What Does This Stack of Books Say?

So what books do you have on your nightstand? Do you have books on your nightstand? I suppose you could have them on the digital device of your choosing on your nightstand. But as for me, I have books, stacks of books around the house and I thought I’d do something different and share some of what I’m reading lately. So this is a stack that has been lately on my nightstand.

photograph of books in April 2015

Books, April 2015

Yeah, I like books a lot. I just read Show Your Work by Austin Kleon a couple of weeks ago and he suggests that people share not just their finished works, but also their inspiration and processes. So I thought I’d share this stack of books and why they inspire me or I hope to be inspired by them. So we’ll go bottom to top on this stack, just because that’s how I’m thinking of them.

On the bottom of the stack, not really a book (yet) is my notebook and part of a draft of my writing that I’m revising. I did NaNoWriMo last year and am in my second major round of revision. I’m going to finish it up in the next month and send it out to some friends to read, so that’s what I’m working on now.

My husband had a copy of Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comesand I’ve never read it so I started to read it. I’m liking it so far, though I have gotten swept away by reading some other library books. I’m going to come back to this next month and finish it up. I can see parts where I’d expect Stephen King got inspired for Revival, so it is kind of weird to have read that first and now read Bradbury’s work. But a carnival/circus, who could resist?

I picked up The Devil’s Details at our local bookstore, the Hayward Bookshop, a few weeks ago. What can I say? I’m a geek and a book about footnotes sounded fun and interesting so I picked it up. There are footnotes throughout. I’ve not started it yet, but I think it will be going in my bag soon to read while waiting for meetings to start and shuttles to arrive.

I recently finished The Bookseller and it made me cry. It was good and had an interesting twist and I couldn’t resist a pair of friends running a bookshop. I like reading books that are structured in different ways to see what works and what doesn’t, at least for me as a reader and perhaps as a writer.

I’m re-reading a number of books to learn more about plotting, so that’s where Neverwhere comes in. I love this book. It is wonderful and has such a great twist that I didn’t see coming. Neil Gaiman’s writing is so lovely and his characters are unique and memorable. I love the idea of a London Below. It also makes me want to visit London, again, and soon.

I don’t read a lot of young adult novels. I’m not drawn to them, but I do love a lot of the ones I’ve read that I’ve been given by friends or read on the recommendation of other friends. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was a fun read that I re-read early this year, again, for breaking down plot. Also, as someone who is fond of photography and photographic archives, I loved the inclusion of found photos in the book and how they supported the text.

One of my friends, the wonderful romance novel reviewer and librarian emerita, Kris Ramsdell, introduced me to the writing of Sarah Addison Allen a couple of months ago when were were discussing books to read over lunch. I immediately devoured all of her books and bought a copy of The Peach Keeper to re-read as I love her blend of magic, family, and mystery. I agree with one of the women at the Hayward Bookshop who said that sometimes it’s just nice to read a sweet story.

Also, for fun reading and because I think he is a master of storytelling and creating realistic characters, I recently re-read Stephen King’s The Wind Through the Keyhole. I loved the Dark Tower series and this book is such a wonderful addition. The weaving of three stories together is amazing and they fit together so organically that I got to the end and wished it just kept going, but again was happy and satisfied that it all ended so well. It’s one of my favorites that I’m hoping I can get my husband to read soon.

The top of the stack has another one of my notebooks. This is the one where I’ve been keeping notes on places to send short stories, bits of dialog that come into my head, quotes from books that inspire me, and other such stuff. I like it because it fits easily in a small bag and my fountain pen inks don’t bleed through the pages.

So that’s what’s been hanging around for reading materials for me and providing some inspiration as I write and write (calligraphy) and revise and think and dream. What books inspire you? What’s on your reading list now?