Book Stacks



At any given moment, I have a stack of books piled on and next to the couch, my bed, or any available flat surface. They are books I am currently reading, books I have finished, books I want to read. Basically, my house is just covered in books. So, what books are near me right now?

I recently finished Circus Shoes by Noel Streatfeild and it made me very happy. I read several of Streatfeild's books when I was a child but there were many I never came across and I feel like I missed out. I found this one for free on a donation shelf at the library and spent one glorious evening racing through it. I knew it was going to be good when Streatfeild eliminated the parents in the first paragraph. All adventurous books have to get rid of the parents.

Peter and Santa were orphans. Their father and mother were killed in a railway accident when they were babies, so they came and lived with their aunt. The aunt's name was Rebecca Possit, but of course they called her Aunt Rebecca. Before the children were born Aunt Rebecca had been lady's maid to a duchess. This was a good thing, because when the duchess died she left her an annuity, and, as Aunt Rebecca had no other money and neither had the children, it was important. 

You can probably see where this is going. Aunt Rebecca dies, the annuity dies with her, and the children are going to be sent to separate orphanages. They run away (of course) to join an unknown uncle who works with a circus (of course) and adventures commence. Did I mention they live in a caravan? Obviously, you need to read this right away.

I am almost done reading Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz. This is also thoroughly enjoyable though in a completely different way. There are no circuses or caravans but there is a lot of food. Julia Child was quite the woman and very, very determined. I have one of her cookbooks and I need to pull it off the shelf and work my way through some of the recipes. I would definitely recommend this book but have lots of snacks on hand while you read it.

I am also reading The Murrow Boys: Pioneers on the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism by Stanley Cloud and Lynne Olson. I read Citizens of London by Lynne Olson a while ago and wanted to read more about Edward R. Murrow. So far, I am enjoying this. Lynne Olson makes history very accessible.

Booknotes: America's Finest Authors on Reading, Writing, and the Power of Ideas by Brian Lamb is something I just picked up this morning. I read the first essay by David McCullough. I have read a couple of his history books. He said that he had always wanted to be a writer.

When I went to college, everybody was going to be a writer and I never dared talk about that. I never dared mention that. It seemed very presumptuous. But I secretly wanted to do that--to be that. When I saw the Catton book, I realized that history could be written about life. It could be written about human beings. It could be written about the feeling of places. It had all the narrative quality and the art of the written word about something that really happened. That was a revelation to me.   

I also have a couple of books of poetry that I have been flipping through looking for Thursday poems. My library has a pitifully poor selection of poetry so I need to find some books somewhere else. However, for now, I have enough poems for a couple of months picked out.

What have you been reading lately?

12 comments

  1. I just finished Grass in Piccadilly by Noel Streatfeild. I enjoyed it very much. I often keep one of her childrens' novels in my bag for bus reading - makes the commute less stressful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think I have ever even heard of Grass in Piccadilly. I know I have missed out on a lot of her books. Her children's novels are definitely soothing. I can see how they would be perfect books to minimize stress.

      Delete
  2. I didn't read anything by Noel Streatfeild when I was a child so I'm trying to make up for it now, I haven't read this one though. Rule number one is get rid of the parents as fast as possible, she couldn't have been faster!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you don't kill the parents off then you should at least make them leave on a round-the-world trip. They do interfere with proper adventures!

      Delete
  3. I love Lynne Olson's books! I haven't read this one but every other one I've read has been excellent. I finished A Question of Honor by her (and Stanley Cloud) earlier this month and it was completely fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read A Question of Honor but if you describe it as "completely fascinating" then I will have to find a copy.

      Delete
  4. I am the same way - I have piles of books ALL over my house! I kind of like how it looks but also I don't have space anywhere else! Right now I am reading a light read called Nine Perfect Strangers. It's pretty good, not amazing, but I wanted something light!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes light reads are exactly what is needed. I hope you are settling in to your new home. What a huge change!

      Delete
  5. I love Noel Streatfeild, too. Ballet Shoes (obvs!) and White Boots. Oh and Party Shoes was lovely, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that I should just buy all the ones I never read as a child. The only problem is that the titles can be different depending on where they were published and sometimes I get all excited thinking I have found one I have never read before and it is just a familiar one with a different title. So annoying.

      Delete
  6. How fun to discover an unread Streatfeild book to enjoy! Circus Shoes was a staple of my childhood, along with several of the others. I still find them great comfort reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are perfect comfort reading. It is like sinking into a world of safe adventure.

      Delete