Saturday Seven: Books on my Bedside Table

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I have a LOT of books on my TBR list...many of them are ebooks, but I have a towering pile of print books waiting on my bedside table. And, I have evidence of my addiction:

1. Martha Grimes' newest Richard Jury novel The Knowledge. This is one of our favorite authors...thank goodness she is so prolific!

With their signature wit, sly plotting, and gloriously offbeat characters, Martha Grimes’s New York Times bestselling Richard Jury mysteries are “utterly unlike anyone else’s detective novels” (Washington Post). In the latest series outing, The Knowledge, the Scotland Yard detective nearly meets his match in a Baker Street Irregulars-like gang of kids and a homicide case that reaches into east Africa.

Robbie Parsons is one of London’s finest, a black cab driver who knows every street, every theater, every landmark in the city by heart. In his backseat is a man with a gun in his hand—a man who brazenly committed a crime in front of the Artemis Club, a rarefied art gallery-cum-casino, then jumped in and ordered Parsons to drive. As the criminal eventually escapes to Nairobi, Detective Superintendent Richard Jury comes across the case in the Saturday paper.

Two days previously, Jury had met and instantly connected with one of the victims of the crime, a professor of astrophysics at Columbia and an expert gambler. Feeling personally affronted, Jury soon enlists Melrose Plant, Marshall Trueblood, and his whole gang of merry characters to contend with a case that takes unexpected turns into Tanzanian gem mines, a closed casino in Reno, Nevada, and a pub that only London’s black cabbies, those who have “the knowledge,” can find. The Knowledge is prime fare from “one of the most fascinating mystery writers today” (Houston Chronicle).

2. Philippa Gregory - The Boleyn Inheritance I'm a not-so-hidden Anglophile, so...

From “the queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) comes this New York Times bestseller featuring three very different women whose fates are each bound by a bloody curse: the legacy of the Boleyn family.

After the death of his third wife, Jane Seymour, King Henry VIII of England decides to take a new wife, but this time, not for love. The Boleyn Inheritance follows three women whose lives are forever changed because of the king’s decision, as they must balance precariously in an already shaky Tudor Court.

Anne of Cleves is to be married to Henry to form a political alliance, though the rocky relationship she has to the king does not bode well for her or for England.

Katherine Howard is the young, beautiful woman who captures Henry’s eye, even though he is set to marry Anne. Her spirit runs free and her passions run hot—though her affections may not be returned upon the King.

Jane Rochford was married to George Boleyn, and it was her testimony that sent her husband and infamous sister-in-law Anne to their deaths. Throughout the country, her name is known for malice, jealousy, and twisted lust.

The Boleyn Inheritance is a novel drawn tight as a lute string about three women whose positions brought them wealth, admirations, and power, as well as deceit, betrayal, and terror.

3. Erskine Childers' The Riddle of the Sands Recommended by my husband.

Regarded as one of the best spy stories ever written, this is the classic Secret Service novel. More like fact than fiction, it holds a special place in the affections of spy-novel fans for its richness of technical detail about inshore sailing, its highly sympathetic characters, an unsurpassed narrative style, and a setting and plot that recapture the European political scene on the eve of World War I.

Two young Englishmen, Davies and Carruthers, head for the Baltic Sea in the late 1890s for a holiday of sailing and duck-shooting. The mood gradually darkens as Davies discloses his suspicions of espionage in the North Frisian Islands, and Carruthers joins in an investigation that develops into a series of increasingly dangerous intrigues.

4. Anita Shreve Testimony. RIP, Ms. Shreve.

At a New England boarding school, a sex scandal is about to break. Even more shocking than the sexual acts themselves is the fact that they were caught on videotape. A Pandora's box of revelations, the tape triggers a chorus of voices--those of the men, women, teenagers, and parents involved in the scandal--that details the ways in which lives can be derailed or destroyed in one foolish moment.

Writing with a pace and intensity surpassing even her own greatest work, Anita Shreve delivers in TESTIMONY a gripping emotional drama with the impact of a thriller. No one more compellingly explores the dark impulses that sway the lives of seeming innocents, the needs and fears that drive ordinary men and women into intolerable dilemmas, and the ways in which our best intentions can lead to our worst transgressions.

5. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Recommended by a friend.

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.

6. Salvation on Sand Mountain by Dennis Covington (recommended by my husband who found the book fascinating)

For New York Times reporter Dennis Covington, what began as a journalistic assignment—covering the trial of an Alabama pastor convicted of attempting to murder his wife with poisonous snakes—would evolve into a headlong plunge into a bizarre, mysterious, and ultimately irresistible world of unshakable faith: the world of holiness snake handling.

Set in the heart of Appalachia, Salvation on Sand Mountain is Covington's unsurpassed and chillingly captivating exploration of the nature, power, and extremity of faith—an exploration that gradually turns inward, until Covington finds himself taking up the snakes.
7. A Year with C.S. Lewis A gift from a friend. Lewis is one of my all-time favorites.

The classic A Year with C.S. Lewis is an intimate day-to-day companion by C.S. Lewis, the most important Christian writer of the 20th century. The daily meditations have been culled from Lewis’ celebrated signature classics: Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain, Miracles, and A Grief Observed, as well as from the distinguished works The Weight of Glory and The Abolition of Man. Ruminating on such themes as the nature of love, the existence of miracles, overcoming a devastating loss, and discovering a profound Christian faith, A Year with C.S. Lewis offers unflinchingly honest insight for each day of the year.

What's on your bedside table?


Lydia Schoch said…
Wow, that's a nice, big stack of books. I absolutely loved The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Did you know it was made into a TV movie last year?

I'm just about to start reading Counting Backwards: A Doctors Note on Anesthesia by Henry Jay Przybylo. Anesthesia is something that frightens me a little bit. I figure it might be a good idea to learn more about it at a time in my life when I have no reason to think I'll be undergoing surgery anytime soon.

My SS post for this week:
Peggy Jaeger said…
ALmost too many to count! hee hee
Marianne Arkins said…
Talk about diverse! My TBR is about 100% digital, so no pile by my bed :-)
E.L. F. said…
There are piles of TBR books all over the house, not to mention the magic pile that disappears from my Kindle. Those all sound like interesting titles, although I tend to aim for light and fluffy most days, lol. Thanks for sharing. My post is here:
Lisabet Sarai said…
Love your photo, Judy! Some of these books sound really great, too. I love your eclecticism. I am rather the same way. Currently on my bedside table I have

The Vegetarian by Han Kang - literary fiction, so dark I can only read it in small bits
The Harder They Come by T.C. Boyle - one of my favorite authors. A novel about the battle for America's soul
The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica V. 13 edited by Maxim Jakubowski

Just finished Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris - highly recommended

My Saturday Seven post is here:
Wendi Zwaduk said…
I don't have a TBR by the bed, but I've got one on the kindle. :-) I"m not even sure what all is on the kindle, either.
Here's my post: