So don't take it personally

Attention, mothers. That last argument you had with your teenage daughter: It probably was good for both of you. Says who? Noted Cambridge University social psychologist Terri Apter, that's who. She told a conference in Britain last week that, on average, mothers and daughters quarrel every 2-1/2 days. On the bright side, however, her research shows the spats should be seen as a way of updating Mom on what's new with her offspring. And Dad? He's more likely just to get the silent treatment.

Curling up with a good book: A who's who reader

Each year, the Gardiner (Maine) Public Library releases the results of its survey on what books some leading public figures choose to fill the time they have available to read. Selected respondents on the library's 2004 list and some of the titles they said they've found absorbing:

First lady Laura Bush: "Ship of Fools," by Katherine Anne Porter; "Goodbye to a River," by John Graves; "All the Pretty Horses," by Cormac McCarthy

John Major, former British prime minister: "The Palliser Novels," by Anthony Trollope

Al Roker, NBC-TV personality: "Devil in a Blue Dress," by Walter Mosley

Brian Williams, MSNBC/NBC news anchor: "No Ordinary Time," by Doris Kerns Goodwin

Secretary of Education Rod Paige: "The Tipping Point," by Malcolm Gladwell

Billy Collins, US poet laureate: "Train," by Pete Dexter

Sutton Foster, star of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" on Broadway: "A Prayer for Owen Meany," by John Irving

- Associated Press

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