On the Nightstand…

Let’s do something new. Instead of more exhuastive book reviews, let’s post what’s on the nightstand. These are the books I am reading, just finished, or am about to read. And, since books are shared surprises, let us know what you’re reading too, and whether it should go on my nightstand.
Oh — the ratings. I have a lamp with a powersaving bulb in it. 100 watts is ‘stay awake and read.’ 20 watts is ‘the book will help you snooze, so turn out the light and go to sleep.’

Just Finished:
Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell. Before Animal Farm and 1984, Orwell wrote the definitive book about the Spanish Civil War, from the trenches. Rating: 80 watts
Red Moon and High Summer, Herbert Kaufmann. A 1956 novel of growing up as a Tuareg in the Sahara. Now that they are revolting from Mali and storming Timbuktu, it is time to learn about this year’s desert uprising. Rating: 50 watts

Turning the Pages Now
Lawrence and the Arabs, by Robert Graves. Written in 1927 by one of the Great War’s finest authors and before T.E.Lawrence died in a motorcycle crash, this account of Lawrence of Arabia is astonishing reading some 85 years on when we look at Syria, Iraq, and the Middle East in conflict. Looks like it will keep me awake.

In the Queue:
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, by David Mitchell. My fourth Mitchell novel, and hope it is half as astonishing as the first three. Stay tuned.

That’s a good start — any more would reek of excess. Hope you enjoy this twist, and, please, let me know what you think I should be reading.

  • Homage to Catalonia was one of my favorite Orwell novels. Why only 50 watts?

    • Jack

      50 watts?  that’s a mistake.  It’s 80 watts.  Time to edit the posting.!

      • Jack

        Ah, Danielle– read closely.  I did give Homage 80 watts. I gave 50 watts to Red Moon and High Summer.  Lesson to me — put more space in between the titles.

  • Mike Singley

    I’m reading an excellent biography of the Beatles by Bob Spitz.  I just finished Reckless Endangerment by Gretchen Morgenstern about the subprime bubble and meltdown.  I have several things staring at me on the stack – Citizens of London, Emperor of the Air, and The Kennedys and the Fitzgeralds.

  • Prague’s Winter by Madeline Albright and 11/22/63 by Stephen King. On a bit of a history kick at the moment. Waiting for book 3 in my French Letters trilogy… hint, hint! : )

    • Jack

      It’s coming, it’s coming.   So much to do, so little time….

    • Jack

      Oh, and PS:Kathy — what watts?  Madeline Albright? She’s a superstar, but how bright is Prague’s bulb?  and Stephen King?  I’m stil checking for illness from The Stand…  how big the bulb for him here?

  • Leeann Minogue

    I would love to read these books. But I will be ploughing through “A Dance to the Music of Time” for the foreseeable future. Did you notice that we don’t learn the main character’s name until page 145 of the second book? This dance is definitely a “Slow Shuffle”

    • Jack

      Ah, Jenkins, we hardly knew ye.

      Is that true?  Page 145?  Wow.  How did we learn his name?   I thought we learned it at school when his awful uncle came to tell Jenkins to pester his father to break the family trust.   But look at the bright side — you’ll sleep on the plane.

  • James Green

    Currently reading ‘Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” by Meg Meeker, MD.  85 watts so far. I’m feeling much better about being equipped to give my daughter what she needs to grow up and into a strong self-supporting woman.

    • Jack

      Okay, James.   Tell me if you turn the last page, close the book, sigh, and say ‘Yes Indeed!  85 watts!’
      thanks a million,

  • Gem Stafford

    Madame Pamplemousse and the Time-Travelling Café by Rupert Kingfisher. Just wonderful: 80 watts.

    • Jack

      Any chance you could hand deliver a copy to me?

      Okay, chances are the secret is out.  This is a great way to get recommendations to read and, if I’m lucky, also a great way to get free books!!!

      • Gem Stafford

        Absolutely! And if you’d like Madame Pamplemousse and her Incredible Edibles, I’ll bring that one too…

  • Kathleen

    Great idea, Jack. I’m currently reading Frank Cox’s award-winning memoir, “Lullabies For Lieutenants.” Frank’s writing is both lyrical and beautiful…he puts you smack dab in the middle of the battle and inside his head and heart. 

  • Joyce Faulkner

    Just finished “Game Over: Jerry Sandusky, Penn State, and the Culture of Silence” by Bill Moushey and Robert Dvorchak — just a rehash of what we already know…not badly-written, but oh the whole thing makes me too mad to sleep! LOL

    • Jack

      So, Joyce — 20 watts?  Off grid?  Not enough book power to turn the night light on in the first place?

  • Ktsetsi

    I’ve been up since a little before four reading Caroline Leavitt’s “Pictures of You.” 100 watts thus far. Gripping, evocative.

    • Jack

      Gotta find this book.   Is it all over the place?  Book stores?  Amazon?  Thank you!

  • Jedward1

    I have recently added Dr. Tom’s War by Lucia Viti to my TBR list.  It is on my nightstand now.  I am expecting better than 60 watts.  I will let you know once I finish…