Thursday's Missive: What's On Your Nightstand?
April 13, 2005

I've never been a voracious reader (see the "Reflections On the Ill-Read Society"). I got through high school and part of college without actually reading through an entire book. That probably says less about my abilities and more about crappy curriculum. I've read the first half and the last chapter of countless books, but unless the writer is captivating, it's tough for me to make it cover to cover. As I'm sure you can deduce, I'm strictly a nonfiction reader. With nonfiction you can afford to speed-read, skip, and skim. I have to buy every book I read because prep school gave me a nasty habit: annotation. I underline, I highlight, I fold pages, I write notes in the margins. It's bad. The good news is when I like a book, I'm a faithful customer. I'll read it and reference it again and again.

Growing up, I always envisioned myself in bed on rainy Saturday mornings (of which Seattle has many), devouring books off my nightstand without a care in the word. Then life happened and I now realize that what little time I have for reading is usually spent online. When I get married, I will have to institute a "no laptops in bed" rule...for me not him. Ah the pitfalls of internet.

My nightstand looks like a library these days. It's full of books I've put off reading, as well as references I've read hundreds of times. Here's my current pile, what's yours?

  1. Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill
  2. Imposters in the Temple: A Blueprint for Improving Higher Education in America, Martin Anderson
  3. Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship, Joshua Harris
  4. Undercover, John Bevere
  5. A Christian Manifesto, Francis Schaeffer
  6. Jesus, CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership, Laurie Beth Jones
  7. I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Joshua Harris
  8. The AP Stylebook, The Associated Press
  9. The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America, Shelby Steele
  10. Addicted to Mediocrity: 20th Century Christians and the Arts, Franky Schaeffer
  11. Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ, John Piper

Related entries:
- Reflections on the Ill-read Society
- Books that Changed Your Life
- Hi, I'm Charles Dickens and I'm Overrated

Posted by Ambra at April 13, 2005 10:49 PM in Books
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Desiring God, by John Piper
The Journals of Lewis and Clark, ed. John Bakeless
The Cost of Discipleship, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Korea's Place in the Sun, by Bruce Cumings
The Invisible Hand, by R C Sproul
Capitalism and Freedom, by Milton Friedman
A Call to Spiritual Reformation, by D A Carson

Dake's Annotated Reference Bible (KJV)

When I Don't Desire God, by John Piper

The Spiritual Man, by Watchman Nee

Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson

You Can't Put No Boogie-Woogie on the King Of Rock And Roll - Lewis Grizzard

Winston Churchill, The Wilderness Years.

The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2005

And of Bible.

Men In Black
The Francis A. Schaeffer Trilogy: The 3 Essential Books in 1 Volume/the God Who Is There/Escape from Reason/He Is There and He Is Not Silent

The Rising, LaHaye and Jenkins - complete
Unit Operations of Chemical Engineering - McCabe Smith and Harriot
Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer - St. John -complete
X-Men #168
Uncanny X-Men #457
EXiles - A Blink in Time
How to Tallk t oa Liberal - Coulter

The Three Battlegrounds, By: Francis Frangipane

Breakthrough: Taking the Kingdom into the Culture by Out-Serving Others, By: Wellington Boone

Once Upon A Winter's Night, By: Dennis L. McKiernan

...And of course, KJV, AMP, NLT & Recovery Bibles. I need more.

Alex, you need the parallel Bible. I love that thing.

Bob Chandra, you're not the only one I've heard say that about Think adn Grow Rich. It certainly won't become my Bible, but I plan on reading it again and again.

My nightstand is more a cardboard box than a nightstand, but anyways... it is home to a few Italian grammar/textbooks; the "Easy French Reader"; and "Tenured Radicals" by Roger Kimball.

