Aug 16, 2013

Three Piles of Books

Behold, the books that currently dominate my reading life, neatly divided into three piles:

(Click to embiggen.)

They are, left to right:
  • Books I’ve finished more or less recently, and that, should things remain on their way to normality, I’ll be able to tell you about soon: Bachelor Girl by Betsy Israel, More Than This by Patrick Ness, The Abominables by Eva Ibbotson, All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry, The Neddiad and The Yggyssey by Daniel Pinkwater, Yellow Cake by Margo Lanagan, and Stag’s Leap by Sharon Olds.

  • Library books I check out on impulse and plan to read soon (but if I take them back unread it doesn’t really matter, because just bringing them home and thinking about reading them was a source of comfort and joy, and I have decided that this is okay): Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien, Things That Are by Amy Leach, Shakespeare: A Very Short Introduction by Germaine Greer, Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag, How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell.

  • And finally, recent acquisitions and TBR books that I’m also planning to read soon: Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky, Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall, Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, The Borrowers by Mary Norton, The Midnight Kittens by Dodie Smith, A Dog So Small by Philippa Pearce.
I’m home sick from work today, and the weekend away in the Cotswolds I had planned is threatening to turn into a weekend in bed with tissues and noodle soup instead. But nevermind: whatever happens, there are always books to be read. I’ll see you all very soon.


  1. Nothing wrong with noodle soup and books, but oh I hope you can make it to the Cotswolds. I had a two month job assignment over there and my colleague and I rented bikes and rode through the Cotswolds one weekend. It is like a whole different universe, or at least a whole different era. Hope you fight off the crud!

  2. Oooh, now I really hope we can rent bikes! We're travelling by bus, so there's no way we can take ours, but it would be so awesome to find a place and go for another long ride. *researches*

    All this provided I do get better, of course. The Cotswolds have been on my list of places to visit for ages, so even if not this weekend we'll definitely go soon!

  3. Look after yourself Ana. I recently read The Borrowers and thoroughly enjoyed it.

  4. I have The Abominables also, AND one other book I found by her, The Star of Kazan, which I also can't wait to read. And I love the word embiggen! :--)

  5. Oh, you've got some fun reads there! RAts of NIMH has always been one I enjoyed, though its sequel isn't half as good. How to Train Your Dragon is funny and entertaining, quite different from the movie they made. Tuck Everlasting is a good one that makes me think a lot, haven't read that one in a while. I used to like Borrowers (and Littles) when I was a kid. And The Midnight Kittens- is that the same Dodie Smith that wrote the original Hundred and One Dalmations?!

    Noodle soup is always good. I hope you're feeling better again soon.

  6. I hope you feel better soon, but if not, at least you have books!

  7. I do hope you get to go to the Cotswolds! *sends you get better vibes*.

    You know I'm interested to hear about all these books, right? And is that an early copy of More Than This? Or is it just that my preorder is taking forever to get delivered?

  8. Oh no! Hope you feel well enough to take your trip!

  9. Do read Mrs Frisby - very cheering especially when you're feeling rotten. Get well soon (and hope you make it to the Cotswolds!)

  10. I am so glad you're sorta back. And would ever feel like giving a photographic bookshelf tour? Your library must be amazingly eclectic :)

  11. Both Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and Tuck Everlasting were favorites of mine in grade school. I can't even count the number of times I've read them! Feel better soon : )

  12. I was vastly disappointed in Bachelor Girl. It was all "instead of talking about the lives of women everywhere, I will focus on New York as portrayed in movies from the era." Not at all what I wanted.

    And seriously, babe, when are you going to add 1491 to your pile of books to read SOON? Not to push or anything but YOU WOULD LIKE IT SO MUCH.

  13. Hope you feel better and can enjoy your weekend!

  14. I hope you feel better sooner and can go, Ana! A weekend away would be lovely, though a weekend in bed reading is also pretty wonderful :-)

    Please pretty please review Stag's Leap soon! I have been looking for it everywhere here, my just give in and order it online, and am really curious how you found it.

    I like how you think about library books too. Sometimes just thinking about them and bringing them home is enough.....though eventually I do get them out again (and again) until they get read, most of them anyway. Enjoy your piles, they are filled with lovely books!

