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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend

Tye, Larry.  Satchel:  The Life and Times of an American Baseball Legend.

I enjoyed this book overall.  It was in many ways an absorbing glimpse into Satchel Paige's life and into the history of the Negro Leagues and their eventual demise as a result of integration.

Satchel was a peerless pitcher and a legend in his own mind as well as a legend for all time.  He had remarkable confidence in his pitching abilities (sometimes calling in all his fielders, so confident was he of striking out the remaining batters) and for more than 40 years, in both the Negro Leagues and the Major Leagues, he continued to astound.  Not only his speed, but his accuracy was legendary.

The author finds Satch's claim to have pitched 2,500 games a realistic one, as the Negro Leagues played Winter Ball as well.  And Satch played for more than one team at a time, often pitching back to back games.

The information about other black players such as Moses Fleetwood Walker, Rube Foster, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, and many others provided an interesting look at the history of black baseball and some of its superstars.

There is both the joy of reading about some of Satch's remarkable feats and the sadness of his later years, in ill health and trying to make ends meet.  He was an imperfect man, but an almost perfect pitcher with a fast ball that, in his youth, was estimated at over 100 mph.  Even when he was in 60's, the man was able to put on an impressive performance.

My main problem with the book is that it moves forward and back in time in a manner that I sometimes found annoying.  It felt like a collection of anecdotes and statistics interspersed and often interrupting the "storyline"....  The anecdotes and statistics were entertaining and  informative, but I would have preferred a more cohesive approach to the timeline.

Which doesn't mean that I'm not grateful to have discovered the book.  I enjoyed it, although I found it slow at times.  I learned a lot.  And as usual, it encouraged me to look more closely at a subject.  The bibliography is excellent, and I may be looking at some of those books in the future.

Nonfiction.  Biography.  2009.  337 pages including extensive notes and bibliographic material.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Remarkable Creatures

Chevalier, Tracy.  Remarkable Creatures.

A novel based on the lives of Mary Anning (1799-1847), perhaps the greatest fossilist ever, and her friend Elizabeth Philpot, whose collection of fossil fish was donated to the Oxford University Museum.  Although the book is a novel, it is peopled with some of the most well-known scientists and fossilists of the time:  Henry De la Beche, William Buckland, William Conybeare, Georges Cuvier, and Charles Lyell.

From first to last, I found myself absorbed in the novel.  Mary and Elizabeth's unlikely friendship and their unlikely occupations were so in contrast with the world they lived in, their obsession with fossils and paleontology, however,  brightened their otherwise restricted lives.  

I'm not saying the book is exactly a page-turner, but despite having little real plot, the characters and their interest in fossils delighted me.

Another excellent if short bibliography is included with this one.  The book I'm most interested in is The Dragon Seekers:  The Discovery of Dinosaurs During the Prelude to Darwin by Christopher McGowan.  (republished with slightly different title)

Fiction.  Historical fiction.  2010.  312 pages.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Body Has a Mind of Its Own

Blakeslee, Sandra, and Matthew Blakeslee.  The Body Has a Mind of Its Own How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Almost) Everything Better.

 A fascinating look at the body and the brain! 

Peripersonal Space:  "Through a special mapping procedure, your brain annexes this space to your limbs and body, clothing you in it like an extended, ghostly skin."

This annexed space is not static, but rather expands and contracts.  "When you eat with a knife and fork, your peripersonal space grows to encompass them.  Brain cells that normally represent space no farther out than your fingertips expand their fields of awareness outward, along the length of each utensil, making them a part of you.  This is why you can directly experience the texture and shape of the food you are manipulating."

"Research now shows that your brain is teeming with body maps--maps of your body's surface, its musculature, its intentions, its potential for action, even a map that automatically tracks and emulates the actions and intentions of other people around you."

These maps are plastic and capable of change related to damage, experience, or practice.

