This is the table by my bed right now. This precarious tower of books are just the ones I am actively working on right now. There are many more piled on the shelves underneath. I think this is the worst it has ever been. I love to read, but I am finding it so difficult right now. I am clearly having a bit of literary ADD. I also suffer from an annoying loyalty that makes me finish every book I have ever started, even if I don’t like it. Which really means I just get stuck in the middle of too many books and then end up overwhelmed and reading a magazine instead. Hence, my list:

Midnight’s Children – This was a book club selection that I didn’t finish. I have been a very bad pupil in book club this season. I am only halfway through. I really want to finish it, but once the story shifted to mindreading and other fantastical elements, I started feeling like I was trapped in a very cerebral episode of LOST. With much better writing. Yet still annoying.
Three Cups of Tea – I’ve not started this one, but I really want to. It’s an inspirational story about a man who tries to address poverty and education in Pakistan.
Dance of the Dissident Daughter – This is a memoir from Sue Monk Kidd about losing her religion, and finding it again. I think I’ve read half a chapter. It sounds so interesting, but for some reason I can’t motivate.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – This is a great book that I’m looking forward to finishing. It’s a really poignant tale about a young boy who is trying to find out more about his recently deceased father. I set it aside to finish our current book club selection, and now it’s been a few weeks. I’m worried that I’m gonna have to do some back-reading to remember everything that is going on. So I just keep thinking that I need to finish it, and don’t.
Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America – this is a memoir about the difficult economic conditions for the poor in American and how keruw0ortueirkjdvnw,EK RJWOERGJEFDKXVMCFNDJlksjdflskjfpwaejfrq poiefjvdcvlkx kadsfjlksgfhksdvfjsldkjfawsfldkjarelkwsfdjlkjlkea wjf;lekrjoelkrfdvlkszdjflskdjflskdfjlskdjfksdf
***Oh, I’m sorry. I just fell asleep at my keyboard. Not because it’s a bad book. But because apparently, if there is not a muscular, fair-skinned vampire involved, I can’t stay awake.***
What Everyone Should Know about Islam and Muslims – I can’t remember where I picked this up, but I’m really interested to read it. I think that it’s so important to know the truth behind this misunderstood religion, and seperate the faith from the fanatics. I’m actually finding the true tenets of Islam to be very much in line with Christianity. Clearly, a crazy few have distorted this religion into something feared. I can’t imagine how I would feel if my own religion was misrepresented by a couple of outspoken lunatics. (Oh wait, yes I can).
The Brothers K – this received great reviews, and I was excited to read it. I was also thinking, for some reason, that the name was maybe a throwback to Dostoyevsky’s classic, which is one of my favorites. I’m halfway through, and so far, no paralles to the Karamosov bros that I can find, but lots and lots of baseball references. Have I mentioned they talk about baseball A LOT? Yeah, no thanks.
How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents – Okay, I actually finished this one. I had high hopes but I was underwhelmed. This author is one of my favorites, and I love reading about the historial and cultural aspects of the Domincan Republic. But this didn’t feel like a cohesive story, and the story and characters were too fragmented. I
The Book Thief – I actually finished this last night!! It was a great read, and easy, too. Although technically it is considered young adult fiction. So, maybe I shouldn’t be bragging that of my entire list, this is the one I was able to tackle. . . .
Waiting for Snow in Havana – a historical and sociopolitical memoir about growing up in Cuba. All the elements I like in a book. Haven’t even started.
Inside Transracial Adoption – I’ve been “working” on this book for three years now. I’ve pretty well skimmed the whole thing, but there are chapters I want to go back to now that some of the issues are more of a reality.
Look Me In The Eye – this is a memoir by Augusten Burrough’s brother. Augusten is one of my favorite writers, and their childhood story is fascinating. This is written by his older brother, who has Asperger’s Disorder. I thought it would be fascinating to read about an adult’s perspective of this unique condition, but I think I was also hoping for some of Augusten’s razor-sharp wit and social commentary. You know, because people with Asperger’s are known for their sarcasm and social observation. Hello?? Why would I expect that?
Everything is Illuminated – maybe it’s because I just read Safran’s other novel, and his wife Nicole Krauss’s first book, but I became bored with this one pretty quickly. What seemed so quirky and ingenious about these other two books now seems a bit gimmicky and a little too precious in this one. I wanted to like this book, too. I’m about 3/4 of the way done and I’m feeling doubtful I will actually finish.
Blindness – it was my goal to read this before the movie came out in theatres. I think it’s already on DVD. Oops.
The Foreskin’s Lament – okay, this is not in the picture above, because it just arrived. I am already about half-way through and I am loving it. It is putting all the other books on the back burner for now. It’s a hysterical and poignant memoir of a man who was raised as an Orthodox Jew, and who is having a crisis of faith as an adult. It reads like David Sedaris, but with more existential angst. I think this author may just be more neurotic than I am. Which I’m finding very, very enjoyable.

So . . . what’s on your nighstand? Any books you can’t put down? Any books you are struggling to finish?
P.S. when I did a google image search to find a photo of the Foreskin’s Lament, it came up with some, ahem, interesting images. Would not recommend googling that word combo.