Friday, October 15, 2010

Nightstand Report

It’s been awhile since I did a nightstand report so catching up. Let’s just say I’ve had more time for reading lately.
Looking at this picture it’s pretty clear what an eclectic reader I am! I’ll start with my “low brow” selections first.
I consider The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club and Needles and Pearls by Gil McNeil my equivalent of Harlequin novels. Boy does that bring back memories – my Mum went through a phase when she was addicted Harlequin and they were all around the house – I gobbled them up. Anyway, the main attraction for me with McNeil’s novels are they take place in England and I can relate to some of the references. Both books are about Jo Mackenzie, a sudden widow with two boys forced to leave her life in London and move to a small seaside village to takeover her Gran’s wool shop (sounds okay to me). Not masterpieces by any stretch. I give both 3 out of a possible 5 lampshades.
A.S Byatt is more challenging. I enjoyed Possession. The verdict is still out on The Children’s Book – struggling a bit to get into it – so no lampshades yet.
I always have either craft magazines or books by my bed. Beth over at Gathering Dust had recommended Amy Barickman’s Vintage Notions. It has all kinds of cool stuff in it and is inspired by Mary Brooks Picken of The Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences. 4 lampshades just for the pictures and graphics!
On the more academic side we have The Fourth Part of the World by Toby Lester. I had heard an interview of the author on the radio while at the cottage and thought it was very interesting. It is about medieval explorers and the discovery/naming of America. The main focus is on the Waldseemuller map of 1507 (don’t ask me to pronounce). Really fascinating for those of us who studied History at university (I’m such a snob). Anyway, I do recommend it and give it 4 lampshades.

I really like biographies. I had read about Lyndall Gordon’s Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family’s Feuds in The Economist. Talk about scandals and secrets. I’m ashamed to admit I am not as familiar with all of Dickinson’s poetry. What is interesting is she was a recluse who was probably epileptic. The question has been how could she have written the kind of poetry she did based on her sheltered life. Well Gordon provides some amazing insights based on her research. Another 4 out of 5 lampshades (with the qualifier I probably am enjoying The Fourth Part a little more).

So what’s on your nightstand?


  1. Oh, Julie - nothing but a clock and a lamp!!! I also don't have a tv in my bedroom. I have lots of books but they are all quilt books - don't read like I used to. Love the ratings system you have!! ;-) Carol

  2. Oh my goodness! Do you know my young niece is the owner of the Coho Cafe property! She ran the restaurant before becoming a mother. Her family, my SIL lives there in Frankfort, I'd recognize that lighthouse anywhere! You will have to ask your friends if the know of the White family. They are quite well known in the community. Small world! My e-mail is I hope I can answer your question. Elizabeth

  3. I'm kind of embarrassed, I think I have some of the same books on my nightstand as the last time we did an update...The Story of Edgar Sawtalle, a true crime by Ann Rule (my equivelent of a Harlequin), Eclectic Style decorating book & I still have Vintage Notions by my bed, too. I think it could stay quite awhile, there's a lot to it- and so far, I've just looked at the pictures.

  4. jewels, these are all books i had not heard of -so interesting for me! I am thinking I might try a Gil McNeil. Right now i am reading 'Eat, Love, Pray' by Elizabeth Gilbert and really enjoying it. I hear it is a movie, which I have not seen. Before that my mom gave me the 'Swan Thieves' which I adored and could not put down for very long. I recommended it to my friend Frieda, and I believe she has a review in the sidebar of her blog. she loved it too.
    What fun to share books! thanks, lenna