Wednesday, November 21, 2012


"The Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor", William Halsall, 1882

I have always loved Thanksgiving for its delicious food and autumn-hued decorations. My first - very fond - memories of Thanksgiving are of creating Thanksgiving turkeys in art class, the more colorful their feathers, the better. Like all grade schoolers across the country, we learned about the First Thanksgiving on American shores.

It is a holiday that I keep separate from Christmas madness, believing it should be given the complete attention it deserves as a secular holiday enjoyed by all Americans, without the frenzy of gift giving, and with an emphasis on family and friends.

This year, Thanksgiving is even more special to me because of my discoveries through At present, I know of at least two ancestors who came to the New World  for religious freedom. I'm not saying they came over on the Mayflower, the first ship that landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620. No, I have no claims to being a Mayflower descendant -  not yet, anyway!

Records show that my ancestor John Churchill from England arrived in Plymouth in 1643, 23 years after the first settlers. His wife was Hannah Pontus, from Leiden, Holland. I'm thinking that John probably met Hannah after he left England for the more religiously tolerant Holland.

I also have a bunch of ancestors who settled Jamestown Colony, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in America. Again, I'm not saying that they came over on the first ships - Discovery, Godspeed and the Susan Constant - in 1607.

Lt. Col. Henry Meese

An interesting ancestor of mine making his name in the Jamestown area was Lt. Col. Henry Meese. Born in 1600 in Oxfordshire, England, he was a one-time London merchant who immigrated to America but made many trips between his home country and the New World. He owned land in Virginia, served in the Virginia House of Burgesses and earned his military title from the Indian-fighting militia. He died not long after making a last trip back to England.

What makes Henry so interesting to me is his daughter Grace Frizer Meese, and the fact that he had a couple of Native American wives. "Mary" (Christian name) and her sister Keziah were daughters of Wahaganoche, Chief of the Patawomeck Nation (Patawomeck = Potomac). It is very difficult to tell if Grace was the daughter of either woman and therefore half Native American.

Jamestown settlers trading with Virginia Indians

Many families with trees on claim that Grace is the daughter of Mary. However, the birth dates for Wahaganchoe, Mary and Grace are so wildly differing in each case that it becomes a tangled mess. I can't believe how many family trees list Grace as born 1627 and her so-called mother Mary as being born in 1640. C'mon people, use your brains!

In the end, Grace may have had a white mother. Therefore, just like I am not claiming to be a Mayflower descendant, I am not claiming to be the descendant of an Indian princess, just of a man who had Indian wives. It would be a matter of great pride for me to claim Native American blood in the people who were contemporaries of the more famous Pocahontas and her father Powhatan.

Pocahontas saving John Smith

It has been a long, long time since I studied Early American history. But upon learning of my heritage, I had a few questions:

What is the difference between Puritans and Pilgrims, if any?

Were there any differences between the settlers of the Plymouth Colony at Plymouth, MA and those from the Massachusetts Bay Colony centered around Boston and Salem, MA?

Were there differences between the New England settlers and the Virginia settlers?

Who celebrated the first Thanksgiving?

"The First Thanksgiving", J. L. G. Ferris

The first thing I learned was how important upper-case and lower-case letters were in naming groups of people involved in the making of America. ALL people who make religious trips are pilgrims with a small "p". Therefore both the Plymouth Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony settlers were pilgrims. But the ones who came to be known as Pilgrims with a capital "P" were the settlers at Plymouth. A small group of English people who arrived in 1620, they were aided by Squanto and his tribe, who, as I remember from picture books, helped the settlers plant maize and fertilize their crops with fish. These Pilgrims are the ones who celebrated what has become known as The First Thanksgiving.
Of course, I realize that The First Thanksgiving has become mythologized and the story contains assumptions, half-truths and downright lies. For example, no one knows if they served turkey. The only written report says they had "fowl". But this is the Thanksgiving tale that is ingrained in our American psyche.

(PS - The travelers on the Mayflower in 1620 were headed for the Jamestown, Virginia, colony when fierce storms caused them to turn course and land at Cape Cod, MA. Good luck for them, as it turned out, with both the Pilgrims and the New England Native Americans being of a  more harmonious nature than their Southern counterparts.)

