Bookshelf/Bookself 28/31 #sol23

On two recent episodes of Reading Glasses, Mallory and Brea talked about the books that would be on a shelf to encapsulate who they are as readers right now–books that best exemplify their current interests, tastes, wheelhouses. Their book selves. Those very Mallory and Brea books.

It’s not exactly a shelf of favorite books, though I’m sure some of their favorite books are on their lists. It’s more a snapshot of the kinds of books that appeal to them right now, the kinds of reading they find most engaging today. It’s a list that could definitely change.

What books would I put on my own book selfie shelf to represent my reading tastes right now?

Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri. Wistful literary fiction in translation where nothing much happens beyond observations and descriptions.

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. Cerebral space opera with a sentient spaceship. Sentient spaceships are number one on my reading wheelhouse.

No. 91/92: Diary of a Year on the Bus by Lauren Elkin. A diary of a year in which nothing much happens but with acute observations and vivid descriptions.

News of the World by Paulette Giles. I would read literary Westerns nonstop if only there were enough of them.

Bird Art Life by Kyo Maclear. A book about writing and bird watching structured as a year of acute observations and vivid descriptions in which nothing much happens? There’s definitely a theme here.

Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor. 20th-century British women’s novels with older protagonists, biting wit, and an unsparing view of humanity? Also yes.

Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith. Wide-ranging essays on literature and life, warm, erudite, never taking themselves too seriously.

Recommendations welcome, of course. And what would be on your reading identity bookshelf?

Photo by Martin de Arriba on






8 responses to “Bookshelf/Bookself 28/31 #sol23”

  1. WOWilkinson Avatar

    What a great idea for self-expression! I’d love to see students introduce themselves with a booklist like this.
    I’d definitely have some Vonnegut, Adam Grant, G. Willow Wilson, and Lee Child on my shelf.

  2. Trish Avatar

    I want to do this for a post—maybe tomorrow! ANYTHING Paulette Giles writes is beyond wonderful (and an antidote to “nothing much happens”). Try The Color of Lightning if you haven’t read it yet. She is an insanely awesome writer (and I don’t like Westerns—except Ivan Doig—…nor sentient spaceships, but I’m glad they have a place on your shelf)!

  3. arjeha Avatar

    The books we put keep on our bookshelf tells a lot about us. Mine would be a bit lopsided with horror (Stephen King), mystery (Agatha Christie), and adventure (Greg Hurwitz Orphan X series).

  4. kimmartin6 Avatar

    Love this! I haven’t read any of those yet. I’ll check them out. I enjoyed your “Shelfie.”

  5. Jennifer Floyd, Ed.D. Avatar

    I would have a lot of nonfiction, particularly history and biography, with historical fiction and mysteries mixed in. Thank you for sharing your shelf!

  6. Susan Kennedy Avatar

    Oooh I’m on it.

  7. Ramona Avatar

    Love this post. I’m thinking that two of your titles would fit my !0 to Try 2023 Reading Challenge for our library system. Birds Life for the category, About art or an artist and Whereabouts for In translation. I like Jhumpa Lahiri, but I haven’t read Whereabouts. I loved News of the World. Finally, I’ve never read Zadie Smith and I like essays. Maybe I’ll try Changing My MInd.
    You can see some of my current likes on today’s post about our book club choices for next year.

  8. Trina Avatar

    I love this post! I am currently reading Barbara Kingsolver’s new book and really enjoying it!

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