One of my favorite chapters is "The Homunculus in the Game:  or, When Thinking is as Good as Doing."  Researchers discovered that "motor imagery practice led to nearly the same level of body map reorganization as physical practice.  As far as your motor cortex is concerned, executed and imagined movements are almost identical."

The chapter on "Plasticity Gone Awry" is equally intriguing and reveals the strange ways the body maps can be disordered producing physical behaviors like "yips," the dread of golfers.  These conditions are known as dystonias.

"Broken Body Maps" examines conditions such as alien hand, supernumerary limbs, fading limbs, and other strange disorders of perception.

In the chapter "The Bubble Around the Body," the authors mention that Wassily Kandinsky was a synesthete, and when he saw colors, he heard music.  "Kandinsky was capturing music on canvas.  Some synesthetes can 'hear' his music by looking at his paintings."  Wouldn't that be marvelous?  To see his paintings and hear his music?

I have so many passages highlighted in this book...conditions, names of scientists and researchers, various studies and their outcomes.  I found the book mostly accessible as it is written for the lay person and highly entertaining because the subject interests me profoundly.  Many of the studies and scientists have been mentioned in other "brain books" I've read, but each author approaches each study slightly differently, adding a little to my understanding.  The Blakeslees (mother and son) approach the studies in a unique manner that intertwines brain and body.


Nonfiction.  Neuroscience.  2007.  215 pages.

Thursday Thoughts

I've finished The Body Has a Mind of Its Own and Tracy Chevalier's Remarkable Creatures and loved them both.

I'm almost finished with Satchel:  The Life and Times of an American Legend (good, but long, I've been on this one for over a week).  On the other hand, I found it difficult to put Remarkable Creatures down--which kind of cut into the time on Satchel.
  The reason I picked up this new biography of Satchel Paige is because I've always loved the following poem honoring the iconic pitcher:

To Satch

Sometimes I feel like I will NEVER stop
Just go on forever
'Til one fine mornin'
I'm gonna reach up and grab me a handfulla stars
Swing out my long lean leg
And whip three hot strikes burnin' down the heavens
And look over at God and say
How about that!

Samuel Allen (Paul Vesey) 

Satch began his career in 1926 and ended it in 1966, over 40 years of ball.  His statistics are just short of miraculous. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Visibles

Shepard, Sara.  The Visibles.

When Summer Davis is fifteen, her mother leaves.  No explanation, no forwarding address, no future contact as Summer grows into adulthood.  If that weren't enough for a moody adolescent to deal with, Summer's dad sinks from depression into mental illness, and it is Summer who must care for him as his condition worsens. 

As Summer searches for answers to her mother's abandonment and her father's illness, she finds herself postponing her own life.  She forgoes the opportunity for graduate study because her father is scheduled for electro-shock therapy treatments.  Even when her father appears to be on the road to recovery, Summer finds herself still in limbo.

Sometimes slow, the author kept me interested in the characters.    Not all of the resolution rang true for me, but the struggle of an adolescent to deal with a mother's abandonment and a father's illness felt realistic.

My favorite character: Aunt Stella, who had the personality to carry a book on her own.

Fiction.  Psychological novel.  2009.  322 pages.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars

Lovejoy, Sharon.  Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars.

I love this book.  It is, indeed, a grandma's bag of tricks, but more than that, it invites grandma to participate in the magical realm of play, make-believe, and learning in which children can so easily immerse themselves.

The pictures and drawings are gorgeous, the ideas are fun and entertaining.  In our old house, I had a floor to ceiling bookcase with toys and books for the grandkids, now I have a closet.  The old doll trunk I bought at a flea market years ago entertained my children when they were young and now, stuffed with old Barbies, can still entertain Mila for hours.  Lots of books and Leggos and some stuffed animals...

Sharon Lovejoy, however, has helped me see a wider perspective with her joyful approach to entertaining kids.  I've been through the books several times now, but I find something new each time.  When I go to Walmart, I try to pick up a new game each time.  Nothing expensive, I just look for things I enjoyed when I was small and then with my own kids.  A pack of Old Maid cards -- $1.97.  Chutes and Ladders -- less than $7.00.

