What’s on YOUR mantel?

These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. -Gilbert Highet, writer (1906-1978) 

 

I used to have a rule: read only one book at a time before starting another.

That rule seems to have disappeared in the past few years, and I’m not so sure that’s a good thing.

Currently, I have the following books in process:

The Ladies’ Lending Library by Janice Kulyk Keefer

When God Winks at You by Squire Rushnell

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose

Additionally, I try to grab short peeks from the following that also occupy space on the nightstand:

The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle

Love Poems From God – Daniel Ladinsky

Heartland Portrait, edited by Robert Wolf

In recent months I’ve read Dust by Martha Grimes, The Earth Abides by Iowa writer Betty Taylor, two books by Sarah Addison Allen: Garden Spells and Sugar Queen, Death Penalty by Wm. J. Coughlin (deceased), The Devil’s Code by John Sanford, The Egg Lady by Tricia Curans-Sheehan, Hypnotizing Maria by Richard Bach, three mysteries by Margaret Truman, ANAM CARA by John O’Donohue and a tea-room mystery by Laura Childs—to name a few.

I enjoy reading the daily newspaper, although sometimes that comes in one long session on the weekend. Never mind the number of magazines that I subscribe to . . . or the on-line reading/research that I do.

If you’re going to write, you gotta’ read, and finding the balance is The On-going Challenge. Reading other people’s work is the best writing class around.

In the New Year I’m going to attempt to get back to my initial rule of reading one book start to finish, before picking up another one. I think that will better serve both enjoyment and absorption levels.

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6 thoughts on “What’s on YOUR mantel?

  1. What is that 9th book from the left? I believe it’s a classic and I had a book just like it (same publisher) in my collection at one time.

    I don’t have a mantel, but I keep adding bookcases to my home, to accomodate all my old and new books. The latest addition to my bookcase shelves are all my journals and notebooks filled with writing ideas I will use someday, down the road.

    I too am guilty of opening one too many books at one time. i have piles under my kitchen table, my coffee table and my night stand. Probably other places too. Oh, well.

    • It is an old copy titled “Prairie Gold by Iowa Authors and Artists” copyrighted in 1917 by The Reilly & Britton Co. It has stories by people such as Henry C. Wallace included. It was put together to “offer their bit toward the relief of suffering,” in the times leading up to WW I by the Iowa Press and Authors’ Club.

      I can’t remember if I found it at the library’s annual sale, or at an estate tag sale some time back, but it’s a joy to have in my collection.

      You really can’t have too many books–right, Deb? ;-}

  2. I have this over my desk, among others:

    “Pursue your passion and don’t worry about things you can’t control.”

    I don’t know who said that, or wrote it.

  3. Amen to this statement from your blog:

    If you’re going to write, you gotta’ read, and finding the balance is The On-going Challenge. Reading other people’s work is the best writing class around.

  4. Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
    You can only see as far as your headlights,
    but you can make the whole trip that way.

    E. L. Doctorow

    • Clint-

      I have that very quote over my desk in the office. It has been one of my favs for quite some time. Thanks for the thought of it today, however.

      And I’ll keep it in mind as I signed up again to do the novel writing challenge for the month of November. I just decided to dive in once again.

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