Books I Read* This Weekend

*I can pretend I read each of these in their entirety, but that wouldn’t be true. Some of them I finished, others I just read a few chapters. Though it may not appear so, I do in fact have other responsibilities, and wasn’t able to just spend the entire weekend on the couch. I had to like, get up and eat a few times. And attend to the well-being of three little dogs and one little sister (none of which are technically mine, I’ve just unofficially adopted them all).

As you might be able to tell from this list, I tend to read a variety of subject matters. It’s important to be a well-rounded reader. Makes life much more interesting that way, don’t you think?

Jackson Hole Wyoming

Embrace knowledge and reading.
Or at least large rocks.


Books I Read This Weekend: 

The first two I finished, the second two I continued/officially started. Almost done with The Night Circus. It’s excellent: a darkly colored tale of magic and romance and striped circus tents. I’ll probably finish that one in the next day or so, it’s hard to put down.  The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down is also a good one, though slightly different subject matter (as you could probably tell by the full title). I had seen it in various bookstores when I was traveling in Vietnam, but didn’t want to spend the money and then have to haul it around during my travels. Found it at Goodwill once I got home, so I snapped it up for 50 cents. Very, very interesting. Also recommended, if you’re looking for a non-fiction read about the medical field.

Lots of cups of tea, lots of books, lots of reading.

It was a very good weekend.

Lessons From Wyoming

Or, Four Things I Learned Today


1. How to nest search.

In a nutshell: walk through the wild, look for bird nests. Record on nest card. Simple. (More on this later).


Female yellow warbler on nest, Magee Marsh, Ohio (an excellent place for warblers in the spring). 


2. That I will always want to spend more money than I currently (or will ever) have on books, and that going into a bookstore “just to look” is never a good idea.

I don’t go into bookstores for the same reason I don’t buy Oreos, bags of Pirate’s Booty, containers of ice cream, or jars of Nutella: because I’ll eat it all at once and get sick (or because I’ll spend lots of money and expand my mind and entertain myself quietly and learn something interesting. Which isn’t exactly like eating an entire jar of Nutella in one sitting, but the two activities do tend to be tied together. Reading books, I find, is typically closely tied to consuming Nutella on Maria cookies– try it– and drinking copious amounts of tea, and then holding it as long as possible because I don’t want to stop reading long enough to pee. Perhaps the only good thing about driving across Texas twice with someone who doesn’t like stop was that it trained me to hold it for extended periods of time).

Okay, this one I knew before, but I was wandering around downtown Jackson this evening and found a really neat bookstore, Valley Bookstore, and ended up wandering in and making a short-list of about 30 different books I wanted to come back and buy once I get paid.



3. I also found out that many people are into birds, including Mike, who helped me select a good trail/topo map of the area at Teton Mountaineeringwho also told me I need to go to Bird Club meetings, first Sunday of the month at the Visitor Center parking lot, and the man working at the Thomas Mangelsen gallery, who told me about how the crows that nest in his backyard occasionally leave food bits in his bird bath, including cookies, dead bird nestlings, and the head of a lovebird (probably someone’s pet who got loose and got eaten). His neighbor puts out bread, which attracts the crows to their yards. Last summer he had a cedar waxwing nest in the bush just outside his door, but he didn’t take any pictures because he didn’t want to tip off the crows as to the location of the nest. We chatted a while, if you couldn’t tell.


And when not eating other birds, crows also will eat gummy bears.


4. That I should get a mountain bike.

And that I actually kinda want to use it on a mountain. Biking on inclines isn’t exactly my thing (I grew up biking on the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath, where elevation gain is described as “minimal.” I love mountains, but they are primarily for climbing up using either two or four limbs, not two wheels. However, the hills are calling, and I think my leg muscles might be able to answer. Or at least they’re seriously considering it.

I also learned that there is a trail called Putt-Putt that’s easy but “you’ll be feeling it after,” according to the guy at Sports Authority who told me where to go to buy a bike (not Sports Authority, though the bike he recommended will be going on sale soon but I didn’t hear it from him).


Yeah, this one’s not my picture either. It’s from the Bridger-Teton National Forest website


“Imagine combining a roller-coaster ride and a bobsled run—the result would be the Putt-Putt loop.”

Um yeah, maybe I’ll stick to the paved multi-purpose trail for a little while…

Only got $20 in my pocket

“I’m gonna pop some tags,

Only got $20 in my pocket…”

I hear that my little brother knows all the lyrics to the song “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore, so if you haven’t heard it have him sing it to you. And if you can actually get him to sing it to you, please videotape it, because I would dearly like to see it.

Here’s the official “Thrift Shop” video, for those who might not have seen it. This is the unedited version, so there are a few objectionable words in there. Grandma, I just want you to know I would never use words like that, though I do shop at thrift shops.

This is what $20 (technically $19.40) will get you at the Goodwill in Boulder:

  • Three books: The Best Travel Writing of 2000 (edited by Bill Bryson); Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from Storycorps (Dave Isay); and Close Range: Wyoming Stories (Annie Proulx)
  • A pair of Lauren Ralph Lauren jeans (which I suspect are brand new, as they are a bit stiff and still have the thread from the tag on the back pocket. Also, I’ve never understood the double ‘Lauren,’ but since my name is on there 2x I figure that means they’re extra super awesome)
  • A pair of Colombia shorts
  • A clear glass jar with lid


  • This sweet mug

beard face coffee mug

Yeah, that’s right. Be jealous.