Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 9 | Hints at Fantasy (continues)

You know what? Although I own a lot of books, I have a good idea of what I do own and what I don’t. Only once have I unintentionally bought the same book twice and that’s because the copy of Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist I first owned was the e-book version and I always forget what e-books I own, so I ended up buying the physical copy, which I think I got on discount.

But if it’s a physical book, I have a pretty good idea whether or not I own it. If it’s an e-book, I have no idea. It’s harder to remember if I own those or not. I guess it’s because I don’t have a sensory memory attached to them. With my physical books, I remember either pulling the book from the shelf in the store or touching or smelling the pages, or caressing the cover because I like the feel of it. Those sensations strengthen my memory of the physical book.

With e-books, all I do is look and click and move on to something else. The time spent with them is shorter and kind of impersonal. No wonder I don’t remember them.

Well, let’s get back to this 3-books-deep bookcase.

We’re wrapping up the third shelf from bottom, which has a variety of books but mostly fantasy. We’re now on the third row, which surprised me because of the amount of nonfiction that’s on it. (I was wondering where these books were! They were supposed to be in the last row of the second shelf from the bottom. I was a little worried when we toured that shelf and I didn’t see them there. I was ready to tear my house apart and harass my family (j/k) to find them.)

Sitting on top

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell ★★★★☆ ½

This was a surprisingly good read. Surprising because I thought it would be boring. It’s not, and I didn’t expect it to be a memoir either. Bythell owns a second-hand bookshop in Scotland and in this book, he talks about managing it, the people he interacts with, and details about the book business and how Amazon has impacted it. I enjoyed reading it and loved Bythell’s dry humor.

Stacked: left to right

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind by Jocelyn K. Glei

I can’t believe this book is here! 😀 I thought I gave it away. I’ll need to check my book app to make sure I didn’t delete it from there.

StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

I read this book shortly after college back when I was trying to figure out my life, or rather, my career. It basically told me what I already assumed.

How to Read Buildings: A Crash Course in Architectural Styles by Carol Davidson Cragoe

This book was part of my 2020 summer plan before corona decided to dominate the world. My plan was to walk around D.C. and use this book to identify the architectural styles I see. Hmm…I might still do it.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi ★★★★★

Kalanithi was a neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. This is his memoir. It’s a really good read and I consider it a favorite. I typically shy away from books that discuss death and dying, but this book talks about that and much more, like what makes us human. I highly recommend it. 

Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orland ★★★★★

Another favorite, Art & Fear encourages and advises artists and other creatives to continue pursuing their work.

50 Psychology Classics: Who We Are, How We Think, What We Do: Insight and Inspiration From 50 Key Books by Tom Butler-Bowdon

Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer

The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery by Sarah Lewis

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan ★★★★★

This is another good read. It’s a memoir that read almost like a psychological thriller. I kept wondering what would happen to Cahalan, although she’s the one who wrote the book so obviously she was okay by the time she wrote it. Cahalan’s memoir is about a frightening experience she had when her body began attacking itself… basically it seems that she went mad.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert ★★★★★

One of my favorite books and one of the books I turn to when I’m at a low point. It’s Gilbert’s memoir about her travel to and experiences in Italy, India, and Indonesia following her divorce.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed ★★★★★

Another good read if you need something motivational. These are posts from Strayed’s “Dear Sugar” column that appeared in The Rumpus, an online literary magazine.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain ★★★★★

Another self-help/psychology book that I love. I consider this a favorite. It’s about introverts and it’s such a good read!

Stacked: left to right (continued)

Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That: And Other Reflections on Being Human by Jesse Bering ★★★★★

One of my favorite nonfiction books. I need to read it again. Jesse Bering is an evolutionary psychologist. He talks about taboo topics in this book. This was one of the first book reviews I did on here, so it’s horrible, lol. The book is great though, so I highly recommend it.

ArtSpeak: A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, 1945 to the Present, 3rd ed. by Robert Atkins

The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought by David Adam

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Circe by Madeline Miller

A Green and Ancient Light by Frederic Durbin

Lexicon by Max Barry

In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell

The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro & Daniel Kraus, illus. by James Jean ★★★★★

I love this book. 🙂 The movie came out first and when I heard they would publish the novelized version after, I knew I had to read it. I LOVE the writing and the story. It’s historical fiction about a deaf woman who falls in love with an amphibious man, and it’s SO good! It’s certainly a favorite, and I highly recommend it even if you’ve already seen the movie. The book gives the characters more depth.

Everfair by Nisi Shawl

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

For some reason, I keep forgetting that I own this book. I don’t know why that is. Every time someone recommends it I’m like “yea, yea, I’mma go buy it.” Good thing I didn’t. I don’t know why I keep forgetting about it. Maybe I don’t touch it enough to build up a sensory memory of it. (I wonder if I’ve even been using the term “sensory memory” correctly.)

← Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 8 | Hints at Fantasy (continues)

Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 10 | Totally Fantasy (begins)

Some stats

Total books in this row = 32
How many I completed = 10
How many I will unhaul = 0

Total shelves so far = 3
Total books so far = 318
How many completed = 99
How many I will unhaul = 12


15 thoughts on “Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 9 | Hints at Fantasy (continues)

  1. Wild by Cheryl Strayed is the book that inspired me to go and travel on my own, so I love it just for that. It’s a great memoir, too.

    I read Spinster a while ago. I remember it being more of a memoir than a study of unmarried women’s lives, which is what the synopsis made it sound like.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Right? The summary made it seem like that, and I remember there being some of that, but there was so much memoir in it, too. I ended up preferring All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independant Nation by Rebecca Traister, which was definitely a study of single women over the past century or so.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this! Your bookshelves are much neater than mine, that’s for sure. Mine are an absolute mess at the moment. I also keep forgetting what ebooks I have. I’ve been going through them over the past few days trying to get organized. Seems like a never ending task! 🙂


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