I love 5MinutesforBooks.com’s feature What’s on Your Nightstand? It’s fun to get a snapshot of what people are reading. Clearly, I did not tidy up my stack of books on the nightstand. I can’t go into much detail, because of time constraints, but here is the stack I am working through. I ran out of my favorite Post-It Flags, as you can see by the pencils stuck in the books. Shame.
• Real Marriage, by Mark and Grace Driscoll is on loan from my son and his wife. I want to read parts of it aloud with my husband…someday!
• Barely visible, the tiny sliver of blue, is Fit to Burst by Rachel Jankovic. This young mom has an abundance of wisdom that reaches far beyond homemade granola bar recipes and stars on chore charts. I like to consume it in small bites.
• The back cover showing, Shadow of the Silk Road, by Colin Thubron, is my current travel book. In this book Thubron travels from Xian, west of Shanghai, to Antioch in modern day Turkey. This is my third Thubron; I’m already inclined to like his writing. But I’m not sure he’ll be able to entrance me like Rob Gifford did in China Road.
• The generic black journal is my commonplace book. This is my fourth identical journal, purchased at WalMart, in which I write down quotes, phrases, words, book and DVD titles, and similar musings.
• The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, a Flavia de Luce mystery by Alan Bradley, has been borrowed for far too long. I listened to the highly excellent audio version, but wanted to copy quotes from it. Which involves a re-reading with some skimming. So this title is the most guilt-inspiring one.
• Black bound Kindle rests on Flavia. I read the sample portion of Booked, Literature in the Soul of Me, by Karen Swallow Prior. An email reminded me that I had an unused gift card from Amazon, so I purchased the book today. Although I keep acquiring Kindle books, I haven’t read much except the Bible on it in February.
• The orange spine of Scrolling Forward, Making Sense of Documents in the Digital Age, by David Levy, is a book that simultaneously provokes groans and stubbornness in me. I was “Currently Reading” this on Goodreads on September 9th! The author, after finishing a Ph.D. in computer science, majoring in Artificial Intelligence, moved to London to study calligraphy for two years. That alone makes me like him. And the dedication in Hebrew. But, this book from 2001 is outdated. And for some reason I can’t ditch it. My persistence—foolish or not—was rewarded in chapter 10 with a great story about the 1989 San Francisco earthquake and the author’s assignment for a Hebrew class to translate Psalm 104:5. I have twenty pages left and I’m determined to finish. But the joy left a while back.
• Top of the pile is This Rich and Wondrous Earth, a Memoir of Sakeji School, by Linda Moran Burklin. I’ve read Wes Stafford’s book Too Small to Ignore and several magazine articles revealing abuse and mistreatment at African boarding schools for missionary kids. This book is not about that. Linda’s book has a good-natured humor that acknowledges the hardships and difficulties, but also points out the benefits she received and the fun she experienced. I have to admit that the tight regimen and censored letters home has reminded me of prison. Last night we read a few pages aloud after dinner about a baptism that had us all laughing. It sounds sacrilegious, but it truly was a funny baptism story. I know of an MK who found Linda’s book very therapeutic. I’m eager to finish it and pass it on to my cousin who was at a different African boarding school.
• There is a secondary pile behind the towering one with two books: Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog and John Stott’s The Birds Our Teachers. You might call this the “Meaning To Get To” Pile.
You are welcome to join the crew over at 5MfB or just write in the comments. What are you reading?