Notes from Mt. Bookpile

Whew!  What an end to the year... 400 books read, 91 in this quarter.  Reviews on the other blog. No other comments here: stay tuned for the year-end book posts!


Children's/Young Adult

Adult Fiction



  • That Mad Game
  • The Skull in the Rock, Marc Aronson
  • A Little History of Science, W. F. Bynum
  • The Pause Principle, Kevin Cashman
  • The Law of Superheroes; James Daily
  • Faces From the Past, James M. Deem
  • It's Raining Fish And Spiders, Bill Evans
  • The Split History of the Civil War, Stephanie Fitzgerald
  • The Wild Horse Scientists, Kay Frydenberg
  • Spirit Seeker, Gary Golio
  • This I Believe, John Gregory
  • The Warrior's Heart, Eric Greitens
  • Rescuing the Children, Deborah Hodge
  • Among the Islands, Tim Flannery
  • The Information Diet, Clay Johnson
  • Into a Paris Quartier, Diane Johnson
  • We Are Their Voice, Kathy Kacer
  • Dear Teen Me, Miranda Kenneally
  • Leonardo and the Last Supper, Ross King
  • So You Wanna Be a Superstar? Ted Michael
  • Young, Innocent and in Prison, Jeff Mitchell
  • When Organizing Isn't Enough, Julie Morgenstern
  • The Bronte Sisters, Catherine Reef
  • Inside Scientology, Janet Reitman
  • Growing Up Muslim, Ali-Karamali Sumbul
  • Fourteen And Sentenced To Death, Bill Swan
  • Effective Grading, Barbara Walvoord
  • Pier 21 and Children of the Titanic, Christine Welldon
  • Titanic, Philip Wilkinson

Speculative Fiction


Best Reads of 2012

Looking over my reading from last year, I'm a little surprised at how many 5-star books there were 31 of them.  And I thought I was getting more critical in my old age!

Here's how they break down:

Adult Fiction
Children's/Young Adult (all genres)
Speculative Fiction



There's a group I belong to, the Plain Language Association, dedicated to promoting clear, plain language over jargon, not just in the legal field (where the movement began) but everywhere.

I hate jargon and when I edit people's work I tend to change things like "stakeholders" to "community" (unless, of course, they're talking about people building fences, tying up plants or hunting vampires, in which case "stakeholders" is absolutely the right word).  I change "impact" to "affect" or "effect", depending on which is correct.

If you were to watch tv with me, you might have to cover your ears when I yell at the announcer's sign-off (usually you hear "for Tom, Dick and Susan, I'm Larry", which implies that for everyone else, he's Dave or Joe; what he means to say is "on behalf of...").

So you can imagine how I responded to reading this in my e-mail this morning, part of a message enumerating upcoming changes to a social media site I use:

a simplified design, provides deeper insights, and surfaces new ways to connect and build relationships. 

I'm not even going to start....