Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What's on Your Nightstand? May '09

This monthly carnival, hosted by 5 Minutes for Books, is all about sharing. Here are the details:
Each month, let us know "What's on Your Nightstand" by sharing a quick review of recently completed novels, or a look at what you plan on reading in the month to come. You can show a picture of your nightstand (or your virtual nightstand — a bookshelf, the sofa end-table, a big pile beside your bed — wherever those to-be-reads reside).
I love this carnival because it forces me to take a hard look at ALL the books I have going at the same time, and (hopefully) encourages me to finish some of them. So here is What's On My Nightstand (actually, what is around my house, car, office, etc.) ...


*** My Carry-Along Book ***

The Secret Keeper, by Paul Harris - This book is "set in war-torn Sierra Leone, tells the story of one man’s search for the truth in a nation where the rules of civilized society simply don’t apply." I'm reading this for a TLC Book Blog Tour - my review will be posted on 6/2. I'm only a few chapters in but I'm REALLY into the story already and can't wait to see what happens.




*** In My Car ***

Two books in the car right now, one audio and one a regular book ...

Gates of Fire, by Steven Pressfield - This is a new take on the ancient Battle of Thermopylae (which was also dramatized in the movie "300"). I picked this up from the library based on Lezlie's recommendation and on the whole I have not been disappointed. I'm over halfway through it so expect a review within the next two weeks.




The Triumph of Deborah, by Eva Etzioni-Halevy - This is a retelling of the Biblical Old Testament story of Deborah, an Israelite prophetess, who led her people to war against the Canaanites. I'm really enjoying it, however I lost it for about a week and started THE SECRET KEEPER before I found it, so I've had to put it off for a little while. I can't wait to get back to it though! (For my regular readers, yes, I did find this book finally! It was under the seat in my car ...)


*** In the Bathroom ***

Two books, one to read and one to listen to ...

Castle Rackrent, by Marie Edgeworth - This book, published in 1800, is considered to be the first historical novel. I'm reading it for the 1% Well Read Challenge. To be honest, the lengthy introduction was a bit of a challenge but I'm hopeful that the rest of the book will improve. And if it doesn't, it is really short so I won't be reading it for long anyway!


Mister Pip, by Lloyd Jones - audio book - I've been listening to this while I'm in the shower or getting ready for work. It had been on my reading list for quite a while but Chartroose's excellent recommendation sent me directly to the library to check it out. I highly recommend that you go read her review - she was inspired to research the history of the blockade of Bougainville island by Papua New Guinea during the early 1990s and she even posted of pictures related to the story.




*** In My Bed ***

The Secret Doorway: Beyond Imagination, by Paul Hutchins - This book combines images from the Hubble Space telescope with essays on the nature of the universe and other similar topics. I was really excited to read it but I've been rather disappointed so far ... although the images are GORGEOUS.






*** On My Desk ***

Two books again ...

Little Bee, by Chris Cleave - This is my book club's pick for June. I've already finished reading it and it is now waiting to be reviewed. Here is a quick video about the book that I strongly suggest you watch - it hooked me right away and I knew I HAD to read this book. I absolutely loved this book ... but you'll have to wait for my review (coming tomorrow) to find out why.




Red Rain, by Tim Wendel - Here's what I said about this book in March and again in April: "I started this WWII novel a while ago but it didn't really capture my attention at the time. I've put it aside for now but I do intend to finish it next month. It is based on a little-known story about the Japanese use of hot-air-balloon bombs that they sent across the ocean to the US West Coast." Yet again I've made no progress on this one.





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Those are the books occupying my attention at the moment. And here is a list of what I'm planning to read soon:

Thread of Grace, by Mary Doria Russell
The Greatest Generation Speaks, by Tom Brokaw
Tides of War, by Steven Pressfield (audio)


What books are YOU focused on right now? Tell me about them in the comments! And for more Nightstand posts, check out 5 Minutes for Books.

14 comments:

Jess said...

That is a lot of different books in many different places!

LisaMM said...

I don't think I could juggle that many stories at once! I have trouble with two!! LOL I'm really interested in Little Bee and looking forward to picking that up soon. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on The Secret Keeper!

Literary Feline said...

I am glad to hear you are enjoying The Secret Keeper, Heather. I can't wait to read your review of that one. :-)

I read another of Steven Pressfield's books last year and really enjoyed it. I would like to read something else by him at some point.

I am only reading one book at the moment, which is my usual amount. It goes everywhere with me. I'm really enjoying it--it's lighter than my recent reading fare, which is a nice change.

Heather J. said...

Jess - Yeah, I'm a bit out of control at the moment ...

LisaMM - For some reason WHERE I read is important - by reading one book in the same place (work, bed, etc.) I'm able to keep the story straight despite the # of books I've got going at the same time.

Literary Feline - I should have the Pressfield review and the Secret Keeper review up soon. I'll be looking for your thoughts when I post them. :)

Plays with Needles said...

OK, LOVED Mr. Pip and I just bopped over and commented on the review you mentioned...

Little Bee is on my list so I was psyched to see that you loved it...

Have you read The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell -- it's a really heavy but great book and I haven't found anyone to discuss it with...and there was a LOT to discuss...

I'm focused on Leonardo da Vinci right now because we just finished reading Signora da Vinci by Robin Maxwell and I really liked it. I wanted to know more about Leonardo so now I'm reading a biography.

I'm on to the Count of Monte Cristo next and just finished Deep River which I'll be writing a book review about in the next few days...

As always, love to see what you're up to...Susan

Heather J. said...

Susan - LET'S DISCUSS! The Sparrow was a fascinating book - can't wait to hear what you thought of it. And you should really add Chartroose to your list of blogs - she's hilarious.

My review of Little Bee will be up tomorrow. I hope you do read it - it will likely make my top 10 for the year.

Shon said...

Interesting that you have books in different places. My "currently reading now" book is the only one I take everywhere I go.

Here's what's on my night stand for June: http://memybookandthecouch.blogspot.com/2009/05/whats-on-your-nightstand.html

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

Lots of interesting books. Have fun reading them. Totally forgot about What's on my nightstand. Will most likely post something tomorrow. Better late than never. :)

Amy said...

I loved the Secret Keeper. As it turns out, I seem to really like books like that. :)

Just Mom said...

All those books going at once in all those different places - I think my head would explode! I have The Greatest Generation Speaks, by Tom Brokaw on my shelf waiting to be inspired.

Heather J. said...

Shon - I used to be a "monogamous" reader but since I started book blogging my habits have changed. ;)

Robin - I did that last month ... oops!

Amy - I'm more than halfway through it now and I'm still loving it.

Just Mom - I'm reading the Brokaw book is for the WWII Reading Challenge. If you want to be inspired, consider joining the challenge! There's a link on my right side bar if you want the details.

chartroose said...

Thank you, darling! Yep, Mr. Pip is in my top five of the year for sure. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Lindsay said...

I love all of your "bookshelves". I can't keep up with that many plots. Have fun reading this month :-)

Heather J. said...

chartroose - I'm on the 2nd to last CD of Mr. Pip - expect a review before the end of the month.

Lindsay - Yeah, am I CLASSY or what?! ~LOL~

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