Wednesday, January 11, 2012

what's on my bookshelf wednesday {1}

Yup, I'm back with another random feature.  My plan is to keep this one up for a few weeks, and I'd love for you to play along!  I'll be sharing a snapshot of a different bookshelf in my house every Wednesday, and giving you the lowdown on two books from the shelf.  Books I love, books I hate, books I want to read, books I have read for class, books Mike recommends, books Natalie loves, whatever strikes my fancy each week.  I would love to hear from you guys about what books are living on your shelves (or on your nightstands, in your handbags, on your desks, lost under the passenger seats of your cars, etc.).  Hopefully we'll all get a few new reads out of the deal.
Week 1:  The shelf in our upstairs "hallway"

The shelf on the little landing at the top of our stairs holds a random assortment of drama, 20th & 21st century fiction, and a little religious theory.  Do you guys organize your bookshelves at all (by author, genre, alphabetically by title, etc.)?  We have tried to organize ours by genre, and in some cases by historical period... but keeping any of our books on the shelves, let alone in any kind of order, feels pretty impossible with Natalie around.  She loves to take books off the shelves and flip through them, and gets such a kick out of us reading a few lines aloud of the "grown-up" books she chooses.

- My first choice of a book to share is Jodi Picoult's 19 Minutes.   Surely some of you are already Jodi Picoult fans, and so you've probably had the chance to dive into this great read.  I find that most of Picoult's books follow a pretty predictable pattern, so I can't read them back-to-back.  But if I'm looking for an engrossing story that I can't help but zip through, she is almost always my go-to author.  19 Minutes deals with high school bullying and drama through a horrifying incident of violence, in which a student goes on a shooting rampage within the halls of his school.  The pacing of the story is brilliant, with details of the shooting and the backstory of the character's unfolding just a bit at a time. 
- Our hallway shelf also houses a pretty good selection of Shakespeare, mostly all editions from the college courses that Mike and I each took (Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, a required course within our English Lit major).  As a high school English teacher, Mike still gets the chance to be a Shakespeare buff, and he teaches his favorite (Hamlet) every fall.  Classic literature, drama, and poetry have all been pretty absent from my reading list ever since I finished up with grad school in 2008.  I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Shakespeare, though, especially Romeo and Juliet (which I must have read 15 times between 7th and 12th grades) and The Tempest (which I saw performed live with my dad and just blew me away with its humor and creativity). 

Those are my choices for this week.... what things are sitting on your shelves that you have already read, but just can't part with?  Any reads from school that you wish you still made time to sit down and page through?


  1. Love this feature! To prepare for the impending arrival of our own little own, I went through all our bookshelves and cleared out a lot of books. It made me very sad to donate them to the library, but it's the right thing to do - 4 boxes of books that i've read but didn't love, and will likely never read again. Books I kept, though, they're something to talk about! I kept a few from grad school about american architecture that I loved at the time. And shockingly, pre-cleaning my husband picked Uncle Tom's Cabin off the shelf. Talk about a throwback; I'm pretty sure that was a high school english assignment! Currently I'm reading Empire Falls. The book resides in my car and is great for dr's visits. Have you read it? It's about a small town in Maine... I'm kind of in love with it.

  2. While Hamlet is, indeed, amazing, I have to add to Hilary's post with a book that she once recommended to me: Lolita. I really had no interest in the story; I imagined it would be revolting, disturbing and horrific. It turns out, it was all those things. And it was awesome. And strangely beautiful and compelling. Un-put-down-able in fact. Hilary has excellent taste, and Nabokov's most famous work is no exception.

  3. I'm all for this feature. Sadly, our books are not organized at the moment. It is making me very twitchy to have them in no order whatsoever. Fiction and nonfiction! Biography and poetry! All mingled together. Terrible.