Covering all bases, this caption says "Puritans and Pilgrims
arriving in the New World during the early 1600s"
(Artist Unknown)

Now on to another "small p, large p" definition. The group of people in England known as puritans with a small "p" were those who wanted to purify or reform the Anglican Church (Church of England). Therefore, members of both the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies were "small p" puritans.

However, the Pilgrims of Plymouth wanted to break completely away from the Anglicans and consequently were known as Separatists. The Massachusetts Bay settlers, a much larger group who arrived in America about 1630, had no intention of totally breaking away from the Anglicans and became known as Puritans with a capital " P".

The two New England colonies merged in 1691 and the differentiation between the Pilgrims/pilgrims and the puritans/Puritans became lost in the mists of time. (The Puritan witchcraft trials at Salem being a discussion for another time.)

Vintage Thanksgiving Postcard
I don't think these are Puritans -
he looks like a Cavalier!

But what about the first 100 settlers of the Virginia Company at Jamestown? They were more the entrepreneurial type rather than the religious freedom type. They were aristocrats who were ill prepared for the new life they faced. They arrived during a time of drought and were too late to plant crops the first year. Famine, disease and conflict with the Indian tribes brought them to the brink of failure. They were "rescued" in 1610 by a new group of settlers with a good store of supplies.

But who's to say the Jamestown settlers didn't have "a" first Thanksgiving (as opposed to "The" First Thanksgiving? Coming from England, they were familiar with the harvest home celebrations of their native land. I think that when they finally had a good harvest they did sit down to a good  meal and thank God.

Therefore I salute both my Massachusetts and Virginia settler ancestors on this Thanksgiving Day.
Another vintage Thanksgiving postcard.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Have you ever been obsessed by someone or some thing? I can't say that I have, until just this past October. I spent nearly the entire month under the spell of searching for my ancestors.

I have been bitten hard by the ancestry bug, and it IS a sickness. It all came about because of two things. Dan's nephew Erik took out a trial membership on this summer and was able to fill in some key information on his tree, which is also in part his Uncle Dan's tree. Then, serendipitously, I heard from a distant relative of Dan's whom I had not been in contact with for years. She and her sisters are the tracers of the Sudie Sheppard line (Dan's paternal grandmother).

Seeing both their trees inspired me to take out a trial membership too. I have mentioned before that I have been lucky in the genealogy department. My cousin Kevin is searching the Norwegian Wangen line of our maternal grandmother. My second cousin Shirley from Scotland is searching the Munro line of Highlanders. I have a second cousin from Iowa who is tracing the Rockney/Cody line of my father.

Although the Rockney line goes way back to the 1600s in Norway, the Cody line stops abruptly with Bridget and John Cody, born in the 1830s in Ireland. But I thought I would try my paternal great-grandmother's line and see if it would take me anywhere.

And has it ever. All through October, I followed links, adding name upon name. Every coffee break and lunch hour at work, I was adding names. Every evening, I was adding names. Every weekend, I was bound to the computer, adding names.

I no longer watched TV (a good thing), didn't follow my friends' blogs (a bad thing), didn't snooze on the couch (a good thing). I didn't even read (a very, very bad thing). Luckily, Dan is low maintenance. He had his TV shows to watch - his sports and his "weird" shows (Swamp People, Storage Wars, American Pickers, Pawn Stars).

It finally got to the point that instead of being extremely excited to see those wavy green leaves ('s clues to familial links), I became dismayed. I was actually happy when some lines ended early. Ultimately, I realized  that it would be taking me far, far longer than a month.

I did a little math on my own and then looked up the info online to confirm my calculations. After just 20 generations, we have 1,048,560 ancestors. If you don't believe me, look at this:

