This is the stack of books waiting to be read, on my bedside table.
It’s big, and the psychological hold it exerts over me is bigger still. The stack includes:
- A Paul Auster novel my sister gave me for my birthday, Invisible. Opening line is: I shook his hand for the first time in the spring of 1967. I love a good opener. And I adore Paul Auster. The New York Trilogy is a favourite.
- A bunch of parenting how-tos, including Robin Barker’s The Mighty Toddler, Tricky Kids by Andrew Fuller and the lesser-known Parenting for a Peaceful World by Robin Grille. These are for scanning just before I slam into sleep. And useful for reassuring myself that yes, poking a finger into one’s own poo is, in fact, a phase.
- The Power of Unreasonable People by John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan. (Sub-titled: How social entrepreneurs create markets that change the world.) A must-read for anyone looking to innovate and recreate obsolete social paradigms, in the twenty-seven minutes they have left in a day.
- Excerpts from the weekend newspapers… from three weeks ago. Oh dear.
- A ’Parent Direct’ educational toys and books catalogue sent home by my eldest’s childcare centre for fundraising purposes. The closing date for orders was… seven weeks ago. Dear, oh dear.
- The latest Sydney’s Child magazine. As usual, there’s a range of interesting University-based research programs calling for volunteers. My eye was drawn to one seeking 2-3 year olds entitled ‘Does your toddler hit, kick or bite?’ You mean there are toddlers out there who don’t?
- A bunch of trashy magazines a local hairdresser gave me after she charged me $18 to trim my second child’s fringe. I swore I’d do it myself next time.
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Prescribed reading for my book club from… three months ago. Oh dear, dear, dear. Poignant paragraph on page 17: Age is a terrible thief. Just when you’re getting the hang of life, it knocks your legs out from under you and stoops your back. It makes you ache and muddies your head and silently spreads cancer throughout your spouse.
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. A book on writing that I just keep returning to.
- The Children by Charlotte Wood. Only a short way through this compelling read about families and, in particular, siblings, but I’m well and truly hooked.
I suppose we’ve all got a stack like this. I’d love to hear what’s in yours.