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:
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):
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:
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!
What are in your book piles?