Oh I can't forget The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing - Nagle and Holden

Rachel, you must be a college student. Wait, I already knew that.

that has to be an embarrassing confession-that you never read a book in its entirety in high school or college; and, sadly, you are from the generation that had so many distractions that you never discovered the fun of reading for pleasure; curled up with a good book on a rainy day in Seattle (or a sunny day at the beach)is much more enjoyable than watching reality tv or most any other tv for that matter; for shame

Hah, close, I'm done with undergrad and preparing languages for grad school (I think/hope).

that has to be an embarrassing confession-that you never read a book in its entirety in high school or college; and, sadly, you are from the generation that had so many distractions that you never discovered the fun of reading for pleasure.

It's not embarrassing at all. Not any more embarassing than dropping out of college. That's just not the way I think. Even today, I don't read books in their entirety unless they're fiction. But I'm not a fiction fan. As I'm sure you can see, I'm no worse for it. I made out alright in life having syphened through the Great Gatsby.

In private school it's a coping mechanism. The work gets piled on and there's no insane way to read everything. It served me well in college.

While your statement about my generation may be my case, it was a rigorous college prep high school curriculum that sucked the fun out of reading for me. That's why I was burned out by my freshman year of college. TOOOOOOO much reading.

Most recent:
Hugh Hewitt, Blog
Sean Naylor, Not a Good Day to Die : The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda
James Lileks, Interior Desecrations

In progress:
St. Augustine of Hippo, The City of God

I still have to finish The Right Nation and The Heart of the Bible. And I have to read more of the Bible.

I have to confess that I am a fiction lover. Yes, I buy hoity-toity tomes with the best of them, but they always end up boring me senseless. I have shelves full of "should read" volumes.

I have managed to read a bit of William F. Buckley's Miles Gone By, but in the time since I bought that I have probably polished off 30 mysteries or thrillers.

I'm also a voracious magazine reader. One more distraction from "serious" books.

The Schaeffer books were on my reading list 25 years ago (or so it seems) during college and I actually very much enjoyed them.

As for books about money or dating, I never had much interest in either, and my lack of success in both areas is solid proof of that :)

The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left's Assault on Our Culture and Values by Tammy Bruce (yes, that Tammy Bruce)

Brainwashed : How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth by Ben Shapiro

Alexander Hamilton: A Life by Willard Sterne

Unwise Passions : A True Story of a Remarkable Woman and the First Great Scandal of 18th Century America by Alan Pell Crawford
And one more I can't remember right now.
Happy Reading!'s "Brainwashed" thus far? That's on my list of need to reads....

Books that I've finished or will finish soon:
Think and Grow Rich; Nepolean Hill
The 12 Master Keys to Riches; Nepolean Hill
( finished and read twice already)

SCAM; How the Black Leadership Expliots Black America; Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson(finished)
From Rage to Responsibility; Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson(finished)

The Millionaire Next Door:The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy; Thomas J. Stanley (finished)

Intellectual Morons:How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas; Daniel J. Flynn(finished)

The Ten Things You can't Say In America; Larry Elder(almost finished)

The O'Rielly Factor; Bill O'Rielly(finished, didn't care to much for it though)

A Call to Conscience:The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Kris Shepard(may never finish)

What I havent' started yet but would like to get around to reading soon:
Affirmative Action Around the World; Thomas Sowell
Black Rednecks And White Liberals:And Other Cultural And Ethnic Issues; Thomas Sowell
and a few other books he has written but these two I want to start soon.

OH!! I forgot. Here's one I re-read periodically just because its so much fun: "Flatland" by Edwin A. Abbott

The Millionaire Next Door:The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy; Thomas J. Stanley (finished)

Jerry, I bought this book for my dad last Christmas. Changed his life.

I always like to hear what other people are reading.