Can't wait for my next visit to JoAnn's because a couple of yards of shimmery, glittery, and shiny materials are my next proposed purchases.   And soon it will be Spring!  Gardening and materials for fairy landscapes!  Oh, and the cooking section...well, I may have to try that by myself just because some of the recipes sound so good.

Here is a link that lets you turn the pages and look at the lovely pictures and illustrations!

How did I discover this book?  Sharon commented on one of my reviews, and I visited her blog and discovered that she was an author.  Since I'm always interested in gardening and grandchildren, I ordered one one of her books and have been delighted!  :)

Nonfiction.  Kids, Craft, Imagination.  2010.  205 pages.

American Rust

Meyer, Philipp.  American Rust.

Told from various viewpoints and from different versions of stream of consciousness, American Rust is the story of economic deterioration that affects all aspects of life.  When the prosperous steel industry  collapsed, the small town of Buell in Pennsylvania began a slow death as jobs disappeared, families split apart, and the struggle to survive became more and more difficult.

Isaac English has been caring for his invalid father for years after his mother's suicide.  His sister Lee has always been his father's favorite, but Isaac finds himself the caretaker when Lee goes to Yale.  Isaac has endured his father's disdain and delayed his own dreams.  Finally, Isaac makes up his mind to leave, steals $4,000 dollars from his father, and takes off.

Issac's mental conversations with himself are often in the third person, referring to himself as "the kid."  On his way out of town, he convinces his friend Billy Poe to accompany him part of the way.  Isaac is almost all intellect; Poe is a former high school athlete whose physical capabilities are his strong point.

When the two of them get into trouble with some transients, it is, ironically, Isaac that rescues Poe, but with devastating results that will change the course of both of their lives and the lives of those who love them.

The novel looks at families that may once have been normal, but with the failure of the steel industry, the loss of jobs and self-respect, emotional trauma, and extreme economic hardships have become dysfunctional in different ways.

One strange feature (to me) is that all of the characters (with the exception of Billy Poe's father) take responsibility for their actions, their mistakes, and their failures.   Grace Poe (Billy's mother),  the local sheriff (Grace's occasional lover),  Lee, Isaac's father, and Isaac and Poe...all spend some time recognizing and taking responsibility for some of the choices that over the years have led to the event that affects them all.  I think it unusual that so many of the characters eschew rationalization and self-justification and recognize their own responsibility. 

Not totally dark, but certainly in the dusky realm, American Rust is both disturbing and compelling as it examines the American Dream gone wrong.  It has a particular resonance with the current economic times in which the dreams of a few years ago find themselves confronting unexpected and unprepared for financial realities.

Fiction.  Contemporary literature.  2009.  367 pages.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Reading and Whining

I'm completely fascinated by The Body Has a Mind of Its Own:  How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Almost) Anything Better!   I can't wait to get back to it when I put it down; last night, as I was on my way home, I was busy anticipating what I'd learn next.

Bloglines isn't working.  Still.  Trying to switch to Google Reader.  Frustrated.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Wisdom Paradox

Goldberg, Elkhonon.  The Wisdom Paradox.

Elkhonon Goldberg, neuropsychologist, looks at the brain from a uniquely personal perspective after years of experience with patients and his own MRI.  He examines the way the brain develops and changes and explains that even with deterioration, the brain can still function in a marvelous manner as a result of acquisition and storage of knowledge.

On brain duality:  "The right hemisphere is the "novelty" hemisphere and the left hemisphere is the repository of well-developed patterns.  This means that as we age and accumulate more patterns, a gradual change in the hemispheric "balance of power" takes place:  The role of the right hemisphere diminishes and the role of the left hemisphere grows."

