Thursday, May 27, 2010

BTT: Bedside

Once again, Laura at Booking Through Thursday, has posed a question to the blogging & reading community. By the end of the day, some 30 to 70 bloggers will have posted their own replies and linked their blog posts to hers.

Laura asks:

What books do you have next to your bed right now? How about other places in the house? What are you reading?

July's People by Nadine Gordimer Well, to be honest, although I read in bed, I rarely leave any books there when I get up in the morning. Instead, I carry my book with me to the other parts of the house or on my day's travels so that I can read whenever the opportunity arises. There is a book in the headboard of my bed at home, though. It's July's People by Nadine Gordimer, which I have promised to send to Rocky who won it in last fall's Afrika Swap at BookObsessed.

July's People tells the story of the liberal (and white) Smales family who, when full-scale war between the races breaks out in South Africa, are rescued by their servant, July, who leads them to refuge in his village. This novel appealed to me when researching and looking for a book set in Africa for the swap. Gordimer was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature 10 years after the publication of July's People. I'm only a small way into the book so far, but I am finding her description of how apartheid might end in all-out violence a chilling vision, indeed.

I had intended to pick this book up off the headboard when I left home Monday morning (at 6am!), but forgot it. Fortunately, I had lots of other books with me to take its place.

Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters In my backpack here in San Antonio, I have my Kindle with numerous books on it, including Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters. Early in May, I discovered that was offering a special price for this book, first in Peters' series starring Amelia Peabody, a Victorian feminist who heads out to Egypt to excavate mummies and winds up using her sleuthing skills to help solve a murder or two. The series is up to 18 volumes now, and if I enjoy this book as much as I think I will, there will be future purchases—not necessarily all in Kindle format—as I read my way through the series.

See yesterday's post for more about the books that I'm reading. And yes, I did say “books”, plural. I can't remember a time when I was only reading one book at a time. I'm well practiced in the art of reading several books simultaneously. Sometimes one book is so compelling that I concentrate on it to the exclusion of others that I might have started reading, but I return to those as soon as I've finished reading the first.

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