Finally, for the first time in a long time, I am in the middle of a few books. Well I've been in the middle of one since August. Only 260 pages or so. No real excuse, I just don't have much time to read.
That didn't stop me from cracking open two others, though. At this pace I should wrap up the trio some time in early '07. Here goes:

The Road to Surfdom - F. A. Hayek
(This is the one since August. Very good. Recommended by Margaret Thatcher on some documentary I saw, and when Reagan died, I saw that he had it in his collection back in the 60's. It outlines the reasons why communism always fails.--- yes I'm a nerd.)

The Federalist Paper - Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay.
(I want to know what these guys were thinking, so I can wisely retort, "well the framers never intended the Consititution to mean that... --- Yes, yes nerd again.)

Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey - Edited by Bob Blaisdell
(This brotha was bad. And made some interesting points. Yes it seemed to make sense to him to be a separatist when we were unable to have our basic rights upheld. Today, I'm quite certain he would be a hardcore right winger like me. ---Yes, yes, yes... BLACK NERD.)

I've also got the current copy of Wired Magazine.
(Black wannabe-tech Nerd 2005)

woah. great minds read and learn to think for themselves! I love you guys!! Here's mine:

"Dojo Wisdom" -Jennifer Lawler
"Blue Like Jazz"-Don Miller
"Think and Grow Rich"-Napoleon Hill
"Handbook of Christian Apologetics"-Peter Kreeft

and of course, the Word("The Message" paraphrase by Eugene Peterson)

I've got TONS more books all crowded around the space where my laptop is, and stacked up next to my bed (where I do most of my reading and studying). If I continued listing titles I've yet to read, we'd all be old & gray. LOL!!

So far so good...written by Ben Shapiro who is a college student and writes mainly about the goings on at his school (UCLA). It is not as shocking as I read more and more of these books about indocrination on college campuses, but he is a smart guy. And the overwhelming takeover by liberals (and we are talking communistic, extremely radical, America-hating liberals)is always interesting to read about. Funny how the ones fighting back are students...shows that not all hope is lost in the young generations. I will update as I read more. Since I read about 6 or 7 books at a time, sometimes it is a while before I get back to some of them.

Some of the books my wife and I have recently finished reading (and recommend):

Fit To Be Tied, by Bill & Lynn Hybels

At Home in Mitford, by Jan Karon

Pedestrian Theology, by Deb Grant

Every Man's Marriage, by Stephen Arterburn, Fred Stoeker, and Mike Yorkey

Just Don't Marry One, edited by George Yancey and Sherelyn Whittum-Yancey

An African Apostle: The Life of David Ndaruhutse, by Penny Relph

Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Ann Burns

"New Testament Survey" revised - Tenney

The latest issue of "Fly Fisherman"

Ambra, after reading millionaire I was floored at how simple things can REALLY be in regards to getting to where you want to be financially. While they did use a great deal of stats and research to back up their points, it really boils down to good 'ol common sense.

That is what I loved about it.

Is "Think and Grow Rich" only about making lots of money? Because I want to cool job that I love. Is that too much to ask for? I guess it is :(

Black Enterprise.
Java World.
Integration World.
Dr. Dobbs
Consumer Reports.

Know the Truth - Bruce Milne
Ministering Cross Culturally - Sherwood Lingenfelter
Discipling Nations - Darrow Miller
When Skeptics Ask - Geisler Brooks
Celebration of Discipline - Richard Foster

Whew, heavy load at the moment...

Scripture Alone, Dr. James White

The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell

Hard News: The Scandals at The New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media, Seth Mnookin

The Writer's Book of Wisdom: 101 Rules for Mastering Your Craft, Steven Taylor Goldsberry

Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, by Nancy Pearcey

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Are Some So Rich and Others So Poor?, by David S. Landes

Reaching for the Invisible God: What Can We Expect to Find?, by Philip Yancey

Recapture the Wonder: Experiencing God's Amazing Promise of Childlike Joy, by Ravi Zacharias

Think and Grow Rich

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

How To Succeed In Business Without Being White by Earl Graves (founder/publisher of Black Enterprise)

Slavery and the Making of America by Professor ?? Horton (PBS did series on it earlier this year)

and various other pop fiction by Grisham and the like

No one reads fiction?

