Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Reader's Coffee Table

Did you grow up in a home with readers?

A Reader's Coffee Table

You can always tell a home where readers live.
Just check out the coffee table,
the reading pile in the bathroom,
or the stacks of books on the nightstands.

Coffee Table

Readers read, and usually their materials are close by,
hanging out like good friends ~
which they are.

               Bathroom and Nightstand 

Maybe you caught a glimpse of one of the two readers
in this Aurora home ~
feet up, nose in iPad, the Ever-Patient reads.

I'm usually reading in the dark, late hours
when the world is quiet.

I've been indulging in some rich reads in recent weeks.
Let me share them with you:

A Dance with Dragons
by George R. R. Martin

Are you watching 
the HBO series Game of Thrones?

I started Martin's books 

just before the first season on HBO.  
I'm barely ahead, but oh, 
what a read if you enjoy fantasy!

Martin stands on the same plane 
as Tolkien.  
Fabulous!  wikipedia

The Sixes
by Kate White

I snapped this up at Sam's Club while waiting for the pharmacist to come back from lunch.  A murder mystery/thriller with a secret society set on a college campus, this kept me wide awake late into the night.
Plus it was fun to see how writing instruction has changed at the college level now that blogging has become mainstream.  
barnes & noble

Altar of Eden
by James Rollins

Rollins is one of my favorite authors, and this didn't disappoint.  It's a genetic engineering thriller in which things go wrong and could ultimately change what it means to be human.  goodreads

Six Years
by Harlan Coben

This book is a fast-paced mystery and a love story; 
mind-candy that kept me awake 
for several enjoyable late nights.  goodreads 

by Michael Lewis

My BFF Cheri thought I should read this
before heading to Iceland in June.
It has an illuminating chapter
on the financial bust in Iceland in 2008;
but that's just the beginning of
Lewis's darkly funny recounting of
the worldwide financial shenanigans 
at that memorable time.

If you love things financial and just have to turn on CNBC first thing in the morning, you will enjoy this!  amazon  

The Hunger Games 
by Suzanne Collins

It's a powerful young adult book,
but it will resonate with anyone who has a heart.
Now I've got to see the movie!


London Walks: London Stories
by David Tucker & the Guides

If you go to London you must treat yourself to one of the many fun and informative London Walks.

This book details a number of popular walks given
by some of the walking tour company's excellent guides.
It's fun to read after a walk.  amazon

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
by Neil Gaiman

This kept me up reading late at night 
in our borrowed flat in Nottingham Hill.
Lyrically written.  

Pirate Alley
by Stephen Coontz

My husband bought this in Denver's airport
to read on our recent trip.  He didn't,
but passed to me when I found myself
bookless and frantic.

Lots of action ~ Navy SEALS and Somali pirates.  After reading this I don't think I'll be taking a cruise anywhere in the Red Sea!
Great Fun!  amazon


Bones Are Forever
by Kathy Reichs

I discovered Kathy Reichs' first book in an airport bookstore, long before she was known as an author and long before the popular TV show Bones.  
Reichs has never failed to deliver a great story.
I really connected with this book because it highlights 
the plight of native people in the Canadian North.  google 

Independent People 
by Halldór Laxness

Nothing to read will send me running to the nearest bookstore ~ but in Reykjavik the books were all in Icelandic!
This was the first I spotted in English.

Fabulous and heartbreaking!
I will never forget this 1955 Nobel Prize winning novel 
and its stubborn, tragically comic protagonist, 
Bjartur of Summerhouses, and his fellow characters, human and animal.  amazon

Where'd You Go, Bernadette
by Maria Semple

My niece Deirdre gave me 
this hilarious book for Christmas,
possibly because we both want to go to Antarctica.

Another late night read
that is almost impossible to put down.
I was laughing until I hurt, 
and the pages of my book were damp!  amazon

The Martian
by Andy Weir

Wow!  Astronaut Mark Watney is left behind for dead on Mars when his Ares 3 Mission is aborted and his
crewmates evacuate.  His fight to survive on his own is an epic and realistic adventure.

