Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher


Bedside reading as guide to character

posted by Rod Dreher

My wife was straightening up in the bedroom this morning, and said to me, “You can tell a lot about someone’s character by the books on their bedside table. With her permission, I photographed her bedside table:
juliebooks.jpg
Henry James, nuns, chickens: that’s Julie. Here are the books at my bedside table. It would be hard to improve on the accuracy of the portrait these book spines paint of me:
rodbooks.jpg
What are the books on your bedside table right now? Not what you want to be there, but what’s actually there. Unfortunately, the comboxes here don’t allow posting of photographs, but if you have a blog and can post a photo of your bedside table books, please do, and then post the blog link in the combox. I love seeing these things.



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Travis Mamone

posted May 4, 2010 at 3:06 pm


-“A Plain Account of Christian Perfection” by John Wesley
-“O Me of Little Faith” by Jason Boyett
-“The Kingdom of God is Within You” by Leo Tolstoy



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SusannaS

posted May 4, 2010 at 3:14 pm


Well, I don’t have the books I’m currently reading all on my bedside table. I do have one there, and one by my chair in the living room, and one by the couch in the den, and one on my corner of the desk in the study. They are, in no particular order:
Tom Clancy “Debt of Honor” and the most recent “Games” magazine-bedside
CS Lewis “Four Loves” – living room
Sean Hannity “Conservative Victory” – desk
Ortho “Book of Roses” and Smith “Vegetable Gardener’s Bible” – den



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MargaretE

posted May 4, 2010 at 3:17 pm


Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follet
The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren
The Help, Kathryn Stockett
The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis
No Man Is an Island, Thomas Merton



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Ragamuffin

posted May 4, 2010 at 3:19 pm


“The Book of Common Prayer” – 1979 edition
“Justification” – N.T. Wright
“Invitation To Solitude and Silence” – Ruth Haley Barton



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Lord Karth

posted May 4, 2010 at 3:37 pm


These are some of the ones I am currently reading. Make of this list what you will.
John J. Norwich, “A Short History of Byzantium”;
Norman F. Cantor, “The Last Knight: The Twilight of the Middle Ages and the Birth of the Modern Era”;
Theodore Judson, “Fitzpatrick’s War”,
and David Stern, “Star Trek: The Children of Kings”.
Your servant,
Lord Karth



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Susan D.

posted May 4, 2010 at 3:41 pm


A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller Jr.
God in the Dock, C.S. Lewis
Lost in the Cosmos, Walker Percy
A Guide to Thomas Aquinas, Josef Pieper
Housefull of Laughter, ed. Bennett Cerf
(captcha: estates potential)



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Al-Dhariyat

posted May 4, 2010 at 3:55 pm


Only two books by my bedside at the moment:
The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide by Terence Dickinson
Ringworld’s Children by Larry Niven
If I have more, I tend to get too easily distracted and get nothing read.
I also keep a Qur’an (A. Yusuf Ali translation) near me as well.



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Rawlins Gilliland

posted May 4, 2010 at 4:02 pm


Dating tips: Steer clear of anyone whose bedside table has Geraldo Rivera autobiographies or titles like ‘New Age Nostradamus: An Egg White Omelet’ by Glenn Beck.



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Tucker

posted May 4, 2010 at 4:10 pm


After You Believe, Wright
Romans, Luther
Philokalia
Orthodox Church, Kallistos Ware
Miracles, Lewis
Secrets in the Dark, Buechner



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Erin Manning

posted May 4, 2010 at 4:11 pm


Bedside table, Rod? I’ve got a three-shelf bookshelf beside my bed, which holds about 120 books, though I’m not reading *all* of them currently. :) Crunchy Cons is on the top shelf in case I need to refer to it for something, but Sorokin has gone missing and “Family and Civilization” is tucked forlornly on top of other books (Handel musical scores, actually), since despite its readability I am constantly interrupted while reading it, and it’s hard to pick up the thread again once that happens.
Piled up on the little table next to the telephone (which is not a bedside table, just a clutter magnet in the room) are a couple of Agatha Christie novels/short story collections (just the thing when I want to stop *thinking* and go to sleep, already) plus two books I’m more or less actively reading just now: Mark Shea’s “By What Authority” and a copy of David Murrow’s “Why Men Hate Going to Church” which I picked up for next to nothing at a local used book store. On my “to read” list (but on the bedside bookshelf) are the second and third of Lewis’s space trilogy–I read the first one long ago, and somehow never made it back for the other two.
Something that sometimes surprises my fellow lit majors is that I’m also terribly fond of good newspaper comics, so on top of the printer (another clutter magnet) is the copy of Bill Amend’s “FoxTrot Sundaes” collection of Sunday strips that my husband picked up for me over the weekend, and that I’m enjoying rather slowly on purpose, instead of reading through the whole thing straight away.



