- All collections (2,032), Read in 2022 (41), Read in 2021 (73), To Donate (37), Read in 2020 (82), Currently reading (15), Your library (1,378), Favorites (77), Read but unowned (521), eBooks (724), Read in 2019 (30), Read in 2018 (52), Read in 2017 (65), Read in 2016 (55), Read in 2015 (71), Read in 2014 (82), Read in 2013 (106), Read in 2012 (53), Read in 2011 (84), Read in 2010 (46), Read in 2009 (102), Read in 2008 (105), Read in 2007 (78), Read in 2006 (55), Read in 2005 (34), Read in 2004 (31), To read (342), Children's Books (62), Coffee Table Books (36), Cookbooks (26), Audiobooks (24), Wishlist (28), Abandoned (23)
- fiction (874), non-fiction (573), history (385), YA literature (182), unowned-library (172), mystery (170), Middle East (168), England (164), unowned-donated (122), WWI (91), religion (91), science fiction (84), detectives (81), reference (75), cats (74), war (73), Islam (68), short fiction (65), Syria (64), post-apocalyptic (61), dystopia (59), cute (58), children's literature (57), graphic novels & comics (55), urban fantasy (54), humor (53), biography & memoir (51), fantasy (50), science (44), Israel (44), Russia & Soviet Union (44), families (44), gender (43), Middle Eastern literature (43), Victorian (42), food (40), Lebanon (40), American social commentary (37), domestic suspense (36), social history (35), Arabic (34), ghost story (33), vampires (32), boarding school (32), Arabic literature (30), cookbook (30), colonialism (30), fairy tales & myths (29), WWII (28), Jewish history (28), family secrets (27), nationalism (27), 2003 (26), art & architecture (25), books about books (25), essays (23), North America (23), medicine & illness (23), Early Reviewers (22), magicians (22), Japan (21), Jane Austen (21), Iran (20), unreliable narrator (19), diplomatic history (19), alternate history (18), civil & ethnic conflict (18), philosophy (18), intellectual history (17), Regency (17), Lebanese civil war (17), language & linguistics (16), Russian (15), Russian literature (15), friendship (15), ethics (15), Christianity (15), 1997 (15), France (15), French literature (15), time travel (15), cold places (15), 2000 (14), Hebrew literature (14), Gothic (14), Palestine (14), Israeli literature (14), Judaism (14), speculative fiction (13), Germany (13), Iraq (13), self-help (13), military history (12), Lebanese literature (12), marriage (12), literary criticism (12), NetGalley (12), Ottoman Empire (12), travel (12), 1999 (11), 2002 (11), Little House (11), Egypt (11), 1998 (11), MEPP (10), robots (10), Gorey (9), race (9), polar exploration (9), locked-room mystery (9), Japanese literature (9), dictionary (9), Tudors (9), Holocaust (9), commodity history (9), etiquette (8), Jenny Linsky (8), 1996 (8), ancient & medieval history (8), suspense (7), Egyptian literature (7), New York Review Books Children's Collection (7), Kurds (7), cartography (7), Algeria (7), Mutts (7), Turkey (6), Norton Critical Edition (6), multiple timelines (6), China (6), international relations (6), 1995 (6), history of intelligence (6), photography (5), Palestinian literature (5), loaned (parents) (5), trivia (5), Shakespeare (5), Shi'ism (5), Spain (5), 2001 (5), political science (5), horror (5), Morocco (4), Buddhism (4), Iranian literature (4), poetry (4), Sherlock Holmes (4), Belletrista (4), letters (4), cities (4), magical realism (4), Jerusalem (4), India (4), uncanny (4), siblings (4), Hizballah (4), Islamic architecture (4), terrorism (4), Interlink World Fiction (4), plants & botany (3), expedition disaster (3), Syrian literature (3), gardening (3), Tunisia (3), North Korea (3), critical thinking (3), Afghanistan (3), kidnapping (3), Babar (3), Frog and Toad (3), Frances (3), travel guide (3), Hiroshige (2), Scotland (2), astrology (2), cultural history (2), Pakistan (2), crime (2), economics (1), Italy (1), chemistry (1), German literature (1), elections (1)
- Tag Cloud, Author Cloud, Tag Mirror
- 18th-19th Century Britain, Anglophiles, Club Read 2009, Club Read 2010, Club Read 2011, Club Read 2012, Club Read 2014, Club Read 2015, Club Read 2018, Dystopian novels, Fans of Russian authors, I Love Jane Austen, I Survived the Great Vowel Shift, In Translation, Lest We Forget, Loitering with Intent, Maps and Atlases, Middle Eastern Literature, North and South Poles, Reading Globally, Reading Globally II, Virago Modern Classics, World War One History
- May 23, 2007
- About My Library
- My Library
After years of reading primarily non-fiction, I now read a lot of detective novels & domestic suspense for distraction when my brain is fried -- they all tend to run together after a while. While I don't tend to track strictly work-related reading here, you'll probably see some books on the Middle East, sectarian violence, and other uplifting topics.
