Sunday, November 30, 2008

Report on The Green Valley Book Fair

Gas is a lot more affordable than it was just a few weeks ago, I had a little time on my hands, so yesterday I did something I've wanted to for years: attend the Green Valley Book Fair.

The book fair is in the Shenandoah Valley just south of Harrisonburg, VA right off Hwy 81 South. If you love books and live in the Washington D.C. area, you owe it to yourself to check it out. It was a loooooooong haul for me: nearly three hours each way. But it was worth it.

The Book Fair is open six times a year for two weeks at a time, each time featuring 500,000 new books. That's right, half a million. They're all new and from what I could tell, all remaindered, but in pristine condition. (You can check out more about the Book Fair and its history, including some photos, here.)

And the prices are quite good. I didn't buy any hardcovers, but it looked like most of them were in the $5 - $10 range, very reasonable. Most audiobooks (on CD, but they also have tapes) ran about $7.50. Most of the trade paperbacks I saw were within the $2.50 - $5.00 range.

The first room I entered contained an enormous selection of children's books of all kinds. An entire wall housed nothing but YA novels with separate sections for mystery, sf/fantasy and Newbery books. I found plenty of board books and picture books (including several Caldecott winners) for my nieces, which was nice. The rest of the room consisted of more kids books (chapter books, non-fiction, easy readers, etc.) books on crafts, hobbies, home improvement, cooking, teaching resources and tons of other stuff.

A hallway led to another room which housed audiobooks, fiction (classics, 20th century writers, non-American writers, romance, paranormal, Southern writers, African American writers, poetry, sf/fantasy, mystery, western, graphic novels, gay/lesbian fiction, large print... hmmmm.... Did I leave anything out? This room also contained reference, travel, business, finance, and a few other odds and ends.

Downstairs housed basically everything else: art, religion, biography, philosophy, photography, health, politics, current events, sports, nature, computers, music, television, film, gardening, science, African American non-fiction, and on and on.

I'll list the titles when I write my November Books Bought post in a couple of days, but I can tell you that in addition to the books I bought as gifts, I spent $25 for seven brand new trade paperbacks. Not too bad.

If there was one major disappointment with the Book Fair, it was the scant offering of graphic novels. Maybe they'd been picked over from the day before (I went on the second day), or maybe they just don't get much.

The Green Valley Book Fair is an event definitely I plan to attend again, but probably only once a year due to the distance involved. If you're even in the area, be sure to check it out.

Here's their schedule for 2009:

March 14 - 29
May 9 - 25
June 27 - July 12
Aug. 22 - Sept. 7
Oct. 10 - 25
Nov. 27 - Dec. 13

Friday, November 28, 2008

Living Dead Girl (YA 2008) - Elizabeth Scott

Reading Elizabeth Scott’s Living Dead Girl reminds me of my friend John’s analogy of watching a train wreck. It’s a terrible thing, yet you can’t look away. Not only do you not look away, you keep looking to see what else might happen.

Briefly, Living Dead Girl is the story of a fifteen-year-old girl named Alice who was abducted at age ten by a man named Ray. Ray has passed Alice off as his daughter in a seedy run-down apartment complex, the type of place where no one asks questions. Ray has also done all the things to Alice that you can possibly imagine. You can’t really say Alice is living. She goes through each day in a zombie-like numbness until Ray comes home from work each day. But she’s aware enough to realize she’s getting a little too grown up and soon Ray will want a replacement Alice, a younger Alice. Someone he can teach to become a “good girl.”

I’ve never read Scott’s other novels, Bloom and Perfect You, both YA romances. This is no romance and it’s certainly not pretty. Although Living Dead Girl contains no graphic sex, lots of things are implied. Thankfully these scenes don’t last long, but good luck trying to escape the memory of them. Scott could have made this an over-the-top sleaze-fest, but she doesn’t. Although a short book (only 176 pages and many of those consist of one or two page chapters), it’s not a shallow “Look what happened to that poor girl” novel. When we hear of stories like this in real life, most of us think or say, "Why don't you just leave? Run? Scream?" As Scott expertly shows, it's just not that easy.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a day-long conference called Their Space: Adding Teens to the Library. One of the presenters gave a seminar on reluctant readers. She spoke about several books, most of them she readily admitted have little to no literary value. But reluctant readers will pick them up and read them, books like Pick Me Up and Do Not Open, both non-fiction books that are sort of a combination of a visual almanac and surfing the Web. Reluctant readers, she said, are usually not interested in fiction unless it has to do with something realistic, such as Living Dead Girl.