1 YOU (1 Generation)
2 parents (2 Generations)
4 grandparents (3 Generations)
8 great grandparents (4 Generations)
16 gg grandparents (5 Generations)
32 ggg grandparents (6 Generations)
64 gggg grandparents (7 Generations)
128 ggggg grandparents (8 Generations)
256 gggggg grandparents (9 Generations)
512 ggggggg grandparents (10 Generations)
1,024 gggggggg grandparents (11 Generations)
2,048 ggggggggg grandparents (12 Generations)
4,096 gggggggggg grandparents (13 Generations)
8,192 ggggggggggg grandparents (14 Generations)
16,384 gggggggggggg grandparents (15 Generations)
32,768 ggggggggggggg grandparents (16 Generations)
65,536 gggggggggggggg grandparents (17 Generations)
131,072 ggggggggggggggg grandparents (18 Generations)
262,144 gggggggggggggggg grandparents (19 Generations)
524,288 ggggggggggggggggg grandparents (20 Generations)
1,048,576 gggggggggggggggggg grandparents (21 Generations

Of course, you don't have that many identifiable ancestors. Thank god. And of course, this number doesn't mean you have that many unique ancestors in.  What is happening is repetition of ancestors, that is, the same ancestors appearing over and over again in a pedigree.  Repetition seldom appears within the first ten generations, but the further back you go, the more repetition you are likely to find.

The same evening I discovered the above chart, I decided the madness had to stop. I had to get my regular life back. I had to start reading again, and I did  (I have another five books under my belt now.)

This is going to be a lifetime job - and too bad I didn't start in on it earlier. Because not only do I have to (NEED to) list all the names I can, I must now go back and fill in the blanks that made these ancestors interesting people.

I have decided that I can afford to purchase 6-month packages at only $12.95 a month. I don't go to movies or rent movies, Dan and I don't dine out, I buy my clothing at thrift shops, I drive an old car. I can justify this one expense, for I believe this will be a satisfying hobby for the rest of my life.

And PS, I have already discovered some very interesting people so far. Know this fella?

If so, you know how shocked and amazed I was to find him at the end (so far) of one of my Great-Grandmother Malinda's lines.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


"The Guardian", by Sarah Butcher-Burrier

This painting speaks to me a great deal. The woman of golden brown hair and dress of typical green, being comforted once again by her Celtic guardian/warrior angel, is me. He has been my life-saving guardian angel several times, like the occasion when I escaped death from a water-filled, sinking car, and again, when I miraculously escaped what seemed to be a certain head-on collision at an intersection.

The first occasion, I merely thought, "That was a close call." (I was young then.) The second time, I consciously realized that something or someone had PREVENTED that accident. I had seen the crash coming, mere seconds from collision, and then all of a sudden, I was on the other side, myself and my car totally unscathed.

My angel has been, at other times, the fierce she-warrior with the long Celtic broadsword, instilling courage in me, such as when I confronted a bully of a boss. He/she has prevented me from physically harming another person. Guardian angels have saved my daughter's life several times over.

The angel craze, you may remember, really caught fire in the 90s, with the publication of many books on the subject. I was so proud that I, as a reporter at the Bismarck Tribune, wrote a story on angels a week or two BEFORE Newsweek and Time published their angel editions. In my story, I interviewed Sophie Burnham, whose book, "Angel Letters", had just come out.

But more importantly, I interviewed several North Dakota people whose had seen or felt the presence of angels. One lady, in fact, had been one of the letter writers in Burnham's "Angel Letters". She told of seeing guardian angels surrounding her dying grandmother's body. Another man told of being prevented from entering a certain room by an unseen hand when he was a soldier fighting overseas in World War II. A few moments later, the room was blown to bits. Another man told me of facing a dangerous confrontation on a Native American reservation. Later, after the other side had backed down, people asked him who the intimidating "big fella" was who came with him and stood closely by him while he faced down the crowd. Puzzled, he replied, "No one was with me."

The angel craze was overblown and overdone, and I, for one, became tired of all the angel statues and pictures for sale everywhere. But my guardian angel has never deserted me. Yesterday, I felt him again. I had just been wheeled into surgery when a bundle (more than necessary) of warmed blankets was tucked around me. Everyone else may have seen blankets, but I saw billowing, comforting, strong white angel wings enveloping me, and I knew I would be fine.

I had previously been quite afraid. I'm a lot older than the last time I went under the knife for a C-section 30 years ago. It's been 46 years since I had general anesthesia. But yesterday I went under totally calm and ready, no matter the outcome.