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Ellyn

posted May 4, 2010 at 4:12 pm


How Lincoln Learned to Read; The House of Wittgenstein; Ignatius Rising: the Life of John Kennedy Toole; Caravaggio – Painter of Miracles; How to Read Bible Stories and Myths in Art
Don’t have a picture of my bedside table, but do have a nice shot of the shelf at the foot of my bed…convenient in case I run out of bedside table material:
http://obhouse.blogspot.com/2010/02/youve-been-warned.html



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dangermom

posted May 4, 2010 at 4:14 pm


Death from the skies! — Phil Plait
Leviathan — Hobbes
The hope chest: a legacy of love — Rebekah Wilson
The graveyard game — Kage Baker
Last of the Mohicans — Cooper
Teachings of the Book of Mormon, vol. 2 — Nibley
The annotated “Origin” — Darwin + ed.
The road to serfdom — Hayek
And a tall tower of American founding documents and medieval literature, for two reading challenges I’m doing.



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Boz

posted May 4, 2010 at 4:19 pm


Roth, “Radetzky March” (the yearly re-read)
Bronson, “Thicker than Oil”
Ratzinger, “God and the World”
Khilnani, “Idea of India”
O’Neill, “Insurgency and Terrorism”
Cohen, “Idea of Pakistan”



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Hector

posted May 4, 2010 at 4:21 pm


Some of the highlights….
The Bible (Latin Vulgate and King James versions)
“Forward Day by Day” (an Episcopalian devotional based off the lectionary)
“That Hideous Strength” by C. S. Lewis
“War in Heaven” by Charles Williams
“Enzymatic Analysis” (for work)
“Plant Reproductive Allocation” (also for work)
“Plant Physiology” (basic textbook)
“Heresies of the High Middle Ages” by Wakefield and Evans
“The Need for Roots” by Simone Weil
“The Life of Pi” by Yann Martel
“Monopoly Capital” by Paul Sweezy
I would have a lot more plant-related books but I keep most of those at my office.



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Brett R.

posted May 4, 2010 at 4:35 pm


American Pharaoh by Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor (a biography of former Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley.) Was in the mood for some old fashioned Chicago political machine history.



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Richard Barrett

posted May 4, 2010 at 4:37 pm


Representative sample, as, like Erin Manning, I have a shelf next to my side of the bed:
Tolkien, Silmarillion
Kalevala
Raskin, The Westing Game
Hiley, Gregorian Chant
Kiraz, The New Syriac Primer
Sammon, Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner
Cameron and Conrad, eds., The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East: Problems in the Source Material
Rose, The Soul After Death
Pieper, Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power
Richard



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Captain Noble

posted May 4, 2010 at 4:38 pm


Dune – Frank Herbert
The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky



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MWorrell

posted May 4, 2010 at 4:43 pm


On my Nook currently:
Fargo Rock City – Chuck Klosterman (utterly horrid, btw)
Life Together and The Prayerbook of the Bible – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The Chicago Way – Michael Harvey
Holy Bible, ESV
The Story of Joan of Arc – R.M. Evans
Vintage Curch – Mark Driscoll



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Bluegrass Up

posted May 4, 2010 at 4:50 pm


Sitting on my nightstand:
The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, small leatherbound copy
The Roman Missal (1962), leatherbound copy
The Book of Common Prayer (1929) and the Hymnal, tiny leatherbound copy
…and I’m a Presbyterian, mind you…
(captcha: avowal explanations)



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Scott Lahti

posted May 4, 2010 at 4:53 pm


I see Julie is reading Henry James, “our finest lady novelist”, in the words of the late Edward Abbey.
Rod’s selection will be adapted for PBS as Flâneurie Will Catch You Everywhere – brought to you by Tao Chemical and Metropolitan Life.
Since I have no bed and sleep on a chair cushion on the floor, the closest I have to a bedside reading cache is the stack of 200+ recent issues of the TLS I scored from the free stuff section of Craigslist (thanks to a Google Alert), courtesy of an advertiser in Douglas, Massachusetts, about five miles south of Worcester and five miles east of Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.
Captcha: “cursorily wholesome” – my life to a vodka-spiked herbal tea, with “magically delicious” and “curiously strong” only a bowl of Lucky Charms and an Altoid chaser away…



