On My Bedstand: Readings From January

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 Just a quick note: This post has affiliate links, which means that if you decide to click and buy the book, I will get a few pennies to use for a bowl of starving student chicken, with no extra charge to you, natch.

From last time: I’ve finished my mystery book, and it was absolutely amazing. I wouldn’t agree with all the stories in there being the ‘greatest’, but as the writer says, a lot of choosing the ‘best’ or the ‘greatest’ is a matter of personal perspective: the Holmes story he included was the first he ever read, and therefore, one of his favorites. Not necessarily mine. And most of the stories I wouldn’t have found, or read, without that book. And the book I wouldn’t have found without a recommendation (thanks Nathan!). I’m still trying to get through the headaches book; reading it little by little. And the same with Shadow of The Almighty–they aren’t books you can rush through, or read at night, really. The headache book would put you to sleep pretty quickly. And of course I’ve also read through and started more books since then. . .


The Princess Bride: One of my favorites, and it always will be. A timeless classic that will make you laugh and cry. . . oh, no more commercial. I must be in my bookseller phase–the one where I write priceless staff picks. 😉 It does make me laugh though, over and over again. Between Buttercup’s parents’ quips and jabs (you don’t find them in the movie!), Fezzik’s rhymes, Inigo’s backstory and The Zoo of Death, the whole book is very. . . singular. If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend it wholeheartedly.

“Terrible things can happen when you’re overtired. I was overtired the night your father proposed.” –B.’s Mum
‘Love is many things, none of them logical.’ — The Princess Bride

The Best Short Stories of O. Henry: O. Henry is a master of the twist at the end. You tend to think you know what’s going to happen–but he’s not that predictable! I went through this sweet volume in a snap–or rather, a 13 hour car ride–and now I want to read more. I was going to tell you what my favorite few were, but I don’t think I can. They’re all my favorites. This year my school reading books have finally caught up with my reading; they’re actually good books, being Moby Dick and Poe and Austen and Ralph Moody. . . books I actually want to read, rather than blowing off for better books. (Sorry Mum.) This is one of them.

“I read every word. Live your poetry, man; do not try to write any more.” — Monsieur Bril, ‘Roads of Destiny’


The Rime of The Ancient Mariner: I have been looking for ‘the albatross poem‘ for so long. Timmy had me read it a long time ago, and I loved it. But I couldn’t find it again after that, and I never remembered to ask him. And then I was looking through my Grandpa’s shelves, and I found it. He saw me reading it, and told me all about the story, quoting lines, telling me which pages to go to to see the best illustraitions, and told me I should borrow it and read it myself. So I did. This copy is gorgeous; the illustrations! Oh! Just beautiful. It may not be your cup of tea, a rather miserable, horrifying tale as it is, but it certainly is mine.

‘Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
And not a drop to drink.’

This Side of Paradise: I stayed up late during Show Week to finish this one. It’s that good. (Thanks Eva!) It’s one of those books that you feel like you need to re-read it as soon as you finish it, though. I didn’t think about the title until about halfway through the book. The other side of paradise. The side we don’t think about. Like Gatsby (same author) and Albatross (above), it’s not a happy book. But it is a good one. I don’t think it shall shift Gatsby’s place in my favorites just yet, but give it time, and another reading, and it might just accompany it.

“Every author ought to write every book as if he were going to be beheaded the day he finished it.” — Tom


————————————————–> Listening to!

Little Women: I’ve been longing to re-read this one, and what do I do when I’m already reading too many books at one time? I put it on my MP3 and listen to it (typically while fertilizing blueberry bushes or chopping veg for jar salads). I remember the first time I listened to it was in New Zealand. We were in a bus, and I can’t remember where we were going, but for some odd reason the one thing I do remember was a stop we made on the way–a little grocery shop with crates of fresh fruit all out front. I don’t remember much of anything else about that trip except the scenery as I sat on the bus listening to this book, but I remember that fruit so well. . .

“I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now.” — Amy, Little Women

Whose Body?: I was reading my mystery book this summer when we went and spent a week visiting my Amazing Big Brother Number One (the eldest in our small tribe) and his family, and he told me that Dorothy L. Sayers’s Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries were his favorites. When we got home I put the first one on my MP3 player, and fell in love with the series. It reminds me of Wooster and Jeeves mixed with Holmes and Watson (already two of my favorite series/authors). And the blend of the two is incomparable.

“I was quoting poetry. Very silly of me. I got the habit at my mother’s knee and I can’t break myself of it.”


————————————————–> Currently!

Clouds of Witness: (listening) The second in the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries holds just as much magic, and mystery, speculation and surprise as the first. I’m right in the middle, so the suspense is building more and more. . . did Mary kill him, or was it Lord What’s-His-Name? Do either of them really have motives? Why was there a suitcase in the bushes? Will Lord Peter uncover the secret to the mystery lurking in his own backyard? Will we ever find out? 😉

“The worse you express yourself these days the more profound people think you–though that’s nothing new.”

Emma: (reading) It seems like every other of my books has been a re-read this time. After I finished This Side of Paradise I decided I wanted something a little light-hearted, but still not an ‘easy’ book. I went with Emma: One of my favorite Austen books, it seems an age since I last read it. . . (a warning for you: When I start reading lots of Austen (or any other classics), I tend to start talking like the books. Thus, ‘an age’.) I’ve always considered Emma as being one of her most light-hearted novels, and it’s so sweet and lovely and quotable, and makes you laugh and sigh and really, hope you’re not quite that silly.

“Men of sense, what ever you may chuse to say, do not want silly wives.” — Mr. Knightley
“Nonsense, errant nonsense, as ever was talked!” — Also Mr. Knightley

What have you been reading? Do you have any book suggestions for me this month? I’d love to hear them!


2 comments on “On My Bedstand: Readings From January

  1. Okay so I do have a book suggestion It is not a heavy read in any shape and definitely not classic-type literature…. “As You Wish” by Cary Elwes……seeing as you are a Princess Bride the book fan… You might have enjoyed the movie……okay …. I did.. ( and to think it was NOT my kind of movie)….the author is WESLEY…. Well Cary is the actor who plays Wesley….and the book is really a fun read about how the movie, the script and actors came to be what they are known as today. I had to immediately re-watch the movie because I knew all kinds of juicy back story about scenes and the like!
    Lastly, from ideas and thought you have posted you might Google Caleb Carr. He is a historian who tried his hand at historical fiction. ” The Alienist” has a dark and grisly tone I will agree( it is in essence trying to track down the ‘first’ serial killer… Gasp! However, it’s MUCH MUCH more Sherlock and Holmesish with amazing history Ruth’s woven into it every chapter. He wrote a second book that intertwined characters from the first and was equally a fantastic book. The characters are so well developed… I almost hated for the book to end …. If not for figuring out who are turn of the century villian was I would have been disappointed for its ending. Just some thoughts….

  2. What goodies! I especially love the quote from ‘The Rime of The Ancient Mariner’. It sounds like something good to find. I have been reading, ‘Little Dorrit’ by Charles Dickens; I believe it is my favorite book. Dickens has such a talent for depicting things so clearly, things like rain, and characters, and bells. It is beautiful. I really enjoyed this post. It really makes me want to get all of them….and this is why I have a hard time finishing books, I want to read all of them at the same time!
    Sarah recently posted…Letters Dripping Away, and Clear MindsMy Profile

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