set in the NC mountains!

Joanne Harris: Gentlemen and Players -- A creepy and well-written thriller.

John Le Carre: Call for the Dead -- An early mystery from one of my faves.

Robin McKinley: Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast -- A sweet YA novel that I somehow missed when I was a YA.

Jaclyn Moriarty: Feeling Sorry for Celia -- A great epistolary YA novel from Australia!

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Sunday, April 26, 2009


Friday, Brownie Duck and her Beau brought by their ducklings. Brownie and Beau are regulars at Amity's Buffet for Birds (originally Amity's Aviary Buffet, but I had to change the name to discourage the neighborhood cats).


Sunday, April 05, 2009

Back on the Quattro!

With pretty good weather today, Simon and I got back on the good tandem, affectionately known as the Quattro after DCI Gene Hunt's car in Ashes to Ashes.

Anyhoo, our stats were okay given that it was our the first time back on the bike in months:

Distance: 19.75 miles
Time: 65 minutes
Average speed: 18.2 mph
Top speed: 23.3 mph