On My Nightstand...

...you will find:


(Reading again after several months absent) In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
(Still working through) Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English by Patricia T. O'Conner

What are YOU reading?

{In Review}

West with the Night by Beryl Markham
I started this book back in October at the recommendation of a friend who thought I would enjoy it because of my experiences in aviation and Africa. I tried to like the book, I really did, but I found the first 3/4 of it to be tedious and unnecessarily wordy.  On the upside, I enjoyed learning about Beryl Markham (whom I had never heard of prior to this book), and I certainly admired her fortitude as she struck out in two fields (horse training and aviation) that had previously been dominated by men. In summary: don't toss the book based on my experience. My friend (who hasn't worked in aviation or Africa) loved the book, so  try it for yourself and see what you think!


  1. I so love Bill Bryson. I found I'm a Stranger Here Myself in a used book store in Chatt for 75 cents (woo hoo bargain books!!) before we left. It's on my "to read very soon" list.

  2. Molly - "I'm a Stranger" made me snort I was laughing so hard. When he talks about frozen food and the ability to buy a canoe at L.L.Bean at 3 AM - oh my gosh! SO FUNNY!!

  3. We're total dorks around my house, but Daniel and I read books aloud. We just started "In a Sunburned Country". I love, love Bill Bryson. He makes me laugh out loud.

  4. Erika - Nothing dorky about that! I read books aloud to Peter all the time! :-) In fact, that's how we got through the HP series - I read them all aloud to Peter. :-)

  5. Molly, Carrie, and Erika, Quit tempting me! I do NOT need to add more books to my to-read list! I made zero progress this week on the ones I am reading already.

    (So which Bill Bryson book should I start reading first?) :)

  6. Jamie - I'd start with "I'm a Stranger Here Myself" - mostly because it's discussing American culture from the perspective of someone who has lived outside of the U.S. for a while and is seeing it through fresh eyes.

    A British friend loaned it to me when we were in Botswana, and she said it was OK, but the one she really liked was "Notes from a Small Island" (about England). I tried reading that one first, but my limited knowledge of England made it fall pretty flat for me. I got the feeling that it WOULD BE funny to someone who was from there, had lived there, or had spent any extended amounts of time there, but for me and my few hours of feet-on-English-soil, I just didn't get it.

    However, when I picked up "I'm a Stranger" (the one the Brit, who had spent very little time in the States, thought was just so-so), I couldn't stop laughing. He nails so many of the things about this country that make us great and yet boggle the minds of so many who come here to visit. SO Funny!


A reminder: there are more than 400,000 words in the English language, please use them wisely.


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