So here’s the dilemma. Do you recommend a book that deals with child abduction, rape and torture to a reluctant reader? If a controversial book gets them excited about reading, is it worth it? I know my answer. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Enoch Pratt Free Library Tour

Last week's tour of the central branch of Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library was amazing. Talk about treasure in every room.... I took the "All-Day Tour" (and it really did take all day) which encompassed all the main sections of the library including a look at some of the behind-the-scenes areas.

The tour started in the Humanities Department, where I could have spent all day just looking at reference books like What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, The Supernatural Literature of the World and the American Film Institute three-volume reference set, to say nothing of issues of TV Guide going back to 1957. There's even a film media specialist on the staff.

(Can you hear me going ga-ga in the back of the room?)

On to Special Collections where we saw rare books, archival manuscripts, Maryland imprints, vintage World War II posters and aisles and aisles of stuff we didn't have nearly enough time to investigate. In the back (pictured here) I jotted down a few titles such as what appeared to be an original copy of Gastronomic Bibliography, a four-volume set of books on catering management, and an early edition (possibly a first) of Among the Cotton Thieves (1857).

On to the African American Department, the Maryland Department, Business, Science and Technology, Periodicals, Children's, Fine Arts, Social Science and History....

Okay, I have to stop. I'm getting dizzy just thinking about it all.

I came away from the Pratt Library with two things: (Actually three if you count the library card I was issued.)

These guys are good. Everyone at Pratt is a specialist in their area, which really is necessary for a major metropolitan library system's main branch. Everyone at my library (and in our system) is pretty much a generalist. That's not to say that each of us doesn't have an area of expertise, but we're not hired based on that expertise. We all have to do everything from reference to children's to Storytime to homework help to computer maintenance.

I enjoy that. I like learning new things and being a generalist guarantees that you'll learn something new everyday. Yet after listening to the Pratt librarians, I now realize just how much there is to know, especially for a generalist.

Second, these guys are approachable and eager to help. "We want your phone calls," they each said over and over. "Please call us." These people really love what they do and are eager to share their knowledge with patrons who want and need it. I never got the feeling that any of these people were arrogantly spouting what they know, but rather are genuinely eager to help. That's a great resource to have.

Other fun stuff found at Pratt:

250,000 fiction titles
60,000 books just about Maryland
2500 maps of Maryland
Sears catalogs (regular and Christmas editions) going back to 1929
Fun titles such as If We Can Keep a Severed Head Alive..., We Never Went to the Moon, The Encyclopedia of Western Gunfighters, and a 1916 book called Facts about Georgia in the shape of Georgia.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Surviving the Pratt Tour and Ft. Sumter, Two Rigorous Adventures

I'm back, both from the Enoch Pratt Free Library tour and Charleston, South Carolina, both of which were excellent in their own way. Way too much to cover here, with only 11 minutes to go before I have to leave for work, but lots more to come.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Coming Attractions

Coming up: a tour tomorrow of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, then on to Charleston, SC for my niece's baptism.

What's This? A Criterion Collection Sale?

Criterion Collection DVDs are notoriously expensive and are almost never offered at a significant discount, but Amazon is having a pretty good sale on several titles right now. Unfortunately, the two titles I'm most interested in, Passion of Joan of Arc and Spirit of the Beehive are not included in the big sale. Still, there's plenty of good stuff here. Knock yourself out!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cite It, Confound It!

I've recently either completely read or skimmed through five or six non-fiction books, all of which have this in common: a lack of footnotes.

First of all, I'm cool with that. Really, I am. I understand that most publishers of popular non-fiction are trying to please their readers, people who get bogged down in footnotes. Even if they don't read them, those pesky little numbers and that pesky 5-point font can just drive most folks crazy. Second, publishers of popular non-fiction probably think, "Hey, let's leave all that stuff to the academic folks. They love all that crap and we really don't want or need it."

