On My Nightstand

March 22, 2012

I’ve had a whole bunch of great reading nights lately and thought I’d share what’s on my nightstand. In no particular order:

- Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson.
Do you read The Bloggess? If yes, you already know she is irreverent and not afraid to swear. She’s also one of my long time blogging friends and one of the kindest + funniest people on the planet. This is her debut book, a memoir, and it’s soooo good! The book comes out next month, but it’s already been pre-ordered so many times, I heard it’s on it’s 3rd or 4th printing!

- This Is Not the Story You Think It Is… by Laura Munson.
Several weeks ago I linked to an article about a husband telling his wife he didn’t love her anymore, and the wife responding: I don’t buy it. Well, that woman is Laura Munson. She saw my link and sent me a copy of her book, where she tells the whole story in (often hilarious) detail. I could not put this down! It’s a captivating tale and wherever you are in your marriage relationship, I’ll bet it would do you good. It certainly resonated with me!

- How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen.
I’m only a short way into this one, but it already has me thinking hard. This is an advance copy (the book comes out in May), and it arrived the same day as Laura Munson’s book. I mention the arrival because I feel like these two books are very different but have similar themes: that you can choose a happy life!

Honestly, I feel like this message is coming my way from many directions right now. It all started when I clicked through an email about A Blog About Love, and since then it’s been book after video after blog post after book telling me: choose to be happy.

It’s a great message, and I’ll take it!

Playful Learning by Mariah Bruehl
Mariah is a super smart lady and great blogger. And this is her knowledge distilled into a really helpful book. If you’re interested in making your time with children especially purposeful and fruitful, this book is perfect! I would also recommend it for anyone that’s considering home schooling. Mariah is so good about how she approaches teaching as a parent.

- Best of Organizing by Martha Stewart Living
This is a special edition issue and it’s a really good one! I feel like it has real-life-I-can-implement-this ideas. Cleaning and organizing are on my brain right now. You too? I guess they call it spring cleaning for a reason!

- Lastly, I’m enjoying Entertaining is Fun! by Dorothy Draper. You can read about how I came to own this vintage volume here.

I’d love to hear what’s stacked on your nightstand. Any books you’re loving right now? Have you read any of the books I highlighted? What did you think of them?

P.S. — On a book-related note, my kids saw The Hunger Games movie yesterday and they LOVED it. Plus, they felt super cool seeing it before it was released in the U.S. : ) Will you be seeing it this weekend?

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 vermontmommy March 22, 2012 at 9:22 am

Thank you for the list. I ordered several of them plus a two that were on my list.

I am reading the first copy of Taproot that came out this month.
I am also reading, Becoming Jane Eyre, The Woman Behind Little Women and Taming the Giant Hairball.

I ordered: Look me in the Eye:My life with Asperger’s- Lots of Asperger Diagnosed friends in my life. I think this will be a good read for me.

Finally, yes, I bought tickets for my oldest and I to watch The Hunger Games on Friday. I told him about your kiddos getting to watch it early. He has downloaded the soundtrack, has a t-shirt and some cute Etsy made pins to wear. He is very excited, as am I.
Plus, the new Chitty Chitty Bang Bang book for my oldest.

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2 Dee March 22, 2012 at 10:08 am

What a great set. I’m waiting to receive Playful Learning from the library. I read Laura Munson’s article, too. Maybe I should check out the book? I’ve got a little bit of everything on my nightstand right now: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (Mindy Kaling’s funny book), Heaven on Earth (a waldorf inspired parenting guide), Home Learning Year by Year (even though we aren’t homeschooling anymore, I think it’s a great reference guide), Drawn in (peeks into the sketchbooks of artists and illustrators, and the hilarious How To Be Black.

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3 Fiona March 22, 2012 at 10:19 am

Have you written a post like this before? I was just thinking yesterday – I always see recommendations for children’s books, but what am I supposed to be reading now. Check my library and ordered the Munson (that article really resonated with me) and also the Playful Learning. Excited to pick them up now.

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4 Sandy March 22, 2012 at 10:47 am

I’m so jealous of your kids! I’m 33, and will be at the midnight showing tonight, complete with a Katniss braid made out of cheap Walgreens weave and a rubber chicken sticking out of my “game bag” (purse). So excited!

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5 Cecilia March 22, 2012 at 10:55 am

i’m always on the lookout for a great book recommendation. these are great!

i’m reading the new Bon Apetite magazine and re-reading The Backyard Homestead.

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6 Sarah March 22, 2012 at 11:05 am

Gabrielle, thank you for these links. I needed it today. The Modern Love essay was awesome. I’m adding her book to my reading list. I could see the dissolution of my parent’s marriage in her writing (my parents divorced less than a year after my dad took on a business that ultimately failed), and want to read more to help me with my own.