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Michael

posted May 4, 2010 at 4:54 pm


Has the Catholic Church Gone Mad? by John Eppstein
The Mystery of the Frightened Lady, by Edgar O. Wallace
In Good Company, by Fritz Wetherbee



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Everhopeful

posted May 4, 2010 at 5:18 pm


The Orthodox Way (Timothy Ware)
Passage to India (Forster)
The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (Leo Donald Davis)
Our Mutual Friend (Dickens)
On my table until a few days ago, and now on my husband’s:
36 Arguments for the Existence of God (Rebecca Goldstein)
It’s interesting how many times C. S. Lewis appears. I didn’t count, but I’ll bet he is the most represented single author here. I’m reading a lot of Lewis now, but it’s not on my nightstand; it’s downstairs on my desk. ;)



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Sarah

posted May 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm


A Confederacy of Dunces by Toole (I’m not sucking up to Rod, it’s true! I finally got my own copy.)
Jesus, the Apostles and the Early Church by Pope Benedict
Parenting with Grace by Greg and Lisa Popcak
Nightlight: A Devotional for Couples by Dr. Dobson
The Bible, RSV Catholic translation
May issue of Magnificat magazine



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Fr. J

posted May 4, 2010 at 5:30 pm


“The Habit of Being” is such a great book! I spent a good portion of last week reading that.
Also just finished “Out of the Silent Planet,” which is the first of C.S. Lewis’ space trilogy. And I’m trying to work on “Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross: Contemporary Images of the Atonement” which includes among others reflections by Rowan Williams, Frederica Matthewes-Green, and C. S. Lewis.



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Coleman Glenn

posted May 4, 2010 at 5:31 pm


I seriously underestimated one sad side effect of getting a Kindle: gone is the stack of books beside my bed, the only remnant being a copy of the Bible (NKJV) – and even so I often read the Bible on my Kindle. I try to convince myself, too, that it’s vain to care what’s on my bookshelves – but darn it, I want people to see my books, to be able to pick them up and browse through them and borrow them! I know, no one’s forcing me to buy Kindle books – but it’s hard to justify paying more for the physical copy when I can instantly have the same thing for less in a version that I can take with me everywhere. Sigh.
Anyway, the top 5 most recently opened books on my Kindle (all of which in olden times would have been heaped by my bed):
The Bible (NKJV)
True Christian Religion (by Emanuel Swedenborg)
The Newcomes (by William Makepeace Thackeray)
US: Transforming Ourselves and the Relationships That Matter Most (by Lisa Oz)
The Complete Sherlock Holmes (by Arthur Conan Doyle)



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Tony D.

posted May 4, 2010 at 5:31 pm


I’m posting from work, so this is from memory:
“The Way of the Ascestics,” Tito Colliander
“The Challenge of Jesus,” N.T. Wright
“The Christology of the Later Fathers” – – Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus (these guys are “later” how?)
Captcha: Juillet outfitted



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stefanie

posted May 4, 2010 at 5:34 pm


Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke
Adolf, vol. 1 (manga) by Osamu Tezuka
Hawaii, by James Michener
Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell
(also, the captcha tells me that doormats are necessary…)



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Roland de Chanson

posted May 4, 2010 at 5:44 pm


Byzantium: Greatness and Decline, Diehl
A History of Russia, Riasanovski
The Orthodox Church, Ware
An t-Oileánach, Ó Criomhthain
Sacrilege, Podles
Histoire d’O, Réage
I’m sort of on a Byzantium kick. Also, I’m trying to learn Irish. And no, I’m not entirely sure why. The Histoire d’O is my wife’s. I just borrow it when I’m tired of sailing to Byzantium. I think one of my kids swiped the Kama Sutra. I had been trying to teach myself Sanskrit.



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thehova

posted May 4, 2010 at 5:53 pm


Montaigne’s Essays
“Swans Way” Proust
I guess I’m on a French binge right now.



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Turmarion

posted May 4, 2010 at 5:55 pm


My wife has a bedside table; I don’t, but I don’t read in bed much. Usually she drifts off first and I go into the living room or the quasi-office (we call it the computer room) to read. Thus, this is a metaphorical “bedside table” list–the in-progress or “to-read” books, regardless of their physical location.
For my wife: Bleach Vol. 29 (the manga); Wicked, by Gregory Maguire; Water Witches, by Chris Bohjalian.
For myself: Lord Foul’s Bane (the first volume of the first Thomas Covenant trilogy; The Dead Zone, by Stephen King; The Jesus Wars by Philip Jenkins (an excellent book, by the way, which I’d recommend); Seamus Heaney’s tranlation of Beowulf. There are zillions others, but these are at the top of the queue, so to speak.
My wife doesn’t actually have fewer than I do, but those are the only ones that spring to mind at the moment, being out of the house.
In the vein of The Tao of Physics, Rod, let me also suggest The Dancing Wu Li Masters, an interesting book on a similar theme.



