Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Whatcha readin'?

I installed this nifty widget on my sidebar that shows what I'm reading. It comes from, which is a great site; the blog widget's a tiny fraction of what it does.

Seems I can't read just one book at a time. My book groups read things monthly, and I always have longer-term or additional reads going too. So the list will change every few weeks, and maybe I'll post more about books than I have been, or maybe I won't.

Sometimes I don't have much to say about 'em. For instance, I recently finished The Sea, by John Banville, and although he's obviously a very good writer, and there is rich vocabulary and a certain intriguing rhythm to this novel, its characters are vile and/or inaccessible, so the book left me feeling appreciation but also a sort of distaste. Hardly a wholehearted recommendation. Yet it won the Booker prize, so what the heck do I know.

At any rate you can expect that George Washington bio to be weighing down my "currently reading" list for the next decade or so. After I read David McCullough's John Adams, which was wonderful, I was so enthralled with the joy and virtue (!) of reading Presidential biography that I made an informal vow to read one a year, starting with Washington's. And... that was probably 5 years ago now. The biography of Washington that I chose is a miserable slog compared to John Adams. I am too stubborn to quit it and get a more readable one, too easily distracted from it to ever get through the dang thing.

Do you like to read? What's in your stack?


  1. Currently, I'm having a real problem finding books. It's partly being in Norway, and partly because I don't really have the time to immerse myself in a book. Two pages every night is just not enough.

    So I'll look at your list and get inspired. The Helen Boyd book looks really it? That's a subject I don't really know anything about.

  2. Ditch Washington so that you can read the great new biography of Jefferson.

    Is there an enthralling biography of Millard Fillmore? Do let us know when you get there.

  3. Hi Heidi! Yes, Helen Boyd's book is very interesting. She has certainly thought about gender more than most people ever do. It's something most folks take for granted -- you're either female or you're male, right? Turns out things aren't nearly so clear for a lot of people. Transgenderedness is just beginning to get any kind of public understanding, and transgendered people can have a really tough row to hoe.

    Mrs. T, I am *this* close to tossing that Washington book and reading a children's bio of him instead, just to get to the Jefferson one.

  4. I just finished Little Children by Tom Perrotta (sp?); I'm currently reading The Alienist by Caleb Carr; next is Elizabeth & Leicester by Elizabeth Jenkins.

    The children HATE it when I read anything that I am not reading aloud to them, so reading is not easily done in my household. :-(