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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What's In Your Piles?

This is something I used to do back in the AOL JournalLand days, when I had a good coterie of readers and, dare I say, virtual friends. I think I did this on The Bibliophiles, my book journal. It's a fun activity to do once in a while, see what interesting things we have in our various piles, how they change over time (or not). I just finished A.S. Byatt's The Children's Book, and have some thoughts on it in my other blog, here. It's kind of a relief to turn to Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford as a less taxing read, the first book in my first pile. As it's winter and about my only outdoor activities are walking and hiking, my main offtime activity is reading - so there's quite a few piles around the house:

On the nightstand:

The Monster In The Box, Ruth Rendell
Alimentum; The Literature of Food, Issue 9
Owls and Other Fantasies, Mary Oliver
What We Eat When We Eat Alone, Deborah Madison/Patrick McFarlin
Wherever You Go, There You Are, Jon Kabat-Zinn
Deep Economy, Bill McKibben

By the couch:

Xeriscape Plant Guide, Denver Water
New Mexico Gardener's Guide, Judith Phillips
Native Texas Plants, Sally Wasowski
New Mexico Bird Finding Guide, NM Ornithological Society
Desert Wetlands, Niemeyer & Fleischner
Poems FromThe Cranes Two, Judith Roderick
The Quilts of Gee's Bend

And, worst - or best - of all, the pile of new books I've bought, or from the library, waiting to be read. I call this my "Reason to Keep Living" pile:

Too Much Happiness, Alice Munro
In The Kitchen, Monica Ali
Hardball, Sarah Paretsky
A Gate at the Stairs, Lorrie Moore
The Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver
The Year of the Flood, Margaret Atwood. I started reading this one, before she came for an appearance at UNM, then set it aside when a flood of library books from my hold list showed up all at once. I will return to it when I get a library dry spell. (Cross-posted from WomenOn)


Anonymous said...

I always have magazines, right now I have at my bedside:
Vanity Fair
Black Book
Crochet World
Crochet Today

I have two CDs I ordered online along with two DVDs from online rental in my mail pile:
CDs Barbara Streisand and The Swell Season
DVDs Every Little Step - a documentary about "A Chorus Line", and Adam.

Books piled on my bedroom TV:
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clar
Ancestors of Avalon by Diana L. Paxson in a collaboration with Marion Zimmer Bradley

Shadowbrook by Beverly Swerling

The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein

And I always have a pile of research books by my desk on a symbolism, mythology, native histories, ancient histories etc. that I use in my work.


marigolds2 said...

Shock Doctrine!!!! A book I keep meaning to buy and read. I've read excerpts, listen to her on Democracy Now and other places often, think she is one of the smartest thinkers around today. Thanks for the reminder. I'd love to know what those reference books by your desk are too, those are some of my all too many "favorite" subjects. You really should read The Children's Book when you can dedicate a chunk of time to it.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually re-reading the Shock Doctrine because I'm thinking about blogging about it. I work from a symbolic view of things so I'm working it out in my head, there are intense realities she's dealing with in this book.
Are you sure you want to know?
The pile changes, I have many, many books, one these subjects but in the current pile I have:

I have all of Jan Spiller's astrology books that I refer to often

Saturn: A New Twist on an Old Devil by Liz Greene
Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul by Jeff Green

The Life You Were Born to Live by "Peaceful Warrior" author Dan Millman is actually a book on numerology

The History of Private Lives from Ancient Rome to Byzantium; The Celts; The Druids - these are reference texts with compilations by many authors

The Complete Dictionary of Celtic Mythology - same, many authors

The Complete Dictionary of World Mythology - many authors

The dicionaries and Spiller's books are pretty much always in the pile, Spiller's books also have an ephemeris and planetary movement charts that I use for reference.

The rest it just depends on what I'm working on.


Neil said...

I recently read three books by David Guterson, whose "Snow Falling on Cedars" impressed me some years ago. "The Other" and "Our Lady of the Forest" were okay; "East of the Mountains" was more to my liking. Now I am starting out on an anthology of personal essays edited by Philip Lopate, "The Art of the Personal Essay." After years of mostly sticking to magazines (Atlantic, New Yorker, and The New Republic), I started reading books again after coming across an old Rolling Stone article by David Foster Wallace -- I have since read a couple of his books and have rediscovered the book bug.

I have a pile of books awaiting my attention; the pile has become a testament to my indolence as a reader and to my faith in books as a source of insight. I need more time, please.

Next on my pile: "Philosophy as a Way of Life" Pierre Hadot. Maybe.

marigolds2 said...

Aine, I really did want the reference pile, and thank you for listing it. Mythology has always been one of my big interests - and before one of our moves, the one from Cape Cod to Delaware, I gave away all of my mythology books to my niece Jessica who is also very fascinated with the field, especially Celtic Myth. I'm a little sorry I did it, but the amount of books that we moved was overwhelming enough.

marigolds2 said...

Neil, Thank you so much for playing along here. I have also read most of David Guterson, with the exception of The Other. Snow Falling on Cedars remains my favorite. East of the Mountains was pretty scary and different - so, I see your reading tastes. I hope you'll write on your blog about what you're reading, so I can keep up with it. It's how I find most of the books I read, suggestions from friends.