2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge- Year in Review

book-stackIt’s 2017!  Where has 2016 gone?  It was a great year for reading, and I met my reading challenge (notice I’m not saying “goal.”  I have a tricky relationship with goals and reading, as I’ve addressed in this specific context before).  Here’s how the year went: Continue reading

“Upstream” by Mary Oliver- Book Review

upstreamI can’t read Mary Oliver’s poetry (which I have been doing a lot lately), without considering her process.  Not knowing anything else, I imagined long walks and lots of quiet pondering.  Early mornings.  But also late nights afterwards.  At a desk.  With a warm lamp. Writing, drifting, thinking.  I imagined a dog with her, maybe, on these walks or by the fire. Sometimes. Lots of quiet.  Upstream, a collection of her essays, filled in some, but not all, of the blanks. Continue reading

Million Dollar Book Swap Idea!

book-swapI’ve got a multi-million dollar book swap app idea!  Are you ready?  Here it goes!  Okay, so it’s not original to me.  Goodreads.com actually did it first, and it was great, but then they stopped doing it, and I was sad.  I used it a few times, sent several books, ordered several more, the most it ever cost you was the postage.  You earned credits for every book you sent away at no cost to you.  Earn ten credits, and you don’t even have to pay the postage on the next book you acquire.  That’s right!  Give away ten books you don’t want anymore, and you can get one book you really do want, yours to keep, absolutely free! Continue reading

Man Book Club: An Apology?

man book club true dunce academyBy now we’ve all read or seen or heard about The New York Times article skewering all-male book clubs.  These groups, consisting entirely and exclusively of men, purportedly get together and do nothing but read books by men about men.  And, we can only assume from the context, also drink whiskey and tell sexist jokes and reminisce about the good old pre-women’s suffrage days. Whether this is genuinely newsworthy or just calculated clickbait, I’m not sure, but one thing is certain; the corresponding outrage is real. Continue reading

Book Review: Adulting – by Kelly Williams Brown

adulting by kelly williams brownIs there anything more millennial than this taking a noun and making it a hip-sounding new “-ing” gerund trend?  Googling, texting, tweeting, Facebooking.  That’s about all I thought Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown was going to be, a novel-length collection of snide millennial hipsterness.  I was…wrong? Continue reading

Book Review: The Wordy Shipmates, by Sarah Vowell

book reviewIf you’re looking for a great book recommendation, you could certainly do worse than Sarah Vowell’s The Wordy ShipmatesStrike that, the book was amazing, who am I kidding?  I guess I feel like kind of a book nerd admitting this, but Vowell makes history fun.  Exciting.  Hilarious!  I know, I couldn’t believe it either.  But there you have it. Continue reading

More Late Fees, More Problems

When checking the mail a couple of weeks ago, my wife was surprised to see a piece of correspondence from our local library.  After opening it, she was even further surprised to see that it contained a notice informing her that, if she did not pay her outstanding late fees (at that time amounting to approximately $17), she would be sent to collections.  She was given a week to comply.  We were both outraged.

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Scandinavian Crime Fiction

the forgotten girlsI am just about finished with Sara Blaedel’s The Forgotten Girls.  As crime fiction goes, it is pretty standard fare.  What I didn’t realize until after I started reading it, however, is that Blaedel is from Denmark.  And looking back, the last several crime fiction books I’ve read have also been from that part of the world: Stieg Larsson and his Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Series (Sweden); Jo Nesbø and his Detective Harry Hole series (Norway); and maybe not exactly crime fiction, but along these same lines, Herman Koch (born in the Netherlands, but having spent some time in Finland)(I recently devoured both The Dinner and Summer House With Swimming Pool. Excellent!). Continue reading