My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence.

- Edith Sitwell



Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.

- Maya Angelou



Easy reading is damn hard writing.

-Nathaniel Hawthorne

My Alma mater was books, a good library... I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.

- Malcome X



The road to hell is paid with adverbs.

- Stephen King



I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.

- Ray Bradbury



An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.

- Oscar Wilde



You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.

- Saul Bellow



Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.

- William Faulkner



Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they'll go through anything. You read and you're pierced.

- Aldous Huxley



Tears are words that need to be written.

- Paulo Coelho



If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.

- Isaac Asimov




The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.

- Albert Camus



To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.

- Herman Melville



I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.

- Gustave Flaubert




I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged

- Erica Jong



Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.

- Lisa See



Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.

- Anton Chekhov



Write drunk, edit sober.

- Ernest Hemingway



If you can't explain something simply, you don't understand it well enough.

- Albert Einstein



This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read.

- Winston Churchill



I try to leave out the parts that people skip.

- Elmore Leonard



The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.

- Vladimir Nabokov





Nothing beats
reading a good
book or some
great poetry
about a
redheaded girl.











One my favorite books
as a young child ...


... then readimg became much more serious!




My 2020 Reading List: 32 Books Read YTD

(starting in August)

What a year this has been! It started out with me working on obtaining 3 professional certifications. That walked me into the COVID experience. To say the least, this year has disrupted my reading schedule. Finally, in August I cracked open a book and have been reading since.

To review my 2019 reading list of 127 books click on this link: 2019 Reading List

Home to my favorite used bookstore: Columbia, MD


Mary - Vladimir Nabokov
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck A Room of One's Own - Virginia Woolf Six Nonlectures - e e cummings Passing - Nella Larsen Educated: A Memoir - Tara Westover The Phantom Rickshaw - Rudyard Kipling Rules for the Dance - Mary Oliver/span> Romeo & Juliet - William Shakespeare buy·ology - Martin Lindstrom A Farewell To Arms - Ernest Hemingway The Problem of Pain - C. S. Lewis Nine Stories - J. D. Salinger The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway The Kreutzer Sonata - Leo Tolstoy Bleak House - Charles Dickens Alice's Adventures in Wonderlan - Lewis Carroll The Death of Ivan Ilyich - Leo Tolstoy The Monkey's Paw - W. W. Jacobs The Rain in Portugal - Billy Collins Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman - Richard P. Feynman A Hunger Artist - Franz Kafka Silas Marner - George Elliot The Great Gatsby - Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway To Build A Fire - Jack London Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway Captains Courageous - Rudyard Kipling Excursions - Henry David Thoreau Complete Tales & Poems - Edgar Allen Poe Jonathan Livingston Seagull - Richard Bach Till We Have Faces - C. S. Lewis Notes From Underground - Fyodor Dostoyevsky Walden and Civil Disobedience - Henry David Thoreau The Madonna of the Future - Henry James The Problem of Pain - C.S. Lewis Uncommon Type - Tom Hanks Brief Answers to the Big Questions - Stephen Hawking A Midsummer Night's Dream - William Shakespeare To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

In order to become a better writer one must become a better reader. It makes sense. I feel the concentrated reading of well-written books has been a positive influence on my writing skills. I can feel the changes, albeit small and possibly undetected by others. I continue to read, both out of enjoyment and in hope of improving my writing.

Not all my reading classic fiction. I digest a good number of instructional books as well.

The notes shared are not meant to be a book review. They are just a capture of my thoughts upon finishing book.

2020 has proven to be a challenging year. I started out the year studying for three professional certifications. The next we knew - we all were introduced to COVID-19 and our lives have been disrupted ever since. When we gat a chance to go back to normal - it will be a new normal with many changes to our lifestyle. While the isolation of COVID allowed for the time to read, I did not resume after the certifications had been completed. Finally in August, I returned to reading. This list begins there.

36. The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
Currently Reading

I love the story behind Nathaniel Hawthorne and his life, and his writing of the Scarlet Letter. His wife's actions and beliefs express the purest of true love.

