Kathryn & Carl

December 7, 2009

Finally… a day off!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn @ 12:22 am

Bliss in the burrow. Carl was able to leave work early yesterday afternoon, giving us time to dash to Lansing and watch a piano recital for Steve and various compadres. Aside from a few dedicated boyfriends, I think the majority of the audience was there for solely for the privilege of basking in Fig’s radiant glory.

And it was radiant.

Had a nice dinner out at a Korean… diner, I guess is the best word. Delish food and better company.

Carl’s still coughing up lung liner, so we stayed home this morning… wandering out only for an hour or two this aft to finish off the last of the mall gifts on our Christmas lists (one hopes). When asked how he was feeling this afternoon, Carl shrugged and said ok. “Not great,” he clarified, sitting across from me in the greasy coney booth, ” but I could still kill somebody. If I needed to.”

It’s the mixture of bravado and deadpan irony that gets me. I still laugh.

But, mostly it was just a cozy day. Addressed Christmas cards, wrapped some presents, sewed, baked some rather fabulous butterscotch bread pudding…  things that make the soul say “mmmm.”

Since I really have nothing else of value to share, I guess now is as good a time as any to post my yearly list of books I read in the last twelve months. Didn’t read as much as usual—the wedding and first couple months sort of weakened the greedy grasp of my fingers there.

Books I read in 2009

  1. Fathers and Sons: The Autobiography of a Family by Alexander Waugh
  2. Journal of Emily Pepys by Emily Pepys (preteen in the 1840s)
  3. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective by Kate Summerscale
  4. Sex with Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge by Eleanor Herman
  5. To Die like a Gentleman by Bernard Bastable (stupid)
  6. Whom the Gods Love by Kate Ross
  7. A Rich, Full Death by Michael Dibdin (eh)
  8. The Meaning of Night: A Confession by Michael Cox (eh)
  9. London 1849: A Victorian Murder Story by Michael Alpert (what up with all the Michaels?)
  10. Inside the Victorian Home by Judith Flanders (amazing book)
  11. The Perfect Summer: England 1911 by Juliet Nicholson
  12. Inside the Criminal Mind by Stanton Samenow
  13. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Private Investigating by Steven Kerry Brown
  14. One Year to an Organized Life by Regina Leeds
  15. The Sacred Journey by Frederick Beuchener
  16. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King
  17. Writing Mysteries Ed by Sue Grafton
  18. The Best American Essays of 2008
  19. The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family by Mary Lovell
  20. Where the Girls Are by Susan J. Douglas
  21. The Way Home: Beyond Feminism, Back to Reality by Mary Pride
  22. Every Thought Captive by Jerusha Clark (my small group book)

Hefty skimming of half a couple other books, and I’m reading another Buechner memoir and For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts’ Advice to Women (Ehrenreich and English), which I’d love to have polished off by the new year.

You know what’s most startling to me about this list is that out of 21 books, only 5 were novels. AND all of them were mysteries I read in a short burst in order to get a better idea of how to write a mystery. IN OTHER WORDS: zero classics read this year. Might be a first for the past fifteen years.

I actually tried to read a couple of classics. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Vanity Fair, A Tale of Two Cities… none of them stuck. It was a year of nonfiction, cheerfully beginning dinner conversations with “Did you know that in Europe they may have killed as many as a million ‘witches’?”

Mostly Vicky to Edwardian history with a dash of crime, feminism, and spirituality for good measure.

Just checked out my list of classics… Wanted to get through 75 titles before my thirtieth birthday, but I’m only at 46 and the interest is waning. I mean, it’s still utterly possible, but I don’t see myself dashing off into Tom Jones or Nostromo any time SUPER soon.

Not when there are more books I haven’t read about how Victorians polished furniture!!



  1. Checking in from the iPhone. We still have no Internet. It’s hard to say anything REAL with one’s thumbs, but it works for saying, howdy. Am SO glad to hear that the craziness has subsided enough for you and Carl to get a little relaxating in together.

    Comment by Andrea — December 7, 2009 @ 9:18 pm | Reply

  2. Love Carl’s self assessment. He makes me laugh too. Nice to see your list for the year…and how interesting that you have switched your track to non-fiction too! Maybe its something about the mid-twenties that does that you.

    Comment by botanyhead — December 8, 2009 @ 12:33 pm | Reply

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