Showing posts from January, 2019

And The 2019 Polar Book Club Selection Is...

What else should an Intrepid Reader do during the winter but — well, read? Join the Polar Book Club in reading The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster by Scott Wilbanks .  It's a novel loaded with time travel, mystery, and — you know what? I'll let the author describe the book himself: Annabelle Aster has discovered a curious thing behind her home in San Francisco: a letter box perched atop a picket fence.  The note inside is blunt—“Trespass is dealt with at the business end of a shotgun in these parts!”— spurring some lively correspondence between the Bay Area orphan and her new neighbor, a feisty widow living in a nineteenth century Kansas wheat field.  The source of mischief is an antique door Annie installed at the rear of her house. The man who made the door—a famed Victorian illusionist—died under mysterious circumstances. Annie and her new neighbor, with the help of friends and strangers alike, must solve the mystery of what connects them across time before one of t

Reading in 2018: What I Have Read, What I Liked, What Comes Next

2018 was a good year for reading.  In 365 days, I read 79 books in total — almost tying my own record  — and enjoyed a variety of authors and subjects. Though some books were modest — How a Mouse Saved the Royal Cat was a mere 14 pages — books in total averaged 241 pages. I wandered my local library and combed the shelves of used bookstores. I read some books recommended by trusted critics, and learned who shared my taste.  I perused my own library and shuffled my hefty Kindle selection for some delights, and a few clunkers. I read general fiction, children's books, cookbooks, how-tos, and travelogues. I was intrigued by the art of tattoos. I marveled at libraries around the country, grand and modest. I was shocked and horrified by violence and sexism in classic literature, and shocked and horrified that it took me this long to recognize it. I read books narrated by immigrants, gay men, time travelers, people livi ng with autism, journalists, people living with mental and