What’s On Your Nightstand Book Friend Series
Welcome to another edition of my reading list and book recommendations guest post series. Today I have my first guest poster that is a librarian! While I consider myself a big reader, librarians are on a whole other level of reading awesomeness.
Over the last few years, I have become involved in our town library as a volunteer and it has been so fascinating to get to know the librarians that work there, especially Susanna, who you might have heard me mention quite a bit on here. She is also the one who put together the awesome guide to accessing and utilizing the Libby App HERE.
Today I am excited to introduce you to my friend Susanna!
Susanna and I met through our town library. When our kids were younger about once a week I will haul them to the library, set them up playing in the kid’s room and then stand at the circulation desk for some much-needed adult conversation.
I would ask Susanna a million questions about the books she was reading and updating her on my thoughts on all the books I was enjoyed. I probably needed this conversation much more than she did, but she was always very lovely about it. After a while, we ended up realizing that we had quite similar taste in books and a love for all things audiobook and podcast-related.
We now lead the Better Together Book Club together and not only does she do so much behind the scenes work to make it all come together each month, but she is such a fun part of our discussion group and I always love her perspective on motherhood. I hope you enjoy learning more about Susanna today!
Nightstand Series Introduction:
I’m Susanna. I live in Vermont with my husband, golden doodle, two cats, and two semi-adult children when they are not away at college. I work at the Charlotte Library as the tech librarian where I get to meet people of all ages and connect them to books and resources- I love it!
In my free time, I enjoy going on walks and hikes with my dog and friends or husband. I’m always up for a puzzle or game, particularly Scrabble. My friend and I go to a couple of Scrabble tournaments each year, you might see us playing at the local coffee shop each week.
What Kind of Reader Are You?
I’ve always been a big reader. My mother was an English teacher, so reading was highly encouraged and we made frequent trips to the local library. I mostly read fiction. I also enjoy memoirs and non-fiction that reads more like a story than a textbook. My favorite books tend to give a glimpse into a different culture or mind-set.
I admit that many self-help and parenting books have sat on my nightstand unread with the hope that I would get the important content through osmosis. Recently, with Genevieve’s recommendations, I’ve been reading and appreciating, them more. Perusing cookbooks is very fun, too!
What Time of Day do You do Most of Your Reading?
I read books at night before I go to sleep. It takes me a long time to get through a book because I never put a bookmark in so I inevitably reread a bit each night before finding where I left off. I listen to audiobooks all of the time- walking the dog, driving, making dinner, doing yard work- if I’m alone it’s a safe bet I’m listening to a book, podcast, or NPR. Sometimes I have to make myself turn off my audiobooks to give my brain a little silence.
What Books Are You Currently Reading?
I just finished The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol yesterday. It wasn’t fabulous, but I wanted to see how it ended. Last night I began Disgruntled by Asali Solomon. I’m listening to The Dearly Beloved by Clara Wall on Libby.
I am also looking for my copy of Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal to do a quick re-read of for a book club next month- I might’ve put it in the library book sale…
What books have you recently read and loved?
I loved The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. Tom Hanks does a terrific reading for the audiobook. I recently finished listening to Liz Moore’s Long Bright River. I recommend it, it was engrossing and timely, but prepare to be sad and discouraged.
What books are you looking forward to reading?
Fair Play by Eve Rodsky is for March’s Better Together Book Club. Two Sisters by Asne Sierstad was passed on to me by my mom. I’ve read some of it, but needed a break- it’s about Muslim sisters that become radicalized and run away to Syria.
Any books were hoping to love but didn’t??
Sometimes books that get a lot of hype or a gazillion people say how wonderful it ends up being a bit of a letdown. Where the Crawdads Sing was one of those books for me. Expectations were high. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t amazing.
On the other hand, I liked Kim Brooks’ Small Animals more than I expected. We had a great discussion about it at The Better Together Book Club that Genevieve started and co-facilitates at our library and I’ve found myself referring to it in conversations about parenting ever since.
What are you currently listening to?
Audiobooks on my holds shelf on Libby:
Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal (I thought Kitchens of the Great Midwest was fun), The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Power (recommended by my dad :)).
Hard copy book I am on hold for:
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob. I loved her first novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing. Good Talk is an autobiographical graphic novel, which I imagine will be quite different.
I also love podcasts! “The Daily” by the NYT is my go-to for a deeper look into the latest news. “Serial” season one got me hooked on true crime. “In the Dark” is a great mix of true crime and social justice.
I listen to “Crime Writers On”, a true crime review podcast to get suggestions (and because my brother is on it!) I’m looking forward to another season of “Ear Hustle” a podcast on what life is like inside San Quentin Prison- not something I thought I would like, but it is excellent!
What else is on your nightstand?
I have a small nightstand. No clock- the glow wakes me up. My phone (for the alarm), FitBit and lip balm (usually with the label peeled off), a scrunchy that my daughter left behind when she went to college, several hair ties that should be in a bathroom drawer, and a DIY candle.
Most importantly, I have my marriage-saving book light, so I can read while my husband sleeps. I’d like to have a glass of water, but Tony the cat would stick his paw in it and drink it. The stack of books often gets stuffed in the drawer to get rid of the clutter.
If you looked in the drawers a few months ago before a brief but inspired period of organizing, you would’ve found all sorts of things: old crosswords, random photos from the 90s onward, pens, long-forgotten lists, articles I’ve been meaning to read, spare change, you name it.
Thank you so much for sharing today, Susanna, I am super intrigued by the Ear Hustle podcast series now!
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