His discussion of  "late and luminous bloomers" (wonderful epithet) such as Goethe, Grandma Moses, Norbert Wiener (mathematician and philosopher), and Golda Meir is interesting.

In the section on memory, Goldberg explains generic memories ("memories for patterns") and "pattern expansion."  The capacity for pattern-recognition is one aspect of wisdom; patterns can enable quick solutions to wide-ranging problems, and these generic memories accumulate with age. :) Good to know!

He distinguishes between wisdom and genius, including the ability for empathy and "emotional intelligence" as necessary for wisdom, but not genius.

There is too much in this book (some very technical, some anecdotal) to cover quickly, but his conclusions that "growth of a neural structure appears to be stimulated by its use" is now pretty widely accepted and certainly worthy reason for keeping our brains as active as possible.

Lots of notes and documentation.

Nonfiction.  Neuropsychology.  2005.  321 pages including notes, documentation.

Tuesday Teasers

I've finished The Wisdom Paradox and American Rust, and right now am concentrating on The Visibles.  The latter two books have some elements in common that I find interesting.

I highlighted so many passages in The Wisdom Paradox that it will take some time to sort out what I want to include in the review.  American Rust still has me pondering for different reasons, so I'm delaying reviewing both of them.

I'm almost finished with The Visibles, but have about three other books in slow progress.  And several books on deck...

So many books that I want to read, and right now not enough time to just sink into the luxury of hours at a time.  I'm snatching short little segments of reading time.  This does have the benefit of allowing a little time to chew and digest (yes, Francis Bacon, these are not like the mysteries I swallow whole).

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Sir Francis Bacon English author, courtier, & philosopher (1561 - 1626)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow Day!

We are enchanted!

This is so unusual for us!  Everything is covered with a light blanket of snow.  Just beautiful! 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Siege

White, Stephen.  The Seige.

I've enjoyed many of Stephen White's novels about psychologist Alan Gregory and have always liked his frequent sidekick, Sam Purdy.  This novel features Purdy (and Sam took to his larger role like a champ).

The story is told in different time lines, depending on the character featured.  Most of the time this was easy to follow, but there was at least one occasion that the shifting timeline confused me.  Nevertheless, the suspense and character-building that took place for each subplot, kept me glued to the book.

The plot:  Terrorists have kidnapped a number of Yale students and are holding them in a fortress-like building.   The terrorists (who are they?  what do they want?) seem to have anticipated every possible rescue attempt and are killing the kids in what initially appears to be a random manner.  The tension is high throughout the novel, as government authorities, local authorities, and suspended detective Sam Purdy attempt to find out what the terrorists want and how they can rescue as many kids as possible.

New characters that I liked:  hostage negotiator Christine Carmody; damaged FBI Agent Christopher Poe, and CIA analyst Deirdre Drake.

An action filled adventure that kept me enthralled and tense throughout.  I had a few problems with the conclusion, but have to admit that I liked everything else enough to overlook those.

Fiction.   Suspense. 2009.  396 pages.

Bad Luck and Trouble

Child, Lee.  Bad Luck and Trouble.

:)  Another Jack Reacher novel.  When Frances Neagley wants to contact Reacher, she uses a deposit to his bank account, since Reacher is a nomad with no permanent address.  The amount of the deposit signals a kind of SOS used by his former team of investigators.

Neagley tells Reacher about the death of one of their former team members, and that she is unable to get in contact with other members of the team.  The two of them continue trying to contact their old friends, discovering along the way, that other team members appear to have disappeared.  Finally, reuniting with two more old colleagues, Reacher and  what remains of his old team begin trying to figure out who killed Franz and why, and what has happened to the other two missing friends.

The action is exciting and  suspenseful, from beginning to end!  Highly entertaining action thriller.

Fiction.  Suspense/Action thriller.  2007.  377 pages.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

In Progress

I've been so busy lately.  Running here and there, errands, yoga classes, lunching with friends and family, shopping for birthday gifts, meetings, working on sewing projects, blogging and reading blogs...  My life is usually paced a bit slower, but I'm enjoying it all.

