Manifolds, Manolos, and Manure
I’m not exactly a joiner. Over the years, I’ve played sports. Joined clubs. Participated in leadership groups. But that’s about the extent of it. I’m not going to go out of my way to meet people. It’s the only child thing. This spring I’m trying something new for me: an online book club. Over three meetings, participants will explore Hungry by Eve Turow-Paul. Hungry explores today’s global food and lifestyle culture.
The book club makes me wonder, what’s on your nightstand?
On one corner I have The Illinois Governors Mostly Good and Competent. As I was packing a couple of months ago, I rediscovered this light read and couldn’t pass up the 325-pages of Illinois history complete with 2007 summary of former Governor Rod Blagojevich. As a reminder Blagojevich was impeached in 2009. The Illinois Governors Mostly Good and Competent was published by the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois in Springfield. Soon to be 20 years ago, I completed my legislative internship through the center. Perhaps I’m a little attached.
Also on my nightstand is Junkyard Dogs by Craig Johnson. My attachment to westerns surprises even my farmer. Junkyard Dogs is the sixth installment of the “Longmire” series and features Absaroka County Sheriff Walt Longmire, Henry Standing Bear, Deputy Victoria Moretti, Deputy Santiago “Sancho” Saizarbitoria, and “Dog”, Longmire’s canine companion. Tempers run strong in the depth of winter in Durant, Wyoming especially when multi-million-dollar ranchettes are involved. I’m most interested in learning whether or not Sancho stays with the sheriff’s department or returns to corrections in Rawlins. I wish I could say that I’ve read this series in order, but I skipped book five because it wasn’t at the library and have read books seven and twelve through fifteen.
Rounding out my nightstand is The Hidden Man by David Ellis, the lawyer who infamously prosecuted and convicted Blagojevich in his impeachment trial before the Illinois Senate. The Hidden Man is the first installment of Jason Kolarich. Kolarich, like Ellis, won a high-profile political corruption trial.
On my blue-eyed girl’s nightstand is Rescue by Jessie Haas. Rescue explores the life of twelve-year old Joni who has always lived happily on her family’s sheep farm until Chess moves in nearby. Chess is a budding animal rights activist. Even though its challenging to be friends, together the girls explore questions about animal care and ownership. Prior to Rescue it was Zoo by James Patterson. Zoo is a science fiction thriller released in 2012 and turned into a CBS drama in 2015. It ran for three seasons before being cancelled. I read the book and binge watched the series on Netflix.
On my big-little boy’s nightstand is Dragon of the Red Dawn by Mary Pope Osborne. In this installment of The Magic Treehouse, Jack and Annie travel to the capital city of Edo (now, Tokyo), in ancient Japan in the 1600s. Prior to Dragon of the Red Dawn was Warriors in Winter, also a Jack and Annie book. Candidly, I’ve lost track of how many The Magic Treehouse books we’ve read since kindergarten.
Every now and then I like to indulge in a light reading. Sometimes its Harry Potter. Katniss. Tris. Thomas. And sometimes its Bella. This time its Breaking Dawn on audiobook in my car. Before that it was Eclipse, New Moon, and Twilight. Even I like a little vampire with my Illinois history. Instagram. Westerns. And courthouses.