19 January 2011

On my nightstand

I'm knitting more than reading away these cold January nights but, as always, I'm picking my way through several books at once. Given the tenor of the tomes, you'd think I was lazing about a beach in warmer climes. Alas, I'm slogging through the snow with the rest of you (f you're reading this from someplace pleasant, just go away). My current stack includes:

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel, Louise Murphy
A shock that I would be reading yet another novel about the Holocaust, I know. I can't help myself. And this spare-but-vivid novel of wartime Poland is worth every wrenching turn of the page.

Insignificant Others, Stephen McCauley
Candy for the gays. I love reading McCauley's funny, nervous romps, but this time he tackles gay relationships and the thorny issues around monogamy in a real, unsparing way. Still fit for the beach, but I can't shake the questions the book poses.

The Finkler Question, Howard Jacobson
I'm a sucker for an award-winner, and Jacobson won the 2010 Booker for this novel. More Jews. I don't know what my deal is.

The Essential New York Times Cook Book, Amanda Hesser
Nobody reads cookbooks cover to cover, and Amanda Hesser's new baby is ginormous. But Hesser has long been one of my favorite food writers, and I so admire the breadth and depth of this project (building a cookbook culled from the entirety of the Times' food archives) that I started on page i and am reading it like a novel. A dense, delicious 1,000-page novel.

Now you. Reading anything good? I feel shaky and nervous if I don't have dozens of unread books on my shelves.


  1. Plague of Doves
    As I Lay Dying
    Ann Beattie, The New Yorker Stories
    The Lacuna
    Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, the Untold History of English

  2. Just finished Infidel (Hirsi Ali). Wow.
    Just finished Trapped (Northrop) about seven kids who get stranded in their high school during a monster blizzard. YA. Fun to read on an actual snow day/blizzard.... Plus, its author is repped by the same agent who recently requested a full manuscript of my little novel. (fingers crossed)
    Just finished The Maze Runner (Dashner), also YA. Incarceron + Inception (sort of). Could not put it down.
    Trying to read One Day (Nicholls) before the Anne Hathaway movie comes out. Keep putting it down.
    Reckless (Funke). Another YA.
    I am Number Four (no author, really). YA. The movie (due this spring) looks waaayyy better than the book. It needs a good edit, which makes the reading tedious.
    Einstein's God (Tippett) and The Emperor of Maladies (Mukherjee). I usually avoid nonfiction, but I'm enjoying these two. I taste them in little bites. I love their elevated diction, especially in contrast to the YA stuff.
    And one more to make you jealous: Next week I get to read and grade 37 (that's one class these days) 9th grade research papers.

  3. Shaky and Nervous:
    When Book Lovers Go Minimal in their Decor


As always, civility reigns, but cleverness trumps.

They shall be called my disciples.