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7 Sandra March 22, 2012 at 11:13 am

A vintage Dorothy Draper book – how lucky are you!

I haven’t read the Playful Learning book but have read Playful Parenting by Laurence J. Cohen (it’s an older book). Similar ideas of being purposeful and playful.

Just finishing up Girl Reading by Katie Ward. It’s a novel about the creation of seven portraits by artists over seven centuries with women and girls caught in the act of reading.

And for some lighter fair, the new Elizabeth George Inspector Lynley mystery called Believing the Lie.

That’s in addition to the pile of New Yorkers, Living Etc. and Real Living on the nightable…

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8 bryssy March 22, 2012 at 11:41 am

I’m reading the first of the Ken Follet Century Trilogy: Fall of Giants – and I’m liking it. Probably because I’m having Downton Abby withdrawals – this isn’t Downton but it starts just months before World War 1 – so it’s that same general time frame.

I didn’t love Playful Learning – it was just okay for me.

I’m re-reading The Missional Mom by Helen Lee (which I really like!) and always working on the current copy of Time magazine.

I have the new Catherine the Great novel in my que – so it will be up next. Thanks for the recommendations!

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9 Barchbo March 26, 2012 at 9:36 am

I just finished FALL OF GIANTS – I liked it! Also picked it up to stave off Downton withdrawals. Have you tried Julian Fellowes’ books? He is the creator of DA and he has penned two novels.

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10 Lori H March 22, 2012 at 11:46 am

I took notes on this post! Thanks for sharing. I also own Entertaining is Fun! and loved it.

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11 Carolyn March 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I would love to knownhow you find (make?) time to read as a busy working Mom.

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12 terina March 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm

i bought that martha magazine last week as well. it has really given me some good ideas. i have blink by malcolm gladwell next on my list. i also recently finished madame tussaud by michelle moran (i think) and it was an interesting perspective on the french revolution, really enjoyed it. also read the five love languages for the first time.

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13 Kelly March 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I love the Bloggess! Can’t wait to get my hands on her book, I’m thinking of attending her book signing in L.A.

I’m reading “The Book Thief” right now, and also just finished “A Wrinkle In Time” with my daughter last week. I’m also getting inspired for spring with a stack of home decor magazines.

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14 Sharon @ Discovering blog March 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm

I found Laura Munson’s NYT article in ’09, and sent it to a friend who was going through something so similiar. Her husband was an entrepreneur, and they went from being so rich, living on a horse farm with hired help and sending kids to private school…to losing everything and she was now the breadwinner – making a whopping $40K a year. She had just had the heat turned off in their rented house, and her husband told her he wanted a divorce.
Once she cleared her head and somehow let go of trying to hold him, he slowly turned and rejoined the family (her and their 4 kids). They are still struggling financially, but he was able to come up out of his hole of dispair and start looking for work.
I can’t wait to read the whole book! The article was so powerful.

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15 morgan March 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Beware — I took my kids to see the Hunger Games yesterday too (we’re in paris — has it not opened in the US?). Anyway, it’s pretty intense/violent and I wouldn’t recommend it to kids who aren’t teens. My older kids loved it, but my 11-yr old was not having happy dreams and they had all read it before.. There were younger 8 or 9 year old kids in the audience — and, in my opinion, it’s WAY too intense for that age. Just FYI!

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16 Maria @ Busy as a Bee in Paris March 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm

wow! my curiosity is definitely piqued, i’m always up for a good read! thanks!

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17 Tiffany Lewis March 22, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Oh, I love to see what lives on other people’s nightstands! I just finished “Radical Homemakers” by Shannon Hayes. I cannot say enough good things about that book. I also finally got around to reading “March” by Geraldine Brooks.

I’m glad to know about the Clayton Christensen book. My husband is a big fan of his! It would make a great b-day present.

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18 julie r March 22, 2012 at 4:46 pm

oh good, i LOVE more reading suggestions – i’ll have to check all these out! i just finished reading What’s Eating Your Child, which was so informative and just reinforces the idea that children (and all of us!) need whole, healthy foods in our daily diet. also just read The Night Circus – it was so surreal and mysterious I couldn’t put it down! and a totally fun series for entertainment is Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce mysteries – Flavia is the COOLEST 11 yr old British girl. i want to BE her. :) happy reading!

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19 Barchbo March 26, 2012 at 9:37 am

I LOVE Flavia and just started I Am Half-Sick of Shadows. She’s the best!

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20 Jenny March 22, 2012 at 8:15 pm

I haven’t gotten into reading books by bloggers yet, try as I might.

I second the Flavia de Luce series, they get better every book! I just finished The Scorpio Races and it’s a great YA novel for all those Hunger Games lovers.

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21 Christina March 22, 2012 at 9:27 pm

I’m really into anything by Jasper Fforde right now … I was just introduced to his work (Thursday Next series, “Shades of Grey”) and now can’t get enough!