A late night search for good Martian map led me to the amazing Mars Odyssey THEMIS program at Arizona State University and to a wish I could start again and earn a degree in ASU's Earth & Space Exploration (emphasis geology).  wikipedia 


The Greatest Show on Earth

by Richard Dawkins

This absorbing book presents the current evidence for evolution.  Dawkins' account of the Richard Lenski forty-five thousand generation study of Escherichia coli at Michigan State University is a window into understanding how multi-decade microbiological research is planned and executed and what can be learned by such research.  This is just one avenue Dawkins uses to illuminate the development of life throughout geologic time on our amazing planet. 

So there you have it:
fourteen great summer reads!

What are you reading this summer ~
any good books to recommend?


  1. What a great selection!!
    Thanks for sharing!. there are definitely a few here I'd like to read - esp Pirate Alley.

    I've got lots on at the moment reading wise etc as I have to write a dissertation .( In truth I'm a little stressed) - next to me right now is the Invention of Tradition by Hobsbawm and Ranger - Nations and nationalism by Hobsbawn - and war child by Emmanuel Jal . I'm reading up on the African diaspora and the constructions of culture and identity - with a focus on Rastafari in the UK, using also an analysis of the role of music in shaping Identity

    love the coffee table :)
    have a great week Fundy!

    1. Hi Dawna!
      Poor you, writing a dissertation! The closest I ever came to that was a research project and research paper for my Masters in Education. You have my sympathy and best wishes ~ sending you positive thoughts and energy! It's gratifying to tackle a huge project, but there are definitely just slogging through it parts.

      Reading about the constructions of culture and identity must be fascinating. I'll have to check that out! And the others on nationalism. On some levels it's fascinating to watch what is playing out in the Middle Was and other areas right now ~ if only so many people weren't suffering and dying. Nationalism is not decreasing. Every group seems to want its own nation.

      Also music shaping identity ~ this all fits in so well with your blog posts. The music of your culture is so ingrained. For me it's bagpipes! (And all the rest Scottish). But music is universal too, and you can absorb a lot about a different culture by listening to its music. I'm sure that music goes as far back in human history as language.
      Take care, Dawna!

  2. I just finished "The Gospel of Loki" by Joanne M Harris and thought it was terrific! She retells the old Norse myths from Loki the Trickster's viewpoint and also provides some quite penetrating insights into the chronology, motivations and relationships behind the stories. She has a delightfully breezy and contemporary writing style as well. Highly recommended!

    1. Thanks for the recommendation, Debra! This sounds really good! I've always been interested in Norse mythology. Have a good one!

  3. Always were books some where when I grew up at my lair. As for reading now though, I tend to write way to much haha but I fit some in here and there at my lair.

    1. I'm not surprised to hear that you spend a lot of time writing! Speaking of which, Apple now has an app for Kindle that I can use on my computer!!! So I now have "Glitch of a Witch" on my computer! I was at Apple today and had my trainer help me out! This will be fun! Have a good evening, if you dare, at your lair!

  4. Love that coffee table! I do enjoy reading. My books of preference are non-fiction, inspirational, some biographies, Chicken Soup for the Soul series. I read "Under Two Dictators: Stalin and Hitler" by Margarete Buber-Neumann. Although it sounds depressing, I found it very well written and informative.

    1. Thanks, Linda! We hunted and hunted for a big coffee table; finally, in a flash of insight, when we found one half the size, I said, "Let's buy two and stick them together!" We have a runner over the part where the two tables meet! LOL! Just the words Stalin and Hitler give me shivers. I do love history though, so thanks for the recommendation!

  5. You have been busy already this summer, Louise!
    My preference is creative non-fiction where facts are loosely 'played with' and presented a little more creatively than if they were presented factually in a historical/political manner.
    I have started so many books of fiction over the years to only put them down as soon as I came to something that I found to be not my world. that's just me.

