Sunday, July 10, 2011

What Books are on Your Nightstand?

If you're a writer, chances are you were a reader first.  I know that's true for me.  I actually can't remember a time when I didn't know how to read.  My mother remembers me pulling books out of her hand when I was still a toddler and pretending to read them rather than letting her read to me.

I do know that I entered Kindergarten already reading.  And when I got to first grade, I was reading fluently, which got me in trouble with my 1st grade teacher.  As my mother used to tell the story, the teacher had no idea I was a reader.  She was busy up in front of the room teaching beginning decoding skills and I was bored out of my gourd. So I would fidget.  Then tap my pencil on the desk.  Then hum to myself.

You get the picture.

Teacher calls my mom to tell her I must be 'hyperkinetic' (what they used to call disruptive kids before ADHD. Ahh, labels . . .) and didn't belong in her class.

My mother, G-d bless her, politely gave her a dressing down.  Then told her to sit me in the back of a room with a pile of books and she'd never be irritated again.

Thus began my reading career.

So what's on my nightstand?  (Sorry, I digress a lot.  Bad habit.)

Surprisingly, given my love of books, not that much.  But there's a reason for that:  we had a house fire on December 1 and we've been living in temporary (and small) quarters for almost 7 months now.  Whenever I pass a bookstore or hear a review of a book I want to buy, I'm painfully aware that anything I buy I will have to pack and move.

Yes, I have a kindle.  Yes, I buy ebooks, but I'm still a luddite when it comes to my love of tangible in-paper books and have missed buying them.  So, back to what's on my nightstand (not even really mine, as all our furniture is rented along with the apartment, but I digress, again).  I suppose listing everything that's on my Kindle doesn't count.  LOL.  I'll just reinterpret that questions and answer what I'm currently reading.

Story Engineering, by Larry Brooks
      --Technically, I've already read this one, but since I'm working on edits to a manuscript, I keep this book open so I can flip through it to study certain concepts or review where I am in the process.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin
--I had never heard of this author, but picked up a copy for the kindle during a promo by the publisher.  It's been sitting on my kindle for months and I am so glad I started to read it.  I'm about 25% through and am enjoying the writing style very much.  This is a breath of fresh air, considering I've abandoned 2 of the 3 books I've started recently. I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying the book since it's told in flashback in a first person POV with several stops and starts where the narrator, in effect, breaks the forth wall and talks to the reader. Normally that kind of gimmick would really bug my need for narrative flow, but it seems to fit the story.

It's a fantasy, set in an alternate earth, where gods have been vanquished and imprisoned in human bodies, under the command of a ruling class. Into this political theatre, Yeine, granddaughter of the ruler is thrust when she is unexpectedly named one of three heirs to a kingdom she would rather not even know about. And the imprisoned gods start to take an interest in her.

So what's on your nightstand?


Today's post was inspired by the topic What Books Are on Your Nightstand? the opening question in the inaugural cycle of the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour,  an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author's blog to author's blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there's something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what's on their nightstand, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour.

Tomorrow's Blog Tour participant is: D. Anthony Brown.


  1. Ooh! That Hundred Thousand Kingdoms book sounds great!

    Like you, I have a Kindle, but also still read and buy print books. I'll be very sad if they ever go away. Besides, until they improve the technology, a lot of informative books will have to be in print.

  2. This is interesting, especially seeing how many people have an ebook reader now.

    Definitely understand the bored in class part too. :>

    Awesome post.

  3. I am getting a list of interesting books I see in these posts.

    And I'm glad to see you'll be heading back to your home soon! Congratulations on getting through this very trying time!