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RSG

posted May 4, 2010 at 5:55 pm


Living Orthodoxy in the Modern World
Mystical Theology of the Orthodox Church
Brothers Karamazov
The Forever War by Dexter Filkins



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RSG

posted May 4, 2010 at 5:56 pm


Living Orthodoxy in the Modern World
Mystical Theology of the Orthodox Church
Brothers Karamazov
The Forever War by Dexter Filkins



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Turmarion

posted May 4, 2010 at 6:01 pm


It just occurred to me, Rod, that the aforementioned Jesus Wars (I can’t remember if you’ve referred to it in the past) is really good not only because of the history and theology, but as an example of worldviews, epistemic closure, and such, as we’ve been speaking about.
Jenkins doesn’t just discuss the history of the Councils and the various heresies, but he tries to get into the minds of the protagonists and to see why passions rose so high, even to what we’d now call terrorism, over issues that we would today view as abstruse theological minutia. He also tries to show why such horribly un-Christian behavior seemed justified to the people at the time.
In this regard, the book is fascinating as well as informative, and I’d recommend it to anyone with a serious interest in Christian history or theology (from any denominational viewpoint).
CAPTCHA: 188 ranger I wonder if the numbers have significance….



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Japhy Ryder

posted May 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm


Just a question, do the books on your bedside table really tell you about the character of a person?
I may be picking with this point but if someone is studying World War II they could have bedside reading that makes it look like they’re a Nazi sympathizer.
I also think of all the people I know and/or see who present themselves as pious, church-going people who when you get them one-on-one and have a level of comfort-ability with them turn out to be real jacka#$’s.
At any rate – Fooled by Randomness – Nasim Talib.
I tend to read one book at a time and it’s a mixture of “academic” type books followed by literature (Kerouac, Hemingway, or what I call male romance novels i.e. Brad Thor, Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn, etc.).



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MikeW

posted May 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm


Interesting post…when I visit someone’s home, I’m always curious to see what they’re reading (or have read), and not the stuff on their “show” bookshelves, but the really McCoys…
Here’s what’s next to my bed:
The Collected Poems of Wendell Berry
Robert Frost’s Poems
Redbreast by Jo Nesbo



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Keith

posted May 4, 2010 at 6:14 pm


The Flying Inn (G.K. Chesterton)
New Testament
Beginning To Pray (Met. Anthony Bloom)
The Art Of Prayer, An Orthodox Anthology
Jesus of Nazareth (Pope Benedict)
The Orthodox Way (Met. Kallistos Ware)
Ringworld (Lary Niven)



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Matushka Anna

posted May 4, 2010 at 6:23 pm


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling
Misreadings – Umberto Eco
The Tao of Pooh – Benjamin Hoff
The World of Pooh – A. A. Milne
The Last Plantagenets – Thomas B. Costain



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Houghton

posted May 4, 2010 at 6:33 pm


Okay, not trying to be pretentious here (although I guess the point of this exercise is to discern character! :-)) it just happens to be what I’m interested in right now:
*Greek Philosophy: Thales to Aristotle, ed. by Reginald Allen
*The Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
*Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo de Medici
*Real Christianity by William Wilberforce
*Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett
*In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
*The Jesus Prayer by Frederica Mathewes-Green



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Stranger at Home

posted May 4, 2010 at 6:39 pm


The Great Divorce – C.S. Lewis
A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
Eclipse – Stephenie Meyer



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Appalachian Prof

posted May 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm


“Paul Among the People” Sarah Ruden (Because you suggested it)
“Jesus of Nazareth” Pope Benedict
“Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte” JK Rowling
“The Spirit of the Liturgy” Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
“The Agony of Christianity” Unamuno
“Tolkien and CS Lewis: The Gift of Friendship” Colin Duriez
My captcha is: sponging patients



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Ken

posted May 4, 2010 at 7:02 pm


Prefaces to Shakespeare — Tony Tannner (for Julius Caesar)
Julius Caesar
Collected Poems — Czeslaw Milosz
Meditations — Marcus Aurelius
Thelonius Monk — Robin G. Kelley
Athesit Delusions — David Bentley Hart
The Death of Adam — Marilynne Robinson



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Erin Manning

posted May 4, 2010 at 7:11 pm


Richard Barrett, if you are reading “The Westing Game” and enjoying it, I highly recommend “The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues” by the same author. It’s out of print, but can be found used online fairly cheaply, and I’ve always leaned toward considering it the better of these two of Raskin’s books. I really need to pick up a used copy myself, so my girls can read it.
So many “old friends” on these lists–I’m tempted to make a “must re-read” list of my own. I have known people who never re-read a book, but to me the pleasure of a prolonged acquaintance with the works of a favorite author is one of the great joys of life.
(I would share my “captcha” phrase here, except that in the light of my continued efforts to lose weight it seems rather pointed. :) One of these days, Rod should have a “Poetry of Captcha” thread, wherein each commenter simply posts the captcha words found below each comment box. The whole could be submitted to some modern poetry contest, or something.)



