What’s On Your Nightstand?

What's On Your Nightstand

It’s a tottering, two-pile disaster. But I love nightstands cluttered with books. To take an unread book off the pile just seems clinical and cold. I will get to it…sometime!

My nose is in Ivan Doig’s The Whistling Season, which I liken to a bowl of home-made ice cream on a hot day. I haven’t finished it, and I’ve already ordered a second copy to share with others. I am new to Ivan Doig, but his prose has me promising myself that I will seek out more.  My sister-in-law recommended this, calling Doig “the Wendell Berry of Montana”. Classroom dynamics in a one-room school house will snag anyone interested in education. The private Latin lessons give Doig a chance to explain word origins to the reader in a winsome manner. Yes, yes, and yes.

When I’m doing chores around the house, I’m listening to Noel Riley Fitch’s Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child. I’ve gone on a Julia jag since I saw Julie and Julia. It’s not as good as My Life in France, but it’s a companionable boost to my bi-monthly ironing orgy, but I think the print version wouldn’t keep my interest enough.


My husband and I commute two hours/week, splitting our car time between talking through our schedule, airing our gripes, listening to music, audio magazines or audio books. We started The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, bowled over by the first CD. Soon, I drove 12 hours, finished it, betraying our tacit agreement to share the book. This audio version is dynamic, in my list of ten best audio book performances. Skloot mixes scientific explanation with human interest, a compelling combination.

At the end of the day I was reading aloud to my husband Mark and Grace Driscoll’s book, Real Marriage, but we’ve had a lot of company lately, and have stayed up late talking, falling into bed with no thought of reading. I’ll comment more about it when we’ve finished.

Reading Charlotte’s Web aloud to my 4½ year old grandson in four days reminded me of the C.S. Lewis’ quote:

No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.

It was so fun to “get” some of the nuggets E.B. White dropped into the story line. It was a stretch for Noah, his first chapter book. Illustrations on every page would have helped. This classic is definitely worth reading again, whether you have a child by your side or not.


8 thoughts on “What’s On Your Nightstand?

  1. I think it’s so cool that you are reading/listening to so many books with your husband! And yes, a leaning tower of books (or two!) IS a beautiful thing!

  2. Pingback: Saturday Review of Books: July 27, 2013 | Semicolon

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