Books Waiting on My Nightstand

I have a break from school coming up soon, and while I will probably use some of that time to tweak papers for publication and continue my research, I’m also looking forward to reading a few good books.  Actually reading them.  Like holding them in my hands, turning their pages, and smelling their paper, rather than listening to them on CD while I drive through a dangerous canyon in fog and snow.

And the books I want to read have been piling up over the last few months.  I’ve gotten some of them through and some of them at the local thrift store.  One is from the library.  I even bought some of them new!

This is what my nightstand looks like (after I cleaned it up for this picture, of course!).

They are all just waiting for me.  Wishing that I’d pick them up.  Hoping to be read.  (Do you think I could come up with any more sentence fragments?)

Here’s the list:

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

The Essential Feminist Reader edited by Estelle B. Freedman (love her!)

Our Sister Editors: Sarah J. Hale and the Tradition of Nineteenth-Century American Women Editors by Patricia Okker

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

The Price of Motherhood: Why The Most Important Job in the World is Still the Least Valued by Ann Crittenden

Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution by Adrienne Rich (Okay, I confess.  I already started this one.  I read a few chapters of it for a class this semester, and I just couldn’t wait any longer to read the rest!)

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas L. Friedman

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on her Diary, 1785-1812 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (I love her, too!)

So, which one should I read first?  Have you read any of these?  What great treats do I have in store?


72 thoughts on “Books Waiting on My Nightstand

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    1. I would pick Cold Comfort Farm first. It is hilarious. If you find you like that one, you might also enjoy Barbara Pym’s novels; I like them very much.

      The Friedman book is very much from a US perspective and addressing a US audience. Unlike, say Nicholas Kristof, who writes from a US perspective but addresses a wider audience – I usually enjoy his writing and that of his wife’s, Sheryl Wu Dunn.

  1. I noticed that most tittles were very feminist sounding. But to answer to your predicament, I’ve only read A Brief History of Time like twice (i think). And boy, you’re in for a treat. Enjoy!

  2. Although the stack of books I have to read fills a small bookcase right now, I’m going to have to add a few of these to it!

  3. ‘Cold Comfort Farm’ is magnificent – one of the most amusing novels I have ever read. I would read that first! If you have been really busy recently, it is the break you deserve – lighthearted, witty and a book you will think about for years to come.

  4. My “books to read next” pile grows, too. Try reading the skinny ones first! This increases the number of books read as you go, but not the total pages. Good luck.

  5. I have a bunch of books I really want to read as well. Sadly, they are collecting dust on my book shelf. I think you are brilliant to lay them on your night stand, so that you can be mentally and physically be reminded of them every day. I have a terrible habit of starting books and getting distracted mid way and putting them back on the book shelf, only to forget them and start on a brand new book all over again! My big problem is that I have a hard time continuing a book I had read weeks or months ago-sometimes even years! I have to read a certain book within close periods to gain a better understanding of the book and a better experience from the book, if that makes sense? I have not read any of those books you mentioned, but The Essential Feminist Reader sounds interesting. Maybe I will add it to my perpetual list of books to read! 🙂 Enjoy your break from school! P.S: Thrift Stores are my favorite places to discover hidden treasures of books for dirt cheap and classic rarities. I once found a 1952 Anne Frank:The Diary Of A Young Girl that cost 35 cents when it first came out!

    1. Wow! I love thrift stores for books too. I saw a first edition A Tree Grows in Brooklyn once and did not buy it. I am still regretting that decision! Enjoy your break from school, too, Chanelle!

  6. I’d start with “Cold Comfort Farm.” It’s light and funny, and it will give you a break between school and the more serious books in your pile. And when you’ve read it, you can rent the movie and see Kate Beckinsale in her first big role.

  7. I’ll be adding a few of these to my own ginormous “books on deck” stack. I’ve read Midnight’s Children, though, and WOW. I really love that story. Of all the books by Rushdie I’ve read this one was the most accessible and stayed with me the longest. I hope you like it too & enjoy your reading time.

  8. What a great stack. Midnight’s Children is one of my all-time favorites, and I love Rich. Have you read de Beauvoir’s American Day by Day? If not, it’d fit well in that stack. Enjoy your break!

