Tuesday, June 4, 2019

On My Nightstand ~ May 2019

A new series to replace the monthly Reads.

I love the question, when an author is being interviewed, of "what's on your nightstand?" Since I'm not likely to be asked that question any time soon, I thought I'd take it upon myself to do a monthly nightstand roundup, which will provide me with motivation to dust and organize my bedside reading once a month. 

Several of the books on my bedside table right now are aspirational. In an ideal world, I'd have time in the morning to read the day's entry from Mary Holland's Naturally Curious Day By Day and a poem or two from the book of poetry I keep bedside—right now it'sBalancing Act 2, an anthology of Maine women poets. Unfortunately, it's not an ideal world and I've barely cracked the cover of either this spring, but I have great hopes for the summer. I also have a back issue of Poets & Writers magazine at the bottom of the stack, and I have great ambitions of finishing reading it.

Another book I'd imagined dipping into a little each day is Edwin Way Teale's North With the Spring. I started at the Equinox and now here it is nearly June and I'm still in Florida (in this installment of four seasonal volumes, Teale and his wife start in the Everglades and drive 17,000 miles as they follow the northward migration of the season). I love Teale's quiet, gentle observations of the land and the people he meets. 

I expected Dreyer's English to be another read-a-bit-here-and-there type of book, but it turned out to be a page turner. I'm not kidding. You might think a book about grammar and usage would be dry, but the only thing dry about the book, other than the author's name, is his wit. It's laugh-out-loud funny, as M, who was sitting near me as I was reading and giggling, can attest. 

Notice how all the new books (and magazine) have black covers? It must be the trend this year. My only complaint: black book covers make it a little too plain that a room is in need of dusting.
Of course I have Elizabeth Peters on the shelf—Borrower of the Night, the first of the Vicky Bliss series. It makes perfect before-bed reading, because I can read a page or two and even stop in the middle of a sentence when I get too tired to read (which happens far too often these days) without worrying about what's going to happen next, sine I read it recently, and I know everything will turn out just fine in the end.

Finally, in the foreground, is a novel by my friend Dave Patterson, Soon the Light Will Be Perfect. The cover of this book is so gorgeous it hardly matters what's inside. I've been admiring it on my nightstand for the better part of a month while I finished up book club reads and then rested up from those reads. I finally cracked it open this week and I was hooked from the first line. It's a coming-of-age story of a young boy in Vermont in the early 1990s whose mother gets cancer and whose father loses his job. Dave's writing is fast-paced and direct, and his narrator is a confused, somewhat troublesome, and endearing kid. 

What's on your nightstand this month?

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