Like Haley, I’ve been doing a little poking around and updating (including my About page, in which my then-unborn son makes nary an appearance). And like Haley, I decided to try and compose a “me-in-books” stack. One of my favorite ways to talk about books is as friends: some we live with closely, some stay close to us although we only encounter them every few years or so, and with some we simply share a short but rich acquaintance. The books in this shot are some of those I’d have a hard time understanding myself without.
But alas, some other of my literary best friends are still packed away in a storage space in Minnesota. (My husband’s advice to me, when we were originally packing for the move: only bring books you KNOW you will want to read in the next two years. We’ll bring the rest later. And here we are, almost four years in, and I feel a little hollow knowing that my house has exactly zero novels by Dostoevsky on its shelves.)
Looking at the photo, I realized it was thin on fiction: any account of my life in books is incomplete without The Brothers Karamazov, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, Angle of Repose, and Jayber Crow. I loaned my copy of Kristin Lavransdatter to a friend, and need to just buy another copy for myself: it feels a little like I’ve loaned out the literary equivalent of my son’s beloved elephant, Saggy Baggy. And after taking the photo I realized I had accidentally left both What Are People For? and the collected poems of Denise Levertov on my living room shelf. Oh well.
In a perfect world, all seven volumes of Harry Potter are represented. The Great Divorce and Hamlet and some old books of feminist theory from college jostle for space. And, crucially, the whole Lord Peter Wimsey series and a bunch of John LeCarre, because I dearly love good spy and mystery novels. But then I’d need a bigger cutting table to capture it all.