Nightstand reading

I’m one of those whose reading nook is her bed, especially since the only time I get to read is at night after the kids are asleep. I’ve been told reading in bed and at night is a double-whammy for the eyes. For this, reading lamps are designed and mine is currently a very basic clip-on from IKEA which I attach to my headboard. But since baby arrived and we’ve been co-sleeping, Kindle has saved the day (actually, night). Out of modernity’s myriad inventions, one truly has to be thankful for a device whose brightness settings can be adjusted to a level that makes for comfortable reading in pitch black conditions.

On my “nightstand”: I was on a real English history binge for awhile, tearing through tomes on the Plantagenets and Tudors. And then I read Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time and she was so convincing in her sympathies for Richard III that I (almost) became a Ricardian. (What? They found his remains under a Leicester carpark and didn’t inter him in York?) I also adored Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize-winning duo, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, even if I went through them in a transposed order. Now I am enjoying her very early work on the French Revolution, A Place of Greater Safety, and am probably a little too involved because last night I dreamed of Robespierre spouting one of his famous quotes: “Pity is treason.”

But I do try to mix it up a little, switching between genres to keep things interesting. Young Adult (YA) books are always very entertaining, and I admire the work of John Green and Rainbow Rowell. When I need a little spiritual nourishment, I love Jesuit authors like James Martin SJ and the late Anthony de Mello SJ. They’re light in tone yet perspective-filled, non-judgmental yet thought-provoking.

And there are times when my tastes seem very random and out of character. Currently unfinished on my “nightstand” is Antarctica: An Intimate Portrait of a Mysterious Continent by Gabrielle Walker. For some reason the South Pole fascinates me. And this book is such easy, informative reading about a place of which so little is known. Many people assume it’s all penguins and ice, but its landscape also comprises volcanoes, sand dunes, mountain ranges, lakes, and more. Perfectly mind-boggling reading.

All things said, when someone asks what I like to read, it can be a difficult question to answer. Most often, it’s whatever seizes my imagination at the time.

So what topics are tickling your fancy at the moment? What books are on your nightstand?

photo credit: seanmfreese via photopin cc

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