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Answer: dust. A Moroccan lantern. A picture of my Mum. A box of kleenex. Oh, and some books.

I’ve just signed up to start reviewing books over at 5 Minutes for Books, and I’m really excited. Living overseas, it was tremendously difficult to get books in English, and Ilsa and I are both omnivorous readers. I discovered 5MFB a few years ago. The site not only kept me informed as to some of the millions of new books coming out every year, but also gave me opportunity to win free books! (I would put my friend Heather’s address and she would keep them for me, or sometimes someone would be mailing me a parcel. Just in case those of you overseas are getting overly excited. Sorry. No int’l giveaways) Plus, the managing editor, Jennifer, has become a friend.

Now, as a reviewer, I suspect I’ll be up to my ears in new books. What fun! I’ll tell you all about them, don’t worry.

5MFB does a monthly feature called “What’s On Your Nightstand?” The idea is to share with other readers what you’ve been enjoying lately, and what you’re planning to read. Although I haven’t started getting my stack of free books (I know!! Squee!! I am so excited about this), I do have a stack of library books I’m working through. Here’s what I’m currently reading:


  1. The War That Killed Achilles This book about the Iliad is basically literary criticism, but it looks beyond it to reflect on war in general, and shows from the text how Homer’s attitude towards the Trojan War is perhaps more complicated than has often been assumed. It’s well written. I’m really enjoying it.
  2. Anywhere But Here A novel I got at the library. It’s the story of a mother/daughter and the mother’s desperate attempts to better themselves. I’m not that far into it, but it’s good so far.
  3. The Unbearable Lightness of Being I’m rereading this book, which has been in storage for the past 9 years. This is ostensibly a novel, but it’s also a book of philosophy, all set around two main characters, many satellite characters, and the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.  I love his reflections on life, his philosophies, his musings on obsession, possession, and the ways people use love to control each other. I enjoy watching him explore how the same words in the same language can be understood completely differently by two individuals, and how events that shape our times are interpreted differently by those who experience them first hand and those who read about them in the news. It’s a great book, but I will warn that it’s not for everyone.
  4. The Dwarves. This is Elliot’s book and he says it rocks. He wants me to read it. I read about 30 pages of it several months ago and it is still on my nightstand, literally. It’s fine, but I have to be in the mood for fantasy, and I haven’t been.


This past month, I read several books by Ngaio Marsh, a classic mystery writer. (I love classic mysteries, especially when I am sick and can curl up in bed with a cup of tea) Also, someone gave me One Thousand Gifts, which many people are raving about, but I haven’t started it yet. It looks good though.

February 2011

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