  9. The World is Flat…read it last…it was though-provoking, but an unnecessarily long book about the same thing over and over and over. Maybe I didn’t like it because it was required for International Pollitics

  10. I actually have a basket by my bed with books I would like to read. Most are from the library, so I am constantly renewing them. I, too, am listening to books during my commute to work. I just finished a book today. I wish I was reading it instead so I could know when the end is coming. I am usually caught off guard with books on tapes. I want more and they just end! On a different note, I am a lot like you. I go to the non fiction part of the library before I head over to the fiction. Let me know which of your books you like the most. I always need recommendation for non fiction.
    Keep blogging-I love to read your posts!

  11. I am also on a break from school with a giant pile of books I intend to read! It’s so exciting! Would love a review of A Brief History of Time when you read it! That’s on my (ever-growing) ‘to-read’ list!

  12. I’d start with The Little Prince. The writing is endearing and the story gives you alot to think about. Then I’d move on to Cold Comfort Farm, and after that, maybe something heavier. Have fun!

  13. You haven’t read ‘The Little Prince’??? It’s my most favouritest book in the whole wide world, in case you couldn’t tell from my ‘Gravatar’. It’s amazeballs. Seriously, it’s the most wonderful book I have ever read and it’s timeless and beautiful in any language.
    I’m quite well read and have a very good vocabulary but had a bit of difficulty understanding ‘Midnight’s Children’. Rushdie is an exceptional writer but it’s a bit heavy going.
    ‘Cold Comfort Farm’ is on my list of ‘to reads’ along with ‘The Corrections’.

  14. I have read four of them. The Little Prince is one of the most awesome book ever written. It’s beautiful.

    Midnight’s Children is a mesmerizing account of first 30 years of post colonial India. It is one of three Rushdie books I’ve read and even though his later books are technically far more accomplished they are devoid of life unlike Midnight’s Children. The book makes magical realism completely real just the way Life of Pi and 100 Years of Solitude do.

    Few financial books are as engrossing as The World Is Flat. At times a bit overstretched, the book makes a great case for the need of globalization and the factors that are making the earth a level playing field for everyone.

    It was only after reading A brief History of Time I realized what a genius Stephen Hawking is. He takes the most complex terms in cosmology and explains them with great ease.And FYI the book contains a single equation which is known to everyone :). Along with Feynman books and Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, it is a mandatory read for anyone who wants to know how universe functions

  15. Midnight’s Children, although that’s the only one I’ve read. I read it for my MA exams many years ago and even though it was an academic read with little time to “enjoy,” I stepped out of the read feeling as though I’d received a gift. Happy break and happy reading!

  16. The Little Prince is Awesome! My bedhead has a shelf for books and I have a HUGE number of books crammed in there. After years of running around and planning to read, I have started reading from that stack ( I have a Brief History of time in my list, but on a different shelf!). The problem is as soon as I read one book, I put another one in there! So th epile never diminishes 🙂

  17. My mum has gone on about Cold Comfort Farm numerous times, and while I haven’t read it, I’m going to assume its good!

    The Little Prince is a very quick read but absolutely lovely. A very simple message and main character you’ll fall in love with.

  18. Bonjour Emilie! “le petit prince” is my favorite of all times! you can start around ten to read to your children… or make them read it even if they don’t want to…. A. de Saint Exupéry was an incredible fellow. Would love to read all the others one day too!

  19. Seeing your pile of books, helps me not to feel so guilty about mine Emily! I studied Friedman’s book in college. Interesting reading but I’d probably read Cold Comfort Farm. I loved the movie too.

  20. Thanks for posting about the books you’re NOT reading. Seeing your pile reminds me that it’s ok that I didn’t get to mine over the winter break. Right now, I’ve only been doing educational websites, but I am going to start doing reviews of good education books soon. I do miss having time to read leisurely. There is just way too much to get done before the next semester of classes! I wish you success in your reading endeavors and success with completing your PhD work!

      1. I am a student of the world. There is always something new to learn. Right now, when I am not teaching, I advise students who are working on their own advance degrees.

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