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  • What Are You Reading Now? Show Us Your Bedside Table! (No, not that drawer)
What Are You Reading Now? Show Us Your Bedside Table! (No, not that drawer)
Contributor
Written by
The Salonniere
October 2010
Contributor
Written by
The Salonniere
October 2010
She Writers, what are you reading? We are introducing a new feature on She Writes (well, new-ish), an invitation to ALL She Writers to tell us what you are reading now. We have had the wonderful luck to have several of you contribute columns to our "What She's Reading Now" series (if you want to pitch us on one, check out the submission guidelines here), but we'd like to add a component to this that's a little more fast and loose: take a snapshot of the book (or books) on your bedside table, and give us a line or two about what you are reading now. In case it isn't obvious, I am a complete and total book-aholic, and am always reading something. (Just finished Tess of the D'Ubervilles last night, lest you think I only read books written by women -- far from it!) In addition, I always have a stack of books on my Ikea-nightstand, cued for launch, my version of an "on-deck" circle. I wanted to share them all with you, with a special shout-out to those written by She Writers I adore. BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY: The Election That Changed Everything for American Women by Rebecca Traister I have been wanting to read this book ever since I got hooked on Rebecca Traister's brilliant reporting -- and political commentary -- during the 2008 election on Salon.com. If you like your critics smart, deep, and fearless, you will love it too. THE FOREST FOR THE TREES: An Editor's Advice to Writers by Betsy Lerner If you want to know why I'm going to (re)read this, read Erin Hosier's post about this seminal book, now in a revised edition, from last week on She Writes. It pretty much says it all. GREAT HOUSE: A Novel By Nicole Krauss (who is not a member of She Writes -- somebody, please invite her!) I was intrigued by the NY Times Book Review cover story on this book, and particularly keen to read a young woman writer frequently mentioned as one of the best American fiction writers working today. (See, NYTBR does matter, which is why we have to stay ON THEIR CASE about reviewing and featuring books by women!) The History of Love is also on my list. BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING (Femme Fatales: Women Write Pulp) By Evelyn Piper I love this series from the Feminist Press (thank you Jean Casella!) "In this fraught and at times freakish tale of suspense, Evelyn Piper takes us deep into the psyche of the 1950s to explore American fetishes, fallacies, and fears around motherhood and sexuality. " Need I say more? DO IT ANYWAY: The New Generation of Activists by Courtney E. Martin I am lucky to count the inimitable Courtney Martin as a friend, but even if I didn't, I would have been drawn to this book. In these trying times, stories of activism, featuring young people with strong beliefs and the will to risk everything in the service of their mission -- feels like just the thing I need to inspire me and restore my hope. THE MUDDY CUP: A Dominican Family Comes of Age in a New America by Barbara Fischkin I love literary nonfiction and stories generated by cultural analysis and reportage, and this title and its subject spoke to me. One of my closest friends (who also happens to be the woman who cares for my children while I am at work) immigrated here from the Dominican Republic, and I am eager to read this book to deepen my understanding of her experience. SEARCHING FOR TAMSEN DONNER By Gabrielle Burton On a recent trip to California, I had the great pleasure of meeting Gabrielle Burton (who joined Hope Edelman, Carley Knobloch and me for lunch), and we agreed to do a book swap -- I sent her mine, and she sent me hers. I am really looking forward to reading it -- Gabrielle's reputation as a novelist was enough to hook me, but the Booklist description sealed the deal: "Burton was first drawn to the story of Tamsen Donner in the 1970s, just as she was becoming enmeshed in the women’s movement...The result is a thoughtful and engaging blend of history and memoir that inspires the reader to delve further into the Donner party’s fate, while at the same time enjoying Burton’s struggle to be both a full-time mother and successful writer." Mother writers -- I think this one should move up fast on your "to-read" lists. So...what are you reading now? Take a pic of your bedside table, and share a few lines about the books you are reading, or plan to read soon. If you tweet, give those authors some Twitter love with the hashtag #WSRN. And don't think you have to be reading books (almost) all written by She Writers. But I think it should be obvious (by now) that I will never miss a chance to shout a She Writer out -- or read her latest book.