To back up a bit, until I was hired by the Secretary of State August 1, I hadn't had insurance for five years. After a one-month waiting period, I embarked on a series of long-needed medical check-ups including a mammogram and a Pap test, which were fine, and then to a gynecologist for a pelvic ultrasound for a pesky problem. All of a sudden that progressed to appointments for a uterine biopsy (not fun) and the ovarian cancer blood test (scary).

Both of those came back fine - no sign of cancer, which was a great relief. The only thing left was a follow-up ultrasound six weeks down the road. It is an understatement to say that I was shocked by what my doctor told me on Nov. 5. I totally expected to hear that I would be given a prescription and sent on my merry way. Instead, I was told that I needed surgery for a hysteroscopy, a D & C and removal of an ovarian cyst and uterine polyps. These are, she said, "seldom cancerous". What a loaded word, seldom. I was just gobsmacked.

After the surgery, I came out of anesthesia rapidly, with no wooziness, dizziness, weakness or nausea. I felt great yesterday, probably euphoric. Today I don't feel as great. I have three - yes three - incisions. I'm quite sore. The two small laparoscopic incisions are painless but the large one burns. I am very bloated, with the pumped in carbon dioxide trying to find a way out. My throat is raw from the breathing tube.

But, I am going back to work tomorrow and over the next week, while I await these new biopsy results, I will be calm, because I still feel those great white wings surrounding me.

I hope you all have at least one guardian angel to watch over you, to protect you and care about you.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Band of Brothers - Brothers in Arms

Band of Brothers from Golspie, Scotland - Willie, Archie and Jack

"Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I've witnessed your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though they hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms"

"Brothers In Arms", Dire Straits

On this Veteran's Day, I celebrate my own Band of Brothers/Brothers in Arms - the four Munro brothres from Scotland, the three Munro brothers from Crosby, ND, and others too - my brother, my husband, my father and his father.

Great Uncle Archibald "Archie" Munro, Canadian Army,
WWI, gassed April 1915,
Ypres, France, died in 1921 as a result

Great Uncle John Alexander "Jack" Munro,
King's Own Scottish Borders (Scotland), WWI,
Killed April 12, 1917, in France.
Awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry.

Great Uncle William Munro,
Seaforth Higlanders, Scotland,
WWI, killed Nov. 13, 1916,
in Beaumont Hamel, France

Maternal Grandfather Duncan Munro, Canadian Rifles.
WWI ended before he could be sent overseas.

Paternal Grandfather Clarence Bartell Rockney,
 (no photo available), U. S. Army "doughboy",
Served in France, WWI

Father Forrest "Sonny" Rockney, U.S. Navy, WWII

Uncle Donald Alexander Munro, U.S. Army
Served in Germany in WWII

Uncle James "Scotty" Munro, U.S. Army
Served in Germany in WWII

Uncle David Allan Munro, U.S. Army
Served in Germany, peacetime

Husband Daniel Bruce Fredericksen,
U. S. Navy, Served in Vietnam, 1968-1969

Brother John Allan Johnson
82nd Airborne (paratrooper),
U. S. Army, served in peacetime. 

For Veterans' Day 2009 I wrote an entire post devoted to Archie, William and Jack. To read it, click here:

Postcard created by my Scottish 2nd cousin Shirley,
featuring William and Jack Munro and the WWI monument
in Golspie, Scotland with a backdrop of Golspie.

"At the going down of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember"

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I have been away from Blogland for a month, involved in a massive genealogy project. But you don't imagine I would forget to write a Halloween post, do you? Halloween has always been my second favorite holiday, after Christmas.

I've written all sorts of Halloween posts. My topics have included a post on Halloween's origins in the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain (pronounced SOW-en). It was the most important night of the year for the Celts. It was their New Year's Eve, a time when the veil between the worlds grew thin and spirits could pass over and walked among us.

I've written posts about the ancient Irish and Scottish superstitions, customs and traditions that were brought over to the New World and became the basis for modern American Halloween. For example, in Ireland, turnips were hollowed out and candles were inserted inside, becoming the first jack o' lanterns.  Imagine the colonists' surprise when they saw pumpkins and guessed what a terrific glow could shine from them!

The ancient Celts also lit huge bonfires on Samhain to drive away the dark and evil spirits, and they paraded their cattle and other livestock between bonfires to purify them.