I've got a bunch of new library books, but have only read two.  I've also gotten an Amazon order and have 3 of them in progress.  Such a wealth of books!

The 3 in progress from my Amazon order:

The Wisdom Paradox
by Elknonon Goldberg; "neuropsychology, brain mapping, and computational neuroscience"

The Body Has a Mind of Its Own
by Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee; the elasticity of brain maps, peripersonal space, and more.

Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars
by Sharon Lovejoy!  A delicious treasury of "130 Wonder-Filled-Grandchild-Friendly Activities."  Beautifully written, full of terrific ideas, photographs, and drawings, this one is a pure joy, and I've loved reading and planning activities.
Although I've spent less time reading lately, I try to spend a few minutes a night with at least one of  the above books. 

I still need to review Stephen White's The Seige and Lee Child's Bad Luck and Trouble --
both are action and suspense thrillers.  The Seige features Sam Purdy instead of psychologist Allan Gregory.  I love Allan Gregory and have always enjoyed the friendship between Gregory and Purdy, but I loved  Purdy sans Gregory, too.

The cats give me some problems with my appliqueing, beading, and quilting.  Lucy chewed a bunch of the beads off the heart while I was getting dressed. 

After making some repairs, I tried to get a picture, and Lucy and Stinker were back again as if I doused it in catnip.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

A Single Man

This afternoon, Fee and I went to see A Single Man (based on Christopher Isherwood's novel).  Don't miss it.  Colin Firth, as the aging English teacher George Falconer, is marvelous, and the film is visually enthralling.

One of the first things I noticed on George Falconer's book shelves was a copy of The Dyer's Hand by W.H. Auden.  I have loved this book of essays (a most personal and enjoyable collection of Auden's literary criticism) for years.  The book Falconer has assigned his class is Alduous Huxley's After Many a Summer Dies the Swan. All kinds of literary and film tropes are wrapped in A Single Man

I rarely enjoy watching movies more than once, but this is one of the movies that I really want to see again.  I definitely intend to read the novel.

Friday, February 05, 2010

I Pledge...

Because blogs are not long enough....


Elizabeth Dye is a designer who creates "handmade and independently designed wedding and party dresses."

She has a shop, The English Dept. in Portland, an Etsy Shop, and a blog where you can see her creations.

This filmy, romantic dream of a dress is called Persuasion.  Jane Austen would have loved it.

Anyway, Elizabeth's blog is where I found the above pledge to read the printed word.  No problem there for any of you! 

I have 2 books to review and 3 in progress, but I've been so busy lately that reading has taken a bit of a side line.

Another peek at my upstairs  quilting and yoga studio and more of my favorite things.  The doll belonged to my grandmother and is missing one leg and one hand, but then she is over 100 years old and was evidently played with frequently.  The woven pine basket was made by my other grandmother's twin sister, my great Aunt Mat.  My nieces and SIL brought me the little lady with the Louisa May Alcott quote when they returned from a New York trip a few years ago.  It makes me smile each time I see it.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Blizzards and Favorite Things

Here is one of my favorite things:  DQ Blizzards!  My favorite is the Heath Bar Blizzard, but then I haven't tried the Turtle Pecan Cluster.  And well, honestly, I don't think you can go wrong on any of them.

I'm doing some quilty valentines in my spare time.  Although I started them back in January, they got sidetracked.  Now, I'm back on target.

This is my upstairs sewing/yoga studio.  I picked up my mat for this shot, but lately much more yoga than sewing has been going on here.  I have lots of favorite things in here.

 All I've really done is try to make sure that some of my favorite things catch my eye as soon as I open the door.  Up here, I can be as eclectic and personal as I want to be.  The room is called a bonus room, just a small upstairs little nest, the only thing at the top of the stairs.  I keep most of my quilting and sewing books up here; most of my yoga books are up here, too.  My meditation pillow and bolster is right under the window.

