About Margaret

MargaretWhen I read Heidi by Johanna Spyri in second grade, I wasn’t the best of readers, and the book was a few notches above my reading level. But Heidi was separated from her grandfather, and so was I at the time, and it was that emotional connection that spurred me to finish it.

By high school I was reading the” bound for college” list of books, systematically crossing them off as I went. Henry James was a favorite, and Dostoyevsky. I often read in my room, seemingly being studious, but actually I was putting off doing my homework.

Later George Gurdjieff and science fiction were obsessions. As a young adult, I discovered Andre Norton, Ursula Le Guin, Robin McKinley, and the Hugo Award winners. A hiatus from escapist reading came while I was a children’s librarian and seldom read anything that wasn’t also part of my work life. When my sister, younger by 15 years, was given the Narnia books, she turned them over to me, saying she knew they were more my type of book than hers. I read them with zeal.

At some point a work friend told me I should try reading mysteries, so I picked up a Ruth Rendell with an interesting cover. Then it was as if I was back in high school, checking off every book of hers I could lay my hands on. I’ve done this with Arnaldur Indridason’s books as well.

Dog books appeal to me; I’ve even written a blog about them. My favorite was Merle’s Door by Ted Kerasote. But watch what you post: Soon after, I got my Jiffy, an Alabama Walker Treeing Coonhound (I call her my girl). Books have done a great job at getting me through some pretty tough times but not as good a job as Jiffy. Just last night I was reading to her before bed. The book was A Man of His Own by Susan Wilson. I think she liked it. Ask me what to read!

Margaret’s Recommendations

Thereby hangs a tail : a Chet and Bernie mystery by Spencer Quinn

Thereby hangs a tail : a Chet and Bernie mystery by Spencer Quinn

Scents and sensibility : a Chet and Bernie mystery by Spencer Quinn

Scents and sensibility : a Chet and Bernie mystery by Spencer Quinn

The Secret Language of Dogs by Victoria Stilwell

The Secret Language of Dogs by Victoria Stilwell

Being a dog : following the dog's nose into a world of smell by Alexandra Horowitz

Being a dog : following the dog’s nose into a world of smell by Alexandra Horowitz

Rescuing Penny Jane : one shelter volunteer, countless dogs, and the quest to find them all homes by Amy Sutherland

Rescuing Penny Jane : one shelter volunteer, countless dogs, and the quest to find them all homes by Amy Sutherland

The age of Caesar : five Roman lives by  Plutarch

The age of Caesar : five Roman lives by Plutarch

Babatha's orchard : the Yadin Papyri and an ancient Jewish family tale retold by Philip Francis Esler

Babatha’s orchard : the Yadin Papyri and an ancient Jewish family tale retold by Philip Francis Esler

New Tricks by David Rosenfelt

New Tricks by David Rosenfelt

Office Yoga by Darrin Zeer

Office Yoga
by Darrin Zeer

Yoga for All of Us by Peggy Cappy

Yoga for All of Us by Peggy Cappy

Merle's Door by Ted Kerasote

Merle’s Door by
Ted Kerasote

A small fury prayer by Steven Kotler

A small fury prayer by
Steven Kotler

Civilianized : a young veteran's memoir by Michael Anthony

Civilianized : a young veteran’s memoir by Michael Anthony

Soldier Dogs by Maria Goodavage

Soldier Dogs by Maria Goodavage

Gizelle's bucket list : my life with a very large dog by Lauren Fern Watt

Gizelle’s bucket list : my life with a very large dog by Lauren Fern Watt

Peggy Seeger : a life of music, love, and politics by Jean R. Freedman

Peggy Seeger : a life of music, love, and politics by Jean R. Freedman

The Dog Who Danced by Susan Wilson

The Dog Who Danced by Susan Wilson

Talking to animals : how you can understand animals and they can understand you by Jon Katz

Talking to animals : how you can understand animals and they can understand you by Jon Katz