What’s on Your Nightstand?

Do the books beside your bed beckon or taunt? Do they make you feel guilty or make you crave the time required to dip into their pages?

Five books and a Kindle reside on my beside table. Since I share a Kindle account with my husband, the Kindle can provide hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of reading pleasure. A huge portion of them mysteries — my husband’s favourite genre — but many others as well. I’m currently reading Beartown by Frederik Backman. I had been reading Gone With the Wind but found it rather slow and long-winded (no pun intended).

Next we have The Churchill Factor by Boris Johnson. I started this after seeing Dunkirk and Darkest Hour and reading a biography of Clementine Churchill. Unfortunately, Boris Johnson’s Brexit nonsense has interfered with my enjoyment of the book. Whether I will complete it remains to be seen. I’m on page 41.

Just Imagine: A New Life on an Old Boat by Michelle Caffrey is on loan from a friend. It tells the story of a couple who leave their jobs in the software industry to buy a converted 1906 Dutch barge and boat along canals and rivers from Holland to France. Now wouldn’t you love to do that? It definitely beckons!

Story by Robert McKee was recommended by my friend and fellow author Barbara Kyle. While McKee’s focus is on screenwriting, the advice is equally helpful to those of us writing novels. I’m on page 121.

Aging Backwards by Miranda Esmonde-White was a Christmas gift from my husband. It’s described as “a groundbreaking guide to understanding how aging happens [yes, I’m getting older] and how to repair and reverse its effects.” I’ve read a few chapters but haven’t attempted the exercises outlined in the book. Sigh. Too busy writing the next novel!

Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson is at the bottom of the pile. In a fit of frustration with my inability to figure out what I – one little person – should do to combat climate change, I purchased this book. It has lots of useful advice but many suggestions that I would never adopt – like making my own toothpaste. It’s more of a resource book than something to read.

An eclectic mix, but not as much historical fiction or historical non-fiction as I usually have waiting for me.

What’s on your virtual or real bedside table?


M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

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15 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing that eclectic collection, Mary … and I loved your comments. I don’t think I would be making my own toothpaste either! The barge story definitely appeals to me though. My towering TBR list is all on my Kindle, which doesn’t make for an interesting photo. Like you, the challenge is finding the time to read! 🙂

  2. No tech in our bedroom is the rule, so paper-books (old and new) cross the nightstand. Currently, I’m just getting into “Heart of Barkness”- an ARC that drops in July. I’ve never heard of this author prior to this book, although he is well established. Recently finished Marc Graham’s “Song of Songs” as well.

    1. Interesting about the no tech rule … we have a no TV rule for the bedroom. Marc Graham was on the blog in April of this year talking about Song of Songs. I’d love to hear what you think when you read it.

  3. Recently started the newish “Leonardo da Vinci” bio by Walter Isaacson. The 600-page hardback is heavy (weight) for bedtime reading but it’s a fascinating look at the *real* Renaissance Man. Also reading “There Will Be Time” by Poul Anderson. It’s a time-travel oldie (1972)—time travel being a current interest—but it’s becoming a slog in the middle.
    These are both in print for the bedside. Movies and TV series are good for the little screens but prefer paper for books at night.

  4. On my nightstand and Kindle: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson; The Things We Cannot Say, by Kelly Rimmer; The Guest Book, by Sarah Blake; and Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow, by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

    They’re all calling my name and vying for my attention.

  5. Nice collection! I can’t read in bed – it gets me too wired and I’m up all night. However, I do have quite a stack on my kitchen table at present – “the Librarian of Auschwitz,” “Island of Soldiers and Sweet Pies,” “the German Girl,” “In the Garden of Beasts,” and “My Brilliant Friend.”

    1. Interesting! Reading a print book in bed helps me sleep. Digital screens on the other hand…

  6. Hi Mary,

    I don’t read in bed, so my reading books et al. are beside the recliner I work/watch TV/read from in my living room. There’s

        “Hallowed by saints, coveted by kings: Christianisation and land tenure in Rathdown, c. 400-900, (a chapter from /    Making Christian Landscapes in Atlantic Europe) /covers the area just a couple of miles north of where I live;

        the latest number of /Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies /(the journal of the Irish Georgian society in which I         have a co-authored article on a local church ruins)

    /Medieval Irish Pilgrims to Santiago de Campostela/ by Bernadette Cunningham, whom I know (bought at a     conference I recently attended)

    /Medieval Dublin/, vol 17, in which there is more on Rathdown by the same author

        the latest number of the /Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland/

    /    First Light: The Origins of Newgrange/ by Robert Hensey (I think I’ve already read this, but would have to check to     be sure!)

    /Seventeenth Century Ireland/ by Ray Gillespie, which I’ve already read but use for reference

    /Depression and the Expression of the Self in Late Modernity/, written by a friend and part of my other life as a                 psychotherapist

    On my Kindle I’m currently reading C Bazos’ /Traitor’s Knot/ and am about 2/3 of the way through it.

    Cryssa’s book is well written and builds suspense, but like most historical fiction I’ve read, it is mostly a story about a few people who happen to live in England in the 17th century. I’m hoping to make a novel of the local 17th century family who gave their name to the area that I live in. I have their fairly detailed history done and would like to interest people in this time period in Ireland.

    Apart from the journals and Cryssa, I would know all these authors or have meet them. That’s one of the advantages of living in a small country – folks are generally accessible.

    Thanks for your blog!


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