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Kit Stolz

posted May 4, 2010 at 7:16 pm


“The Denial of Death,” by Ernest Becker — rethinking Freud. Shockingly good book. Won the Pulitzer back in the l970’s, now is the foundation of a school of thought called “terror management theory.”
“If There Is Something to Desire, ” by Vera Pavlova — the sexiest book of poetry you will ever read. And really, really good. Astounding. I’m not the only one who thinks so, either. The New Yorker, Poetry, etc.
For the curious, here’s an example: http://www.achangeinthewind.com/2010/01/let-poetry-die-and-be-reborn-again-outside-academia.html
“Heart of Dryness” — good topic (how Bushmen can help us understand how to handle drought) but a bit labored.



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Susan

posted May 4, 2010 at 7:17 pm


The Big Short — Michael Lewis
Letter to a Christian Nation — Sam Harris
The Design of Everyday Things — Donald A. Norman
A Natural History of the Senses — Diane Ackerman
The Thing Around Your Neck — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Spiritual Emerson — RWE
A Peoples History of the United States — Howard Zinn
Barcelona — Robert Hughes
Last Sunday’s NY Times Magazine



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Hippimama

posted May 4, 2010 at 7:39 pm


O Pioneers! Willa Cather
The Bible
The New Yorker
Letters of Francis Schaeffer



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Major Wootton

posted May 4, 2010 at 7:48 pm


Grimms’ Fairy Tales
Forest Echo, by Skrebitski (nature sketches for children, by a Russian author)
A Time of Gifts, by Patrick Leigh Fermor



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AnitaAshland

posted May 4, 2010 at 8:09 pm


I went ahead and posted a photo on my blog of my stack of books.
It was either do that or do real work. :D
It’s not a bedside stack, however. It’s a flower-side stack because I do much of my reading outside this time of year:
http://kitchentablewisdom.net/2010/05/what-does-your-stack-of-books-say-about-you/



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Andrea

posted May 4, 2010 at 8:19 pm


Nothing that neat or impressive or intellectually heavy.
I’m currently starting a science fiction/fantasy novel called “Spellbinder” by Melanie Rawn.
Last week I finished a mystery novel called “The God of the Hives” by Laurie R. King. It’s a Sherlock Holmes pastiche.
I also revisited a collection of letters by Tsar Nicholas II and Alexandra called “Love, Power and Tragedy.”
I read a fair number of online newspapers and blogs but I don’t do as much heavy book reading as I used to.



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John T

posted May 4, 2010 at 8:36 pm


The Bible
Persecution and Resistance of Jehovah’s Witnesses During the Nazi-Regime 1933-1945 (anthology of essays by Holocaust scholars)
Robert the Bruce King of Scots by Ronald McNair Scott



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wendell

posted May 4, 2010 at 9:13 pm


Your Soul’s Compass – Joan Borysenko
The Bridge (Obama bio) – David Remick
Econned – Yves Smith
Love and Justice – Reinhold Neibuhr
Lyrical and Critical Essays – Albert Camus
Devils (Possessed) – Dostoevsky



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Ali

posted May 4, 2010 at 9:18 pm


Love, love, love this post! Are you enjoying the Orthodox Psycotherapy book? It has been on my amazon wishlist for a while.
Here’s my list:
1) So Much For That by Lionel Shriver
2) The Red and the Black by Stendhal
3) The Beauty of God: Theology and the Arts (a compilation of essays)
4) Orthodox Study Bible (New Testament)
5) Bible (Old and New Testaments, RSV version)
6) Christ in the Psalms by Father Pat Reardon
7) The Message of John (a commentary on the gospel of John by John Milne)



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Stephanos

posted May 4, 2010 at 10:32 pm


Justo Gonzalez, History of Christian Thought, vol. 1
Garry Wills, What Paul Meant
Henry James, The Ambassadors
Jay Hubbell, The South in American Literature
The Sewanee Review
The New Oxford Annotated Bible
The Viking Portable Shakespeare
N.T. Wright, The Climax of the Covenant
The Canterbury Tales



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Priest Raphael

posted May 4, 2010 at 11:01 pm


Hey, them there are my kids on the cover of Life Transfigured!



