Reading: Confessions of a Tax Collector, Buying Your First Home, Jon Katz, Ruth Reichl, and Alexander McCall Smith

Finished reading:

Apparently the time I’ve been “saving” with applying The 4 Hour Workweek principles has been spent reading. Oh, wait — it’s also been the World Series, so I’ve been reading a lot in front of the TV instead of doing something else with Steve…

Confessions of a Tax Collector by Richard Yancey – Go deep into the bowels of the IRS as we follow Richard Yancey’s memoir of his twelve years as a tax collector — oops, I mean, a revenue officer (no one wants to be called a tax collector). His job is to collect overdue taxes from people — or, take their cars, houses, businesses, or assets as necessary. Very readable.

Buying Your First Home by Ilona Bray, Alayna Schroeder, and Marcia Stewart – As someone who never quite understood how buying-house things worked, I found this book (a Nolo publication) a very helpful overview of the entire process. Now I know what “points” are!

A Good Dog by Jon Katz – Readers of A Dog Year (one of my favorite books from 2002) will eagerly devour this book about Orson (formerly named Devon), Jon Katz’s beloved border collie. From the initial tumultuous year after Jon first adopts Orson, this book shows the changes that both man and dog experience through their relationship. I must admit that I cried quite a bit as I read this book.

Dog Days by Jon Katz – A series of short “dispatches from Bedlam Farm,” where Jon spends his time with two border collies, two labs, a cat, four donkeys, two cows, and a herd of sheep. Another great book for those of us who like to read about animals.

Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl – I enjoyed Garlic and Sapphires, so picked up this autobiography from the library this week. Ruth shares anecdotes from her childhood to adulthood, sharing the experiences that have shaped her love of food and prepared her for her current calling as a restaurant critic. The pages are filled with recipes, and the food descriptions remind me of the Little House books as well (but with much more expensive ingredients).

Comfort Me With Apples by Ruth Reichl – Another memoir picking up from where Tender at the Bone left off.

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith – Part of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which follows Precious Ramotswe, lady detective, as she navigates through both personal and professional sticky situations. Although these books are shelved with other mysteries, they are really more about the characters and their relationships (and conflicts). If you haven’t yet been introduced to Precious Ramotswe, her secretary Grace Matuski (who received 97% at secretary school), Mr. Matekoni (a mechanic who owns the shop that the agency’s office is connected to and who has recently married Precious) and his two feckless apprentices, you are in for a treat. Alexander McCall Smith’s books have plenty of dry, situational humor, but he treats his characters with gentleness and respect.

With a bookmark:

(Books I just started reading, or books I’ve been “reading” for ages. Most recent first.)

  • Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy
  • Dragonhaven by Patricia McKinley
  • Body, Soul, and Baby by Tracy Gaudet
  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, and Sandee Hathaway
  • The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
  • A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson

In the library book box:

  • Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande
  • Raising Baby Green byAlan Greene
  • The Princess and the Hound by Mette Harrison

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