- "True Compass", the memoir of Ted Kennedy-- A bright light of insight for my political education. A look back from the 1960's and up to his recent death, and, for me, a speculation of his impact on the health care bill, and what could have been if he survived.
- "A Night at the Opera", by Sir Denis Foreman-- Subtitled 'An irreverent guide to the plots, the singers, the composers, the recordings." A hilarious yet comprehensive study of the greatest operas, a detailed description of their librettos, arias, history, even running times; and a lively appreciation of the art form itself. Sir Foreman would seem to have a formidable grasp of opera and excellent credentials..and it looks like fun!
- "Sicilian Odyssey" by Francine Prose-- A travel memoir and history by one of my favorite writers; the book is described as a guide to "a land whose 'commitment to the extreme' makes its history more vivid, its sun hotter, its cooking earthier..." And it's the birthplace of some of my more colorful ancestors!
- "To Dance With The White Dog" a novel by Terry Kay. A famous story about a recent widower and the bond he forms with a mysterious white dog. I received a first edition signed copy....my collection grows...
- "Girls Like Us", by Sheila Weller-- A triple-biography of musical contemporaries Carole King, Carly Simon, and Joni Mitchell....A revel for me, and an addition to my eventual expertise on '60's pop culture and one of my musical heroines.
- French and Italian Phrasebooks and Dictionaries--I need to pursue my love of languages and plan our future travels accordingly.
- DVD's--"Joan Baez How Sweet the Sound", and "Leonard Cohen Live in London"-- A PBS Baez Documentary and a 2008 Cohen concert film. More nourishment for my '60's musical soul, and material for an "artistic" memoir some time in the future...
Christmas Eve was at the home of Mark's sister Diane and husband Steve, and happily Mark's mom was able to join us. Helen is the force that unites the family, and the teller of family tales and history. She worked all year on her pottery and presented me with a painted ceramic rabbit, and a lovely and delicate ornament of a white deer. Fortunately, she was feeling fine and laughed hard at our "witty" banter and crazy photo opportunities.