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Steve in NYC

posted May 4, 2010 at 11:06 pm


Analog Science Fiction & Fact – current issue
Church, World, Mission – Fr Alexander Schmemann
The Nine Tailors – Dorothy L. Sayers



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Chuck Bloom

posted May 4, 2010 at 11:39 pm


Sadly it isn’t “Crunchy Cons,” but my table “sports:”
The Bullpen Diaries – Dirk Hayshurst
Game Change – Heilman/Halperin (as fascinating an inside look at a acampaign as ever printed)
a biography about Willie Mays
Renegade – Richard Woolfe
Voices of the Game – an old book about baseball broadcasters in memory of the late GREAT Detroit Tiger voice, Ernie Harwell, as fine a man and as gentle a soul as inhabited this earth.
If I might suggest, read one of his many books about life, not just baseball and you will understand what a fine man he was and righteous life he led.
And jmust what is the definition of the Captcha word: SLAPHAPPY???



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Joanna England

posted May 4, 2010 at 11:49 pm


This is going to seem ridiculous, but I’ve got a pile of knitting and “A Confederacy of Dunces” on my bedside table.



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Brett R.

posted May 4, 2010 at 11:53 pm


Chuck! My brother! A fellow baseball nut! In the bookshelf near my bed, I have copies of Bill Veeck’s “Veeck as in Wreck” and “The Hustler’s Handbook.” A great, crazy man.



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Matthew from Alaska

posted May 5, 2010 at 3:09 am


Desiring God-John Piper
Getting to Know You-David Marusek (a sci-fi short story collection)
Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes-Bailey
Politics for the Greatest Good-Forsythe
Evangelicals in the Public Square-Budziszewski
The last two are for a class but have been pretty good.



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Faheem

posted May 5, 2010 at 5:05 am


Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
The Hawke Ascendency by Paul Kelly
The last one is a book about the 1984 Australian election, where Bob Hawke became Prime Minister.



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Jeffersonian

posted May 5, 2010 at 6:41 am


The Big Book Of Garden Answers, a King Jim’s Bible, World’s 100 Toughest Crosswords edited by Will Shortz, last Sunday’s NYT crossword, Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen, a National Geographic of unknown date, The G-Free Diet by Elizabeth Hasselbeck.



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Widlgrad

posted May 5, 2010 at 7:33 am


So You’re Going to Be a Dad – Peter Downey (read it a few months ago before my daughter was born)
The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year – Armin Brott
The Rebirth of Orthodoxy: Signs of New Life in Christianity – Thomas Oden
The Orthodox Study Bible
The Quest Study Bible (NIV)



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Cultural conservative

posted May 5, 2010 at 7:53 am


“The Complete Father Brown Stories” – GK Chesterton
“The Imitation of Christ” – Thomas a Kempis
“A Confession” – Leo Tolstoy
On the subject of books, my captcha – “clamorous plausibility” – sounds like a work of sceptical theology.



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Matthew LaPine

posted May 5, 2010 at 8:38 am

ipcress

posted May 5, 2010 at 9:29 am


The Yiddish Policemen’s Union – Michael Chabon
Vanity Fair (20th reading, approximately) – William Makepeace Thackeray
In The Woods – Tana French
Death at La Fenice – Donna Leon
The Wordy Shipmates – Sarah Vowell



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John

posted May 5, 2010 at 9:50 am


How does everyone keep up with so many books at once? Or does everyone clean up slowly?
Mine:
“Love Conquers All,” Robert Benchley
“East of Eden,” John Steinbeck
“The Quest for Cosmic Justice,” Thomas Sowell



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Conor Dugan

posted May 5, 2010 at 11:11 am


Well this is what was on my beside table before I took two of them with me today: Prayer by Hans Urs von Balthasar; American Original (bio of Scalia) by Joan Biskupic; Explorations in Theology IV by Balthasar; the New American Bible (I know the translation is not great and the language has that 70s romper room feel, but it is the right size); and The Shadow Factory, by James Bamford (which I’ve already finished but have there because I want to write a review on Goodreads).



