What’s On My Nightstand, November

It’s that time again, time for 5 Minutes’ for Books’ monthly carnival What’s On Your Nightstand? wherein carnival participants post what they’re reading, or what they’ve recently finished reading, or what they plan to read, or a combination thereof. For me, here’s a look at my recent reading activity…

Recently read…

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. This title has been on my mental “To Be Read” list for a long time and I’m glad I finally got around to it! It’s not necessarily a plot driven novel and the reader is able to guess the ending fairly quickly but that does not in any way detract from the enjoyment of the read. In fact, I would say it is the setting as much as the plot and characters that make the novel enjoyable. The pastoral setting of a rural English farm and its metamorphosis through the seasons make a fascinating and charming setting.

I also recently read two Josephine Tey mysteries: Brat Farrar and The Man in the Queue. I much preferred The Man than Brat; I really liked Inspector Grant and in my opinion the Brat storyline grew rather tedious. Of course, I am a huge fan of British murder mysteries and The Man did not disappoint!

Currently reading…

  • The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, a Pulitzer prize winning novel about the battle of Gettysburg. So far, it’s really, really good. I had never heard of this book but saw it mentioned on a friend’s Facebook page when she asked for book recommendations. Shaara’s son, Jeff, also wrote a prequel, Gods and Generals, which I may have to check out once I finish Angels.
  • Why Church Matters: Discovering Your Place in the Family of God by Joshua Harris I am nearly finished with this title. I like it and think its message an important one. Watch for an upcoming review.
  • King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus by Tim Keller. I only just started reading this, an overview of the life of Christ as chronicled in the gospel of Mark. I do like Keller and the other books I’ve read by him.

Hoping to read next…

I’ve checked the following books out of the library (which is no guarantee I will actually read them but I do have them in my possession at least temporarily):

  • The Zero Game by Brad Meltzer. I saw this mentioned on a friend’s blog and I thought it looked intriguing.
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini. I do not like sad books so I don’t know if I will actually be able to read this one or not. I once started but never finished The Kite Runner because 1) it was so sad and 2) I figured out where the plot was headed.
  • I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg. I love Southern fiction but haven’t ever read any of Flagg’s novels so I have no idea if I will like it or not.

I’m also interested in reading…

I may also attempt to revisit 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I started it ages ago but put it down because I found it difficult to read in terms of simple reading comprehension (I know! I feel so dumb sometimes!). However, a friend is considering blogging through the book and I’m thinking of joining her.

Whew! Am I ambitious or what? The funny thing is I’ve recently been through a reading drought of sorts where I didn’t read anything at all for two or three weeks–I guess maybe I think I have to catch up or something?

So, what are you reading? Have any recommendations for bibliophiles like myself? Let us know in the comments or link up your own Nightstand list at 5 Minutes for Books!


Author: Lisa Spence

Wife, mother, Bible teacher, bibliophile, occasional blogger

8 thoughts on “What’s On My Nightstand, November”

  1. I always enjoy your lists – I've found some good reading from them. 🙂 I read Far From the Madding Crowd a long time ago, in college, I think. I remember liking it. I remember liking Thomas Hardy even though he's not always real easy to read. I read The Zero Game and it was okay. I've been interested in reading The Screwtape Letters, too, but haven't yet done so.

  2. Just started a tome by John Frame, The Doctrine of the Christian Life, which is about ethics. Good so far. Just received What is the Mission of the Church, by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert. Looking forward to that. Just got the book The Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood, which looks good from what I've started. Also trying to get through How To Study the Bible for All its Worth, which is hard because it's on my Kindle, and I do not like the lack of annotation convenience with a Kindle.I loved the character of Gabriel Oak in Thomas Hardy's Madding Crowd. Difficult reading, but good.

  3. I'm glad you're reading again! As always, your book picks are intriguing. I also stay away from sad novels but A Thousand Splendid Suns is wonderful and even though it's haunting, it's soul-expanding. I hope it touches you deeply. It really helped bring home to me the reality of many women's lives around the world. Also, I'm reading 1000 Gifts right now. It can be a little too precious but also beautiful, especially if read as if reading aloud. It does use a different part of my brain to read it. I'll be blogging before the end of the year about this year's books, so check it out, make a comment!

  4. Hi Lisa!! That Thomas Hardy book actually sounds like one I could read.I was riveted by the Kite Runner, but it was definitely sad. Suns is very different — still dealing with sad issues, but perhaps with a different spin. Although, I will say that The Kite Runner as a whole has a bit of an uplifting part. BUT I don't mind sad books at all, so I'm not one for you to trust on that 🙂

  5. I always love looking at your lists. "Why Church Matters"–I look forward to your review on that. One of our Sunday school classes (that I'm not in) has been reading "King's Cross" and the teacher keeps asking me if I've read it yet. So one of these days…I don't like sad books either; sometimes it's worth the angst to read them anyway, but not usually. ha.Ah, love "The Screwtape Letters." Always a profitable read. And Condoleeze Rice–I'm sure that will be good. I've been wanting to re-read "1000 Gifts". Maybe I'll start again soon. I had to go slowly through it. Her prose is so poetic and deep.Great list!Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  6. The Zero Game sounds great! I like looking at people's lists. I always find something to add to my wishlist.Great list and I hope you have fun reading these books 🙂

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