So okay, the masses don't like footnotes. But we still need some kind of documentation, don't we? The solution? Endnotes.

I'm cool with that, too. Just plug that little number in the text and I'll happily look for a corresponding number at the end of the book. (If I really want to, and sometimes I do.)

But what I'm not cool with is a section of endnotes with the first, last or middle part of a sentence in quotes followed by a citation. You see the endnotes section with a heading of "Chapter One," followed by something like this:

" then I told D. Cheney he could kiss my..." Author interviews and email communications with----

And that's it. So I'm supposed to fish through the entire chapter to find that quote? Some books at least give you the page number so that you only have to waste a smaller portion of your time.

Maybe this practice has been around for awhile and I just don't read enough non-fiction to know it. If so, I guess I'm a non-fiction Philistine who needs to get with the program. But with a lot of the non-fiction I read, I want to verify the veracity of the statements I read. I want to know where this information came from. I don't want to go on an expedition.

Okay. End of rant. Thanks for letting me get it "off my chest."1


1 Sorry, I know this isn't a real footnote, but was this really so intrusive?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Only 47 Days Left

That's right, there are only 47 reading days left in 2008. Man. These are just the books on hand that I'd like to finish before the end of the year. (You can see that some of them already have bookmarks in them.) This humble stack does not include audiobooks or the seven books I have on hold from the library or the library copy of Kelly Link's Pretty Monsters that's sitting on my desk at work.

That's a total of 20 books (not counting audio) over a span of 47 days, or one book every 2.35 days.

What are the odds I'll make it? Whatever they are, I wouldn't bet on it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko (NF 2008) - Blake Bell

Earlier this year we saw the release of Kirby: King of Comics, an excellent look at the life and work of the late Jack Kirby. Now another comics art pioneer finally gets a book worthy of his talent and influence in the form of Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko.

I grew up reading and treasuring the first thirty-eight issues of Spider-Man, all drawn by Ditko. His quirky style was perfect for an awkward teenager like Peter Parker, yet Ditko could also portray the acrobatics of Spider-Man in a way no other artist ever quite captured. I never really got into Dr. Strange as a kid, but now as an adult, I can really see the reaches of Ditko's incredible imagination and creativity. In my opinion, his work on Dr. Strange far surpasses his work on Spider-Man, which is no small accomplishment.

Yet Ditko was (and apparently still is) a strange one indeed. Ditko was always a quiet loner, but his growing devotion to Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism separated him even further from his coworkers and fans. Unfortunately, it affected his work to the point that he became obsessed with devoting all of his work to Objectivism. Of course it didn't help that Stan Lee didn't give Ditko his due while he was at Marvel. Come on, the guy co-created Spider-Man! (It's ironic that Ditko spent years drawing Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson gypping Peter Parker in nearly the same way.)

In the end, Ditko refused to have much of anything to do with anyone, even turning down offers (many of them quite lucrative) that would help him finance his Objectivist ideals in comic form. For the past several years, the quality of Ditko's art (what little there has been) has been disappointing, but Bell's book displays some stunning images that helped influence comic art and storytelling for decades. An outstanding book/biography/retrospective that any comics lover will want to own.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

YA Overload

It certainly looks like November (or at least the second half of November) is going to be YA Month. All of the above have either just come in at the library or have been recommended to me by people whose opinions I value. Right now I'm listening to The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves by M.T. Anderson. So far there's no indication that this volume will not be as superb as the first, a beautifully written engaging novel. This volume may even be better. Anderson never ceases to amaze me.

I've certainly enjoyed them, but haven't been blown away by the last few things I've read from Neil Gaiman, but The Graveyard Book may change all that. Everything I've heard has been stellar.

The same can be said for The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. Just try putting the book down after this opening line:

The first thing you find our when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don't got nothing much to say.

And then there's Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams, recommended by a co-worker.