The Scarlet Letter was the first classic I read as an adult. This story is a must read (again) as an adult. I don't remember much about reading it in high school but .

I imagine the discussion points were not as poignant as they should have been. At least that is my recollection of the readingsAs for this reading of it, I personally, I find a few chapters just before the halfway point a little too detailed, or too slow for me, but when Hawthorne is making his points his choice of words and statements are perfect!


35. The Moon is Down - John Steinbeck
Currently Reading

It has been a while since I have read Steinbeck. I picked this book to get back in my joy of reading his stories.


34. Ovid Metamorhoses - Translated by: Rolfie Humphries
Currently Reading

I picked this book because it was to be an influence of Shakespeare.


33. The Body Keeps the Score - Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD
October 2020

I am reading a book on the subject of trauma and its toll on the body and lives that have experienced such unfortunate scenarios. It is an excellent book loaded with many details.


32. Twelfth Night - William Shakespeare
October 2020

Ending my indulgence of Shakespeare’s plays is Twelfth Night. Perhaps my expectations were way to high for my ability to digest this much Shakespeare in one month, but I did not enjoy Twelfth Night as much as I had anticipated. I had seen the play in Washington, DC a few years back at the Shakespeare Theater Company and greatly enjoyed watching it. Listening to it as an audio book fell short of my memories of the play.


31. Romeo & Juliet - William Shakespeare
October 2020

There are a few plays one can never get enough of in their life. Romeo & Juliet is such a play for me. It never fails to satisfy me. Much of my enjoyment may stem from the 1998 movie Shakespeare in Love which is written around production of the play. In eighth grade, we had a class fieldtrip to our local movie theater to watch the 1968 movie of Romeo & Juliet. I have loved the play ever since. I feel it represents Shakespeare in a way I want to know him.

The 1996 adaptation of Romeo & Juliet was an epic fail in my humble opinion.


Shakespeare in Love

While this is a list of books I have read, it also has become a list of all things Shakespeare. As such, there is no better movie than Shakespeare in Love to wet the appitite you want to ahve for Shakespeare! And love for that matter. It is a delightful tale filled with Shakespearian references and plenty of humor.

I have watched this movie at least a dozen times and I never tire of it. If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend watching it.




30. The Character Within - Gregory T. Lombardo, MD, PhD
October 2020

I picked this book up out of an interest to learn more about Shakespeare and the character that influenced him and his writing. Sometimes it is a bit difficult remembering the world and society at the tiime of his life.


29. Shakespeare's Words - Kenneth Branagh
Reference 2020

I picked this gem up to use as a reference on Shakespeare. I am doing my best to learn as much as I can on him, his life, and his writings. Ultimately, I want to write sonnets and have aspirations of writing some that come somewhat near the emotional quality that Shakespeare created.


28. The Shakespeare Book - Various Contributors
Reference 2020

Another reference book on William Shakespeare. It is more of a quick reference guide for when I need a dose of Shakesperian motivation!


27. A Dictionary of Shakespeare - Stanley Wells
Reference 2020

A reference of all things Shakespeare. I'm hoping that it will prove to be a great resourse. Oxford is known for the quality of their reference materials.


26. Much Ado About Nothing - William Shakespeare
October 2020

This play has become my second favorite of Shakespeare's plays. It is filled with Shakesperian langueage.


25. How To Think Like Shakespeare - Scott Newstok
October 2020

If it was only so simple - to be able to think like Shakespeare thought! Since my major goal of my immersion into Shakespeare is to write sonnets that can somewhat impact the reader and their emotions in the manner that Shakespeare so expertly did it.


24. Say It Like Shakespeare -Thomas Leach
October 2020

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23. No Fear: As You Like It - William Shakespeare with Translation
October 2020

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22. Othello - William Shakespeare
October 2020

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21. Macbeth - William Shakespeare
October 2020

How can a story that includes witches be all-bad? It can't be. Embarrassingly I never knew that the Halloween saying of Double, double, toil and trouble came from Shakespeare. It is never to late to learn what you should have learned as a child. The play itself was not able to become one of my favorites.


