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My Bedside Table Books: January 2011

A while back, Stella (my nine-year-old daughter) and I added Amazon widgets to the sidebar of this blog — take a gander over on the right-hand sidebar of the blog’s homepage. We didn’t have any ambitions of getting rich off of our 4%, but rather to share what’s on our respective bedside tables as fellow bookworms.

I don’t know about you, but I just love poking around people’s bookshelves and knowing what people have cracked open and set their minds to. So I thought I’d return the favour, so to speak.

This month, I will update my widget to show the following books that are currently sitting bedside — some waiting patiently, some already started.

The Meaning Of Children

The Meaning of Children by Beverly Akerman

I wasn’t sure what to make of this book when I first heard the title and saw the cover. I thought perhaps it was a non-fiction piece when Annie from PhD in Parenting suggested a few of us head out to the author’s reading when Akerman, a Canadian writer, was in town. But it is actually a collection of 14 short stories — each unique in its own tale and perspective. Katherine Hewitt of the Globe and Mail sums it up nicely: “Each story is an independent experiment, with varying results. But the sum of its parts is positive.” I really enjoyed this book. If you like short story collections a la Alice Munro style, I think you will too.

Enchantment: Art of Getting People to Do What You Want

Enchantment, by Guy Kawasaki

I picked up Enchantment to participate in the Business Book Club that Karen at The Media Mesh started up. I haven’t started the book yet, but I’m really interested to participate as soon as I can get it read. Mostly, I’ve been wanting to read it because I admire everything that Kawasaki has achieved — he founded, held a key role at Apple, and is the author of 10 books. Not too shabby, eh? The book has become a sort of touch point in marketing circles, and I’d like to understand all the buzz.

The Hundred Dresses (Voyager Books)

The Hundred Dresses, by Eleanor Estes

I was inspired by a recent post by Andrea on her blog A Peek Inside the Fishbowl to start up a Mother-Daughter Book Club. I reached out to a few girlfriends who had daughters the same age as Stella and shared the idea and they immediately jumped on board. For our first book, one of my friends suggested The Hundred Dresses because, although it was originally written in 1944, it touches on the timely topic of bullying.

One Day, by David Nicolls

I had started to read the book Sarah’s Key but was really finding the material too emotionally disturbing, so I reached out to my Twitter folks for a “light reading” suggestion. I can’t quite remember who suggested this One Day, but I picked it up and couldn’t put it back down. It seems I was not the only one who read it compulsively, as this NY Times review attests, and now it is being made into a movie with Anne Hathaway. It is an interesting take on the classic Ross-Rachel long suffering, unrequited love story.

The Wealthy Barber Returns

The Wealthy Barber Returns, by David Chilton

If you’re of my vintage, you’ll recall the original Wealthy Barber book, which was released in 1989 and was a hit with its story-telling format for finance lessons. I recall this book, handed to me by my parents I think, as a welcoming way of learning about managing your own personal finances. I’m about 3/4 through this book of Chilton’s and I’m finding it just “okay.” I suppose if I was a young person who was just starting out and needed to learn the basics, I’d appreciate it far more. But as it is, I am not gleaning much in the way of new insight and his jokey humour is starting to wear on me. However, Chilton’s approachable style to finance remains a breath of fresh air, and I’m definitely getting some good reminder notes.

Okay, so let’s be real … I have way more books than this stacked up high, teetering away on my bedside table (it’s a bit of a “problem,” says Hubby), but I am going to take a rest here. So tell me, what’s on your shelf?


  1. Right now I’m reading my way through the Earth’s Children series by Jean M Auel. I’m on the third book, Mammoth Hunters. I can’t get over how much I am loving this series again. On my kobo I’m reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

    • Hi Shan – I’ve always meant to read Alice in Wonderland … must do that! How do you like your KoBo? I’m trying to figure out what kind of e-reader might be best for me.

    • coffee with Julie says:

      I’ve been meaning to read Alice in Wonderland for ages. I’d love to know how you’re liking your kobo … I’m in the market for an e-reader. 