I might need a little grown-up reading in December...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling (NF 2008) - Andy Crouch

Crouch understands and acknowledges from the get-go that his topic is enormous, so he begins by looking at just how enormous it is. He's not talking only about the arts, trends and fashion, science, technology, celebrities, ethnic identity, government and politics, education and about a zillion other things you can think of. He's also talking about the scope of culture from the beginning of human history until...well, the end and beyond.

That's a pretty big scope.

More specifically, how have Christians responded to and helped shape culture? Or failed to do so? What about today? Do we engage the culture or withdraw from it? Crouch looks at these topics and culture in general in the first section of the book, simply called Culture. In the second section, Gospel, Crouch takes an interesting look at culture from a gospel perspective. I'd never thought about it before, but the cultural aspect of the Bible begins in a garden in Genesis and ends in a city in Revelation. Significant? How about Jesus as a culture maker? How did culture change in the early church from Pentecost and beyond?

In the third section, Calling, Crouch asks the question "Can we (or anyone) really change the world?" Should we even try? One of the most interesting concepts in the book is that of The 3, the 12 and the 120. Crouch states that it may be a mistake to say that "all culture is local," but maybe all culture making is local. A cultural influence may be global, but it must be created by the efforts of a small group (3), shaped and refined by a slightly larger concentric circle of people (12), and distributed by a larger group on a larger level (120). As an example, Crouch's book was conceived by a publisher, an editor and an author. The circle of 12 expanded to an editorial director, a marketing director, publicists, designers and a few reviews and readers. The largest circle consisted of people endorsing the book, newspaper/magazine/media editors and reviewers and friends to spread the word. When you think about it, you start seeing the 3-12-120 concept all over the place.

But what do we do with all of this? Crouch challenges us to do something, to create something or at least be involved in engaging the culture rather than sitting by watching things happen. This is not an in-your-face "We're taking over the culture for Christ!" type of book. It's a call to pursue our passions in a way that allows us to use and celebrate the diversity of our gifts without condemning others of theirs.

A single reading of Culture Making was not enough for me. There's so much in there, it demands a second read, at least from me. For anyone interested in culture, I highly recommend this one.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Coming Attractions

For once, the "Books Read" pile is starting to increase. I'm either finished with or close to finished with several books, all of which I hope to write about soon, including:

Thirteen Reasons Why (YA) - Jay Asher

The Shack - William P. Young

Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling (NF) - Andy Crouch

The Dark Side (NF) - Jane Mayer

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Post-American World (NF 2008) - Fareed Zakaria

Zakaria opens The Post-American World with the following sentence:

"This is a book not about the decline of America but rather about the rise of everyone else."

Zakaria goes on to describe three significant power shifts that have taken place in the world over the last 500 years, events that have had global significance:

The rise of the Western world (early 15th century - late 18th century), including modern “science and technology, commerce and capitalism, the agricultural and industrial revolutions,” all resulting in dominance in the West.

The rise of the United States (late 19th century until roughly the last 20 years), which Zakaria calls “the most powerful nation since imperial Rome, and the only one that was stronger than any likely combination of other nations.”

The rise of the rest. “Look around,” Zakaria says. “The tallest building in the world is now in Taipei... The world’s richest man is Mexican, and it’s largest publicly traded corporation is Chinese. The world’s biggest plane is built in Russia and Ukraine, its leading refinery is under construction in India, and its largest factories are all in China.”

And on and on. Yet while Zakaria insists that we still live in “a single-superpower world,” power is shifting away from American dominance. Just because we’re living in a post-American world, however, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an anti-American one. (Hmmmm.... Wonder where’s he’s been for the past eight years?)

Has the United States been responsible for the rise of the rest? This section is a bit lengthy, but worth a look:

The irony is that the rise of the rest is a consequence of American ideas and actions. For sixty years, American politicians and diplomats have traveled around the world pushing countries to open their markets, free up their politics, and embrace trade and technology. We have urged peoples in distant lands to take up the challenge of competing in the global economy, freeing up their currencies, and developing new industries. We counseled them to be unafraid of change and learn the secrets of our success. And it worked: the natives have gotten good at capitalism. But now we are becoming suspicious of the very things we have long celebrated - free markets, trade, immigration, and technological change. And all this is happening when the tide is going our way. Just as the world is opening up, America is closing down.

