What’s On My Nightstand? (A Random Smattering Of Book Reviews)

I’ve written some posts here in the past that touched on different books that I’ve read and the impacts they’ve had on me. I thought it might be fun to examine what’s currently on my nightstand—some of them finished, some of them started, some of them just staring me in resentment at night when I choose a different volume over them (book guilt is a real thing and I defy anyone with a bookshelf to say otherwise).


Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. I knew literally nothing about this book before I picked it up at a local bookstore—I thought the cover was intriguing and the mysterious bookstore setting sounded promising, and it delivered intrigue and mystery in spades. But it’s more than just a mystery—it’s also funny and smart, and part of the plot involves data visualization and learning different coding languages, and much more. Verdict: go out and read it, folks!

Currently Reading

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. Oh my goodness, Roxane Gay is fantastic. I’m not even halfway through this collection of essays, but I’m already adding her novel, An Untamed State, to my reading list. Her topics range from feminism to Scrabble to the Sweet Valley High book series, and that’s just the first couple of essays. I can’t wait to see what else is in store.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I know, everyone has read this already, but I have not! And I figured it would be a good choice given the holiday season. I’m not far into it yet, but I have a feeling it’s going to be creepy, and it’s been a while since I’ve read something spooky (Bonus: it’s been adapted into a YouTube series a la the Lizzie Bennet Diaries!).

The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain. What can I say, I love me some Samuel Clemens. Again, only partially through this one but I’m already finding myself chuckling at his descriptions of the fellow passengers and European scenery.

I Give Up

Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. I tried. Believe me, I really, really tried. And I’ve read (and enjoyed!) other Russian literature in the past, but this one is just not working for me. I can’t keep up with the names/nicknames/alternate spellings of names, and I don’t know enough about communism to keep up with the speeches. I do not admit defeat with books often, but I cannot do this.

Yet To Be Read

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Great Expectations: Sons and Daughters of Charles Dickens by Robert Gottlieb

So, that’s my nightstand. What’s on yours?

Matilida Reading


Noelle is an email copywriter (yes, that is a thing) and occasional freelance writer. When she’s not typing or running, she can be found eating, sleeping, quoting a movie, or curled up in an easy chair with her nose stuck in a book. Sometimes she tweets too.