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  1. #1
    Forum Member nukediver's Avatar
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    What books are currently on your nightstand?

    I'm sitting here over a giant cup of coffee, bemoaning my inability to sleep properly after working 15 of the last 26 hours (7 of which were outside in the cold windy rain), catching up on last week's Sunday paper, specifically the NY Times Book Review. Each week they interview an author and ask a series of interesting questions. The first question is always "What books are currently on your nightstand?" I love this question. I'll go first.

    Thankfully, my nightstand holds lots of books. In no particular order, here's what I'm currently reading/browsing:

    "The Secret Lives of Codebreakers" by Sinclair McKay - I've always been interested in puzzles, and I'm a scientist, so this was a no-brainer. I've always found Alan Turing fascinating and am looking forward to seeing The Imitation Game, if it ever comes to a screen other than in NYC.

    "Turing's Cathedral" by George Dyson - this book focuses on the origins of digital computing.

    "Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Harms the Planet and Threatens Our Lives" by Michael Specter - haven't gotten past the first chapter yet, so I don't have much to say about this one.

    "The Time Traveler's Almanac" by various authors - a fantastic compendium of nothing but time travel stories, arranged by [I]type[I] of story. I like it because I can read one or two whole stories before I doze off.

    "Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters" by James Mahaffey - I suppose I could call this one work-related. I really shouldn't read this before bed because there is so much more to these incidents than what's presented in this book that it makes me mad. The problem is that there was no way the author could ever really get to the level of detail that I am aware of, solely by virtue of my job. Perhaps I'l move this downstairs to the coffee table.

    "Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven" by John Eliot Gardiner - I come from a long line of mainline Protestant pastors, and spent years singing Bach in countless choirs. He remains one of my favorite composers. I am enjoying this book in small bites.

    "Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War: 1937 - 1948" by Madeleine Albright - I had the great fortune to listen to, meet, and speak with this amazing woman a number of years ago at an SBL conference in Washington, DC. She is awesome.

    "The Fran Lebowitz Reader" by Fran Lebowits - one of the funniest women on the planet.

    That's the pile of physical books. On my Kindle (which is stuffed full of ebooks) I am reading the following:

    "A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R.R. Martin - I read the first two books long before there was talk of an HBO series. I refuse to watch it until I have finished the books. This is the 4th book in the series (out of 5 so far). My favorite genres are undoubtedly scifi & fantasy.

    "Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy" by Ken Follett - I loved The Pillars of the Earth, and World Without End, so I thought I'd give this a read. Have only read a few chapters so far.

    So, that's what I'm reading, who's next?
    Last edited by nukediver; 12-06-2014 at 01:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    At some point over the summer I realized that I slept better if I read a regular, non-ebook before bedtime, rather than surfing (or reading a book on my Kindle, though with that said I treasure the portability of ebooks for travel). So I actually do have an active "to-be-read" pile these days! Smilie

    Just finished:

    Across the Nightingale Floor and Heaven's Gate is Wide, by Lian Hearn. Waiting to start Brilliance of the Moon, the third book in the series (Tales of the Otori). Am enjoying the medieval Japanese setting, which I find refreshing in the SFF genre (but maybe I've just not been reading much SFF since high school?)

    Magician's Land by Lev Grossman. After finishing this one I re-read the first book in the series and have not yet restarted the second - while stylistically I enjoyed that one the most, I have issues with some of the plot/character developments. Love all the insider references to Narnia, TH White, and general geeky pop culture.

    All four books in the Long Price Quartet, by Daniel Abraham. I finished the fourth and immediately started re-reading the 1st - I've finished that one and am in the middle of re-reading the second. It's been a long time since I enjoyed a series this much. So many layers, so resonant as a commentary on modern society but also deeply enjoyable in its own right (which is to say, not at all didactic). Love that the characters are so diverse and span many ages.

    In progress:


    Wyrd Sisters and Guards, Guards! by Terry Pratchett (have picked up and started both, but got distracted. They are easy reads so I don't mind the stop-and-start.)

    To be read:


    The Peripheral, by William Gibson - I had so many books in my queue that I was going to wait on this till it came out in paperback, but I have Gibson on my Twitter feed and was seeing so many positive comments on this, that I figured I'd best read it before I get spoiled for it. Smilie

    Runemarks, by Joanne Harris

    (there are actually quite a few other books on my nightstand/floor/bookshelf that are yet to be read, but as they have been sitting there for months if not years, I am not counting those for purposes of this list! ;P)
    Last edited by haraya; 12-06-2014 at 04:01 PM.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Dandelion's Avatar
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    I have a reading/to-be-read-or-browsed mountain of books. Here's a portion.