  15. I hope you feel better soon. I have been suffering with my sinuses recently so I can sympathise.

  16. Oh I hope you feel better soon. Rest up and you are right, at least you've got some good books waiting for you.

    I always take back a lot of un-read books to the library but I like what you said - it's a comfort just having them there and planning to read them.

  17. "Library books I check out on impulse and plan to read soon (but if I take them back unread it doesn’t really matter, because just bringing them home and thinking about reading them was a source of comfort and joy, and I have decided that this is okay)."

    Yes. I keep trying to explain this to people, why having those books out is comforting and not stressful. I'm stealing this explanation.

    Feel better!

  18. Hope you had a nice weekend, Ana. Hope you are feeling better and hope you get well soon.

    Nice collection of books! I have Germaine Greer's 'Shakespeare : A Very Short Introduction'. I hope to read it sometime. Hope you enjoy reading it. I read Zadie Smith's 'Changing My Mind' sometime back and liked it very much. There is one essay in it on Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn and 'The Philadelphia Story' which I totally loved. I will very much look forward to reading your thoughts on this book. Nice to see Mary Norton's 'The Borrowers' on your list.

    Get well soon! Happy reading!

  19. I've already seen that you made it to the Cotsworlds - yay! - but I just wanted to mention that I absolutely adored Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH when I was a child. I remember so little about it, though, so I'm quite curious to see what you think about it!

  20. I'll be curious what you think of Wild--I have only read the beginning (lol that I'm basically saying this in two comments about books) which I thought was emotionally draining and brutal. But as I was reading it I had lunch with some book bloggers who all HATED it which made me set it aside at the time.

  21. Vicki: Thank you - I've been doing my very best to. I hope to start The Borrowers very, very soon. It's been a month of children's classics for me which is just what I needed.

    Jill: The Star of Kazan is so good :D

    Jeane: I just finished NIMH last night, and I didn't know there was a sequel! I bet it's about Martin's journey to find the rats. I have to confess I'm a bit curious even if it's not as good. And yep, same Dodie Smith! Which was of course a part of what temped me.

    Kathy: Indeed!

    Iris: Yes, it was an ARC. A couple more weeks until it's officially out!

    Stefanie: As you know by now I did in the end! I'll have to go back when I feel completely well and the weather is better, though.

    Book-hound: I took your advice and I did find it cheering :D Thank you!

    Ash: I've done bookshelf picture posts before, but not for my current flat, I don't think. So thanks for the idea - it'll be a nice Sunday Salon post to do one of these days :D

    Melissa: Thank you! Mrs Frisby down, Tuck Everlasting to go :D

    Aarti: I agree - I should have listened to you :P And speaking of listening to you, very soon, I promise!

    Tasha: Thank you!

    Susan: I hope to write about it soon, but I can tell you in advance that I loved it! Sharon Olds has yet to let me down. And I knew you guys would get it about library books. In fact, I've been thinking of maxing out my card one of these days for a treat. Just browsing for an hour or two and pick appealing books to bring home with me, without letting worries about whether or not they'll get read spoil the joy.

    Jessica: Aw, sorry to hear that! I hope you're feeling better yourself.

  22. Iliana: Yes - and even if you don't get to them then, just browsing is full of potential for lovely discoveries.

    LibraryHungry: As I was telling Susan above, I knew you'd get it! And thank you so much.

    Vishy: I'm so looking forward to Zadie Smith's essays! She was such an amazing speaker when I saw her last week. The post will be up tomorrow, btw :)

    Meghan: I finished it yesterday and liked it a lot :) There was something very comforting about the voice.

    Amy: I think I'm already too invested in Strayed as a writer to ever be able to hate it, you know? Tiny Beautiful Things was so special for me that I feel connected to her. This probably sounds a bit creepy/weird, but hopefully you know what I mean :P I'm only about 50 pages in, but I think her openness about some of the things she did when she was grieving for her mother (cheating on her husband, the drugs, etc) could perhaps put some people off? These are all things women are generally judged very harshly for, and there's lots of cultural pressure to be unforgiving. Not that this is the only reason why someone could possibly dislike it, of course, but I actually started thinking about it before seeing your comment.


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