My "nightstand" is the top of my headboard, which nicely holds paperbacks in stacks (I only occasionally tumble these unto my head). At the moment I have the first 9 Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich, which I recently re-read, _Into the Night_ by Suzanne Brockmann, Lydia Joyce's first novel (cuz I know her... It's a good story but quite explicit) a couple of used Nora Roberts romances, _The Prize in the Game_ by Jo Walton (fantasy) and a couple more romances and what looks like a murder mystery that I got as a raffle prize.

If I move over to my computer desk right next to my bed I *do* have a handful of non-fiction, war accounts and "how to write SF" mostly. My "to be read" hardcovers are on a shelf above my monitor... _Cally's War_ by John Ringo and Julie Cochrane, _Tooth and Claw_ by Jo Walton, and recently read, _Family Trade_ by Charles Stross. Oh, and a couple of books by Lars Walker, _The Year of the Warrior_ and _Wolf Time_. _Wolf Time_ is fiction about the end days and _The Year of the Warrior_ is an omnibus of two fantasy novels about the Christianization of Norway.

Five classics:

1. Augustine's Confessions (There's an excellent condensed version available from Eerdmann's with spectacular medieval artwork).
2. Bryan Magee's Popper (a study of philosopher Karl Popper--a major inspiration for Margaret Thatcher; a brilliant short book).
3. Milton & Rose Friedman's Free To Choose. (Classic exposition of markets from the dawn of the Reagan era).
4. FF Bruce's The New Testament Documents--are they reliable? (Probably the best short intro to the NT ever written.)
5. GK Chesterton's Thomas Aquinas--the dumb ox. (Charming study of St Thomas--whom Francis Schaeffer, bless him, never quite appreciated).

Do Gooders

Accardo, the Genuine Godfather

The Dark Side of Camelot

Dean Koontz's Frankenstein

The 2 Year Bible

The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing

Coming soon-State of Fear

Eric Hoffer for his life congruence with you.

Rated G Music video about what should be on your nightstand.
I have to say- being somewhat of a rebel- I've read "Moneyball" 4-5 times. Used to read "How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling"

I've just read:
Girl Meets God and Mudhouse Sabbath both by Lauren Winner
I'm reading Daily Drucker too.

1. Blue like jazz: non-religious thoughts on Christian Spirituality. -Donald Miller

2. Searching for God knows what. -Donald Miller

3. Undercover -John Bevere

4. Mere Christianity. -CS Lewis

I do read "secular" books, I just haven't had the time. I have only completed two of the books listed here. The other two are on the floor next to my bed, waiting to be read.

Come back little Sheba!

On my nightstand is my copy of Ivanhoe by Walter Scott, a clock radio, and a loaded Colt .45 pistol.

"I made out alright in life having syphened through the Great Gatsby."

Ambra, your thoughts are almost always fun to read, but what does this sentence mean? I don't recognize the verb. Keep on thinking & reading good thoughts!

I've got several books on my night stand, too:

April 1865: The Month that Saved America - Jay Winik

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History - Thomas E. Woods, Jr

Whiteout - Ken Follett

And I have several books on my PDA, which is the greatest thing since print was invented! I read 3-5 books there, too, but this is the current list:

Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - Matthew Stover
Circus of the Damned - Laurell K. Hamilton
The Broker - John Grisham


Aw man, you missed your chance!
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Why I'm Not a Republican Parts I, II, III, IV
Reflections on the Ill-Read Society
The ROI of a Kid
The Double-Minded Haters
Hip-Hop in Education: Do You Wanna Revolution?
Oh parent Where Art Thou?
Requisite Monthly Rant: the State of the Nation
College Curriculum Gone Wild
Walmart Chronicles
An Open Letter to American Idol
Gonorrhea and the City