I have been doing a lot of reading lately especially when I am sitting with my Mom.

A few weeks ago I finished reading Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. What a wonderful book. It is definitely my favorite book of all the books that I have read in the last year. Goodwin is a wonderful story teller. I loved learning about the key figures of the American Civil War. Every person who aspires to being a great leader should read this book. Lincoln understood leadership and has to have been one of the most amazing leaders in American History.

Einstein’s Wife – Work and Marriage in the lives of Five Great Twentieth Century Woman by Andrea Gabor is  about the lives of Mileva Maric Einstein,  physicist and wife of Albert Einstein, Lee Krasner, a great American painter and Jackson Pollack’s wife, Maria Goeppert Mayer, winner of the Nobel prize in chemistry, Denise Scott Brown, architect and urban planner and Supreme court justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Other than O’Connor I knew nothing about any of these women. I liked learning  about them but on the whole the book was plodding. When you compare it to books like Team of Rivals or John Adams you realize what excellent, compelling writers Goodwin and McCullough are.

My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme is the life story of Julia Child focusing on the period between when she moved to France and started cooking and 1961 when she published Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Although at times the book drags a bit I found It inspiring and interesting . Child and her co-authors spent 10 years developing and researching the recipes and writing the cook book. I really admire Child’s persistence and commitment.

1776 by David McCullough is another wonderful book that I really enjoyed. Even though I knew how it would come out, the story of the beginning of the American revolutionary war is amazing. I highly recommend it.

I also just finished John Adams also by David McCullough and really loved it too. Authors like McCullough and Goodwin make writing history look easy but I know they have rare skills. John Adams, Team of Rivals  and 1776 are better than fiction.

I think I will try to read at least one book about each of our presidents. I just started His Excellency George Washington by Joseph J. Elllis which promises to  be a great read.

Our house is for sale

Our house is finally on the market! If you know anyone who is looking for a very nice house in the San Francisco Bay area have a look at our listing. The house is convenient to 880 and is in a very quiet gated community.

Getting the house ready was an enormous undertaking. We painted the whole house, installed new hardwood in our bonus room, put new carpet throughout the house, and moved all our stuff out. Once we were out the stagers came in. For any of you who have been to our house you won’t recognize the transformation. For one thing there is no longer a pool table in the living room!

I was able to work with Duke to do a lot of the work but he had to finish it himself starting three weeks ago when I came down to Escondido to help Dad take care of my Mom. Every day she gets a little weaker. She can’t talk now and she is having trouble swallowing. Mom still seems aware of much that is being said and of what is going on around her. We don’t know how long this will last but except for breaks when my daughters or siblings come I’ll stay until the end. I’m taking one day at a time and am just glad I can be here for her.

While I have been down here Duke got the old house on the market and has started moving us into our new house in Reno. Long phone conversations about the house and the move have given me a respite from thinking about things here. My daughters and my sisters and brother have also been wonderfully supportive. My sisters were here last week. My brother comes again next week and my daughters have plans to come too.