I spent my adolescence as an aspiring Kremlinologist. Other random obsessions include language and linguistics, polar exploration, WW1, social histories, dystopias/speculative fiction, and England. I collect children's books and am especially fond of the New York Review of Books Children's Collection.
Many of my books are now ebooks. I generally don't worry about entering the proper data to reflect that, though I do use the Collections function to note ebooks.
My Ratings & Reviews
My rating system is fairly inconsistent. My feelings about books are very much tied up in how I was feeling when I read them, why I was reading them at the time, what I expected vs. what I got, etc. I hate giving up on a book that is "ok". The ending of a book can make or break my entire experience and disproportionately affect the rating.
I used to review a lot, but work intervened. In 2018, I'd like be better about at least jotting down a few thoughts to aid my memory. The nature of my reviews varies widely based on what I wrote the review for – books read in grad school get a very different treatment than books read now, since I’m reading for fun rather than for critical analysis.
From 2007 through 2014, I was mostly good about tracking my reading and reflecting on it in the Club Read Group for each year. Since 2014, I've relied on the "Collections" function and haven't had a thread or been a group participant in any meaningful way.
Past Years' Reading
2013 - the lost year, no thread!
2009: here and here;
2007: here and here
- About Me
- About Me
I read and write about the Middle East for a living and, though I love what I do, I work too much and am trying to develop some hobbies that don't use exactly the same muscles (literally and figuratively) as my job. I want to be a better gardner and a more creative cook; I like making cocktail bitters. I embrace my cat-lady-ness & am the proud parent of four little scamps who think books make great sleeping spots and chewing material.
I'm a bit of a dilettante - I love to learn new things and every book I read spurs in me the desire to read a whole different subset of (possibly unrelated) books. I'm a religious reader of good articles online & enjoy a good history podcast during my daily commute.
And yes, I do love Mansfield Park. I first read it at a time when Fanny's refusal to compromise her morals and just "be cool" really resonated with me. Subsequent reads and critical analysis of the book have complicated the identification, but the name sticks.
- Washington, DC
- Currently Reading
- Pax Syriana: Elite Politics in Postwar Lebanon (Modern Intellectual and Political History of the Middle East) by Rola El-HusseiniInternational Change and the Stability of Multiethnic States: Yugoslavia, Lebanon, and Crises of Governance by Badredine ArfiJewish Literacy Revised Ed: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History by Joseph Telushkin
- Favorite Authors
- Megan Abbott, Louisa May Alcott, Rachid al-Daif, Jane Austen, Esther Averill, Hoda Barakat, Dan Chaon, David Crystal, Keith Donohue, Helen Dunmore, Barbara Ehrenreich, Anne Fadiman, Tana French, Edward Gorey, Ursula K. Le Guin, Patricia Highsmith, Russell Hoban, Albert Hourani, Kazuo Ishiguro, Shirley Jackson, Ghassan Kanafani, Stephen Kinzer, Arnold Lobel, Naguib Mahfouz, Daphne du Maurier, Patrick McDonnell, John McWhorter, Haruki Murakami, Joyce Carol Oates, Ijeoma Oluo, J. D. Salinger, José Saramago, Marjane Satrapi, Joann Sfar, Elaine Showalter, Lemony Snicket, Donna Tartt, Charles Todd, H. G. Wells, Scott Westerfeld, Rebecca West, Edith Wharton, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Jacqueline Winspear
- Favorite Lists
- Local Favorites
Libraries: Arlington Central Library (Arlington Public Library), Carleton College - Gould Library, Howard V. and Edna H. Hong Kierkegaard Library, Silver Spring Library - Montgomery County Public Libraries (MD), University of Chicago - Joseph Regenstein Library
- Interesting Library
- -Eva-, _Zoe_, A_musing, amandameale, atimco, avaland, avatiakh, bonniebooks, cabegley, Cait86, Cariola, cestovatela, clareborn, dchaikin, Essa, Fullmoonblue, GlebtheDancer, gscottmoore, heyokish, Irisheyz77, jfetting, juliette07, kaelirenee, kidzdoc, kiwidoc, lindseynichols, MaggieO, marise, Medellia, NanaCC, Nickelini, nobooksnolife, PensiveCat, philosojerk, Polaris-, rachbxl, rebeccanyc, scaifea, SqueakyChu, suzecate, Talbin, urania1, VivienneR, wandering_star, xicanti