August 17, 2011

What's On My Nightstand: Part 1

I have recently featured two nightstands or rather books stacked on top of them. It is perhaps time to share with the world the stacks, or piles if you will, by my bedside. 

I confess.  I tidied the overflowing piles of just-read, currenly-reading, and meaning-to-read books, shelving a handful.  Of course there are endless stacks of magazines and a few gems:

The Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett

1. The Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett

I picked up this book because it is by Alan Bennett (who also wrote The Uncommon Reader) and because of its diminutive size no larger than a postcard. To sum up the premise: an affluent middle-aged couple returns from the opera to find their home robbed clean of everything down to the toilet paper roll.  

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell Corfu

2. My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

I bought this book before leaving for Greece and finished it on the plane back, it just has not found a home on the book shelf yet. The author and his eccentric family leave the foggy England for sunny Corfu. Throw in a cast of local characters and a few unusual pets and the transatlantic flight does not seem quite so grueling any more.

3. The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

The Grand Sophy, or I suspect any book by Georgette Heyer, certainly is not life-changing,  but it is delicious.  This turned out to be a perfect summer page-turner.  It has all the best of cheesy chick-lit but well researched historical backdrop and decent writing elevate it to respectable status.

Possession by A.S. Byatt
4. Possession by A.S. Byatt

In contrast to The Grand Sophy, Possession is the literary equivalent of a graduate course chock full of Victorian poetry, Breton legends, and obsessive academics. This book deserves a Klatch post of its own!

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

5. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
A parody at its best with yet another colorful cast of characters (what is it with the British?). There is preaching head of household Amos Starkadder, his sons Reuben and playboy Seth. Granny Ada Doom ever leaves her room and goes on about having seen “something nasty in the woodshed.” Why isn’t this on the required reading list at schools?

More about the rest of the books on the table next time!

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