March 7, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Posted in General News | Leave a comment

This is the first in a series of occasional posts -a place to share what we are reading! Here’s a brief list of what’s been on my nightstand recently –

Uncle Tom’s Cabin – HB Stowe
Having watched The Abolitionists on PBS, a neighbor recommended we read this for our book group. I was astonished at the subtlety of Stowe’s character development and her passion for the subject matter.

Pale Horse Pale Rider – KA Porter (for Literature & Medicine)
This story of influenza during the first World War is both poignant and surprisingly dry-witted. The depictions of delirium are quite fantastic!

Bartleby the Scrivener (for Literature & Medicine)
Possibly the most aggravating co-worker ever! Pathological passive resistance? Perverse willfulness? You be the judge.

The Great Gatsby – FS Fitzgerald
Classic story of wealth and class in America. I hadn’t read it since high school – but remembered the scene in Gatsby’s library – stocked with books with the pages left uncut.

Escape from Camp 14 – Blaine Harden
A Washington Post reporter’s story of a man who escaped form a N. Korean prison camp. Unfortunately the audiobook is read by the author and is otherwise poorly produced.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan
A fun read – puzzle mystery where the world of medieval secret societies collides with  Google and super computers. Did I mention that the cover glows in the dark?

Fumbling: A Pilgrimage Tale of Love, Grief and Spiritual Renewal on the Camino de Santiago – Kerry Egan
This could have been a good mix of memoir, travelogue and history – but the author is often cranky.  I did not want to spend six weeks on a pilgrimage with her!

God’s Hotel: A Doctor, A Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine – Victoria Sweet
Well-written and engaging stories from the Laguna Honda hospital, her doctoral research and her pilgrimage on the Camino.

Atonement – Ian McEwan
An author makes sense of truth and storytelling and how it does and does not provide her amnesty from living with her past.

Want to contribute your recent reads? Drop a note to me (  or Sally Gore ( and find out more!

-Dina McKelvy


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