I first listened to the audiobook version of The Post-American World. I pointed out to my friend John that I wanted to get my hands on a print version, since Zakaria makes many broad generalizations that I wanted to see documented. (And as John correctly reminded me, what political writer doesn’t make broad generalizations?) Zakaria does document frequently, but undocumented generalizations are aplenty, such as some of the ones in the above paragraph. There’s a lot of truth in that paragraph, but some of it is wrapped up in a package that's just a little too tidy. Yes, some countries have embraced capitalism. We are suspicious of some countries, sometimes for good reason. But it’s a lot more complex than that.

That’s not to say that Zakaria doesn’t have some very interesting thoughts and ideas. He does and the book is certainly worth reading for them. His look at the education systems in the U.S. and other parts of the world is striking, but he makes some conclusions that sometimes seem to be illogical, especially based on some of his own information. Zakaria claims on page 198 that by “2010, foreign students will get more than 50 percent of all Ph.D.” degrees in the U.S. He further claims that “If America can keep the people it educates in the country, the innovation will happen here. If they go back home, the innovation will travel with them.”

Not necessarily. Just a few pages previously, Zakaria claims that most foreign countries lack cultures that regularly challenge conventional wisdom, leading to more risk-taking and opportunities for innovation. Even if the innovation does travel with them, if it finds itself in a country that stifles it, what good is it?

Yes, I am nit-picking somewhat. Zakaria does a fine job of focusing on the history of two hugely emerging nations, China and India, two nations that the rest of the world simply cannot ignore if they want to compete globally. This nearly 100-page section is excellent.

Also thought-provoking is Zakaria’s New Rules for a New Age in the chapter called “American Purpose.” Americans can no longer simply copy history; we must learn from it. We have to realize that we can’t have it all. (I’m not even sure we should want it all.) We have to take a 21st century look at our foreign policy, not a 19th century one. We’ve got to stop thinking that the military is the ultimate answer to every problem. And we’ve got to stop being so damn scared of everything and everyone.

It may not sound like it, but The Post-American World is largely optimistic. The 21st century has brought with it globalization, enormous leaps in technology, and just a couple of days ago, evidence of a big shift in American thinking. Maybe there's good cause for optimism.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Snowman's Children (2002) - Glen Hirshberg

The Snowman's Children (2002) - Glen Hirshberg

A few weeks ago I was looking for a really good Halloween read, something that would scare my socks off and send them flying around the room like ghosts. (Okay, maybe that's not such a scary thought, but these are my socks we're talking about, so then again, maybe it is.) What I got from The Snowman's Children was a different kind of scare, a different sort of terror than that usually offered by a conventional horror novel.

As the novel opens in 1994, Matt (Mattie) Rhodes returns to the Detroit of his youth seeking to reconnect with his three best friends from 1977, Jon Goblin, Theresa Daughrety and Spencer Franklin. Matt's on something of a quest not only to find his friends, but to find himself, to try to understand why his life isn't quite what it should be despite a successful career and a wonderful wife.

Narratives alternate between 1994 and the winter of 1977, when a serial killer/child abductor referred to as The Snowman terrorized the Detroit area. Mattie has a tenuous relationship with his parents and his younger brother, but spends most of his time with Theresa and/or Spencer, all of whom are extremely bright, participating in a game called "Mind Wars," conducted by Theresa's father. As the threat of The Snowman enters their lives, Mattie suspects something strange is happening to his world in general and to Theresa in particular.

With the best of intentions, the 1977 Mattie makes a very poor decision that changes not only his life but the lives of everyone he knows. The 1994 Mattie returns home, obsessed with the hope that he might somehow try to make things right again or at least make an apologetic appeal to his friends.

The Snowman's Children is just about perfect. I simply do not understand how Hirshberg does it: combines elements of horror, mystery, an understanding of the way children's minds work, the challenges of marriage, family and friendships, the culture of the 1970s and an unflinching look at true horror, especially the horrors we unwittingly create for ourselves and those we love. Hirshberg's pacing is superb and his writing on both the sentence and paragraph levels is to die for.

