Books on the Nightstand

Do you have a pile of books someplace–a waiting list of books that you want to get to in some order? My pile is balancing precariously on the nightstand. Some of them are partially read, some new and waiting.

We read for many reasons–to learn, to relax, to satisfy curiosity. I belong to Goodreads, and you can certainly categorize and chat about book choices there. But I’m curious about that stack and why you are reading what you are reading.

Here’s the top seven of my stack, along with reasons:

Refuge, by Terry Tempest Williams. About half read. Just started it. A book about the loss of a wildlife habitat combined with the loss of the writer’s mother to cancer. The balance of loss in nature and in family is carefully written, never mawkish. I’m a naturalist, and this book is a natural for me.

A Thousand Names for Joy by Byron Katie with Stephen Mitchell. A gift book and one I’m curious about. After discovering “the work” that Katie does, I’m interested in this topic: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are.

Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life by Marney Makridakis. An interesting collection of essays on re-imagining time and how to make it appear to slow down or speed up. Lavishly illustrated by the coaches Marney trains. I love other people’s perspctives on time and how time controls your life.

Stung by “B”s by Theresa JK Drinka and Jeni Synnes. A survival guide to help identify and overcome the damage of the disruptive people in our lives. When you are a coach, reading books about people who push your buttons is an excellent idea. Just ordered it, but am delighted to know it’s on the way.

The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry. The workplace is taking on creativity as a desirable trait, and I can see it being pushed into little cookie-cutter shapes already. I’ve heard of “disruptive ideas” and it makes me roll my eyes. I also read a lot of books on creativity so I can listen knowledgeably to people who speak about it.

What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman. Suspense novel. Lippman worked for the Baltimore Sun and her novel takes place in Baltimore. I’ve lived there, so it’s interesting to hear the details I recognize about the city. This novel is a page turner and I’m hooked. The woman who should be a protagonist is not likable, and may be a narcissistic liar or an innocent victim. The male protagonist is a cynical cop. I’m almost done and have no idea who did what. I like the Tess Monaghan novels, and I like this one.

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston. A fascinating collage book. Preston collected vintage (1920s-1930s) ephemera and then created a story around it. You turn the pages of the book like a scrapbook, get caught up in ticket stubs, photos, photos of old cans and labels as well as the story of Frankie, a young woman with a wandering heart and a Corona manual typewriter. Great concept.

What is in your reading stack? What’s the one you are choosing next?

-Quinn McDonald is a writer and creativity coach who loves to read.