I've won two gorgeous aprons in the last year or so.  The one from Cowgirl Goods (you can check out some of her things here) and one from Running with Scissors.  I love them

The pillow is one that I bought for Mother because she fell in love with it on one of our antique/flea market jaunts.  I miss her so much, and I think of her whenever I look at the pillow. 

The stool was given to me by my best friend when we were in college, and I painted over it with designs from Celtic Illustrated Manuscripts and used in my classroom when I was teaching.

And a favorite evening:  We went to the symphony Saturday (posted about this on Bayou Quilts), and we had such a wonderful evening.  It was the first performance in a long time (financial problems) and we were so happy to be part of the sold out performance.

Monday, February 01, 2010

2009 Stats

 2009 Statistics

Only 116 books in 2009.  In August and September only 3 books.  Only 3 books in two months!  I don't remember that ever happening before.

I intended to choose my favorites, but this year there were so many!  There were a few duds, but there really were some outstanding reads in 2009.  I'm pleased with the increase in nonfiction; it takes me longer to read nonfiction, but all of them were on topics that held my interest and made me curious, often sending me to other books on the subject.

Have to thank Lisa for sending me the ARC The Vigorous Mind by Ingrid E. Cummings because it provided such a wonderful beginning to my 2009 reading, broadening my horizons in several ways!

I don't  often accept books for Book Tours because of required posting dates.  I usually finish well before the date and don't like to wait.  I will say, however, that the ones I've accepted have been worth it!   

The Vigorous Mind resulted in so many personal benefits--from broadening my reading to my taking a 200 hour teacher training course at Yoga Yoga in Austin and becoming a certified yoga instructor with the Yoga Alliance.  I'm number 75 of 122 in the search results of registered certified teachers in Louisiana.  I'm proud of that and credit Ingrid E. Cummings with the inspiration to even consider that goal, and then with the determination to pursue it.

2009 Totals:  116
92 Fiction
24 Nonfiction
total pages: 38, 582 pages

working backward...


 total books: 14
14 F
0 NF
total pages: 5,014


Princess Academy - F - Shannon Hale - 2007 - 336 pages
River Secrets - F - Shannon Hale - 2008 - 320

 Enna Burning - F - Shannon Hale - 2006 - 336
The Goose Girl - F - Shannon Hale - 2005 - 400
Bitter Tide - F - Ann Stamos - 2009 - 409
 Taos Chill - F - Linda Lea Castle - 2009 - 277
Coyote Horizon - F - Allen Steele - 2009 -368
The Joys of My Life - F - Alys Clare - 2009 - 224
Act of Will-F - A. J. Hartley - 2009 - 336
Dust - F- Martha Grimes - 2007- 432-
A False Mirror - F - Charles Todd -  2007 - 416
Slightly Abridged - F - Ellen Pall - 2003 - 288
Knock Out - Catherine Coulter - 2009 - 417
Out of Nowhere - F - Doris Mortman - 1998 - 455

Total Books:  17
17 F
0 NF
total pages:  6, 237

A Killing Kindness - F - Reginald Hill -  1980 - 277
 Alexandria: A Marcus Didio Falco Novel - F - Lindsey Davis - 2009 - 338
The Alexandria Cipher - F - Will Adams - 2009 - 336

 The Blue Last - F - Martha Grimes - 2001 - 415 pages
The Girl on Legare Street - F - Karen White - 2009 - 335
 All the Colors of Darkness - F - Peter Robinson - 2009 - 356
 The Price of Butcher's Meat - F - Reginald Hill - 2008 - 519
 Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day - F - Winifred Watson - 1938 - 234
Now & Then - F - Jacqueline Sheehan - 2009 - 384
 The Magician's Apprentice - F - Trudi Canavan - 2009 - 588
 Midnight Fugue - F - Reginald Hill - 2009 - 361
 By Heresies Distressed - F - David Weber - 2009 - 475
 Dante's Numbers - F - David Hewson - 2009 - 386
 How to Buy a Love of Reading - F - Tanya Egan Gibson - 2009 - 389
 Haunting Bombay - F - Shilpa Agarwal - 2009 - 359
 To Serve Them All My Days - F - R.F. Delderfield - 1972 - 594
The Baker Street Letters - F - Michael Roberston - 2009 - 277

