Book Piles

What is more lovely than a pile of books wanting to be read?  (Besides a pile of European chocolate wanting to be eaten, that is.) Happy book piles rival sleeping baby faces, just-mown grass, and butter pecan ice cream. In fact, combining reading with a napping baby while smelling new-cut grass and rolling Butter Pecan ice cream over my tongue would pretty much approach my version of Nirvana. Throw in the chocolate, mate, and I won’t be back.
My current book piles are pictured below. Here is the one on my nightstand:
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Actually, since I took this pic a few days ago, I finished off Mothering Without a Map (an okay read), The #1 Ladies Detective Agency (marvelous!), The Lovely Bones (disturbing but well-done), and The Peacegiver (illuminating if somewhat contrived). I have already read Gilead but find it such a beautiful, powerful, soul-massaging experience that I keep it by my bed just because I like to think about it and sometimes revisit my favorite parts. And Austen’s Complete Works are also a revisit. A dose of Jane is great medicine, an exercise in language precision, subversive subtext, and well-rounded characterization. Mm, mm good.

This is the pile (bottom half mine) headed for exchange at the Book Nook (used book store in town):
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The only one I hate to see go is Outlander, a well-written page turner of an adventure involving time travel, Scotland, and great characters (including one of the most evil villains I’ve ever encountered. Shudder.) But it has some disturbing elements that still haunt me when I think about them, and I don’t want my two voracious little readers getting their hands on it. I will, however, be continuing the series on my own. The biggest disappointment in the pile is The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion’s memoir and winner of the American Book Award. I found it to be a navel-gazing, name-dropping, self-absorbed exercise in boorishness that taxed my patience. I stuck with it til the end, hoping it would get better. It didn’t.

The beside-the-reading-chair pile:
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These are mostly books that are already read but that I refer back to constantly, such as gardening books, poetry, and Mormon feminist writings. The Irreantum collection (Mormon poetry, essays, short stories, art) is an as-yet-unread find that I got on eBay for five bucks. Yessss!

The beside-the-reading-chair magazine and catalog pile:
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This is mostly mind-candy and eye-candy (gardening mags, people!), along with lotsa homeschooling catalogs.

The I-really-need-another-bookshelf pile:
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What are in your book piles?

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2 Comments

  1. Sijbrich said,

    May 16, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    I’ve got my own little stack by my bed, too. The husband doesn’t understand why I have so many books, but I’ve been especially good lately, and have been a frequent library patron to prevent the accumulation of even more books.
    So much to read, so little time.

    I am also Mormon. Where do you find Mormon Feminist writing? I’m curious(Just what I need – more things to read:-P).

  2. idahospud said,

    May 16, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    Howdy, Sijbrich!
    For amateur Mormon Feminist writing, click on Zelophehad’s Daughters or Feminist Mormon Housewives on my Blogroll. Exponent II blog at exponentblog.blogspot.com is MoFem also (actually, I’m gonna post that in my blogroll). For books, Carol Lynn Pearson is a great place to start: try Mother Wove the Morning (actually a play) or Daughters of Light (and you can check out my interview with her in the March 2007 archives of FMH). One of my favorite MoFem books is Women and Authority, edited by Maxine Hanks. The book is also available to read on the web, here:
    http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/women/introduction.htm
    Many of the authors of the articles in Women and Authority have written other things; you can google them also.
    By the way, I love your blog. You are a great photographer (and you blog well, too! I’ll be visiting regularly). I loved your Italy pics–the purple flower you love is a vine called wisteria; it is one of my favorites, too.


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