The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Over the weekend I finished reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman on my Kindle. It is my 12th book this year. The list of books read this year is here.

This is the first Gaiman book I have read but it won't be the last. The Graveyard Book won the Newbury award this year. To quote form the American Library Association web site "The Newbery Medal honors the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children."  If you want to smile you should read Gaiman's blog about the phone call he got saying he had won the award.  In fact I would recommend reading Gaiman's blog regularly it is very entertaining.

The Graveyard Book is a children's book in the same way that the Harry Potter books are children's books. In fact Harry Potter is the closest thing I can compare The Graveyard Book to. But The Graveyard Book is also different. For one thing Bod is the only child living in the graveyard.

This is a book that you want to read. It is intriguing, entertaining. As I was reading it I kept thinking of people who I knew would enjoy it. I will be very interested to hear Allie's opinion of the book, and Shan's opinion, and Linda's opinion and the list goes on.

I usually would not enjoy a book that starts with a toddlers parents and sister being killed. In the graveyard Mr and Mrs Owens eventually adopt the baby. When I read the following my heart was warmed and I was hooked

"Mrs. Owens bent down to the baby and extended her arms. “Come now,” she said, warmly. “Come to Mama.”

Because it made me laugh one of my favorite quotes from the book is the following:

"It is going to take more than just a couple of good-hearted souls to raise this child. It will,” said Silas, “take a graveyard.”

Neil Gaiman was interviewed on The Colbert Report . He said that the moral of The Graveyard Report is "Life has meaning". I like this quote from the book about potential.

"You’re alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you’re dead, it’s gone. Over. You’ve made what you’ve made, dreamed your dream, written your name. You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is finished.”

I think this is the crux of why The Graveyard Book is so wonderful and why I might just read it again soon.

If you've read other Gaiman books which one should I read next? Maybe one of his adult science fiction books?

Angels Fall by Nora Roberts

Last night I stayed up late reading to finish Nora Robert's book Angels Fall. I don't read romance novels very often but when I do Nora Roberts is my favorite author. Angels fall is a Murder Mystery too. I used to read a lot of murder mysteries. I've read everything that Agatha Christie wrote. I have never read a Nora Roberts mystery before It turns out that this was the best murder mystery I have read in years. Maybe I'm rusty but I didn't figure out what was going on until Roberts revealed it.

For escapism and entertainment I definitely recommend Angels Fall.

Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher

I just finished reading Barbara Sher's book Refuse to Choose on my Kindle. I have read Barbara Sher's other books like Wishcraft and I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It and really enjoyed them. Refuse to Choose is about people who have multiple interests and could never have just one passion.  That is me. Which is why I call myself a renaissance woman. I don't really like that label and I like the label Sher uses "scanner" even less. But I can't come up with a better one.

Sher does have some really good ideas about how to maximize your potential if you are a multi-facetted individual and I found the book very empowering. My only complaint is that she spends a lot of time talking about jobs for scanners and about how you shouldn't feel like a failure because you can't focus on just one thing in life. Neither of these things are issues for me. Like Ben Franklin I am no longer employed and I am exploring my multiple interests and loving it.

The other thing I loved about this book is that Barbara Sher has a very active Twitter community and a good web site. It makes the book all the more interesting.

This is my tenth book this year. Here is my list.

Snowshoeing at Northstar at Tahoe

My nephew and his room mate are staying with us while they ski this week. Up until yesterday they were catching a bus at the Peppermill to take them to the ski resorts. Yesterday I drove them to Northstar at Tahoe and I went snowshoeing while they skied. It was a beautiful warm day and there was still lots of snow. The lady at the snowshoeing and cross country skiing lodge took this picture before I started out.


Northstar charges $25 for a snowshoeing day pass. I think that is probably why I saw very few people all day. After all, you can snowshoe free lots of places so why pay.

I made a five mile loop. Many of the trails had no footprints to follow so I was following the little yellow snowshoe markers and the pink flags. There were lots of them so it was easy to find the trail by standing at a marker and looking for the next one.It was fun too.


There are two warming huts on the trails. I didn't stop at the caboose hut.

But I did stop for lunch on a bench outside the Swiss Hut with a fantastic view of Truckee meadows. After lunch I read my Kindle for a while with the Sun warming my back. Such decadence!

If you would like to see all of my pictures for yesterday they are on Flickr here.

25 Randon things

I very rarely do the things requested when I get tagged. But for some reason this Facebook meme grabbed my interest. Plus I am reading Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher and one of her exercises is to make a list of the things you have done so here is 25 Randon Things about me. I have also posted this on Facebook.

1. I was a certified scuba diver but haven't dived in 20+ years

2. I had a general class amateur radio license and I know morse code.

3. I have a computer science degree from Iowa State University. I
worked in the computer industry for almost 30 years at Boeing, Sperry
Univac, Spectra Medical Systems, Digital Research, Ansa Software, Sun
Microsystems and Intuit.

4. At Digital Research I managed one of the first software support
organizations in the home computer industry. Our product CP/M was the
first home computer operating system for micro computers.

5. I had never had a job before I graduated from college and started as a software engineer at Boeing

6. I took all the required classes and passed the CFP (Certified Financial Advisaor) 2 day exam

7. I went to High School in Australia but graduated from High School in London

8. I know how to sail and have basic keel boat certification. I was a sailboat racer in college.

9. I'm into Genealogy

10. I studied French and Latin in School but now I am teaching myself Spanish

11. About a year and a half ago I started taking Yoga classes.

12. I have taken flute and guitar lessons but most recently I took several years of piano lessons

13. I have two wonderful daughters and one very cool grandson who is 2 and a half.

14. I love to read. I just got a Kindle. I have a goal to read a
biography of each of our presidents. I'd like to write a biography some

15. I've climbed Mount Whitney.

16. I love to hike and snow shoe. I used to cross country ski.

17. I consider myself a renaissance woman because I have so many
interests and am always interested in trying and learning about new
things. My goal in life is to be interesting.

18. I joined a sorority in college (Delta Zeta)

19. Charlie Rose is my favorite TV show. I would like to start a podcast interviewing interesting people.

20. My guilty pleasure TV is watching Survivor.

21. I have a blog. I started blogging in September 2004. Blogging is something I love to do.

22. I love to travel. My favorite country is England. I have a long list of places I want to visit.

23. My Mom died in July 2007. I miss her. My Dad moved to Reno last
year to be near me. I spend about 24 hours a week as his secretary and
chauffeur. My parents were always marvelously supportive. They are the
reason I am who I am today.

24. I was born in Hibbing Minnesota and spent the first 12 years of my life in Bismarck North Dakota.

25. I met my husband Duke on We have been married for 5 and a half wonderful years