I reviewed a couple of diving books -- Titanic's Last Secrets and Diving Into Darkness -- for the Miami Herald and the review ran on Sunday. Since one of them was about the two guys from Shadow Divers, I felt compelled to read that first. And watch the two-hour Nova special on their quest to identify the German U-Boat. All of which means -- even though these were all pretty good reads, I'm glad to be reading something different. Lately I've been exploiting my position at the library to read some really good new releases as they come in (mostly, these days, through our lease service, called McNaughton -- they're the ones with the green labels). The first was a graphic novel called American Widow by Alissa Torres. Though it's really not a novel; it's a graphic memoir, I guess, about a woman whose husband was killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11. It's heartbreaking but, for me, suffered a little because I had so recently read Alison Bechdel's Fun Home -- hands down, the best graphic novel/memoir/anything I've ever read and one of the best memoirs I've read, period. Plus Bechdel does her own artwork. Another recent McNaughton I read was The Heretic's Daughter, an engrossing novel about the Salem witch trials and, just this weekend, When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson, the third in her series sort of centering on soldier-turned-cop-turned-private-eye-turned-rich-guy Jackson Brodie. Like the previous two, it was terrific. And yesterday I zipped through the excellently named Pagan Kennedy's collection of mostly profiles, The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex, which I snagged through Library Thing's Early Reviewers program. (Having access to review copies when I was a newspaper editor may have ruined me -- when the mailman delivered a package on Saturday, my husband just handed it to me, saying "You are such a book whore." I took it as a compliment. I'm pretty sure he meant it that way.)

September has been a big reading month so far -- it's good to cancel the cable! But I've got a couple doorstops on the horizon -- the new Dennis Lehane, The Given Day, arrived at the library today and I've got Tom Gjelten's book on the Bacardis at home, waiting for a review read.

By the way, Happy Banned Books Week! In the event that Sarah Palin does not impose her personal view of appropriate reading material on the nation, we should be able to keep celebrating the freedom to read: we at FKCC are celebrating; you can read about it on our blog.