    1. You're probably not a fantasy fan! LOL! To each his or her own, Jim! I'm not sure if Terry has read a fiction book all the way through since I met him. Maybe one of John Burdett's Bangkok mysteries ~ NOT for the faint of heart!, by the way. But, if he did it would have taken him years. I'm an addicted and omnivorous reader! I'll read the back of a cereal book if I'm desperate enough. Just today I got a kindle app for my Mac, so that will be the big experiment when I got to Nova Scotia ~ reading on my Mac! Have a good one!
      I'll read the backs of

  6. Our house is terrible as Hubby and I are both bookworms. Your reading for summer is very impressive.

    1. I love bookworms! I grew up in an extended, multigenerational family of avid book readers! So I can absolutely relate! All our homes have piles of books everywhere! Happy reading GT&C!

  7. The coffee table is covered, as is my nightstand. There's even books on the floor next to my bed. David doesn't read for pleasure, and I married him anyway. I can hardly believe it.

    1. LOL! I'm sure David has many wonderful qualities that compensated for this obvious flaw! Just kidding! My Terry reads a lot, but can't do much fiction! And he only looks at the photos on my blog ~ won't read it! My sister Donnie has the floor by her night stand covered with books. Sometimes they fall over! I hope Paj is dancing around the pasture by now!

  8. Hi Louise! I know, you thought I'd dropped off the face, didn't you? :-) I love this post because, as you know, I'm a voracious reader. I did a post years ago about the nightstands of readers. Mine usually has somewhere between ten and twenty books at a time. I love having several books to choose from. I've been wanting to read the Bernadette book so I was very happy to read your take on it. I didn't even realize it was funny ~ can't wait to read it myself. Took note of several others too.....thanks so much for the recommendations! We just visited Mt, Vernon last week so I'm kind of wanting to read about Martha Washington......whenever I visit or learn or watch movies about US presidents, I always end up being more interested in the wives. Ha ha. Anyway, I really loved catching up on your last few posts! The bank/photo debacle is hysterical and very scary at the same time. Glad you're ok. XOXO

    1. Hi Audrey! I knew you were doing important things with your family! You actually inspired me to do this post, because I remember your books posts. In January, I was going to put all the books up that I had read last year, but of course I hadn't written them down. So I reconstructed the list and was overwhelmed by the length. I'm voracious too! I'll have to try for every quarter! The Bernadette book was great! You must read it. I like reading about presidential wives too. I'm glad you found the bank incident funny, because I was laughing as I wrote it. It was scary at the time, but I can really laugh now! Keep enjoying those beautiful daughters ~ They're irreplaceable! And they grow so fast. XOXO

  9. There were always book at our house when I was growing up, going to the library with dad was something we did together. I have noticed lately that in the newer home people don't have bookshelves.

    1. Hey GT! I've noticed that about newer homes too, and if there are rare bookshelves they have doodads on them. I can't imagine! What a wonderful time to remember: going to the library with your dad. When we lived in places with libraries, I had to go and pick out books for Mom because she was too busy with five young children. Between her books and my books, I was lugging pounds and pounds of books to and from the library. It was great fun to talk about books and reading with her all of her life. Happy reading to you!

  10. What a wonderful array of books! I wish that I could plow through as many books as you do. Thanks for reminding me about "Bernadette." I had also heard great things about it, and now I'll be sure to add it to my list.


    1. I do hope that you enjoy the Bernadette book, Julie! Reading books is my way of dealing with bouts of insomnia ~ although, there are those nights when I am sleepy but I can't bare to put the book down! LOL Have a good one!

  11. Oh, my dear, we have books EVERYWHERE!!!

    The last book that read is one that I highly recommend. It is "We Die Alone" and is a true story and one that you will NEVER forget, I promise! I really need to do a post about it, but I don't know if I can do it justice.
    I can't read like I used to, the eyes are getting worn out!

    1. Hi Kay! My eyes are getting worn out too! I have to wear magnifying glasses late at night! I will definitely look for your recommendation! Have a good one!

  12. "Bookless and frantic" - oh yes, I know what that is like. :) And yes, I grew up in a home with books. Always had my nose in one or the other of them.

    I'm re-reading Miss Read's Fairacre tales at the moment, having felt the need for some good clean peaceful wholesomeness. They are funny, undemanding, and just the ticket.

    P.S. I thought of you as we drove through Colorado a few weeks back!

