Posted on February 16, 2014 by

A Young Girl Reading, c. 1776, by Jean-Honoré Fragonard

A Young Girl Reading, c. 1776, by Jean-Honoré Fragonard


While this is not exactly the position I used to be in, if any of you had caught me as a young girl, but this is what I would be doing. Reading. I am one of those who used the flashlight under the blanket before we had Nooks and Kindles and iPads  … with backlighting.


Old book bindings

Old book bindings


I am an unabashed and total bibliophile and proud of it. A friend came into my office and kept looking behind me. Finally he said, “you sure have a lot of books.” Yeah a few thousand my office and a few more stashed away around the house.



In the foyer of my house there is a beautiful piece of calligraphy which states, “When I have a little money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothing.” I love it. But I love what it says, even more. Yes, perhaps it has “addled my brain,” but that, I believe, is a good thing.

The Avid Reader in Sacramento, CA

The Avid Reader in Sacramento, CA

I’m looking forward to presenting and reading at the Avid Reader in Sacramento, California on March 1. I am also looking forward to some time away from teaching and phone calls, SO I CAN READ MORE!




The new contest I was promoting for book club is already over. I have been matched with a group of bibliophiles who sent me the receipts and whom I will have the pleasure of meeting and speaking with in August of this year.



 One of the things that I  learned during our conversations was the nature and depth of the books they read.  When I saw the lists of the books, I got that hunger in my belly that I just want to sit down and read and not do anything else. Unfortunately, that hunger caused me to be discontinued as a library assistant when I was in the fifth grade.

Why? Because I couldn’t just shelve the books. Oh well.

Take a look at these lists (for 2013 and this year)  for the winning book club and you’ll know why my gut says, “just sit down and read.”

Book List 2013

In The Garden of Beasts – Eric Larson

Paris Wife – Paula McLain

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail – Cheryl Strayed

Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages that Shaped History – Kati Marton

The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

Sweet Tooth – Ian McEwan

Clara and Mr. Tiffany – Susan Vreeland

Lady In Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece – Marie O’Connor

Book List 2014

Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki

Let’s Pretend It Never Happened – Jenny Lawson

The Storyteller – Jody Picoult

Monsignor Quixote – Graham Greene

Remains of the Day – Kazuro Ishiguro

Pillow Book of the Flower Samurai – Barbara Lazar

American Fiji – Sara Backer

Story of a Happy Marriage – Anne Pachett

Invention of Wings – Sue Monk Kidd


This has inspired me so much, that I will no longer be sending my niece Nancy Drew,  although there is absolutely nothing wrong with Nancy Drew. My niece and I correspond, but we don’t twitter, Facebook, email or even call. We simply write each other. Well, she has been responding to me for the past few years. She is now 12. Isn’t that incredible? She is so fantastic!

So instead of Nancy Drew, I am sending:   The Secret GardenThe_Secret_Garden_book_cover_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_17396

Little Women


20,000 Leagues under the Sea (in the original French!)


Black Beauty


Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables

and of course, Anne of Green Gables.

I won’t send them all at once. But perhaps in addition to our correspondence, my niece and I can start to talk books. If you could see my face, I would be smiling.

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