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John Farrell

posted May 5, 2010 at 11:25 am


I hope you read Capra with a grain (or two) of salt.
:)



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High-church libertarian curmudgeon

posted May 5, 2010 at 11:50 am


‘Bobby and J. Edgar’ by Burton Hersh.
Home:
http://home.comcast.net/~acbfp



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Dan Berger

posted May 5, 2010 at 12:08 pm


I hope you read Capra with a grain (or two) of salt.
Or five, or ten.
Books in my bedside cabinet are more things that I’ve read and not returned to their shelves, or books that I wanted to read but put aside for one reason or another. I also have books of that sort scattered around the house; it drives my wife crazy.
In no particular order:
A translation of the Prose Edda
Galileo’s Daughter, by Dana Sobel
Sarah Ruden’s translation of The Aeneid — autographed!
The Joy of Chemistry, which I am planning to use as a textbook for a liberal-arts chemistry course
The Best of Gene Wolfe (I just finished his Wizard Knight books)
Echoes of Life: What Fossil Molecules Reveal About Earth History, which is well-written but a bit of a slog
Oh, and on my Palm TX I have a slough of other books, including
The Outlaw of Torn by ERB (highly recommended, one of his better ones)
The War Chief and The Apache Devil, also by ERB
Misc. shorts and novellas by Clifford Simak and Damon Knight
Heart of Darkness
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson — if you’ve not read this, I HIGHLY recommend it as one of the best psychological SF stories ever
This is a partial listing. Things come and go from my stack; sometimes they get read, sometimes not.



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Jam

posted May 5, 2010 at 12:20 pm


METROPOLITAN HIEROTHEOS OF NAFPAKTOS!
I read _Orthodox Psychotherapy_ over Lent; it’s great. I love reading books by him so that I can tell people I’m reading a book by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos. It’s fun to say.
Also, the nuns at Holy Transfiguration = win. I hope to spend some time with them again this summer.



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Anna

posted May 5, 2010 at 12:32 pm


The Brothers Karamozov
Father Arseny
History of Virginia [Old Dominion, New Commonwealth]



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Brian Kaller

posted May 5, 2010 at 1:05 pm


I don’t have a bedside table exactly, but I posted this photo of one of my bookshelves recently.



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the stupid Chris

posted May 5, 2010 at 1:13 pm


Short list today:
– A Dog in a Hat: An American Bike Racer’s Story of Mud, Drugs, Blood, Betrayal, and Beauty in Belgium by Joe Parkin
– For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy by Alexander Schmemann
and the Kindle…with the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, a few mystery novels and etc.



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the stupid Chris

posted May 5, 2010 at 1:17 pm


It’s interesting how many times C. S. Lewis appears.
Easy to fall asleep to? ;-)



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PDGM

posted May 5, 2010 at 1:37 pm


I’ve got to second Erin Manning on quantity here: I’ve got a headboard that I can stack about 50 books on (hope there’s not an earthquake) and I’ve got tons on their. But I also have lots of what I call TV reading: novels that are a way of spending time, not of self betterment. I tend to mix up a huge amount of my reading: a junky novel (it has to be literate but not ultimately worthwhile, if you know what I mean; this for me rules out most NYT bestseller types); this includes Zadie Smith, Jim Harrison, Vikram Chandra, and so on. Honestly, I may spend as much on the literate trash as I spend on the intrinsically worthwhile stuff.
But also there or nearby is a history of watercolor, an introduction to Aristotle, a 1951 Oxford book on the history of the rise of the middle class; Christianity and the Doctrine of Non Dualism, and many others.
Now, I want to know: how many of you left out the trashy stuff when you described your bedside books? How many of you presented a “best case scenario” or what I describe as the “first date version” of your reading, rather than the mundane, quotidian reality?



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Nora

posted May 5, 2010 at 2:08 pm


Robert Crais, The First Rule
Randy Wayne White, Deep Shadow
Declan Hughes, City of Lost Girls
Vicki Hendricks, Cruel Poetry (re-read, for something I’m writing — not that I’m embarrassed to be reading Hendricks — love her stuff)



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SusannaS

posted May 5, 2010 at 2:42 pm


PDGM (@ 1:37pm),
You got my whole list, good bad and ugly. Now, if the question had been asked last week, Harry Potter and the “Calvin & Hobbes Anniversary Collection” would’ve been on it, and Lewis would not.
I’m a lot like you, tho – I have “comfort books” (Clancy, Rowling, etc) that I always like to have going for when my brain is tired. And I usually have some kind of “project” book out for reference (trying to propagate my great-grandmother’s roses, in this case!)
I’m an academic librarian married to a philosophy professor, so you can imagine the number of books scattered all over our house (not counting all the ones on the bookshelves)! 8-)



