Nightstand (February 2011)

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 at 5:47 am

I feel like I’ve slid comfortably back into my reading groove this month, probably because I’ve given myself permission to ignore the internet and cleaning. So, my house may be filthy and my Google Reader rather stuffed–but my Nightstand is still moving!

Crate of library books

This month, I made it through:

Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry
Picked up while trolling the library for unfamiliar children’s fiction. Not sure exactly what I think of it. I wonder if Anastasia Krupnik, published in 1979, was the origin of brat literature for youngsters? It’s definitely not the “good kids get into scrapes because they forget/ignore the rules/common-sense while chasing a mystery” of the era prior (Think Boxcar children, Trixie Belden, etc.) Anastasia’s parents, a poet and an artist, are indulgently negligent; Anastasia is an only child, a precocious soul, and a brat. Hmmph.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
I finished it only a few days late for that wrap-up post for Carrie’s L.M. Montgomery Reading challenge.

Baby Proof by Emily Giffin
Chick lit of a different sort. She’s got the guy. Finally found someone who agrees with her about not wanting kids. And then he decides he might just want a little one. And she divorces him. She is NOT going to have kids. Decentish on the chick-lit level, a step above Bridget Jones and Shopaholic, but still far from meaningful.

Bright-sided : how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich
Possibly the first book to ever merit zero stars in my highly subjective rating system. It could have been a good book, if Ehrenreich had kept her socio-political agenda out of it. But I think that’s one hope that I’ve just got to let die. She can’t do it.

Composting by Liz Ball
Yes. I read about composting. I compost in my backyard. I used to have composting worms under my sink. And I catch the humor in discussing a “hot pile” just a little too late to keep me from seriously explaining how the ratio of carbon to nitrogen effects the heat of said piles. I’m glad the Bible study gals (and John) are willing to accept me, quirks and all!

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
You know those books that just suck you in and demand that you keep reading until all hours of the morning? The Memory Keeper’s Daughter is one of those. It’s all about how one choice changed a whole family, rippled out to affect whole communities. It’s a terrific story. This book originally went on my TBR list based on Colloquium’s review.

Warsaw Requiem and London Refrain by Bodie Thoene
My love affair with these books continues. It’s probably a good thing that I’ve forced some balance into my reading diet by giving myself a rubric for checking things out. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure I’d be reading these and only these until I’m through to the end!

Wasteland by Francesca Lia Block
Easily the weirdest book I’ve ever read. Written in first person stream of consciousness from three different characters perspective, this novel explores a brother and sister who struggle against a growing attraction for one another before, finally, the brother commits suicide. The plot is weird, the writing style is weird, the imagery within is weird. It’s just a weird book. Billed as YA, this is nothing I’ll be recommending to any of my “young adult” (read “teenage”) friends.

18 (at least) Children’s Picture Books author name BA-BASE
Unlike Carrie’s reading challenge, where she skips any books that aren’t at the library when she and her family goes, my challenge means I have to actually read EVERY book in my no-longer-local branch. So I’ve been playing catch up, filling in those missing books I didn’t read during my first pass.

Pile of books I'm in the middle of

With four weeks left on this last trip’s library haul, I’ve got a stack I’m in the middle of…

  • Confessions by St. Augustine
  • The factastic book of 1001 lists by Russell Ash
  • Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton
  • The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister and Phyllis Tickle
  • The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
  • The Shallows by Nicholas Carr

And a stack in the wings for when I’m done with those!

Still to be read books

Don’t forget to drop by 5 Minutes 4 Books to see what others are reading this month!

What's on Your Nightstand?

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Reader Comments (18):

  1. Happy Nightstand Day!!

    In reading your short summaries, I love the way you described the chick lit as “far from meaningful.”

    That’s a great way to put it. I DO read chick-lit type fare sometimes, and it is sometimes entertaining, but I always feel a BUT — and I think that you nailed it with “meaningful.”

  2. Love, love, love the Thoenes. But I’ve said that before, haven’t I?

  3. Love your list! I read the Anastasia books when I was a kid and remember liking them but thinking she was a brat. There are several sequels if I remember correctly. I’d thought about tracking them down for my daughter to read, but haven’t done it yet.

  4. Barbara H. says:

    Quite an eclectic list! I read those Thoene books years ago — they are hard to put down.

  5. I caved. Had to read your list. :-) But instead of writing anything down, I’m just making a mental note to come back here for a look when I’m caught up.

  6. I was thinking Bright-sided : how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America sounded FABULOUS – then I read your comments.

    I’ve also wanted to read The Memory Keeper’s Daughter for a LONG time. I’m constantly tempted by it. Just haven’t ever gotten around to it.

  7. Cassandra says:

    Your list is always so inspiring! The Thoenes are two of my favorite authors. I’ve enjoyed every one of their books thus far!

  8. Lois Lowry is one of my favorite writers.
    Looks like an amazing and long list. I need to add some YA lit to mine, I think.

  9. Nancy says:

    You always have such a great list. I enjoyed Baby Proof – Giffin’s writing seems a step above chick lit to me, but yeah, far from meaningful. I remember tearing through The Memory Keeper’s Daughter as well.

    Nancy @ 5minutesforbooks.com

  10. Mama Bear says:

    Thanks for visiting me and for your comment. You said:
    Was the theme of white/black relations intentional–or is that just in my head? It seems like you have a lot of books that deal with that topic.
    Certainly must be in your head…as of 9 books mentioned, only two have this premise. Same Kind of Different As Me is a true story..I saw it reviewed online and recommended that my book club read it…Fireflies in December was also a book I saw mentioned online..It is fiction and the antagonist is a young girl…The two have nothing in common other than what you pointed out.
    I have read The Memory Keeper’s Daughter.
    Thanks again for your visit.

  11. I recognized Lois Lowry’s name and had to figure out if I’ve read any of her books. I have read Number the Stars, which was a good one.

    I read Anne of Green Gables last month for the first time; it was delightful!

    I read the Colloquium review of The Secret Keeper’s Daugher. I’ve never heard of it before, but it sounds good! I just checked; it’s in at my library. ;)

    I love your mini-reviews, by the way. :) Thanks for the book ideas.

  12. Excuse me, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter.

  13. Beth says:

    I had to laugh at your comment about the Thoene books. When I discoverd them I devoured them (including reading them during Eschatology class).

  14. Susan says:

    Ha – loved your review of Bright-Sided – I’m thinking that author and the author of “Cinderella” I read this month need to get together. Sounds like we have really similar tastes in reading and in what annoys us, and I appreciate the review because I’d seen “bright” and thought it sounded interesting. Enjoy your March reads :)

  15. Great list! I was haunted by the Memory Keeper’s Daughter. What a touching story!

  16. I think I’ve said this before in a comment here at your site? But, anyway, I’ve read the Thoene’s series years ago, loved it then, and now am sorely tempted to pick them up again after reading how much you’ve enjoyed them! And The Memory Keeper’s Daughter–I haven’t read it but maybe now I will…

    Sigh. So many books, so little time…

  17. Trish says:

    Love your comments – it’s great to know when I might want to give a book a pass. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter sounds like one I may have to check out, though. Thanks!

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