  2. I’m reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King about a man who goes back in time to save JFK.  I needed something that didn’t require a lot of thinking – this fit the bill :)

  3. Chris Barrett says:

    I am a big fan of Chilton’s first book as well,  I even have given copies to people who didn’t have their financial “house in order”.  So when I saw he released a new one I zipped right down to Chapters and got it and had read it by the end of the next day.   Sadly I feel my expectations were too high…  Oh well… I still love his first book.

    As to what is on my shelf – I received a kindle for Christmas and now there are more books on my shelf then I can read in a year.  So in between reading a speed-reading book, I am also reading Start-up Nation The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle.  An excellent book!

    Now I may have to put Enchantment on my ever growing pile of books to read!  Let me know how it went!

    • I think you nailed it — my expectations were perhaps too high because I did enjoy the first Chilton book so much. How do you like your Kindle?? Did you get a coveted Kindle Fire?

      • Chris Barrett says:

        No, just a normal one with the buttons.  But its fine and I’m surprised how easy it is to read with. 
        I wanted the electronic ink so I can read it on a beach as well.  And you can get a nice cover with a light that is powered from the internal battery for night reading…  Now I am reading an Eliyahu Goldratt book… These things are great!

        • Coffee with Julie says:

          Oooh … you’ve just made me want an e-reader even more! 

          • coffee with Julie says:

            Chris – I’m near the end now and it’s like all the good stuff is squeezed in the last quarter! picking mutual funds, fees for advisors, etc. He doesn’t pussy-foot around! I like it. 

  4. katewinn77 says:

    Oooh, The Hundred Dresses is very good. I hope for your sake that One Day, the book, is better than One Day, the movie. I am offically out of reading material, so I’ll be hitting Chapters tomorrow with my Christmas-teacher-gift gift cards!

  5. Excellent, I love hearing what my fellow bookworms are reading!  I liked One Day a lot (read it on a plane ride last year – it was a great light read).  I am reading The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides now and it’s great so far!

  6. Hey Julie!

    today I read Chapter One of the first Harry Potter book with my 7 yr old .  it will be my 3rd time through the series, (once on my own, once with my older son) and i am making it my goal to savor every single word. 

    if you haven’t read it, my favorite book from last year was “The Book Thief”…….. highly recommend.  Also enjoyed, “The Elegance of the Hedgehog”.


    • Coffee with Julie says:

      I must be one of the last remaining people on earth who have yet to read Harry Potter! I don’t think I’ll ever get around to it, though. As for The Book Thief and The Elegance of the Hedgehog — I will go and find them and give them a go! Thanks for the recs! :)

      • JU-LIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  no Harry?  such a big part of my life that boy is! love love love love Harry Potter!

        by the way, you mentioning “Sarah’s Key” in your last entry led to me having a most disturbing dream about it- it was a very sad, haunting book.  the Book Thief is riveting, once you figure out WHO the narrator is, you will hang on every word!  “Hedgehog” takes a while to get into, but once your are,  it is worth it…..unforgettable characters.


        p.s. will send you a photo of my Mom’s Memory Mosaic to your email!

        • coffee with Julie says:

          I know … I know … in fact, neither Stella or I can get into Harry Potter. We both just find the writing sort of, well, long-winded. It’s a sin, I know!

  7. Megsharri says:

    how different is the first Chilton book to the second? i have the 2nd, but judging by some of the comments, maybe i should read the first one?

    • Oh, I’m afraid you can’t even really compare them. The first one is written like a fictional story with a cast of characters, while the second one is a non-fiction first person account of Chilton’s advice on personal finance. I hate to say it, because I know you have the second one, but the first one might be more enjoyable.

  8. I don’t know what I was thinking. I started this book club which made me start looking at books – a LOT! My book pile (rather my book shelf on Kobo) is getting pretty bloated. Most of the books I want to read are business-related, but that’s the goal. I’m excited about reading Getting Things Done and The Art of the Start is a high priority too. I’m also reading a couple of books on parenting – Nurture Shock and Free Range Kids. I’ll probably blog about them both when I’m done.

  9. Robertstoli says:

    This is my firs post here :)

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