Books & Authors

I normally have at least three or four books in progress at any given time—a novel, an anthology, at least one non-fiction book, and some poetry. The non-fiction is often an audiobook that I listen to while driving or doing handwork. There are only a few authors whose works I read and re-read, and some of those have had quite an influence on my life.

If you’ve been here before, you may have noticed that this page got a lot shorter. Some of the items had gotten pretty dated, so I removed them. While I’m still reading voraciously, I keep track of what I’m reading over at GoodReads, occasionally reviewing books here on my blog.

Also, because the science fiction and fantasy books and authors were taking over the page, I’ve given them to their own place.


I’ve been enjoying Mary Roach’s books lately. Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, in particular, was informative and amusing. She has a gift for keeping all manner of subjects interesting.

Another favorite non-fiction author is Dr. Hanne Blank. Virgin: The Untouched History is the fascinating story of the social construct of virginity. Next up on my reading list is Fat.

I read Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive and Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson last year and greatly appreciated the science-backed approach to the pursuit of happiness.


I finally got around to reading Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg. It’s only been 20 years or so since my brother-of-choice recommended the book to me. I intend to read more of the selections from The Center for Nonviolent Communication.Cover of Non-Violent Communication

I’ve read (or listened to) several of Bart Ehrman’s books over the last few years. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why was highly informative regarding what made it into the Bible and why. Forged: Writing in the Name of God taught me that I was wholly miseducated regarding the authors of the New Testament.

Cover of Obsidian Butterfly
After reading the first book of the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton out of sheer boredom, I had to go out and get every other volume, and devoured them in no time at all. I want more. Right now. I don’t even like horror in general, but I’d have to say that these books are more dark fantasy than horror, and they’re always spiced with plenty of humor. (Later note: Obsidian Butterfly was the last book of the series that really focused on plot more than sex, so those who don’t want to read about Anita’s increasing collection of lovers should stop with this volume.) I think I enjoyed her Merry Gentry series more than the Blake series (more fantasy, a little less horror). That starts with A Kiss of Shadows.

No Fixed Line is the latest of Dana Stabenow’s Kate Shugak series. It was an excellent read, though it didn’t hit me as hard as an earlier volume, Hunter’s Moon, did (if you’ve read the other books in the series, I’ll warn you—Hunter’s Moon one will tear you up). I cried, and that just doesn’t happen often—I can’t remember any other book of fiction that’s provoked tears from me. I enjoyed the Liam Campbell series as well (latest is Better to Rest), but I relate to Shugak more than Campbell.

Rick and I read Naomi Shihab Nye’s Words Under the Words to each other, one poem a day. There are some truly beautiful pieces here.


Madeleine L’Engle was one of my heras. I love every one of her books, fiction, poetry and prose, but The Ordering of Love: The New and Collected Poems of Madeleine L’Engle is a special delight. She was simply an incredible lady.

I used to have most of C.S. Lewis’ books, and re-read them every few years. I’ve heard an audio version of The Screwtape Letters recorded by John Cleese that is absolutely side-splitting, but I don’t own a copy (yet). The Great Divorce is the only book I’ve ever read that presented any theories about hell that I could reconcile with the concept of a loving deity.

Leslea Newman is a joy, but it’s often hard to find her books. Her volume of poetry, Love Me Like You Mean It, is one I nearly wore out before it disappeared. I wish I could find a hardcover edition, but I would settle for getting it in paperback again. Most people know her as the author of Heather Has Two Mommies, and she has published quite a few children’s books–in fact, Belinda’s Bouquet was one of Katie’s favorites when she was younger. Fat Chance is an excellent book for teens.

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