Cheryl, An Introduction:

Children's book editor, narrative addict, trivia hound, Harry Potter expert, Jane Austen disciple, Scrabble hobbyist, film junkie, Brooklyn (N.Y.) resident, Peculiar (Mo.) girl, mean sugar-cookie baker, Metrocard artist, daughter, sister, friend, American, countrywoman, copyeditor, listmaker, long-walker, collagist, blonde.

Employee of Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Press; magna cum laude graduate of Carleton College, Northfield, Minn., with a degree in English, class of 2000, and Raymore-Peculiar High School, Peculiar, Mo., class of 1996; leasor (?) of an apartment in the beautiful Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn; other roles upon request.

Last night I finished Donna Tartt's The Secret History. Excellent beginning, page-turning first half, and then they committed the murder and the whole thing became Guilt, Drugs, Fighting, Rinse, Repeat. Certainly this was the first big so-what of my 2003 reading year. But today I finished Hilary McKay's The Exiles at Home, which I loved even more than The Exiles and nearly as much as Saffy's Angel -- I laughed out loud three times on the F train, which earned me weird looks and furtive glances at the title of my book. Good. If more adults read children's books, this world would be a more joyful and interesting place. I'm now happily embarking on The Exiles in Love, and also continuing with Edith Wharton's The Buccaneers (as completed by Marion Mainwaring, I must note with trepidation).

Resolutions for 2003:

Live deeply, joyfully, passionately, and well.

Hang up clothes before getting in bed.
Go to the gym twice a week.
Do Core-Strengthening Exercises nightly.
Save a thousand dollars.
Let no food go bad.
Learn discretion.

Have a dinner party.
Walk the Queensboro and Bronx bridges. (There are at least four of them, plus the Triborough, and the Bronx is the borough I know the least -- it'll be my New World for 2003.)
Go to the American Museum of Natural History.
Attend a rock concert and a cabaret.
Get drunk.
Go clubbing.
Write and submit something for publication.
Bake a cheesecake and sourdough bread.
The Unexpected.

Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, and Italo Calvino
Moby Dick
A Passage to India
Midnight’s Children

Other suggestions -- for books, at least -- cheerfully accepted.