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Comments
  • Erika Dreifus

    Currently reading (& enjoying) The Borrower, by Rebecca Makkai (just out from Viking).

  • EJ Runyon

    this isn't a new one - but wow - what a great read!

    Like a Hole in the Head (9780446675178): Jen Banbury. 1998

    I could paste in a blurb, but it's a you've got to read this , there's not much more to say.

    A gutsy voice, a good go-round of a plot, and a character you don't meet every day, all surprising elements in a first novel.

     

  • Karen Mulvaney

    Recently I read the page-turner  Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and found that I wanted to start reading it again as soon as I was done because the story of Louie Zamperini's life and Laura's telling of it so captivated me.   It's possible that there may not be a more jaw-dropping, death-defying and life-affirming story than Louie's as researched and chronicled by Laura and her magnificent writing skill.   I urge everyone to purchase the book, read and then share it with everyone you know.   You'll be glad you did.  And your friends will be happy and grateful too.

  • The Harrowsmith Cookbooks.

  • Cindy La Ferle

    I'm reading An Altar in the World, by Barbara Brown Taylor. It's the perfect book for Thanksgiving reading, as it reminds me to count my everyday blessings, and to seek out the sacred in the ordinary. In a world torn apart by religious conflict and organized religion, this is a book that speaks to the spiritual seeker of any denomination. Beautiful, poetic essays that can be dipped into one at a time, and savored.

  • Michelle Cale

    Got to confess I'm re-reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Great books by a woman writer!

  • Juliet Wilson

    I'm currently reading the weird and wonderful novel The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall; Fermats Last Theorem by Simon Singh, which is a very interesting book about Fermat's Theorem and number theory in general and Parallel Worlds, poetry in Shetlandic and English by Christine de Luca.

  • Melinda Freeman

  • Sandra Gail Lambert

    Minal Hajratwala's Leaving India - so far - a huge, wild ride through history.

  • LISA CUSHENBERRY

    Catherine Coulter, Tailspin...a meaty book with plenty of pages...thought it would take a week of only reading it during my downtime at work. Alas, it only lasted a day...Couldn't put it down...love her writing...Well, on to the next one...wherever it may be...a closet, a store, a friend's house.

  • Suzanne Fluhr

    As I contemplated the prospect of two 13 hour airplane flights (to and from Japan) over the summer, I decided that an e-reader was the way to go. Although I miss having an array of books in various states of "readedness" on my nightstand, my nook (for some reason Barnes and Noble does not capitalize "nook"), was a great travel companion. I cringe to think that I may be adding another nail in the coffin of ink and paper book printing, but in my defense, I have purchased more e-books than I ever would have purchased "real" books, so maybe they're not such a bad thing for writers when all is said and done. It also stimulates impulse book buying. Right after I saw Jon Stewart interview Condoleezza Rice about her new memoir, "Extraordinary, Ordinary People", I bought it on line and was reading it within ten minutes. I'm interested in memoir and history. This autobiography which in part chronicles Dr. Rice's youth in ultra segregated Birmingham, Alabama is a ringing endorsement of education and parenting as vital determinants of self esteem and the potential for success. There is even a "shout out" to affirmative action which represents a break in unanimity with her "retainer", " George W. Bush. Something tells me I might need tranquilizers to get through her next volume which she told Jon Stewart will deal with her years in the Bush White House and as Secretary of State, but this one was a good read.

  • Nicole Easterwood

    Everything there plus "Cut," by Patricia McCormick.

  • D. L. King

    I've come to realize that I really am a vampire junkie. I'm currently reading The Passage by Justin Cronin, as well as catching up on some YA vampire stuff on my Kindle (Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead and Glass Houses by Rachel Caine). Women of the Bite is lesbian vampire erotica edited by Cecilia Tan. Some very fine stories there.

    I'm in Sex in the City NY, edited by Maxim Jakubowski, and just finishing it now. Really enjoying such well-written, literary erotica.

    Been wanting to read Palace of Varieties, by James Lear, forever (gay erotica), and figure if it's on my bed table, I might get to it faster.

