On My Bookshelf, No. 11

To see previous posts in this series, click here.

This is my bookshelf.


Here is a snippet of what’s on it, ten at a time.


Linden Hills (1985) by Gloria Naylor

Mama Day (1988) by Gloria Naylor

The Women of Brewster Place (1982) by Gloria Naylor

Fire in the Blood (2007) by Irène Némirovsky

Suite Française (2004) by Irène Némirovsky

The Time Traveler’s Wife (2003) by Audrey Niffenegger

Bellefleur (1980) by Joyce Carol Oates

Blonde (2000) by Joyce Carol Oates

Do With Me What You Will (1973) by Joyce Carol Oates

Them (1969) by Joyce Carol Oates


If you haven’t yet read Gloria Naylor, you must. Start with The Women of Brewster Place and then move on from there to her other novels. She is an amazing author.

Irène Némirovsky died in Auschwitz in 1942. She published many books during her lifetime, but the two I have on my shelf are recently rediscovered manuscripts of hers that have since been published.

And, as you can see, I’m a fan of Joyce Carol Oates. I’ve read many of her novels, and I even wrote her a letter once. She never responded, but now that she’s on Twitter, I could technically tweet at her if I wanted to. Her tweets are entertaining and hilarious, unlike her dark and serious novels. However, like her novels, her tweets are thoughtful and thought-provoking.

Have you read any of these?

51 thoughts on “On My Bookshelf, No. 11

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  1. I’ve read a few Némirovsky novels, including both of the books on your shelf. I love her writing and I wish I spoke French so I could read her books in the original.

    Have you seen the movie version of Suite Française? I wanted to see it when it was being shown at my local cinema, but I didn’t get around to it so I’m waiting for the DVD.

    I read The Time Traveler’s Wife a few years ago. I enjoyed the book and found parts of it very moving, but I didn’t like the movie adaptation.

    1. Agreed. I didn’t like the movie version of The Time Traveler’s Wife either. I have not seen the movie version of Suite Francaise, but now I want to!

  2. I wasn’t thrilled by Némirovsky. There was something about the snobbishness of her characters that irritated me. However, I loved The Time Traveler’s Wife.

          1. The cover you showed was for the trilogy. That’s why I asked, because when I looked it up in Goodreads, I couldn’t figure out which book it was.

  3. I saw Audrey N. do a reading in Chicago as part of the AWP festival, and she was just wonderful. I always thought she wrote cheesy genre lit based on the trailer for the movie of The Time Traveller’s Wife, but she’s the real literary deal! A smart, thoughtful writer.

    Oddly enough, Joyce Carol Oates is always considered literary, but I’ve read quite a bit of her stuff that seemed like very light reading–squishy romance, almost, like Because It Is Bitter And Because It Is My Heart. I mean, come on, even that title!

    1. How cool to see Niffenegger in person. And yes, Oates’s more recent work has seemed to be more mainstream and less literary. Her earlier work I would say is what established her as “literary.” She has also experimented with different, older styles, like gothic romance. I still like her. 🙂

  4. I’ve read Mama Day and the Women of Brewster place. A good friend of mine did her PhD thesis on Joyce Carol Oates’s short fiction, and at the time I read some of her stories (and some of my friend’s work too) but haven’t read many of her novels. Must add some to my to read list. She and I had similar problems as both our authors were so prolific it was difficult to catch up.

    1. It IS hard to catch up with prolific authors. A great book-lover’s problem to have! Oates’s short fiction would make a great dissertation.

  5. I have still not read a book by Joyce Carol Oates. I plan to, and I think I own a couple of them, I just haven’t yet. I really should add Gloria Naylor to the list, as well!

    1. Yes, I would put Naylor above Oates. Oates is one of my favorites, but I realize that she’s not for everybody. Naylor is more accessible and probably more meaningful in some ways.

  6. Like Jay E., I believe this is the first time I have not actually read any of these! 🙂 I own several though… 😦 I have Gloria Naylor on my TBR, and like Naomi, have yet to read Joyce Carol Oates! Yikes!! Too little time… 🙂

    1. Ha! I tend to have many more messy piles around the house, and, like you, books that are open and half read everywhere. It is a bit of a problem.

  7. I’ve read Suite Francaise (and reviewed it for my blog) I liked it, she packs a lot in with few words. Not sure if I’d read any more of hers though (too many books, not enough time). I think I will check out the movie but with low expectations

  8. I just wanted to say that I love your blog. I love seeing your books and I totally respect how you reply to all those who post comments. No reply needed to this one. Just wanted to say – I am a fan!

  9. I haven’t read any of these but I’m having fun looking them all up on goodreads and adding several to my list.

      1. Hmmmm. I guess I would say Blonde. It can be raunchy and a little uncouth, so if that stuff doesn’t bother you, read it. I love how it is historical fiction and how much detail Oates writes of Marilyn Monroe’s life, even if it is fiction. I’ve read that one twice and loved it both times. However, if her novels don’t appeal, then try some of her short stories. Her most famous is “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” That is worth a read as well!

  10. I read “Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart” by Oates and it made me want to devour everything else she’s written. I also enjoyed her short story collection “Haunted.” Such a great author!

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