What’s in That Pile Beside My Bed

You know how you have that pile of books you’ve checked out from the library and want to read, but just can’t seem to get to? They form a nice pile next to–or on the bottom shelf of–your bed’s nightstand. Or maybe they have become your nightstand.  You renew them a couple of times, if you are able. And then maybe return them and check them out again later. It’s not that you don’t want to read them, really you do, but “stuff” keeps getting in the way like dinner, chores, kids, work, life.

I confess. I have one of those piles. Well actually, it’s grown now to three piles of about 18 inches high each. They have begun to take over that corner of my room. I think I can say with about 99% certainty that most library staff members have at least one pile similar to mine. Heck, I know one person who had to have their own hold shelf made for all the books they reserve. (As opposed to sharing one with the rest of the people who alphabetically fall around your last name.) And Jess keeps her to-read list in online form, rather than holding the books hostage.

What follows are some of the items in my piles. Because I figure if I like them enough to make them furniture in my home, I must like them enough to recommend to you.

What Chefs Feed Their Kids: Recipes and Techniques for Cultivating a Love of Good Food by Fanae Aaron – As I may have mentioned before, my son is a great eater. He eats lots of things and is always willing to try something new. I may, however, be having two other rugrats join me for a good part of this summer, who I don’t think are used to eating that way. Any help this book could offer would be appreciated…

The End of Everything by Megan Abbott – This is another one of my experiments with branching out of my genre comfort zone. I have been trying to find teen novels that appeal to me. This one has all of that teen angst, but with a suspenseful and very grown-up lesson that is learned by all. Plus when I skimmed it, it creeped me out a little.

The Grave Gourmet by Alexander Campion – This is the book we are reading for May’s meeting of the Mystery Book Group, so I will have to read this one very soon. But because I think I’m going to like it, I already have the next one in the series, Crime Fraîche, in the pile too.

Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie – I LOVE Jennifer Crusie. I have read most of her books. (I drew the line at her collaborations with Bob Mayer. I didn’t like the way they were written or the themes.) But for some reason, I just can’t seem to get into this one.  I keep it, thinking I’ll change my mind, but it might be time for this one to go back to the library. Maybe it’s the paranormal aspect. Maybe it’s the ex-husband who might not stay an ex. I am a firm believer that an ex-husband is probably an ex for a reason, no matter how rich or good-looking he is.

How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting (from Argentina to Tanzania and Everywhere in Between) by Mei-Ling Hopgood – People in other countries raise their children differently than we do. Really!  Did you know that? And their kids turn out just as good as ours do, and sometimes better. I wish I had read this earlier and I just might have done one or two things differently…

Before They’re Gone: A Family’s Year-Long Quest to Explore America’s Most Endangered National Parks by Michael Lanza – Last summer we visited several national parks out west. Some of the most beautiful were the ones no one ever talks about. Those are the parks I am most glad that I got to see. I have a feeling this book will lead me to several more.

I Am Maru by Mugumogu – Have you seen that cat from Japan on YouTube? The one that likes to slide into boxes? Well, like so many blogs and stars of the do-it-yourself online set, he now has his own book. Warning: kitty cuteness overload is imminent!

Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez – I saw a review for this book online and was intrigued. I knew southern male slave owners often had a female slave as their mistress, but the idea of taking a yearly vacation with that slave, to a resort in the North?  Shocking!

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures by Caroline Preston – This is another keep-reading-outside-of-my-comfort-genres pick. But I love looking through people’s old scrapbooks, vintage postcards and spunky female protagonists, so I think this will be a winner.

Winged Obsession: The Pursuit of the World’s Most Notorious Butterfly Smuggler by Jessica Speart – There’s a black market in butterflies?!? Get out! This novel about the pursuit and capture of one of the most notorious butterfly smugglers sounded like it would have me on the edge of my seat. Plus, butterflies are pretty.

So, those are a few of the items in my pile. What’s in yours?

-Melissa M.

P.S. I’ll be moving soon. Then the dilemma will be: move the pile or return it all and start again…

9 Comments

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9 responses to “What’s in That Pile Beside My Bed

  1. I’ve started to keep my to-read list on Pinterest. For some reason the visual reminder of the covers helps me stay on track (and keep track of pre-pubs). And now I’ve added two more, thanks to this post. :)

    FWIW, I’m a fan of Crusie’s (did you see her when she was at Mystery Lover’s Bookstore last year?) and feel the same way – didn’t like the Mayer collaboration, thought the one you mentioned was a bit iffy. I finished it, but it’s not on a re-read list at all.

    On my to-read pile is the first Game of Thrones book – I promised my husband I’d try it. I didn’t get far! But after a tragic collapse of the pile, nearly tumbling on a cat, I’ve weeded it down and returned most of it to my local branch.

    • daisypierce16

      I had a similar issue with Game of Thrones when I first tried to read it…I got about 200 pages into the first book (I bought the 4 book set for my nook with a gift card) and stalled. I then read the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage and the first 5 books in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and came back to it. For some reason, it’s much easier to read now that I’ve given myself that break.

      P. S. I highly recommend both of the above mentioned series. Septimus Heap will grab fans of the Harry Potter books, and Outlander is part sci-fi, part romance part historical fiction. It’s set between post WWII England/1960s Boston and 1700s Scotland. It’s very hard to explain but well worth the read!

  2. I prefer to play hide and seek with my ‘to be read’ books since I no longer have space for a designated pile. Therefore they end up scatter around my room waiting for September when I’m going to have to decide which books are going to Uni with me and which are going to stay, on the shelves, under the bed, on the window sills, on top of the wadrobe, in storage boxes and on my desk at home.

  3. The Bible, Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, Swann by Carol Shields, The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks, Landmarks: A Process Reader edited by Roberta Birks, Tomi Eng, Julie Walchli, Elephantoms: Tracking the Elephant by Lyall Watson, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, Stewardship: Choosing Service Over Self-Interest by Peter Block, The Piano Man’s Daughter by Timothy Findley (thought I hadn’t read it, so took it to the pile and then into the first five pages, realized I had read it…now, it needs to get back onto my bookshelves, St. Therese of Lisieux: Her Last Conversations translated by John Clarke O.C.D. Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch, Cesar’s Rules: Your Way to Train a Well-Behaved Dog by Cesar Millan, Man Descending by Guy Vanderhaeghe, The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult by Alice Walker Wowsers….funny…but so revealing!

  4. Maria

    My pile (which I will take on vacation with me next week) includes the latest Aunt Dimity mystery by Nancy Atherton, The Annotated Emma by Jane Austen (edited by David Shapard), and Martha Jefferson Randolph, Daughter of Monticello : Her Life and Times by Cynthia Kierner.

  5. Pingback: Butterfly Obsession | Eleventh Stack

  6. Pingback: What I Did (Read) on My Winter Vacation | Eleventh Stack

  7. . And, while it’s very normal for youngsters to mirror-write for entertainment, it isn’t really common for youngsters to undertake it accidentally, as my daughter does.

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