By my bedside

Actually, that title is a little misleading: these books are not just by my bedside (by which I mean both stacked neatly on the beside table and piled in skyscraper-high piles beside it), but sprawled across my desk, slid precariously into the few tiny chinks remaining on my bookshelf, crammed into canvas bags on the floor of my study… all I can say is it’s a good thing occupational health and safety regulations don’t apply in the home.

Just one note of caution though: just because these books are on this list (which I have a laudable intention to update but will most likely forget about), doesn’t mean that I will necessarily blog about them once I’ve read them. To be honest, I probably won’t -if I felt I had to review most of the things I read, reading would swiftly become burdensome and I’d have to take up crochet or AFL instead.

Currently reading (ie. migrating constantly between beside table, coffe table, and the handbag of the hour)

Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann
The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind, David Guterson

To be read (but not necessarily in this order)

Tender Morsels
, Margo Lanagan
The Sportswriter, Richard Ford
Acid Row, Minette Walters
Bitter Chocolate, Sally Grindley
Stray Sod Country, Patrick McCabe
Middlesex, Jeffry Eugenides (No, I’ve never read it. Yes, it is appalling – now will you please stop hassling me about it?) 
Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, Paul Gallico
Ice, Louis Nowra
Suite Francaise, Irene Nemirovsky
Wonders of A Godless World, Andrew McGahan
Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain
Helen, Maria Edgeworth

Next on the list to buy (as soon as a rich uncle dies and leaves me a sizeable inheritance (nb. not a reference to any particular uncle now living – and in a pinch, an aunt, godparent or even a particularly well-off cat would do just as well )

The Small Room, May Sarton
Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
Room, Emma Donoghue (that’s right – I am officially the last person on earth not to have read it)
Palliser Chronicles (2-6), Anthony Trollope (in nice, faded hardback editions – not Penguin paperbacks)
Reading by Moonlight, Brenda Walker
The Girl who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Steig Larssen

3rd November 2010


9 Responses to By my bedside

  1. Melissa Romo says:

    I have Let The Great World Spin by McCann at the top of my queue. My husband and I bought tickets to see him in Manhattan on Dec 8 – my birthday present to myself! He just finished reading it and I can tell you he let out audible gasps of appreciation for the writing. I’ve never seen a book get that reaction from him.
    Love that I found your blog, and am extra happy that you’re on the other side of the world! I feel like I’ve taken a trip just reading a post or two!

    • I know – there’s something strangely wild and liberating about reading a blog you can identify with which comes from the other side of the world! Thank you so much for stopping by – and I hope you enjoy the McCann as much as your husband did!

  2. I love that you want to read Trollope in a faded hardback, not paperback, edition! Too little is made of the tactile, visceral experience of reading words as opposed to digesting digital pixels.

    Reading lists are almost by definition peculiar and quirky, so I hesitate to comment. But I’ve read two of the books on your list – The Sportswriter and Gilead. I urge you, with the passion of a pastor trying to coax a jumper back inside and off that ledge, do not read The Sportswriter; and with the same passion of that same pastor, but this time at the wedding of two dear friends, I urge you to read Gilead instead.

    And if you’ve made it this far into my comment, I recommend you consider replacing The Sportswriter with A Fan’s Notes by Exley.

    Thank you, and keep doing great things!

  3. … So you’re saying I should read the Richard Ford with all possible haste?

    OK, I’m joking, but thank you so much for your recommendation – I have to admit that I saw it at a book sale and took it home because I thought he was the type of author I should have read – not the type of author I wanted to read. And I’ll definitely look out for the Exley book – I’ve not heard of him before, which makes it all the more intriguing…

  4. Grad says:

    Am loving Kitchen Confidential and hoping I”ll get Medium Raw for Christmas. I’ve been dropping not-so-hinted-at-hints to the offspring…so we’ll see. Very satisfying list.

  5. Genevieve says:

    I am so happy that I stumbled upon your blog, as I was googling to see if The True History of the Mud Man was an actual real book (quite disappointed that it was not). Anyway, my disappointment quickly turned to joy as I read your reviews and lists – there is nothing better than discovering a kindred spirit in blog land.
    You’re obviously getting some flack about not having read Middlesex yet – but I have to agree with the hasslers, you should get onto it, stat. It’s a truly unique book and beautifully written.
    Keep blogging, I can’t wait to read more….

  6. Geosi says:

    Interesting…I’ve also not yet read ROOM and so we two are the official people on planet earth not to have read it (laughs)

  7. Susan says:

    Room is very good and written by a local author from London, Ontario. Not a book about horrible things happening to a little boy and his Mom held captive by a deranged man, but a hopeful
    book about survival and parenting against all odds. Try Astray, also by Donoghue, short stories with an interesting bit of information at the end of each one. A very unique read!

  8. An introduction via Litlove had me engrossed in your site for a couple of days pretty much non stop. I feel any compliments would be both superfluous and utterly impossible.

    However I shall say that the Gallico is a lovely little book, though incredibly bitter-sweet as most of his novels are. Don’t read it if you’re feeling at all dismal that day. Or it’s raining. (Though perhaps rain at your end doesn’t induce the same feelings of gloom at the inescapable dreariness of life as it does over here.)

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