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.

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