What Are You Reading? (Part 2)

tardi mural

My colleagues tell me that they’ve had some fun conversations about books with each other as a result of Part 1 of “What Are You Reading?” Here’s Part 2.


I loved learning about the Jacques Tardi graphic novel series (The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec) from my co-worker Greg, and while I was on vacation in Paris last week, I was able to purchase the entire set. So that’s what I’m reading now. I’m on Volume 3.

Not only that, but while I was on vacation, I discovered a fabulous Tardi illustration (above) mounted on a wall by a graphic novel bookstore on the Rue St Martin! I love that Tardi’s characters are often very bewildered by life. I can totally relate. Aren’t we all in that “huh?” state of mind at some point or other?

Peggy Sue

People who know me well probably would think I am reading a very long novel. But I am reading a couple of books on how to turn junk into useable items: Junk Beautiful: Room by Room Makeovers with Junkmarket Style and Junk Beautiful: Outdoor Edition, both by Sue Whitney.

Spring is coming, and I would like to recycle things I have to help decorate the garden and outdoor living spaces that we have. Go green!


People probably think I’m reading Minnesota Vikings: The Complete Illustrated History by Patrick Reusse because those who know me know that I’m a diehard Vikings fan.

I’m actually reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley because, in my 36 years, I’d somehow managed not to read it and got tired of people telling me that I had to.


People think I should be reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff. I am reading a pregnancy book (Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Glade B. Curtis and Judith Schuler), but most people think What to Expect is what a pregnant gal SHOULD be reading.

I am actually reading Lament by Maggie Stiefvater. I love YA fiction, and this one came highly recommended by a colleague. I read two other of Maggie’s books (Shiver and Linger) and loved them both. I like to think of reading YA books as good job training, but mostly it is just fun. Plus, nothing takes your mind off real life (even pregnancy!) like some good teen angst and drama!


People often think I should read Eats, Shoots, and Leaves by Lynne Truss or other language-oriented nonfiction books because of my profession and my linguistics background. (I have read bits of Eats, but I usually find that I covered that material in college.)

I am actually reading Mountains beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder because it reads less like nonfiction to me and feeds my interest in public health. I’m also reading Pilgrims, a collection of short stories by Elizabeth Gilbert, because I can’t get enough of her writing and the short stories match my attention span. (For the record, if Eat, Pray, Love wasn’t your thing, give her fiction a try.)


I can’t figure out what people think I am reading.

I am reading the Wallander mysteries by Henning Mankell. (I highly recommend the PBS series with Kenneth Branagh.) Next up is The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. My daughter read Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men last semester (ninth grade), and I remember liking Grapes. I’m re-reading a lot of classics. Just read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Now that guy could write!

Check in next week for more from TFCB!

[photo credit: courtesy of Domenica Di Piazza]

2 thoughts on “What Are You Reading? (Part 2)

  1. Ann Downer-Hazell

    I am about to pick up my copy of Tardi from my local library….can't wait! Jen, I highly recommend Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions.

    AC, I recommend Lynne Truss's marvelous novel about Lewis Carroll, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Julia Margaret Cameron, and some phrenologists, all set on the Isle of Wight. It's called Tennyson's Gift.

Comments are closed