    Map, by Audrey Beth Stein, is a coming out memoir. I met her at the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans last May. Excellent book!

    Vampires and sex--so there you have it.

  • Shonell Bacon

    For the most part, I have a digital nightstand full of books as I have taken to reading books on my cell phone until I get me an iPad--or decide to just get a book reader. I just finished an AWESOME book by Beth Fehlbaum titled "Hope in Patience," and I'm currently reading "Getting to Happy" by Terry McMillan and "The Miracle Stealer" by my fiction mentor Neil Connelly. I usually get a slew of books coming in to be reviewed, and I have a few of those, too, lurking about. LOL

    But I wanted to put a pic up, too, LOL, so here's my current academic pile that I'm reading--not including a SLEW of PDFs, :-)

  • Karin Lippert

    I recently finished reading ROOM by Emma Donoghue - magical relationship between mother and son, they live in a room - they are captives. He doesn't know there is a world outside...Last night, finished TO THE END OF THE LAND by David Grossman (English translation hs just been published in North America). He is Israeli - it is a profoundly beautiful book, by a literary treasure, his female protagonist is so richly detailed I kept thinking this man has a very special and intimate relationship with his wife Michal. It is story of family, love and war. It is also an anti-war novel from a part of world we think we know so well. Both books are on my HOLIDAY GIFT LIST. Also, GROWING UP LAUGHING by Marlo Thomas. You have to LOVE MARLO! She is wonderful.

  • Karen Burgess

    Just finished The Cookbook Collector!

  • Carleen

    Right now, I'm re-reading Winning the Sugar War because I'm back on the sugar wagon (which sounds like the opposite of what I mean, so I am watching my sugar intake again) and When Things Fall Apart because I need a better mindset for writing and for life. The novel I'm rereading is Blue Diary. Next up is War Anthem by my online friend Keith Andrew Perry.

  • Katherine Nyborg

    I'm reading Dennis Lehane's "Mystic River" which is ... awe-inspiringly well written. And Donald Maass' "The Fire in Fiction."

  • Julie Jeffs

    There is such a long list of books I have not purchased yet that wait to be added to this stack.

  • She Writes Fridays

    OMG- these book piles are so wonderful! An idea: If you post these lists, with the photo, on your SW blogs and tag the post WSRN, I'll be able to link them all under the title "Community Reading List" or some such from the mainpage!

  • Ramona Tirado

    What a wonderful question. Snooping through other people's book collections is one of my favorite activities. I'm in.

  • Michelle Cale

    I don't read in bed, so I don't have any books on my nightstand; but I always have a book in the car. Does that count? If so, I just finished reading "Inside of the Dog" by Alexandra Horowitz (we recently got a new dog, hence the interest!) and I just started reading Bill Bryson's "At Home: A Short History of Private Life."

  • Hollye Dexter

    So happy to say these are all books written by my friends...and I LOVE to see my friends succeed! Let's me know there's hope for all of us struggling artists! And now they are the ones walking me through my scary submissions. What a process.
    I met Amy Ferris originally through She Writes last year, and now she's one of my very best friends. YAY for She Writes!
    Two of these are not personal friends but SheWrites friends: Meg Waite Clayton and Jennifer Lauck, whose books I loved.
    Rock on, girls! (and boys)

  • Kerry Newberry

    Love this question! I have quite a stack-subjects ranging from farmers to cheesemakers. Also, just picked up beautiful fiction (The Blind Contessa’s New Machine) reminds me of the works of Gabriel Garica Marquez.
    Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness by Lisa Hamilton
    Judgement of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine by George Taber
    Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge by Gordon Edgar
    Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs and Parenting by Michael Perry
    One Nation Under Dog: Adventures in the New World of Prozac-Popping Puppies, Dog-Park Politics, and Organic Pet Food
    Meat: A Love Story by Susan Bourette
    The Blind Contessa’s New Machine by Carey Wallace
    Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance by Julia Cameron

  • Dee Romesburg

    I just finished "Tales to Astonish" by Ronin Ro, which is a biography of comic book legend Jack Kirby, and "Whiskey and Water" by Elizabeth Bear, which is part of an amazing urban fantasy series.