January 12, 2015
I don't spend as much time as I used to browsing for myself at bookstores anymore—when we do go, I often look for something more substantial than Captain Underpants that the Beaner might like—but it is my habit to buy three or four books at a time when I do. Not sure why; I usually just find a bunch of things that look interesting and can't decide among them, so I get them all. The next thing that usually...
January 17, 2010
At breakfast the other morning, the Beaner held up a book with an orange cover (yes, we allow books and magazines at the table, though I sweep them away if I notice he's not eating) and announced, "Mom, it just occurred to me what Green Eggs and Ham is about."...
September 14, 2009
To be honest, I've sort of been ignoring the budget impasse that's been plaguing our Pennsylvania state government. I've been through several of these before in other states (and I remember well a couple federal ones), and everything always turns out OK in the end. There's partisan bickering, a few services that don't affect me shut down temporarily, and every public television and radio station in the state starts freaking out. It's annoying, but the effects are usually limited,...
February 24, 2009
After a brief interlude in contemporary non-fiction (I highly recommend The Post-American World —the audiobook is read by the author, who has both a compelling argument and a compelling voice), I've returned to the classics on my Audible wishlist. I've been listening to Dickens' Bleak House, and a passage from it that I heard today struck me as particularly apropos to our times....
November 14, 2008
Back in January I ordered Shauna Reid's book The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl from Amazon UK on the recommendation of a Flickr acquaintance whose blog I've also been reading for years....
November 13, 2008
Thanks to Molly for getting me all steamed about this via Twitter: No Starch Press, a subsidiary of famed technical book publisher O'Reilly, has just published How to Be a Geek Goddess....
October 10, 2008
What I'm reading right now:...
July 7, 2008
[I started a post about bing cherries and pear martinis in an effort to stay within the NaBloPoMo food theme, but I deleted it. While I love cherries, and I think there's room to improve my pear martini recipe, it felt forced. Instead, today I will post a tiny book-related rant.]...
May 27, 2008
Thanks to Al's superior parenting skills (and longer attention span when it comes to playing Car Dealership), I got to spend a lot of time reading this holiday weekend, and I finished Friday Night Lights last night. On Saturday night I came across a section that discussed the conservatism of West Texas in general and the 1988 presidential election in particular, and I was struck by its relevance to the current campaign....
January 27, 2008
I'm trying to (a) read more this year, and (b) pay attention to what I'm reading. I seem to be getting to a point in my life that I actually can't remember whether I've read something or not—a day I never thought would come. For years I've wondered why my mom penciled notes into the front of books in her bookcase that said, "Read 4/89" or "Read 7/03". NOW I KNOW....
January 3, 2008
I started reading Dreaming in Code before Thanksgiving, and to be honest, I haven't finished it yet. I originally checked it out from the library, but a few chapters in I began to regret that I didn't have my own copy. I was dying to scribble in the margins. When the desire to scribble became unbearable, over Thanksgiving weekend, I finally hit on the idea of putting my scribblings on Post-It notes and pasting them to the pages. I...
January 2, 2008
It seems like we've been on a book-buying binge for a year or more—and that doesn't even include the books we've been getting at the library. I *love* being surrounded by books, and we seem to be doing our best to bury the Beaner in them, too. One of my favorite things to do is share the books we love by giving copies as gifts to other children, but I can only spread the love so far. That's why...
August 16, 2007
I read Rollergirl: Totally True Tales From the Track forever ago, and I've been procrastinating about writing about it ever since. I wanted to do it justice, and the words just weren't coming to me. I'm not sure they'll come to me now, but I'm writing about it anyway because saying SOMETHING is better than saying nothing if I want anyone to ready this book—and I definitely do. (I've already passed my copy on to a friend, with instructions...
November 14, 2006
I am running on a ridiculous sleep deficit brought on, not by NaBloPoMo—which I've actually been keeping up with rather well, don't you think?—but by The Blind Side, which I've stayed up late (past 1:30am several nights in the last week) reading. If you've read Moneyball (and if you haven't, click on that link and buy it right now!), you know something not only about baseball, but about how Michael Lewis can suck you into a sports story and...
November 2, 2005
It's important to know that when I say "leaf peeping", I say it the way Al would—in a sort of high-pitched, introducing-His-Majesty-the-King fanfare style. LlllLeaf PppPeeping! OK, now that the correct pronounciation of "leaf peeping" has been established, here's what we did today:...
August 12, 2005
It's been so long since I moaned about the rm -r debacle—and so many things have returned in the past six months—that you might have forgotten it happened. I haven't, and I've been waiting for an opportunity to reconstruct a few parts of the site that have remained missing. That opportunity has come, and one of the parts I'm working on is the book reviews, most of which I've been able to salvage from archive.org and Google's cache. I've...
August 1, 2005
I just had to give a post here that title, since Al and I have taken to saying it to each other all the time now. (It was Al who pointed out to me that an amazing number of sentences in the Harry Potter series start with, "Harry, Ron, and Hermione", but J.K. Rowling also acknowledges it in her recent TIME Magazine article.) We've been listening to the books on the iPod (with a Y-adapter to accommodate two sets...