Total books: 10
1 NF
9 F
Total pages:  3,412 pages

Sky Train: Tibetan Women on the Edge of History- NF - Sam Canyon - 009 - 246 pages
 The Little Stranger - F - Sarah Waters - 2009 - 463
 Enclave - F - Kit Reed - 2009 - 366
 God Is an Englishman - F - R.F. Delderfield - 1970 - 634
 The Girl Who Played with Fire -  F- Stieg Larsson - 2009 - 503
 Bare Bones - F - Kathy Reichs - 2003 - 380
 In the Shadow of Gotham - F - Stefanie Pintoff - 2009 - 381
 Excess Baggage - F - Tracy Lea Carnes - 2008 - 185

Grave Goods - F - Ariana Franklin -  2009 - 331 pages

 Hot House Flower and the 9 Plants of Desire - F - Margot Berwin - 2009 - 266


One book
 Shadow Magic - F - John Lenahan - 2008 - 278


Total:  Only 2 Books
2 F
631 pages

A Circle of Souls - F - Preetham Grandhi -  2009 - 339 pages
 The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal - F - Sean Dixon - 2009 - 292

Total:  11 books
2 NF
9 F
total pages:  3457

 The Book of Rapture - F - Nikki Gemmell - 2009 - 269
 Find Me- F - Carol O'Connell - 2006 -352
 A Darker Domain - F - Val Mc Dermid - 2009 - 355
The Winter House - F -Carol O'Connell - 2004 - 306 
The September Society - F - 2008 - 310
The Anatomy of Deception - F - Lawrence Goldstone - 2008 - 340
Yoga for Body, Breath and Mind - NF - A. G. Mohan - 1993 - 211 pages
Lamentation - Ken Scholes - F - 2009 - 361 pages
Cemetery Dance - Doulas Preston/Lincoln Childs - F - 2009 - 435
Teaching Yoga: Exploring the Teacher-Student Relationship - Donna Farhi - NF - 166
The Private Patient - P.D. James - F - 2008 - 352

June Totals:
 7 books
2 NF
5 F
2, 224 pages

For Glory - Elizabeth Lee - F - 2006 - 333 pages
Cecilian Vespers - F - Anne Emery - F - 2009 300 pages
 A Stopover in Venice - F - Kathryn Walker - 2008 - 306 pages
World Made by Hand - James Kunstler - F - 2008 - 317 pages
The Angels Game - Carlos Ruiz Zafon - F - 2009 - 370 pages
Yoga Mind, Body and Spirit - Donna Farhi - NF - 2000 - 270 pages
Yoga for Wellness - Gary Kraftsow - NF - 1999 -328 pages


May Totals:
8 books
2 NF
6 F
2,893 pages

Hmmm, this was a slow month. Too much to do outside in the garden...?

Yoga Anatomy - Leslie Kaminoff - NF - 2007 - 217 pages
The Heart of Yoga - T.K.V. Desikachar - NF -1995 - 242 pages
The Language of Bees - Laurie R. King - 2009 - 433 pages
Atlas of Unknowns - Tania James - 2009 - 319 pages
Bones to Ashes - Kathy Reichs - 2007 - 388 pages
Silent on the Moor - Deanna Raybourn - 2009 465 pages
The Four Corners of the Sky - Michael Malone - 2009 - 544 pages
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford -2009 - 285 pages


April Totals:

11 books
2 NF
9 F - (lots of fantasy for Carl's Once Upon a Time Challenge)
3,804 pages

