I got a Nook a few months ago. I use it every day and love it. I try not to buy many books on it, because they arw so nuch more expensive than used print books. There are many free or lower priced books, and I think I’ve read 12 of them.

I also read a few print books I rediscovered during our move. I read Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, and The Great Gatsby. Loved both, especially Gatsby.

I discovered this wonderful writing genre. Well, I have enjoyed this sort of writing–long, nonfiction essays and articles, for a long time reading Vanity Fair, Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker. A few times I purchased the best crime writing anthology for a given year, a collection of well written true crime articles.

I found this website, longreads.com, that culls magazine articles and essays from many sources each week, and I love it! I have read so much the past month or 2. Sometimes I feel like all I do is read, besides working and cleaning house. At times I feel lazy, but I’m learning a lot! There are also literary criticisms which have inspired me to read something I may have forgotten, or rediscover a writer I love, like J.M. Coetzee.

I found this website, longreads.com, which is

Three Generations, No Imbeciles, Lombardo.  I just couldn’t continue, I think because my attention span is very short right now.  Lots going on.

However, I did read 2 other books this week, and started another.

What It Is by Sarah Burleton.  Quick read, a memoir by someone who was abused horribly by her mother.

Return From Tomorrow by George Ritchie w/ Elizabeth Sherrill.  It is Ritchie’s account of his after life experience when he was at boot camp in training WWII.  It is quite fascinating.  I believe his co-author, Sherrill, originally wrote about George Ritchie in Guideposts magazine.  They state in the book that Ritchie’s story was the inspiration for Raymond Moody’s research into after life experiences.  I found the book very inspirational.  Ritchie is a Christian, and believes the name of God is Jesus, based on his experience.

I am now reading a very entertaining book about the marijuana trade in the 70’s & early 80’s.  It is called  Jackpot, High Times, High Seas, and the Sting That Launched the War on Drugs by Jason Ryan.  It is very interesting, I love historical books that recount events that didn’t happen very long ago.  I’m also dying to see if I recognize any of the characters, because in the late 80’s or early 90’s a fugitive smuggler who was a pilot was captured in Richmond, and, sadly, broke the heart of a girl he was seeing, who I knew.  Small world, no?

Plus, my sister, Betsy, is visiting from IN, I left a job under duress 2 weeks ago, starting a new job next week, closing on a house next week, youngest going to FL on a chorus trip next week, and moving the following week.  I guess that’s about it!

Reading, read


several books.

Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and how it changed America by John M. Barry.  I liked this book because it included a rich history of the Mississippi River and its geography, and of our history of manipulating it.  It also recounted how blacks were treated in the Delta during this time.  Folks, if you think racism ended with the Civil War, read this.  I feel like I’ve blogged about this book before but I couldn’t find it.  Anyhow, it dragged at times but it is full of interesting details, and the parallels between what happens now (Katrina, and the Mississippi River flooding this year) are sad.

Almost finished reading Zelda, an excellent biography of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald by Nancy Milford.  It is very interesting.  Early 20th century literature and authors and artists interest me, and this book doesn’t disappoint.

I received Inside Scientology by Janet Reitman this week.  I had to immediately tear into it.  I’ve always wanted to know the full history of L. Ron Hubbard, and it is included here.  It is well documented, and seems fair.  It reveals some dirty secrets about Scientology, though.  It also familiarizes the reader with the lexicon of Scientology, which is helpful.  They use made up words, as well as existing words they’ve given a different meaning.

I read The Reason by Sally Grablick also.  I’m going to do a separate post on that because I was asked to review it, and I think it’s an important book for anyone suffering the loss of a loved one to read.

I’m still stumbling through Black Sun about Harry Crosby, by Geoffrey Wolff.  It is excellent, and of course I love the era and historical perspective.  Don’t know why it’s taking me so long to get through it, but I know I’ll finish it.

I just ordered a slew of books from Amazon so I better get reading.  Ta!

Emmanuel Carrère The Mustache & Class Trip

Philip Weiss American Taboo: A Murder in the Peace Corp

Lawrence Schiller  Into the Mirror: the Life of Master Spy Robert P. Hanssen, Perfect Murder, Perfect Town; Cape May Courthouse, American Tragedy (some of these are collaborations with other authors.)

Vincent Bugliosi Helter Skelter, And the Sea Will Tell, Outrage: the Five Reasons OJ Simpson Got Away With Murder

David Sheff Beautiful Boy

Matt Birkbeck A Beautiful Child

Jack Olsen The Bridge at Chappaquiddick

Salinger: A Catcher in the Rye

Frank Conroy Stop Time

Tom Grimes Mentor

Wm. Faulkner As I Lay Dying

David Cullen Columbine

Nancy Schoenberger Dangerous Muse-The Life of Lady Caroline Blackwood

Joseph Wambaugh Echoes in the Darkness, Fire Lover

M. William Phelps Every Move You Make

Amanda Vaill Everyone Was So Young: Gerald & Sara Murphy: A Lost Generation Love Story

Julie Salaman Facing the Wind: A True Story of Tragedy & Reconciliation

Joe McGinniss Fatal Vision

Catherine Crier Final Analysis: The Untold Story of the Susan Polk Murder Case

Ann Rule Green River, Running Red; The Stranger Beside Me

Joyce Maynard Internal Combustion: The Story of a Marriage and a  Murder in Motor City; At Home In the World

Jon Krakauer In the Wild, Into Thin Air, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

Mary Karr The Liars Club, Lit: A Memoir

John Berendt Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil






Reading (or not)


I tried, I really tried, to read Hypochondriacs by Brian Dillon.  I read about James Boswell’s hypochondria (read: depression).  I thought Charlotte Bonte would be more interesting.  It wasn’t.  He was absolutely obsessive about rehashing the etymolgy of the word hypochondria.  I really got it by about page 25.  I wanted to hear more about how it was reflected in the life and work of the artists.  I will skim it further, though, to see what he has to say about the others, especially Andy Warhol.  He was the most contemporary artist studied here.

