I can tell I'm a little bit tired. I almost started this post with the line, "Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and become a history teacher." Then I started chuckling, because of course I am a history teacher, although like so many other roles in my life, it's one that's sort of snuck in the back door. I've taught eight years of history to my homeschooling daughter, and I've taught church history, in one form or another, to adult learners for about a decade now.
I've always enjoyed history, but it's really been in the past fifteen years or so that I find myself reading history just for the sheer love it. History and biography have become some of my chief reading pleasures. And though I have favorite eras (the early 20th century is my absolute favorite) I can chase down rabbit trails from all sorts of time periods. It doesn't take much to get me started on a history trail these days. My current pleasure is early New England history. I'm reading Nathaniel Philbrick's book The Mayflower and the Pilgrims' New World. I confess I'm reading it in its "adapted for young people" version, partly because at only 338 pages plus index, it's shorter than his Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War. I'm beginning to wish I'd picked that up (it won the National Book Award) but given that I'm having to read in the cracks and crevices of a heavy work schedule, the shorter adaptation is probably better right now. It's also helping me prep for upcoming lessons with S on King Philip's War. Added to which, I'm thinking I may use this particular book on S's high school reading list. (Gulp. Yes. You saw those words correctly. High school reading list. It's coming sooner than you think....)
Although I love reading history and biography any time of year, I'm especially fond of reading them in winter. I have all sorts of coping mechanisms for getting through winter. This year, in addition to good history, those coping mechanisms include multiple episodes of the television show House (D. and I just finished the first season -- how we are enjoying Hugh Laurie's performance!) and lots of cups of hot green tea (decaff). Between history, House, and hot green tea, I think it's quite possible that I may make it through the next two months of cold weather.