Dead Presidents

Full disclosure. I haven't read these. Or not very many anyway. But they are all on my list of books to read. Someday. If there's time.

- I have read this. Bought it at the Old Manse in Concord, very near the

rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.

It doesn't cover Washington's presidency, but you get an idea of who he was and of how very close we came to losing that war. Read more about Dead Presidents


The Singing Wilderness

I must have been all of 12 or 13 when I first picked up my mother's copy of Sigurd F. Olson's and it has stayed with me ever since. Literally. I spotted that same old ratty copy on the bookshelf a couple of days ago.

Even now the chapter headings ring familiar bells, and I am almost back in my early teens, dreaming of canoes and long tramps in the north woods and magical encounters. The Way of a Canoe, Easter on the Prairie, Pools of the Isabella, Farewell to Saganaga. Read more about The Singing Wilderness


Garry Wills

I haven't read nearly enough Garry Wills.

He's a rare breed, a conservative Catholic who has come slowly and thoughtfully into the light. It is his thoughtfulness that attracts me, his curiosity about how and why people and things come to be as they are, his probing search for understanding. Read more about Garry Wills


Even Bad Mothers Can Read

I actually wasn't a very good mother. I didn't bake cookies. Very often. Birthday parties terrified me. The first time I tried to play "horsie" with my son - you know, when he climbs on your back and you gallop around the room on all fours? - almost 70 years later my knees still remember the pain.

But I always liked to read. So I read to them. Here's one I liked to read on the first snow day of every year: .

snowyday.jpg Read more about Even Bad Mothers Can Read



I don't remember when I lost my love of Westerns. Growing up, I loved them. My first love was Tonto in The Lone Ranger. I was a tree-climber, and the tallest branch I could reach, the one that galloped and bucked in the wind, I called Silver. Nevermind that Tonto's horse was named Scout. That iconic silver horse rearing to the tune of the William Tell Overture was mine too. Read more about Westerns


Travel Plans

Ah, yes. Travel plans. I don't have any yet this year. But I do have the next best thing. Travel books.

I've been lucky enough to have been able to do a bit of traveling over the past ten years or so, but Rick Steves would probably have me drummed out of any travel group of his based on the weight of my luggage alone. Oh, it's not that I pack an undue change of outfits and my toiletry kit is fairly minimal. No - and you are all way ahead of me on this one - that "Heavy" sticker on my luggage should actually read "Warning: Book Store on Wheels." Read more about Travel Plans



The ideal job, I always imagined, would be one in which I sat around amusing myself one way or another and every once in a while I'd put my finger in the air and say, "I've got an idea."

Today I'm sharing a few people who actually get to do just that. People who get ideas and have somehow talked someone into paying them to pursue them, expand upon them, and share them with us. The idea people here are just a few of those who have helped inform my own take on history, culture, and the world around us. Read more about Ideas


Reading Christmas

I can't really claim to do that. Read Christmas, that is. Just looked up a list of Christmas books and find that I've read hardly any of 'em. Besides the usuals, of course. You know I've read and and .

In a list from Goodreads, I find , which I must have read, because I have read all of Christie, but I can't remember it for the life of me. Read more about Reading Christmas