    What books are currently on your nightstand?-bookshelf-jpg

  4. #4
    Forum Member nukediver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by haraya View Post
    (there are actually quite a few other books on my nightstand/floor/bookshelf that are yet to be read, but as they have been sitting there for months if not years, I am not counting those for purposes of this list! ;P)
    Likewise; I occasionally rotate titles into/out of that pile, yet the pile remains. The sign of true book lovers!

  5. #5
    Forum Member TavaPeak's Avatar
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    Nukediver, I finished the Codebreakers book last summer. Got fascinated with Station X after The Bletchley Circle on PBS.

    I'm reading some offbeat stuff for grad school, but really enjoying work by our faculty. Roget's Illusion (Linda Bierds), The Circus Train (by the late, incomparable Judith Kitchen), Object Lessons (Dinah Lenney), anything by Lia Purpura.

  6. #6
    Forum Member nukediver's Avatar
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    The Bletchley Circle is on my Netflix list; perhaps today might be a good day to watch a few episodes, since it's rather gloomy and rainy here, and I am unmotivated. Thanks for the reminder!

  7. #7
    Forum Member eightspokedb's Avatar
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    next on my to-read list is Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin (sp) - just saw the movie on HBO and even though the movie got less than glowing reviews I want to read the book. Loved the movie, but then you put Colin Farrell on a white horse and I am done for....
    never skate faster than your guardian angel can fly....black and gold til I'm dead and cold....
    be nice - until it's time to not be nice.......what separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize...

  8. #8
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    Winter's Tale is a longtime favorite of mine. (Interestingly, I've not made it through Helprin's other books, even though I love WT so.) I haven't watched the movie because I was afraid it would supersede my mental images of the book. Smilie

    Quote Originally Posted by eightspokedb View Post
    next on my to-read list is Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin (sp) - just saw the movie on HBO and even though the movie got less than glowing reviews I want to read the book. Loved the movie, but then you put Colin Farrell on a white horse and I am done for....

  9. #9
    TB Ravelry Moderator Mausermama's Avatar
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    Wow! You guys are super impressive! Tom Bihn people surely don't lack in the smarts department! I'd love to say I'm reading something nice and trashy, like say, My Celtic Demon Lover, but I cannot tell a lie. I'm re-reading Frankenstein. Because that's what you do when you teach high school kiddos. Embarrassment

  10. #10
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    Saga, vol 3 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples. And I've been in the middle of Junot Diaz's Brief, Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao for months; not the book's fault, I just got busy and didn't read anything for a while. To read next, The Suffragette Scandal and Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan (one of my fave romance authors). Also Alaya Dawn Johnson's Love is the Drug, which I did not realize was out already until I saw it at a bookstore yesterday.

  11. #11
    Forum Member blackbird's Avatar
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    Spending a sick day in bed does have its advantages. I've been reading this nonstop for hours and I love every word.



    As a New Yorker who left the city in my own right a number of years ago, I constantly feel its pull, no matter where I live or what I'm doing.

    New York is expensive as hell, a crowded, noisy, and oftentimes lonely place, but it's a city with an almost palpable electric current running through it, whose beauty and cultural abundance can make up for its drawbacks any day of the week. So while I know I won't be moving back unless I win the lottery, I'm finding solace in other people's tales of loving, leaving, and sometimes returning to the city that I'll always consider mine.

    blackbird

    EDIT: The photo was supposed to be right-side up, but the cover is still legible sideways, I think.
    "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

  12. #12
    Forum Member brendabethman's Avatar
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    Here's a screenshot of my virtual shelf (Kindle app). You can see it's heavy on Scandinavian mysteries and travel books. I am finished with the Puerto Rico guides since that trip is behind me. And I'm reading the social media books for a project at work. The rest are waiting for me to have time to get to -- which will be soon, hopefully, since classes end this Wednesday. I plan to spend my winter break reading as much as possible.




    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    +1 on Kjell Eriksson. You're all so highbrow (in a good way). My latest is Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella.

  14. #14
    Forum Member brendabethman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoStanford View Post
    +1 on Kjell Eriksson. You're all so highbrow (in a good way). My latest is Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella.
    I love the Shopaholic series (although my students did it when I taught it). Didn't realize that had been released. I will have to buy or borrow once finals are over.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    Forum Member eightspokedb's Avatar
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    Another favorite author of mine is Edward Rutherfurd - he writes historical fiction using a family in a city or region - so far I've read his New York, London, Paris, and areas of England (Sarum, The Forest) and Ireland. Since London is one of my favorite cities it was my favorite book. Would love to have him do one on Boston...
    never skate faster than your guardian angel can fly....black and gold til I'm dead and cold....
    be nice - until it's time to not be nice.......what separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize...

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