Saturday, October 4, 2008

On the night table: reading

Here's a peek at some books I've been enjoying lately. As you can see from this small stack, I'm a skipper-arounder-reader (fancy new term coined by me), and I tend to jump from book to book.

Amidst most of my stacks of books, there is almost always a collection of poetry. For me, poetry is supposed to be read quietly, and taken one at a time, and so collections of poetry lend themselves perfectly to the reader who jumps from book to book. You can see that my latest companion is Linda Pastan's Carnival Evening. Her poems are of the everyday and the spectacular, with a voice as clear as water. When I read from this book, I take a few poems at a time, savoring. She is becoming one of my very favorite poets...

1491, by Charles C. Mann, is a study of the Americas before Columbus, and it's excellent. If you are at all interested in history, this is a book that will fill in the huge gap in the timeline of American history. It highlights the technological and cultural advances of Native American societies, and it will leave you with a better appreciation and understanding of a period of history neglected in traditional studies. I found this book after we heard a fantastic interview with the author, Charles Mann, on NPR.

The Daring Book for Girls is another type of book that lends itself to jumping around from book to book. The Daring Book for Girls is a compendium of how-tos for girls, and it's delightfully retro and progressive at the same time. It's charming, from the illustrations to the choice of topics themselves. I am enjoying looking at it before sleep, and I've noticed some of my dreams are taking me back to being a tomboyish girl who still liked to have doll teaparties...Oh, and yes, I did notice that the book is actually written for girls. I'm enjoying it as much as I know Ada will. It's to be one of her Christmas gifts...don't tell!

I love a mystery story, and I enjoy the hard-boiled ones as much as the cozy ones. The Genius is the latest by novelist Jesse Kellerman. I recently finished his debut novel, Sunstroke, and this one is just as good. In both novels, the characters are well-fleshed out and the narrative engaging enough to hold you captive to the story until way past your normal bedtime. I'm looking forward to another one of his--Trouble.

So that's the stack on the night table. You should see the "in the wings" shelf of things I plan to read before year's end! More on those some other post.

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Irene Latham said...

You read poetry! So nice to meet you. :) Also, on the topic of snails: there is a great kids book called Wolfsnail (awesome pics) by Sarah C. Campbell. You'd like!

The Storialist said...

I really enjoy Linda Pastan. Do you know Jane Kenyon and/or Jane Hirshfield? I think you might like both!

3littlechickies said...

Storialist: I love Jane Kenyon. And Donald Hall--I can't think of one without the other now. I did not know Jane Hirshfield, but I found her online, and I am eager to start reading her work, too. Someone else to check out would be Irene Latham, who posted above.

One more reason to love blogging--new discoveries.

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