|One of my double-stacked bookshelves|
Books took me to places I never knew about and instilled in me a desire to explore the world. Books have introduced me to people who inspire, admire, enrage, and make me think. The words on the pages of the myriad books I've read have helped to shape my worldview, which is mine. It's okay by me if you don't share it. That's one of the beauties of this world.
As mentioned, I have eclectic tastes in books, although I do tend to lean toward historical non-fiction. Here's a peek at what I'm reading now and the last few books I've read:
- To Be A Friend is Fatal - Kirk W. Johnson - Why being an Iraqi translator to the US can be a death wish
- The Girls of Atomic City - Denise Kiernan - The story of American women who worked to build the U.S. nuclear program in WWII
- The Men Who United The States - Simon Winchester - The story of how the western part of the U.S. came to be
- Creating Room to Read - John Wood - Behind the scenes in the growth of Room to Read, an impressive investment, not a charity, in bringing books to the world
- Drama High - Michael Sokolove - How the power of the arts has influenced students in a community left behind by the new world economy
- End of Days - James L. Swanson - the Kennedy Assassination
- Sycamore Row - John Grisham - a return to one of Grisham's more memorable characters. Grisham is one of my few nods to fiction. I don't like to get all Judgy McJudge about mass-market fiction and wave my English Lit degree flag, but I will admit to having a bias against the stuff.
- Command and Control - Eric Schlosser - who knew a bit of Arkansas was nearly obliterated in the early 1980's due to a missle silo accident?
- To the End of June - Cris Beam - a not so pleasant, but necessary, look in to foster care in America
- On the Noodle Road - Jen Lin-Liu - following the humble and ubiquitous noodle from Beijing to Rome
The stunningly patient SML and I have tried to imbue that love of reading in our children. When we first started our family, one of SML's aunts, J, an educator, helped us establish some reading rituals and gave us some ideas on how to help our children learn to read when they were very young. Our first-born never had a chance though. When she was born, I was completing my senior year of university and in between a wicked final Shakespeare course and a graduation paper on the role of grace in Southern short fiction (two things on that - that was written for a Catholic professor at, wait for it, BYU, and can I get an amen, Flannery O'Connor?), she was read to constantly, even before she was born! We are forever grateful for those lessons and opportunities to read to our children as we see Our Lady Of Awesome implementing those same lessons with the Baby Awesome. Seeing him soothed by a book and reaching to turn the pages of what was being read to him while we were together recently was, in a word, wondrous.
So, my fellow word nerds, let your reader freak flag fly. I know mine does.