A Stack To Read

Here’s another stack of books beside the bed.

A friend loaned me Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. This morning I found myself on the subway, standing next to a woman reading the same book.  This is not surprising given its popularity but I did like that we were both reading it without the jacket cover (I put it back on for the picture).  When I first glanced over, our pages appeared identical, each labelled an AMY ELLIOT DUNNE diary entry.  Upon closer inspection, I saw that the entry on her page was dated July 5, 2008. Mine: April 21, 2009.  I loved that we were in this strange time stretch together but I was just a few months ahead.  What I know she will know. What she read I read once. 

I found Hiaasen’s Hoot on the sidewalk.  Friends with overflowing shelves gave me the rest of the stack. We can’t keep them. Take them.

I like that this stack came to me, the bindings all worn, because they didn’t quite fit where they were. These are books I didn’t seek out.  But sometimes a book finds you.  Sometimes the list of desired books is too enormous, the wait at the New York Public Library too long, and maybe I think I know what I want to read but don’t really, so I did something a little crazy. I pushed this spontaneous stack ahead of everything else. I’ll put my faith here.

Have you read any of these books?  What are you reading?


11 thoughts on “A Stack To Read

  1. I don't have any of those books, but I like what you said: “But sometimes a book finds you.”

    I had been hearing of Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture and wanted to read it. I ended up buying it in the oddest place: a mattress store. It was at the counter display, being sold as a fundraiser for pancreatic cancer. So, yes, sometimes the book finds you. 🙂


  2. I've got Hoot on my bookshelf, I found it at a used bookstore a few months ago. And I've got a Didion book (After Henry) on the same shelf. Think that came from a library book sale last spring. I've heard good things about Gone Girl.


  3. I agree completely. Sometimes I go to the library and just wander the aisles and pull out books that look interesting, even if I've never heard of the title or author. I also did this with books on tape when I drove an old 1961 Mercedes that only had a tape deck. I would pick up 4-5 different books on tape at the library, then sift through them while driving. If I didn't like one, I'd go to the next book. This is how I discovered “Mao's Last Dancer”, one of my favorite books. And because of that, it's a practice I still do today — pulling off books I wasn't necessarily looking for, but I love once I begin.


  4. I read HOOT way back when it first came out, but it didn't grab me. Although it is available in my school's book room, I never choose to use it for a reading group. I have to love a book to use it in reading group — read it over and over, write questions for it and read the students' answers, talk about it again and again. (Like A LONG WAY FROM CHICAGO. I will never tire of teaching that book!)

    I also read GONE GIRL and thoroughly enjoyed it.


  5. I've read Ian McEwan's “On Chesil Beach” – really good. And I too have a Joan Didion book on my nightstand, “Blue Nights.” Funny too, since I just wrote about my never-ending list of books to read 🙂


  6. I haven't read any of these, though I want too. So many books, so little time 😦

    I just started Paranormalcy yesterday. So far so good. Finished Measuring Up by Nyrae Dawn yesterday and OMG. LOVED it. One of my favorites this year.


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