"The Pyres of Samhain", copyright D. E. Christman

I've written about how the ancient Christian church borrowed (or stole, depending on how you look at it) Celtic Samhain from the Druids, turning it into All Hallow's Eve, the precursor to All Soul's Day. (The poster below has it wrong, LOL!)

And of course, I've written about black cats and solitary women on the fringes of society maligned as witches.

I've written posts about the way people celebrated Samhain or Halloween in the past. Ancient or not-too-far-in-the-past, they always included feasting and "parlor games", including bobbing for apples, below:

"Halloween Snap Apple Night," artist unkown

To me, Halloween has never, ever, ever (to quote Taylor Swift) been about monsters, vampires, skeletons, Dracula, Frankenstein, zombies or werewolves. When I was a child, it was all about that eerie, mysterious and yes, scary black prairie night (see illustration below), so I wrote a post about trick or treating in the 1950s in my hometown, the village of Larson, ND.

I love vintage Halloween (from the turn of the century to about 1935) and especially the glorious postcards that were produced during that era.

As the years have progressed, Halloween to me is no longer about decorating my house and yard, handing out candy or kids - and adults - dressing in costumes. As I've gotten older, I've "taken back the night" and celebrated Halloween/Samhain as Ancestor Night (I wrote a post about that too.)

The Celts truly believed that their ancestors came back to visit them on Samhain Eve, so they set a chair and a place at the table for them, and opened doors and windows to welcome them in. This year, I found a wonderful poem about remembering ancestors at Halloween:

I miss you most upon each Samhain
When the boundary turns to sheer
I wait until the veil is parted
At the ending of the year.
Sweet spirit, as you walk among us
At the tolling of this eve
I see your face beyond the sunset
And hear your voice upon the breeze.

In the glowing of the candle,
From the shadow on the wall
I watch for you in every movement
And hear your footsteps in the hall.
Can you sit and spend the evening
As the portal opens wide?
Ancestral dead, I bid you welcome,
Most recent dead, I pray, abide.

When you come I sense your presence
I put my hand out in the air
A moment, then, we stand united
Palm to palm while waiting there.
I miss you most upon each Samhain
When the boundary turns to sheer
We share these hours until the dawning
Then bid farewell until next year.

David O. Norris
The past few Halloweens I've gone out into my backyard with a lit candle and just talked to my dearly departed loved ones and some ancestors I knew about but never met. This year, thanks to my search, I know about hundreds and hundreds more, and have a deeper, stronger Celtic connection than I ever dreamed of.

Tomorrow night I can go backward in time and Eastward in space and say hello to ancestors like these: Marshal Duncan Sparks, born in 1811 in Spencer County, Kentucky and died in 1839 in Vigo County, Indiana. To William Aylett, born in 1703 in Westmoreland, Virginia and died there in 1744. To Thomas Perrine Applegate, born in 1600 in England and died in 1662 in Middlesex, NJ. To Joan Mason, 1552-1624, born and died in Derbyshire, England.

No matter how you celebrate Halloween/Samhain this year, I echo the sentiments of the illustration below:


Monday, October 1, 2012


Stonehenge before day break
(All photos by Dana Fredericksen)
I have been fascinated with Stonehenge ever since I was a girl. I wrote one of my senior term papers on Stonehenge and determined I would go there someday. I'm in my 60s now, and still haven't made it, but recently Dan's brother Scott, his wife Dana, and two of theirs sons, Anders and Erik, visited Stonehenge.

Daybreak at Stonehenge
They were there at one of the most auspicious times of the year - the autumnal equinox. (Other ideal times would be the spring equinox and the solstices, especially, to me, the summer solstice.) I usually write a post at the equinox, but I was having certain medical issues at the time, so I didn't feel like posting. Then my sister-in-law, Dana, sent me these photos and I thought they make for an excellent equinox post.

Druids in the mist
 I love this photo. It seems to be very Arthurian in nature, and mystical, and timeless.

Standing stones before sunup

Waiting for dawn
Another wonderful, wonderful photo.

Sun up



A modern Druidess?

