March Round-up

I read 15 books in March, 3 Non-fiction and the rest fiction.

Sins of the Fathers by Ruth Rendell. The second book in Rendell’s Inspector Wexford series. Rendell is one of the big mystery writers and I only just discovered her, because I like to reinvent the wheel.

The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye by Nancy Springer. This is a children’s mystery series, featuring Enola Holmes (kid sister of Sherlock). It’s alway a quick, fun read.

The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth about Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood and Marriage edited by Cathi Hanauer. I read this for the APW book club, but wasn’t able to go to the discussion, which is a shame. I thought the book was good (it’s a collection of essays and some are, of course, better than others), and would have enjoyed discussing it. It made me think about when I feel angry and how I deal with that, which is a good thing.

Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America by Paul Tough. This book was excellent. Canada is an education reformer in Harlem, but his real focus is in helping the whole community escape poverty. It was really inspiring.

Bettina Valentino and the Picasso Club by Niki Daly. Another cute chapter book about a beloved art teacher. It reminded me of the Rosy Cole series.

Hatter M, Vol. 2: Mad with Wonder by Frank Beddor. Steampunky graphic novel based on Alice in Wonderland. This particular one was set during the American Civil War.

The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama. Such a fun read – a retired civil servant in India opens a marriage bureau. A sweet story.

Mal and Chad: The Biggest, Bestest Time Ever! by Stephen McCranie. This was a cute graphic novel about a elementary school genius (Mal) and his talking pet dog (Chad). For a “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up” homework assignment, Mal uses his inventions to try out deep sea diving (in the kitchen sink thanks to a “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” type device”) and archeology (thanks to a time travelling elevator). A fun read.

Koko Be Good by Jen Wang. Beautifully illustrated graphic novel about early adulthood.

Squish #1: Super Amoeba by Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm. The Holms are the team behind the super popular Babymouse series. With Squish, they have another hit – one that may appeal more to boys than the hyper-pink Babymouse books.

Zebrafish by Peter H. Reynolds. A graphic novel about cancer, high school, fitting in and bands.

Salem Brownstone: All Along the Watchtowers by John Harris Dunning. This book was trippy. The black and white illustrations reminded me of Edward Gorey. The story reminded me of the HBO series Carnivale.

A Darker Domain by Val McDermid. The first mystery I’ve read by McDermid and it won’t be my last. Well constructed and totally engaging.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. This was the book club selection for March. It’s an important one, but I never felt captured by the story. Glad I read it, great to discuss with book club, not going to rush to read more by Achebe.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. As a generally happy person, who sometimes has to work at it, I enjoyed reading the things Rubin tried to make herself happier. The idea of not doing things you don’t like (but feel like you should) is so simple, but actually really helpful. I’m 32. If I’ve tried something 3-4 times and I still don’t like it, probably time to let it go and focus on things I do like to do.

March Round-up


I got back on Tuesday from a lovely, almost week-long trip to Colorado, home of my brother and the awesome, geeky conference that Jami loves. My brother moved to Colorado about 5 years ago and this was my first visit out to see him (the rest of our family is on the East Coast, so sadly he gets stuck with most of the travelling), but it was such a blast!

Colorado was…

brother/sister bonding (thanks to Christina for this picture of me and my brother, which I love):

friends (I met up with a good friend from college, who I hadn’t seen since graduation – almost 11 years ago! Sadly I didn’t stop a stranger and ask them to take a picture of us. I am actually really bad about this, and thus have very few pictures of myself and friends! You can see Kristi and I in our first year of college here. Picture us older and accompanied by an adorable toddler!)

library tourism:

The Public Library
(Main Branch of the Denver Public Library)

Sculpture at the South Branch of the Summit County Public Library
(South Branch of the Summit County Public Library)

old dogs:


(and a new – to me – cat. Hi Shadow!)

summer weather (highs around 80!):


winter weather (it snowed the very next day!):





(Jami, Christina, and Jon. No snowboarding for the photographer)

Bottom of Peak 8
(See that little red speck on a snowboard between the other two people? That’s my wife!)

and lots of quality family time:

We will definitely not let another 5 years pass before we go back!