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


Good House?

"Get out, get out, this is not a good house,
I see no books by P.G. Wodehouse."

I can't remember where I first heard that line but, looking around my own house, I had to conclude that mine was among the bad'uns.

Who the hell was P.G. Wodehouse?

So, being the up and coming literary snob that I was, I toddled off to the nearest library to check one out. (Wodehouseianisms, I must warn you, spring from the old lemon as soon as the subject is broached.) Read more about Good House?


I'll Never Forget You, Nagapate!

The scene is etched in my memory. A young couple sliding down the muddy trail through the jungle hillside in Borneo, making a dash for the safety of the ship that they hope lies at anchor below. Behind them a tribe of doughty headhunters, who had decided that the novelty of the newcomers had worn off and it was time to add a little something exotic to their extensive collections. Read more about I'll Never Forget You, Nagapate!