    1. Thank you, Sue! It's funny how you think of blogging buddies when you're traveling! I'm going to Nova Scotia in about 10 days. I'm going to see a friend, Ron, whom I haven't seen in about 45 years. He got me into blogging. I'm going to meet his hubby Jim and their wonderful Sophie Doodle, and I can hardly wait. Perhaps you've come across Jim at "Ocean Breezes" or Ron at "From Sophie's View." Both of their blogs are lots of fun! I hope you are enjoying these wonderful summer days!

  13. You just reminded me to renew Neil Gaiman's book. I had checked it out of the library and then didn't get around to reading it in time and wasn't allowed to check it out again because there was a waiting list. In the meantime, I'm super excited to dive into the book I picked up from the library yesterday: Katherine Applegate's The One and Only Ivan. Why can't I just sit and read all day long?

    1. Hi Kim! I'm retired, and I still can sit and read all day! LOL I hate when I have to return an unfinished book because it's on hold! Ocean was my first Neil Gaiman's book, although I've certainly picked his books up lots at the local bookstore. I'm making myself read some of the unread books I've got in the house before I add to the pile! Happy reading!

  14. I think readers are a special breed of people. I can't imagine a world without books. My sweetie and I recently perused an old-fashioned bookstore and it was awesome :)

    1. Hi Keith! I'll bet you could fill that bookcase to overflowing already! I got all excited because I was able to put kindle and nook apps on my computer and could read books on it ~ didn't last long! There is nothing like the feel of an actual book! But at least with the ebooks I'll be able to pick up and read some more of the Insecure Writer's Support Group's books. We shall see! Enjoy your time with your sweetie!

  15. totally love this post! i'm with you on Martin - i'm just ahead too (didn't like the "Crows" book... but it's better in now that i'm in "Dragons"!) and Hunger Games and Harlan Corbin is one of my faves! I have to get that one, and the Bernadette one!!

    and thank you for stopping by my broken branch falls blog tour!

    1. Hi Tara! We have lots of overlapping books that we like! I had to be careful watching the end of this season of Game of Thrones because I didn't want to blurt out anything to spoil it for my husband. I had to keep sorting out the series vs novels timelines and the changes they had made to adapt the books to TV. Two more books to come! My brother and one of my sisters started reading this series probably two decades ago and have had to wait seemingly forever between the different books. At least we won't have to wait that long! Happy reading!

    2. PS ~ Thanks for following my blog ~ you're my 100th follower! Wow! I can't believe I hit 100! Thank you! Thank you!

  16. I'm an avid reader! There are books all over the house. And I always have a few (hundred...LOL) waiting to be read. I have no proof, but I'm convinced that I came out of the womb with a book in hand!

    I read all the books in The Hunger Games series, and watched the first movie. Good stuff! You'll really enjoy it.

  17. My little brother and I grew up in a home without books. My parents never read. Although, the first book ever gifted to me was given by my father when I was 9. Then,in school, we had to read these adaptations to classics and create plays, comic books from the books we read. And a world of words was born. Being 10 years older than my little brother, I think I rubbed off on him. My mom now reads a lot. My brother and I read an average of about 4 books per month.

  18. My house is filled to the brim with books. Right now I'm reading three books at the same time: I'm re-reading Orwell's 1984, I've been reading Michio Kaku's Physics of the Future for a couple of days now (what????) and Scott Turow's new novel Identical. I liked The Hunger Games in spite of a zillion plot holes, but the third one.... I just hated it. That shouldn't stop you from reading it, though :)

  19. WOW!
    What a book review!!
    Now you are making me nostalgic of my south african years wen I was reading so much of the same kind of books!!
    You gave me a couple of ideas, here!
    Many thanks for your trouble, Fundy!
    Oh and if Sophie is anywhere near you, give her lots of hugs!!! :-)
    Oh, and in the lot, keep one or 2 for you!! LOL!!!!
    Cheers dear friend!

  20. That's exactly what it looks like at my place :D Books everywhere :) And I love it. Thank you for all the recommendations! I so can't wait to get back into reading again :)


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