March 27, 2005
Things I'm enjoying but don't have time to write individual posts about: John Adams, by David McCullough Honeymoon With My Brother hadn't come in yet at the library, and I was in the mood for more Revolutionary generation reading anyway after finishing Founding Brothers, so I picked this up at the branch library off Rittenhouse Square (called the Philadelphia City Institute branch, not Rittenhouse, strangely enough) last week. I was a bit worried by its size, and that it...
February 18, 2005
Herewith, some random observations that have been on my mind for a while and which I have not managed to blog about before now: Reading Material I don't know what I was thinking when I stopped at the library the other day; I'm still not done with Founding Brothers, I haven't finished the February issue of Martha Stewart Living (although like all good porn, MSL is pretty timeless), and I'm drowning in Wall Street Journals (I find those crazy...
October 26, 2004
A few random items: dj blurb opened up comments on his endorsement post, and I loved reading all most of the different points of view. (Most—but not all—commenters support Kerry, but whom each person supports not as interesting as why.) Al and I start childbirth classes tonight. This week's pregnancy newsletter from ParentsPlace.com seemed to suggest that I'd be nervous about the birth by now, but for some reason I'm not. I am loving The Price of Loyalty: George...
October 21, 2004
A while back I decided to revive my book reviews by moving the existing reviews to a mySQL database and adding new ones. The database was on the fritz for a few months, which put a damper on reviewing books as I read them, but now that it's back up and working again, I've decided to link my "Additional Reading" titles to the reviews rather than to Amazon.com. Here's how it will work: The heading, "Additional Reading", will always...
August 26, 2004
I have a bunch of things I wanted to write about (and probably will at some point over the next couple days), but the thing that's jumped to the top of the list with a bullet (or a boxcutter, as the case may be), is the 9/11 Commission Report. I finished a rather innocuous Jane Austen mystery the night before last, so I picked up the next book in my pile, which happened to be the 9/11 report. I...
March 21, 2004
This has been a week of books for me. I hadn't read much since my Austen binge back in the fall; after zipping through Party Monster, I was stymied by a rather boring biography of Ben Franklin. What snapped me out of the reading lull was our vacation in February, which prompted me to grab a bought-years-ago-but-never-read title off the shelf in our guest room: Soul of a New Machine, by Tracy Kidder. I then decided to tackle The...
September 16, 2003
I've been on a bit of a Jane Austen binge lately. I re-read my three favorites, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma, and now I've moved on to the never-before-read Northanger Abbey. I probably should have re-read Persuasion or picked up a new Jane Austen mystery instead; either would have been a bit less dull. Northanger Abbey is short, however, and probably easily finished. And today I've been watching the movie versions of Emma and Pride and...
May 19, 2003
I finished reading And the Band Played On on the plane back from Baltimore yesterday. Truly an amazing, powerful book—part medical mystery, part political thriller, part history of the evolution of the gay community—it was difficult to put down. I highly recommend the paperback version, since you'll want to carry this 672-page monster with you wherever you might find a few minutes to read. There were many revelations in the book (at least for me); it was interesting to...
April 23, 2003
I just noticed, after posting Seabiscuit in Motion, that the grandson of Red Pollard commented on my original Seabiscuit post yesterday. Wild. Oh, and then I Googled Norah Christianson (to make sure that I'd spelled her name correctly), and I came across this review of the American Experience episode on Seabiscuit. It mentions that the footage of the workouts was actually shot for the movie The Black Stallion (based on the book I'd loved as a pre-teen, and which...
I watched the American Experience episode on Seabiscuit last night (we Tivo'ed it, which accounts for the 1 day lag). For me, the book was a bit too long, but the TV program left me wanting more (perhaps another 30 minutes or so?). I'm glad they left out some of the (what I thought were) extraneous details, such as Charles Howard's beginnings in San Francisco and the shitpile and brothel in Tijuana, but I wanted more on how Seabiscuit...
April 18, 2003
I was noodling around Amazon.com this morning, looking for interesting books to add to my Wish List and presents to buy for family members, when I stumbled across a link that said, "Just Like You" in a place called Lori's Store. I was dying to see what someone Just Like Me would look like, so I followed the link. "Crushing disappointment" is about the best thing I can say about it; in fact, I might sue for libel. The...
April 15, 2003
Why have I been quiet for a few days? Mainly because I've been busy with other things, mulling over ideas that I'm not yet ready to write about, and because I'm not a fan of "I have nothing to say" posts. I've written them before, and invariably, they're the entries I enjoy least when I go back and review sections of my personal history. So I've opted to focus on work (which could use some focusing on) and reading...
April 7, 2003
Since finishing Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets a few weeks ago, I've had nothing to read at night or on the train. It hasn't been so bad, since I've mostly been driving to work lately and using the between-book interval to catch up on all the TV shows TiVo had recorded for me. After watching And the Band Played On on HBO and The Last of the Mohicans (for the first time, all the way through; I've...