Fault Line - Barry Eisler - 2009 - 302 pages
Genesis - Bernard Beckett - 2006 - 150 pages
Dark Moon Defender - Sharon Shinn - 2007 - 466 pages
Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor - Brad Gooch - NF - 2009 385 pages
The Lost Hours - Karen White - 2009 - 368 pages
The Thirteenth House - Sharon Shinn - 2006 -484 pages
The Sharing Knife - Lois McMaster Bujold - 2006 - 372 pages
The King of Attolia - Megan Whalen Turner - 2006 - 400 pages
The Queen of Attolia - Megan Whalen Turner - 2000 - 360 pages
The Three-Pound Enigma - Shannon Moffett - NF - 2006 -237 pages
The Queen's Thief - Megan Whalen Turner - 1996 - 280 pages


March Totals:
11 books
2 NF, 9 F
3,286 pages

The Beach Street Knitting and Yarn Club
- Gil McNeil - 2009 - 404 pages
The Gift of Rain
- Tan Twan Eng - 2007 - 444 pages
The Risk of Darkness - Susan Hill - 2009 - 374 pages
Hungry Ghosts
- Susan Dunlap - 2008 - 264 pages
The Mao Case -
Qui Xialong - 2009 - 289 pages
Exploring Other Worlds
- David Chapin - 2004 -220 pages
The Brain that Changes Itself - Norman Doidge, M.D. - NF - 2007 - 408 pages
Saffron Dreams -
Shaila Abdullah - 2009 - 232 pages
Jane Austen: A Life
- Claire Tomalin - NF- 1998 -228 pages
Among the Mad -
Jacqueline Winspear - 2009 - 303 pages
The Uncommon Reader
- Alan Bennett - 2007 - 120 pages


Not a bad month. Fewer books this month and fewer NF, but I've some good NF in progress right now.

Feb. totals:
10 books
3 NF, 7 F
3, 216 pages

An Inconvenient Wife - Megan Chance - F - 2004 - 404 pages
Fatal Legacy -
Elizabeth Corley - F - 308 pages
The Hellfire Conspiracy -
Will Thomas - F - 311 pages
A Rule Against Murder -
Louise Penny - F - 322 pages
The Creative Habit -
Twyla Tharp - NF - 243 pages
Where Memories Lie -
Deborah Crombie - F- 295 pages
Hatha Yoga Illustrated
- Kirk Martin, et al. - NF - 232 pages
Bone by Bone
- Carol O'Connell - F - 340 pages
Talking to the Dead
- Barbara Weisberg - NF - 273 pages
- Richard Aaron - F- 488 pages


January has been an unusually good reading month! Only two books that I did not care for and 12 books that were very good experiences. I did much better than I expected at increasing my nonfiction and biographical selections, largely because each book was as entertaining as it was informative.

14 books
10 NF, 4 F
4,040 pages
  1. The Mighty Queens of Freeville - Amy Dickinson - NF - 225 pages
  2. Frozen in Time - Owen Beattie & John Geiger - NF - 168 pp
  3. The Seance - John Harwood - F - 328 pp
  4. Blink - Malcolm Gladwell - NF - 254 pp
  5. The Immortal Prince - Jennifer Fallon - F - 512 pp
  6. The Great Mortality - John Kelly - NF - 303 pp
  7. Galileo's Daughter - Dava Sobel - NF - 368 pp
  8. The Vigorous Mind - Ingrid Cummings - NF - 316 pp
  9. The Polysyllabic Spree - Nick Hornby - NF - 140 pp
  10. Surely, You're Joking Mr. Feynman - Richard Feynman & Ralph Leighton - NF- 346 pp
  11. Mind the Gap - Christopher Golden & Tim Lebbon -F- 368 pp
  12. Away - Amy Bloom - F - 235 pp
  13. Resolute - Martin Sandler - NF - 249 pp
  14. Chakra Yoga - Alan Finger - NF - 138 pp