20. Midsummer's Night Dream - William Shakespeare
October 2020

Shakespeare the lover comes out in this delightful play. The words he chose to help the viewer feel the emotions he was wanting to incite are dead on. He is the master of written love.


19. The Ode Less Travelled - Stephen Fry
September 2020

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18. The 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing - 5 Editors
September 2020

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17. 2,000 to 10,000 - Rachel Aaron
September 2020

One weekend last year I wrote a kid's book. I believe I layed down 40,000 words. That is the most I have ever written in one short amount of time. I want to reppeatthat, and repeat it often. This book seems to claim to help you write faster, better and more of what you love. The book does have some good points to ponder. I just need to put it to use!


16. Poetry: Tools & Techniques - John C. Goodman
September 2020

In any art there are tools and there is imagination. One must learn the tools and be able to utilize them without having to think about them. This frees up the mind to be fully engages in the creative process. There are many books on tools in the poetry writing market. I am happy if I learn one new technique for every book read. Learning is perpetual!


15. ten poems to change your life again & again - Roger Housden
September 2020

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14. How To Write A Poem: 21 Traits - Rafa Selase
September 2020

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13. Yeats - The Last Romantic
September 2020

Yeats wrote one of my favorite poems, The Clothes of Heaven. I don't love everything he writes but was hoping to find more of his work that I do like. This is a nice little collection of poems to enjoy.


12. Be A Writing Machine - M. L. Ronn
September 2020

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11. Writing to Persuade - Andea Lunford
September 2020

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10. Several Short Sentences About Writing - Verlyn Klinkenborg
September 2020

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9. Inventing Hell - Jon M. Sweeny
September 2020

2020 has been one hell of a year! So what better book to read then Inventing Hell! I immediately think of Dante and the Catholic church's influence on art, and was anxious to see what else this book had to offer up on a place I am not so sure really exists. I do believe in a Heaven, that makes sense to me. Hell, not so much. Maybe the book will help clarify my beliefs?


8. A More Beatiful Question - Warren Berger
September 2020

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7. The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die - John Izzo, PhD
September 2020

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6. The Poet's Companion - Kim Addonizio & Dorianne Laux
September 2020

I need some occasional magic in my life! I am excited to read this book on my Kindle! This book will be my last read for 2019. I am looking for lots of occasional magic in the years to come!


5. The Secret of the Highly Creative Thinker - Dorie Nielsen & Sarah Thuurber
September 2020

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4. Billy Collins - Ballistics
September 2020

Lest we forget, 2019 was the year of petry writing for me. billy Collins ranks as one of the best poets of today and I was lucky enough to recieve this signed copy of his book Ballistics fom Matt, my son's partner. It is a real treat! Perhaps when COVID allows the local community college to resume poetry writing classes I can tae the book in and gloat a little.


3. Write a Book in Two Hours - Jonathan Green
September 2020

One does not have to look too hard to find a book touting the technique to write a book in X amount of time, from hours, to days, to weeks, to months. They all read about the same. By following same basic planning you can accomplish just about any task, and writing a book is one of them. Maybe it is the project manager in me that likes these types of books? Maybe every other yet accomplished writer likes them as well? I dont know. But I do believe any of these books can help anyone along their way.


2. Start Writing Your Book Today -Morgan Gist MacDonald
September 2020

Upon deciding to write some more I felt it best to find some motivating information. This book along with some other helped get me back in the saddle, pen in hand.


1. Becoming a Writer - Dorothea Brandi
September 2020

Apparently I ordered this book at some point last year. I truly had forgotton about ordering it and as such was a little surprised when it arrived. I had done no writing for over half of this year. Was this book meant to be a sign for me to get back to writing? Probably not, but that is exactly what I did. And from October on I have done my best to reconnect with writing.

The book is a good read. And hopefully good catalyst toward success1