Druid King knighting Erik


Druid King knighting Anders
The two newest Druid knights, their Dad,
Scott, and their pagan guide Keith
My relatives toured England for 10 days, but the purpose of their trip was far more than just a vacation. They were there to "drop off" youngest son Erik at college. And it wasn't just any college - it is The University of Oxford, the oldest English-speaking university in the world.
Erik is a 2012 honors graduate of Harvard University. He won a full ride scholarship to Oxford, very similar to the Rhodes Scholarship. It includes a generous stipend to travel around Europe!

Erik at his Harvard graduation

In attending Oxford, Erik joins the ranks of students which have included 26 British prime ministers, at least 30 other world leaders, 12 saints, religious leaders, nearly innumerable famous writers, composers, notable scientists, mathematicians and philosophers and, yes, a few actors.
Erik, congratulations. We know you are a smart young man and we're positive you will do well as you further pursue your classical education.
Here is a video of some of the sights and sounds Erik will likely be seeing and hearing:
Erik, you already look positively
dapper and "Oxfordian" (word??)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012



"One of the many things I love about bound books
is their sheer physicality.
Electronic books live out of sight and out of mind.
But printed books have body, presence.
Sure, sometimes they'll elude you by hiding in
improbable places; in a box of old picture frames, say,
or in the laundry basket, wrapped in a sweatshirt.
But at other times they'll confront you,
and you'll literally stumble over some tomes
you hadn't thought about in weeks or years.
I often seek electronic books
but they never come after me.
They may make me feel, but I can't feel them.
They are all soul with no flesh, no texture,
and no weight.
They can get in your head
but can't whack you upside it."

~ Will Schwalbe

Schwalbe's love of bound books reflects mine. In fact, I will not use a Kindle or Nook. We actually have a perfectly unused Nook that I bought for my husband at Christmas time two years ago. But for me, if it's not a bound book, it's not a "real" book.

I am sometimes frustrated by my bound books.  I know I have to weed them out but I am daunted by the task. The books overgrew my bookshelves years ago and a lot are stacked on the floor. Sometimes the stacks get knocked over and I have to stack them up again. Dust bunnies have a tendency to gather around them. And it's been way, way too long since I've dusted my bookshelves.

The cabinets underneath my bedside tables are full of books. My closet shelves are full of books. I am terribly frustrated that I cannot locate a certain book, especially Tasha Tudor's gardening book, no matter how many shelves and stacks I have looked through.

But I love the sight of my rows and rows of books. I love their dust jackets, which add so much color. When looking at them I can often remember the settings in which I read them. I remember the particular sensations that a particular book gave me.

I can look at my various bookshelves and detect geological-type "sedimentation" layers of reading history. The white metal bookshelf holds books I bought when I first joined my book club. It reflects the time when I fell in love with trade paperbacks and mostly turned my back on regular paperbacks.

In contrast, the built-in, dark wooden bookshelves in my dining room reflect a time when we moved into the house, when I was still reading Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, Catherine Cookson, Daphne du Maurier (of course, "Rebecca" will always be a classic), Jean Auel and the like.

I like to put my nose in a new book and sniff the freshness of the pages. I have a friend who describes this experience as orgasmic, but I wouldn't go that far!

The quote at the top of this post comes from Will Schwalbe's new book, "The End of Your Life Book Club". I have read a lot of rave reviews about the book, which details the books he and his mother, noted humanitarian Mary Ann Schwalbe, read and then discussed while she was being treated for an advanced form of pancreatic cancer. Mary Ann knew she was dying and did pass away two years after her diagnosis. Hence, the title.
Several reviewers have said that the book has prompted them to go out and purchase many of the titles Schwalbe and his mother discussed. But as much as I want to read this book, with a husband having a diagnosis of Stage IV gastroesophageal cancer (currently in remission), I just can't bring it into the house. I certainly can't let Dan start thinking about which book will be the last one he ever reads.
It even freaks me out to think of the last book I will ever read. Will it be a junky beach read or a deeper tome which deserves to be the last book read in a person's life? I mean, I could be hit by a car today and the last book I would have read would be "The Book of Lost Fragrances: A Novel of Suspense" by M. J. Rose. It is, in fact, quite a good story, but it made me wonder - should I start reading only loftier books just in case my time is near??

Are there any books on your Book Bucket List that you've always meant to read but never got around to reading?