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22 Florence March 23, 2012 at 4:48 am

Thanks, this is just in time for my book club selection. I shared with my book club that you wrote back to me (re: ads and Mc D’s) with childlike awe and one member, Katherine Kaneckho, says ” who Gabby”. Big thoughts,small world. Read on.

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23 Karen Dillon March 23, 2012 at 7:18 am

As one mom to another–thanks for the good words about the Measure Your Life book! (I’m one of the co-authors.) I’m actually choosing to lead a happy life, just as you describe. I completely changed my life last summer because Clay’s questions really made me think hard about how I was living my own life. I’ll now be adding your other recommendations to my reading list. Love your blog!

Karen

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24 Patty Boone Pysher March 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm

I have recently made time to put reading adult books back into my life! I grabbed the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and what a delightful place to start. Her tone is warm, friendly and most of all REAL! Also cruising through Blue Zones, French Women Don’t get Fat and In Defense of Food. Let’s just say after a rough 5 years I’m ready to move on in my life. As a mom of 2 daughters I want to set a great example for them.

I started reading your blog when i had my 2nd baby 2 years ago and you have been such an inspiration! Thank you for being real and spirited in your approach to life…it has made me look harder and question what kind of mom, person and wife i can be. Can’t wait to have your book on my nightstand….:)

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25 Chiara March 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm

What a nice reading list! I’ve just finished Ken Follet Fall of Giants. On my nightstand right now: A.S.Byatt Ragnarok; Calvino Se una notte d’inverno un viaggiatore (I’m Italian); Geraldine Brooks Caleb’s Crossing and Morpurgo The Orchatd Book of Aesop’s Fables ( in Italian for my son). Chiara

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26 Barchbo March 26, 2012 at 9:46 am

It’s so fun (and really rather unsurprising) to see multiple Flavia de Luce fans here! She’s so smart and plucky – I just love her! Am reading I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (the latest) and just finished Follett’s Fall of Giants.

Also reading
- The Dog Who Came in from the Cold by Alexander McCall Smith
- Traveling Light by Max Lucado
- The Angry Smile (about passive-aggression and how to diffuse it)
- The Mayo Clinic Guide to Pregancy (for obvious reasons that I am not sharing with the general public but feel comfortable sharing here.) :)

Oh, and a LOT of Inside Outside Upside Down. But not on my nightstand.
And thanks for the reminder to pick up some Babar!

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27 Caryn-www.TheMidLIfeGuru.com March 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Wow–some of your readers (including yourself) have good attention spans to keep so many books going at once!! Maybe because I am old, I can only concentrte on one book at a time. On my nightstand right now is the Steve Jobs biography. It is a long one and since I only have time to read right before bed, it is taking me a bit to get through it. But so far, this book has changed my life. Learning all about the beginings of the digital age has been sooooo interesting. And Steve Jobs was clearly a genius. I’ve enjoyed it so much, that I even ditched my android phone for an iPhone!!! After I finish this book, I’m going to get Girl Reading recommended by one of the women above. Sounds very cool.

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28 acnr November 9, 2012 at 5:48 am

Here’s the latest on the conference’s top players who are projected to go from playing on Saturdays to starring on Sundays.

1. LB Jarvis Jones, 6-3, 241, Georgia

Why he has the top spot: Jones’ battle with an ankle injury hasn’t changed his status as the top overall draft prospect in the SEC. He missed his second full game due to the

injury in the Bulldogs’ 29-24 win over Kentucky on Saturday. Still, Jones remains a versatile defender who can rush the pass or drop into coverage. He’ll need a strong second

half of the season to maintain his lofty draft status.

Season stats (five games): 36 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 9.5 TFLs, 3 forced fumbles, 15 QB hurries, INT.

Player ranking: Jones remains fifth overall, and he is the second-highest outside linebacker in CBSSports.com’s latest player rankings.

Up next: The Bulldogs’ next game is against Florida. Jones returned to practice on Monday and is expected to play. Georgia will need him against a Florida team that averages 213

yards per game on the ground.

2. QB Tyler Wilson, 6-3, 220, Arkansas

Why he has the second spot: After a slow start for Wilson and the Razorbacks, the senior QB has turned it around in the last few weeks before having a bye last weekend. He’ll

have a chance to solidify his status as a first-round pick with games against Mississippi State, LSU and South Carolina still on the schedule.

Season stats (six games): 124 of 205 (60.5 percent) for 1,957 yards, 14 TDs, 5 INTs.

Player ranking: Wilson is ranked as the No. 12 overall prospect and is the third-highest ranked QB in CBSSports.com’s latest player rankings.

Up next: The Razorbacks play Ole Miss this weekend. The Rebels are ranked No. 65 nationally in scoring defense, so Wilson should have a chance to put some good numbers up.
MLB

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