Books I Read: This Winter + A Rearranged Bookshelf

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Hmmmm, what to read as your first book after you've just had a baby?  How about a memoir about a woman whose husband suddenly dies one night at the dinner table, while their only child is in a coma due to an unexplained neuro issue on and off for the next year?  Sign me up!  Who knows what possessed me to pick this one up as my "before going to sleep"book when AA started to going to bed in his own room, but I did...and while it basically destroyed me emotionally (but so did the Olympics, so...), it was an absolutely beautiful read.  It was brutally honest to the point that Didion shared thoughts and feelings I almost can't imagine she would have been willing to share with even her closest friends, and it was just a heartbreaking, stripped bare portrait of marriage and family and death and recovery that will resonate with me for a long time to come.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

First off, prettiest book cover ever, huh?  Secondly, I picked up this book because I had seen many, many "best of 2013" lists in which this novel was at the top.  WORTH IT.  Weaving in and out of the lives of 6 people who met at an arts camp in the late 70s, the plot explores how a shared experience among teenagers can continue to have a ripple effect throughout our lives.  I also felt super connected to the characters for a couple of reasons:  I, too, went to an arts camp as a teenager, for modern dance!  [However, I didn't thrive quite as well as these kids...I spent the entire 2 weeks basically unable to walk because I was so sore from our daily Pilates sessions, which I had never done before!]  Also, the adult versions of the characters all live in a very authentic New York City, which of course has a special place in my adulthood as well.  [At one point, two characters meet up for brunch at "a place on Amsterdam with popovers as big as a baby's head" - this is a real place, and I've been there!  It's called Popover Cafe!  Though it apparently closed at the beginning of the year :( ]  Connections like those aside, this novel is really just a story about people and their lives and their friendships and how life can be interesting if we just make it be so.

Yesterday, I did that thing where I accidentally start organizing something I didn't mean to organize and rearranged our bookshelves!  Here they are, in our upstairs loft space, which I love.
I was looking for a new book to read, but all our books were just sort of haphazardly thrown up there and I kept running across books I had already read.  So I decided to separate all our books out to see just how many there even were that I have yet to read.  Of the 18 shelves, this is what I ended up with:

2 shelves of knick knacks
3 shelves of photo albums
1 shelf of games
1 shelf of coffee table books (should these go on a coffee table, by definition?  Probably)
2 shelves of college textbooks (whyyyy do we keep these?)
1 shelf of travel books


4 shelves of books I have read
4 shelves of books I haven't read!

I gotsa to get to reading!  Not only that, of the 4 unread shelves, one entire shelf of that is Christian theology and philosophy books, so I've got the perfect opportunity and a host of books to choose from to expand my mind and explore my faith even further.  We will be moving again in August, but I'm going to see if I can get one more entire shelf read before we have to pack up again!


  1. You and I seem to have extremely similar taste in books :) The Didion book is on my list and I've almost picked it up a few times now. Too funny. I'm glad to hear you liked it, now I'll have to bump it up on my list. Are you on Goodreads? I can stalk you shelves :)

  2. Thanks for the book reviews. And yea for organizing your book shelves! : )