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Grumpy Old Man

posted May 5, 2010 at 3:03 pm


http://globaloctopus.blogspot.com/2010/05/books-by-my-bed.html
Graham, Black Ships
Shimoda, Oh! A Mystery of Mono No Aware
Game Change
Tolstoy, War and Peace
O’Brien, Mrs. Adama in Winter



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Matthew from Alaska

posted May 5, 2010 at 3:43 pm


@PDGM- I followed the rules, the only exception being my bedside books are still in a box from moving to Anchorage and we haven’t bought much furniture. However, I am a huge comic book geek and read those aplenty. They just aren’t next to my bed. Gotta keep ‘em properly stored ya know. :)



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Mike

posted May 5, 2010 at 4:11 pm


By the bed or in various parts of my bunker.
The Bible. (~God)
“Reappraising the Right: The Past & Future of American Conservatism,” (~George Nash)
(Re-read) “Reflections,” (~Sir Edmind Burke)
“Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician” (~Anthony Everitt)
Can you tell I am political junkie?



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sj

posted May 5, 2010 at 5:38 pm


“With the Old Breed” by E.B. Sledge
“Faith of Our Fathers” by James Cardinal Gibbons
“To Serve the Living: Funeral Directors and the African-American Way of Death” by Suzanne E. Smith
“The Strange Career of Jim Crow” by C. Vann Woodward
“The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything” by James Martin, S.J.
On the Kindle:
“Don Quixote”
“Paul Among the People”



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Julana

posted May 5, 2010 at 8:20 pm


Susan Wise Bauer’s Histories of the: Ancient World; Medieval World.
Vanier and Hauerwas, Living Gently in a Violent World.
Jan Karon, A Light in the Window.



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laylafirefly

posted May 5, 2010 at 8:51 pm


the books close by my side 4 reading:
joseph cornell’s dreams
shop class as soulcraft
ad hoc at home
i find it relaxing 2 explore & consider cookbook recipes 4 future dinners…
my captcha: under Hargrave…



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Anglican

posted May 5, 2010 at 10:17 pm


The Minor Prophets E.B. Pusey
Paul N.T. Wright,
After you believe N.T. Wright.
Introduction to the New Testament Carson and Moos.
The Jesus Wars Philip Jenkins.
ESV study Bible
BCP,1928.
Road and Track Magizine,First things,Touchstone.



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Andrea

posted May 5, 2010 at 10:44 pm


I had to wonder about whether everyone put their most highbrow lists up for inspection too. Or maybe this blog just has a lot of serious people who read weightier material than the average Joe. I have four floor to ceiling bookshelves, crammed with books from every genre from sci fi to mysteries to biographies to history to sociology to trashy romances. I have a Catholic Bible jammed in next to several books on Gnosticism (Thomas, Mary Magdalene, modern Gnosticism, etc.) and somewhere on the same book shelf are some books on Wicca and astrology. I have another shelf full of Romanov biographies, a couple on household life in a typical Victorian home and some Shakespeare and Keats/Byron/Shelley left over from my college classes. Every book on the shelf represents some phase in my life. I tend to read voraciously on a subject until I’ve had my fill and then stick the book away for a few years and revisit them. So listing just a few book titles is hard. Technically they’re not on the bedside table. They’re in untidy stacks in every nook and cranny.



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AlyssaSophia

posted May 6, 2010 at 8:53 am


I posted my nightstand picture to my FB page :)



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Don

posted May 6, 2010 at 11:18 am


History of the Jeep CJ
Avoid The Vet, Guide to Raising Poultry
Patriot’s History of the United States
Federalist Papers
Imitation of Christ
Bible (Ignatius)
Air and Space magazine
The Silmarillion



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Rob Murphy

posted May 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm


Empire of Liberty – Gordon Wood
Daniel’s Running Formula – Jack Daniels
Running and Being – Dr. George Sheehan



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economista

posted May 6, 2010 at 1:33 pm


Ironically enough:
-Crunchy Cons by our fair host (I just started reading this blog, and was curious about the book)
-Facing East by Frederica Matthews-Green
-Just Food by James McWilliams (I don’t recommend this one. Can I return it to the store?)
-Public Economics and Public Policy by Jonathan Gruber (textbook for the course I teach)
-Cook’s Illustrated
-Touchstone would be on the list, but I never received my last copy!
I’m finished with Crunchy Cons (loved it!), am almost finished with my third time through Facing East, and don’t plan on finishing Just Food. Does anyone else here enjoy reading books through more than once (besides the Bible, obviously)? My husband thinks it’s pointless, but I like coming back to some stories, like old friends.



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vet questions

posted August 21, 2013 at 7:10 am


Thank you ever so for you post.Really thank you!



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