The year in semi-review

Discoveries in 2004

I really like chard.

Washing your tights in one of those mesh bags really does keep them from looking like something scooped out of the gutter.

Baking cookies for the mail carrier will cause a drastic change in the degree of care taken when placing your letters and magazines in the mailbox.


I am capable of knitting a sweater.

We have a cherry tree in our backyard.

Readymade magazine.

Tin House literary journal.

The Beauty Pill.

The Red Sox’s World Series victory did not result in total annihilation of the city.

I didn’t really need to leave town during the Democratic National Convention.

Regrets from 2004

I still haven’t sorted through the mess of bills, papers, warranties, credit card and bank statements, postcards, and found scraps from my last apartment.

I didn’t write any stories this year.

Buying a rug before realizing D’s parents were sending us their antique Oriental, then procrastinating so I missed the deadline to return it.

Missing the Wrens — twice.

Missing GbV’s last show ever.

George W. Bush’s victory, whether rightful or stolen.

Not visiting my parents/brother, sister-in-law, niece.

Knitting in 2004

Three hats (D, my dad, me)
A wiggleworm scarf (Bailey)
A fluffy scarf (D’s mom)
Seven felted totes (Teresa, Sue, Janet, Paula, Melissa, me, my mom)
One baby cardigan (Sasha)
Two baby hats (Tyler, Winston)
An iPod cozy (me)
Two digital camera cozies (Kevin, me)
A cell phone cozy (Julie)
A sweater (D)
Three baby booties (never given away)

Favorite Books/Journals from 2004

Augusten Burroughs - Dry
Augusten Burroughs - Running with Scissors
Jim Crace - The Devil’s Larder
M.F.K. Fisher - Long Ago in France
M.F.K. Fisher - Last House
Jose da Fonseca and Pedro Carolino - English as She Is Spoke
Found #3, the Found book, and Dirty Found #1
Karen Joy Fowler - The Jane Austen Book Club
Jonathan Franzen - Strong Motion
Jonathan Franzen - How to Be Alone
Atul Gawande - Complications
Mark Haddon - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Brendan Halpern - Donorboy
Jhumpa Lahiri - The Namesake
Jonathan Lethem - Men and Cartoons
Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
McSweeney’s numbers 12, 13, 14
ZZ Packer - Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
Mary Roach - Stiff
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy
Heidi Jon Schmidt - Darling?
Steven Sherrill - The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break
Debbie Stoller - Stitch ‘n Bitch
Tin House Fall 2004

Good-to-OK Books/Journals

Nicholson Baker - A Box of Matches
James Beard - Beard on Food
Aimee Bender - The Girl in the Flammable Skirt
Aimee Bender - An Invisible Sign of My Own
Dan Chaon - Among the Missing
Ellen Gilchrist - Flights of Angels
Glen David Gold - Carter Beats the Devil
John Haskell - I Am Not Jackson Pollack
Anne Lamott - The Blue Shoes
Stephen McAuley - Man of the House
Stephen McAuley - The Easy Way Out
Open City #15
Chuck Pahluniak - Choke
Tom Perotta - The Wishbones
Ruth Reichl - Comfort Me with Apples
J.D. Salinger - Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenter
David Schickler - Kissing in Manhattan
Andrea Siegel - Like the Red Panda
SPX Expo 2000 (comics)
Elizabeth Zimmerman - Knitting Without Tears

Books I Reread

Jonathan Franzen - The Corrections
David Gates - Preston Falls
Thom Jones - Cold Snap
Matthew Klam - Sam the Cat
Mary Robison - Subtraction
George Saunders - Pastoralia
David Foster Wallace - A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again

Least Favorite and Unfinished Books

About half of Pride and Prejudice
Veronica Chambers - When Did You Stop Loving Me?
Julia Glass - Three Junes (first few chapters)
Mary Robison - Why Did I Ever
Lionel Shriver - We Need to Talk About Kevin (worst book of the year)
John Updike - Seek My Face

On Loan and I Keep Forgetting to Ask for Them Back

Daniel Clowes - 20th Century Eightball (Mike)
Dave Eggers - A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Tomoko)


  1. From Terri on 01/01/05

    I had to stick with Three Junes to get through it… the beginning isn’t fantastic, but it does get better. I ended up liking it.

    Read any Richard Russo?

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