A Writerly Life (inc. The Monday Morsel) – 04/08/08

The Bedside Table

One of the magazines that I regularly read is a writing magazine aimed at women called ‘Mslexia‘. At the back is a regular column in which a writer or some other celebrity is interviewed about what they have on their bedside table etc. I love this column as it gives a real insight into what books people like/dislike and I have always harboured a secret desire to answer the questions posed. So, here goes:

The Table:
It is a flat pack effort (obviously not flat pack now!) – a three drawer bedside table in fake pine veneer. I know, rather tacky but it was all I could afford when I moved in (and still is!).

The Method:
I have a huge red cushion I put on top of my pillows which supports my shoulders, neck and head. I try and read before I put the light out even if I just manage a few lines before my eyelids droop.

The Books:

Reading at the moment:
In spite of what I’ve put in my status report in the left sidebar, I’ve actually got six books on my bedside table. This is because sometimes I need a rest from medieval stuff and so dip into whatever takes my fancy at the moment. My present book stack looks like this:

Shakespeare – Bill Bryson.
The Traitor’s Wife – Susan Higginbotham. (Yes, Susan, I have finally relented and have started to read your book now that I have ‘my’ Hugh securely anchored in my head! And yes, I’m really enjoying it too!)
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek – Annie Dillard.
The Wolf, the Woman, the Wilderness – Teresa tsimmu Martino.
Synchro-destiny – Deepak Chopra.
When I Loved Myself Enough – Kim McMillen with Alison McMillen.

Couldn’t Put Down:
Four books which absolutely gripped me and I would re-read again and again are:

Surfacing – Margaret Atwood (stunning use of poetic prose and imagery)
Women Who Run With the Wolves – Clarissa Pinkola Estes. (Fantastic advice through folk tales)
Here Be Dragons – Sharon Penman. (enjoyable, if idiosyncratic style and superb research)
Prodigal Summer – Barbara Kingsolver. (A lovely book to lose yourself in)

Gathering Dust:
Books I’ve not been able to get into for some reason or another.

Zennor in Darkness – Helen Dunmore (just didn’t grip me at all)
The Hobbit… in fact any Tolkien at all(yes, sacrilege to some I know but I really just can’t get my head around any of the LOTR stuff!)
Pharos – Alice Thompson (couldn’t get into the writer’s style)
The Enigma of Arrival – VS Naipaul (I was forced to read this at uni – I found it to be like watching paint dry!)

Secret Indulgence:
The occasional peep at one of the ‘celeb’ magazines. Even though I hate celeb culture and wouldn’t actually buy a copy of Heat or whatever, if I can get a sneak view at the hairdresser’s, I will. I especially love pics of celebs not looking their best as it makes me feel better!

Right, I’m now tagging others to do this…. Gabriele? Alianore? Susan? Anyone else?


About Jules Frusher

With an MA in Creative and Critical Writing, I am passionate about the written word. The other great loves of my life are all things Medieval (especially Hugh le Despenser the Younger) and animal behaviour (especially canids and corvids). Give me a castle in the wilderness (with Broadband!) and I'll be happy!
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