I’ve just read another article on books and how we judge others’ bookshelves (over at Rands in Repose), so, while I’m thinking of it, I’ll finally introduce you to my bookshelf (virtually, for most of you, but if you want to come by and have a look, be my guest).
I took a look at my shelf to see what you might see, and here’s what’s there:
- A lot of plays, heavy on the Pinter, the Albee and the Stoppard.
- Books on writing, including personal reflections like Annie Lamott’s Bird by Bird, Huffington’s book on blogging, and structural stuff like The Seven Basic Plots.
- Collections of essays (David Rakoff, Nora Ephron’s books old and new, Calvin Trillin, David Mamet), a bunch focused on New York (New York Stories, which is a collection of essays on the Big Apple from the New York Magazine archives, and Adam Gopnik’s Through the Children’s Gate which makes me so homesick I can only read five pages at a time.)
- Non-fiction like Carol Dweck‘s Mindset about how we learn and its effect on success, Malcolm Gladwell, Barry Schwartz’s The Paradox of Choice on how choice and freedom aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, the dissection of disasters book The Unthinkable (excessively interesting), Judith Warner‘s Perfect Madness about the ridiculous state of motherhood in America, and so on in that vein.
- Random loves, like Maira Kalman‘s The Principles of Uncertainty and everything Alain de Botton has written.
- A lot of psychology books (Willard Gaylin’s Hatred and assorted other of his books, John Bowlby’s series on psychological development, Daniel Gilbert‘s scientific analysis of happiness) with an increasing large dollop of writings about Buddhism (Thich Nhat Hanh, the Dalai Lama).
- And, of course, fiction, which I’m not reading enough of, but it breaks my heart when it doesn’t turn out to be good fiction, so I have to be more careful there. I’m about to finally read Prep. We’ll see.
Enjoy your judgments! Happy Wednesday!