Yet it is Hirshberg's portrayal of youth that is perhaps the most impressive element of the novel. He understands how children can misinterpret the most innocent of statements by adults, yet see right into the heart of sadness, disappointment and hurt implied in a word or a simple facial expression. In trying to deal with things they don't quite understand, children can take actions that have implications far beyond what they're capable of imagining. Hirshberg knows this and through Mattie, reminds us of some truths we'd rather not face. But we must. Highly recommended.

Monday, November 03, 2008

October Books Read

One good thing about being sick: plenty of time to read. That's probably responsible for a couple of extra books read during October. If the books are engaging, you don't really mind being sick. But if they're not, well... Anybody got any Tylenol?

Here they are, the books I read in October, with a few links to what I wrote about them earlier:

City of Ember (J-Fic 2003) - Jeanne DuPrau

Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner (NF 2005) - Dean Karnazes

The Gargoyle (2008) - Andrew Davidson

Painted Devils: Strange Stories (1979) - Robert Aickman

Eye of the Crow: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His First Case (J-Fic 2007) - Shane Peacock

Midnight on Mourn Street (2008) - Christopher Conlon

Consolation of Philosophy (NF 524) - Boethius

Islam: The Religion and the People (NF 2008) - Bernard Lewis, Buntzie Ellis Churchill

Starting Friction (Poetry 2008) - Tenea D. Johnson
Cool poetry from my Clarion 2004 buddy Tenea D. Johnson

The Iliad - Homer (Fitzgerald translation)

The Post-American World (NF 2008) - Fareed Zakaria
I hope to write a little about this one sometime in the near future.

The Snowman’s Children (2002) - Glen Hirshberg
I definitely want to write about this one when I have the time. This turned out to be my "Halloween Read," although it's not a conventional horror novel. It is, however, superb. If you haven't read Glen Hirshberg, read this excellent novel or his two short story collections, The Two Sams and American Morons.

That's it for October. Go read something, then go vote tomorrow, then read some more.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

October Books Bought

October's theme is "Few in Number, Large in Price." Most of these books were purchased at Daedalus Books, bane of my bank account. Ah, well...such is life.

We start this month's episode with The Collected Stories of Caroline Gordon, a Southern writer I was not previously familiar with until I ran across her name while reading an article about Flannery O'Connor, and you know I must investigate anything even remotely related to Flannery O'Connor.
Trade Paperback - Price = $5.95

Christ and Culture Revisited (NF 2008) - D.A. Carson

Not sure where I first heard of this one, but it's been recommended to me by several people whose opinions I respect.
Hardcover - Price = $16.32

Short Stories Writers and Short Stories (NF 2005) - Harold Bloom

Good gracious, what a hideous cover! Sometimes I can't stand to read Bloom, other times I think he's great. But this slim volume focuses on several great short story writers and their work, including Hawthorne, Kafka, Faulkner, Hemingway, Welty, Shirley Jackson and of course, Flannery O'Connor. Fine folks, all of them.
Hardcover - Price = $5.95

Apple Training Series: iWork 08 and iLife 08 Value Pack (NF 2008)

Since we bought our iMac, I've been looking for a comprehensive book (or two) that covers all the applications in iLife '08 and iWork '08. A little on the expensive side, but the price on Amazon for both books together is what one book would cost separately. Plus each book includes a DVD with lessons for practice. So far I'm very satisfied.
Trade Paperbacks with DVDs - Price as a set = $44.10

The Collected Tales - Nikolai Gogol, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

One thing leads to another at Daedalus. They plan it that way. I had already picked up the previously mentioned Harold Bloom book and read a bit of the section on Gogol, only to look up and, lo and behold, The Collected Tales by Gogol, not only in hardcover, not only in a handsome Everyman's Library edition, but also signed by translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. You can't say no to something like that, you just can't. So I didn't.

Hardcover, signed (not by Gogol; that would be impressive) - Price = $15.95

Total Book Expenditures for October = $88.27

5 Miles? No Problem!

Cindy and I ran the 20th Annual Hog Neck Scamper 5 Mile Run today. Terrible name for a run, but it was a good one. It was also the longest run I've ever completed. I actually felt pretty good as I finished, telling Cindy I probably could have done a 10K.
Now I think I'll sleep.