My life goal as a high schooler was to become a permanent ski bum and live half the year in Montana and half the year in Argentina.  First, though, there were two obstacles that I figured I needed to overcome: 1) lack of money, 2) not speaking Spanish.

What was the solution?  Well, ever since I was tiny, dinnertime conversations in our house would start off with, “When you go to college…” and reprimands would run along the lines of, “You don’t want to do that, because when you’re in college…” So, duh, my pre-programmed brain told me that the way to overcome the first obstacle (no moolah) was to go to college.

And to overcome the second (no español)?  Why, I’d just major in Spanish, of course.  (It didn’t quite occur to me that somehow Spanish major and paycheck were incompatible.)

I didn’t want to go to college in Montana, because, knowing myself, I realized I’d just become a ski bum while in college, which, I knew was code for “sixth-year senior.”  If I wanted to actually do well in college, I needed to be in a place where the snow is more like sludge and winters look dreary enough to drive me back indoors.  Solution? Oregon!

I went to undergrad at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon (a wonderfully bucolic, cozy place that I loved dearly) and grad school at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.  I’m enjoying my time out on the West Coast, although my ski bum aspirations have pretty much gone by the wayside.  Since grad school and reading for fun are another pair of incompatible terms, I haven’t been able to review as many books as I’d like, but here goes:

Díaz, Junot: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

du Maurier, Daphne: Rebecca

Le Guin, Ursula K.: The Farthest Shore

Le Guin, Ursula K.: Tehanu

Le Guin, Ursula K.: The Tombs of Atuan

Le Guin, Ursula K.: A Wizard of Earthsea

Monsen, Avery and Jory John: All My Friends Are Dead

Pinker, Stephen: The Stuff of Thought

Thompson, Craig: Blankets

Thompson, Craig: Habibi

Zusak, Markus: The Book Thief


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