I have what builders call a “plant shelf” in my master bedroom. When my husband and I first moved into our home thirteen years ago, I had no idea what to put on that shelf. I tried some leftover wedding flowers and random plants, but it didn’t look good at all. As I began collecting books, because I finally had a place to store them, I realized that they would look good on this plant shelf.
For the next few months, I’m going to share with you the titles of the books that are on this plant shelf, ten at a time. On it, I keep books that I’ve read and liked more than other books. (You could even say that most of these are favorites.) I find their presence there comforting. I recognize them, even without being able to see the type or the title, from their colors and heights and placement. They are my friends. And sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly lonely or self-pitying, I look up and remember that I have many friends, and all of them wait for me within the books of this shelf.
I have previously posted about my many bookshelves here and here.
The first ten books on this shelf can be found here and the second ten are here.
Today’s third set of ten books are the following.
Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Shannon’s Way by A. J. Cronin
The Green Years by A. J. Cronin
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
The Way Things Are by E. M. Delafield
Clear Light of Day by Anita Desai
Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass by Isak Dinesen (Karen von Blixen-Finecke)
Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow
Just ignore The Canterbury Tales. It was part of the last set of ten. It turns out that taking pictures of books only ten at a time is actually a little tricky, which is why some of these titles are cut off and the books on the sides are showing.
Have you read and enjoyed any of these books?
I enjoyed Corelli’s Mandolin when I read it last year; it’s probably my favorite “romance” novel.
It is definitely a good “romance” novel. Way better than what typically falls into that contemporary category!
I love the Canterbury tales 🙂
They are great!
I loved reading The Hours followed by Mrs. Dalloway. Those books are devastatingly beautiful. Woolf and Cunningham both provide searing insights into the human soul (specifically, the female soul).
Agreed! I love both of those books so much.
I read several books by A. J. Cronin years ago, but not these. And it’s also been a long time since I read Ragtime! I liked The House on Mango Street, and loved The Hours. I think Corelli’s Mandolin was pretty good, but I just loved Berneires’ book Birds Without Wings. Your shelf is going to provide hours of good reading.
I need to read the other de Bernieres! And you need to read Cronin’s The Green Years. It is one of my all-time favorites.
I’ll look for it!
No I haven’t! Looks interesting! Whats The House On Mango Street? Looks interesting. 🙂
It is a great short novel about the Latina experience. Cisneros books are a must-read!
Can I listen to the soundtrack of the movie while I read “Out of Africa?”
Ooh, that would be heaven!
Oooh! I remember reading Caramelo when I was home with bronchitis while pregnant with our first daughter. I read it in one day. I often think of what a luxury that was!! Correlli’s Mandolin has a special place in my heart – the passage about her love for her father was one I read at my dad’s funeral twelve years ago. Such a beautiful story.
I love how good books make the memory of reading them so vivid. I love that you remember your circumstances when you read Caramelo. I think I read this one while I was sick in bed too. Loved it!
I own five of these books but have yet to read one of them. Perhaps this will give me a bit more motivation!
Which ones? Yes, read them!
Caramelo, The House on Mango Street, The Hours, Corelli’s Mandolin, and Out of Africa. Just not enough time to read everything I want to read! 🙂
There’s never enough time!
Out of Africa is certainly one of my all time favorites! I have the same edition. And I once drove by Isak Dinesen’s house (now a museum) north of Copenhagen. Next time, I must stop and visit.
I want to visit her house/museum! That would be neat. I think I need to reread Out of Africa. It has been a long time.
This is a good bunch of books and I’ve not heard of most of them. I have read only one (and especially liked) Anita Desai’s On A Clear Day. Have you read her other? Fire on the Mountain is my favorite of hers because I feel like I know those characters personally. I’ll be adding most of the others to my list. I’ve seen the movie of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and it is a stunning movie. I will love reading the book.
I have not read any of Desai’s other work. I should! And Corelli’s Mandolin is better than the movie version, of course. 🙂
I was lucky enough to inherit my mom’s copy of The Canterbury Tales, which she had helpfully annotated during her years in college as an English major!
You are lucky! What a precious item to have and a great resource.
This site is really pleasant!
If your not affraid to read something in french:
I hadn’t heard of Sandra Cisneros before I read this post, but I Googled Caramelo just now and it sounds great. Another title to add to my TBR list! 🙂
Yes, add her to your list! She’s fantastic.