I’m now reading Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner.  It’s a quick read, and I like her writing.  She lectures and teaches at Duke Divinity.  She is the child of a Jewish man and a lapsed Baptist woman, all southern.  She seems a little obsessive herself, and could be arrogant if not for her frequent self-effacement.  In college she decides to become an Orthodox Jew (I never knew they had all of these daily rituals and rules!) and later becomes a Chrisitian.  I’m curious about her journey, because my path always takes a lot of twists and turns.  She recently spoke at University of Richmond.  I couldn’t go, so I ordered this book.  I think she was actually touting her latest book, but I thought this one looked interesting.  I always find conversion from one religion to another interesting, because my take is always from the point of from religion to no religion.

I want to read more poems by the following writers/poets:  William Blake, Langston Hughes, Mary Karr, Billy Collins, Mary Oliver.

Spring-Oh My!


It has been ages since I’ve posted on my blog.  I have to say–when I’m busy it’s hard to find the inspiration or time.  The weather has been fabulous!!  Today breezy, high 80’s & pollen all over the place.  Was in a big hurry this morning so I didn’t do my neti pot.  Opted for the rare but quick Afrin, because my nose was so not taking in air properly.  Also took a zyrtec. 

I’ve discovered the dog park in my apartment complex & have taken Elsie there twice.  I want to get her over there every day.  So far she has not socialized, although she has shown initial interest & sniffage.  The first day there was a Golden Doodle-poodle/golden mix named.. Memo.  He was adorable and playful.  Elsie was snapping (very harmlessly) at him.  Didn’t want to play.  There was also a Great Dane named Diesel.  He was dark gray and like a big teddy bear-very sweet.  Elsie got along fine with him.  (That is-sniffed and allowed herself to be sniffed).

Yesterday there was an energetic, sweet Westie named Belle.  She wanted to play with Elsie so badly, but Elsie wasn’t in the mood.  There was no snapping though.  Then Luke, a basset hound, came.  He is 12 years old and darling.  Elsie showed the most interest in Luke.  She even got a little frisky, but to no end.  Lost interest.  All of the owners are very nice, and I’m hoping Elsie will get socialized.  She wanted to see our little neighbor, Vixen, who is a mix with the softest hair.  We got pollen all over us yesterday and I found a tick on me later, crawling.  That gives me the biggest heebie-jeebs!  I really dislike ticks.  Need to put some Frontline on Elsie pronto.

I’ve been reading, of course.  Now I’m reading an interesting book called The Hypochondriacs by Brian Dillon.  I believe he’s Irish.  It’s a study of various artists and brilliant thinkers from Emily Bonte, Charles Darwin to Andy Warhol who were afflicted.  It treats the perception of the meaning of the word well, with a thorough history of it in the beginning of the book.  It was a little dull, but when he gets into talking about the individuals affected I’m sure it will interest me more.  I also need to get a dictionary out or be by my laptop when I’m reading because I am not familiar with some of the words he uses.  Providentially, I saw this book on a website called Bas Bleu.  It heralds itself “champion of the odd little book”.  I had written down the name of this book the day before I saw it at the library, so I checked it out.

Last week I read… trying to remember… Oh, Alice Sebold’s The Almost Moon.  Oddly, I’d read it before, and it couldn’t have been that long ago, but I remembered few of the details.  I just kept having de-ja-vu the whole time I was reading it.  It was very creepy, because I still never got the memory of reading it, the certainty that I’d read it.   I enjoyed it, but her cerebral Existentialism was a little over the top.  I read it over last weekend.  I really like Alice Sebold.  I read The Lovely Bones years ago.  It was excellent.  I was startled and impressed with her treatment of the narrator as a little girl who had been murdered.  Lucky is her memoir of being raped in college, and it was also very good.  Her writing is impressive.

The week before I read Mary Karr’s Lit.  It was wonderful.  I didn’t want it to end.  Her prose is beautiful, and her honesty really reaches into the reader.  I loved it.  I had read The Liars Club back in 1996 or 97 when it came out.  I enjoyed it a lot, and of course didn’t remember any of the details, just that I’d loved the book.  Unlike Sebold’s book, I remembered reading The Liars Club, although it was years ago.  I also didn’t remember she was a poet also, and I want to read her poetry.  Mary Karr is soooo real & good & honest.   I love it when a book makes you want to be friends with the writer.

Well, that’s it for the moment.  Lots of changes in our lives, all for the good.  It’s been a bit painful, but it’s going to be fine.  It already is.  I’ve been up & down, but right now the weather is giving me a great boost, and I have my positive mojo, if not my creative mojo.  Muse, where are you?  Please visit.  I promise I will pay attention.