What I’m reading

I read a lot. Always have. Back in graduate school, we had to write critical summaries of everything we read, from journal articles to full-length books. These “abstracts” were generally no more than 500 words long, and had to include a summary of the central argument, a description of how the argument was constructed, and an assessment of the author’s success in achieving his or her goal.

Trust me, this is a lot more work than might seem. But the upside is that it taught me how to quickly and coherently analyze a book, a skill I’ve brought to bear on the research for my own book. And since I read a lot, I thought I’d modify that grad-school grind into something more usable and, hopefully, interesting: a short review of what I’m reading, which leans toward history, Pacific Northwest, and environment. For each book, I’ll include a short summary, assessment, and quotes that grabbed me. Each is titled, “What I’m reading” followed by the name and author of the book. Let me know what you think.