On My Coffee Table

Posted on April 21, 2015 at 6:00 am

By Clarissa Fidler

On My Coffee Table

I majored in English as an undergrad but chose to pursue an emphasis in technical writing rather than literature. That being said, I’ve always enjoyed reading and have lugged many boxes of books with me in my handful of cross-country moves over the last few years. I tend to gravitate toward memoirs as my genre of choice with some historical fiction and gothic classics mixed in for variety. I’m also a regular magazine, newspaper, and blog reader.

After finishing grad school last summer, I’ve found I have more time to read for pleasure, which I’m trying to take advantage of but not always succeeding. It seems no matter what’s going on in my life there are always more interesting books and articles out there than I have time to read. Here’s a peek at what’s on my coffee table right now, either in traditional book form or as an eBook on my handy-dandy Kindle.

On My Coffee Table by Clarissa Fidler | Spokane County Library DistrictWild

By Cheryl Strayed

I’m currently about halfway through Cheryl Strayed’s revealing tale about her experience hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. And so far, Wild is definitely holding up to my expectations. I find Cheryl’s honesty and determination both frightening and captivating, all at the same time. As I mentioned earlier, memoirs are a genre I thoroughly enjoy and try to read regularly. I also love reading books that have been turned into movies because it lends the opportunity to compare and contrast storytelling styles and techniques. However, I’m making myself wait to watch Reese Witherspoon’s film-adaptation of Cheryl’s story until after I’ve finished the book. No spoilers for me!

The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well

By Deborah Needleman

I finally checked this book out at the library after wanting to read it for several years. Not only are the illustrations charming and delightful, the home décor wisdom from founding editor in chief of Domino magazine and industry legend, Deborah Needleman, is spot on. What I love most about the book is that the advice is practical and can be applied to a variety of living situations. If you’re like me and dream of being an interior designer in another life or are simply looking for some helpful tips on making your house a home, you’ll find this book definitely has something to offer.

On My Coffee Table by Clarissa Fidler | Spokane County Library DistrictStation Eleven

By Emily St. John Mandel

A 2014 National Book Award Finalist, Station Eleven popped up in my Twitter feed a while back on a best fiction booklist. I confess that although I have yet to dive into its pages, author Emily St. John Mendel’s storyline has me very intrigued. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the survivors of a worldwide flu pandemic struggle to find direction and meaning in their drastically altered lives. The novel’s cast of characters includes a Hollywood star, a violent prophet, and a group of traveling actors who seek to keep the art of theater and music alive. I suspect that once I start reading, I won’t be able to put this one down.

Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence: Irresistibly Sweet, Salty, Gooey, Sticky, Fluffy, Creamy, Crunchy Treats

By Joy Wilson

As a single girl, cooking for one can be a challenge, but I absolutely love to bake. I could eat a cupcake or donut every day but I try my best to practice a little restraint. I discovered Joy Wilson, aka: Joy the Baker, during grad school when I was interning for the Chicago-based lifestyle blog, The Everygirl. Joy has established a successful career thanks to her contagious personality, amazing recipes, and fabulous blog. Her lemon poppy seed pancakes are one of my favorites, and I can’t wait to whip up her maple orange and ginger cream cheese cake. With so many delicious treats to choose from, it’s going to take me a long time to make every recipe in this book.

The Doll: The Lost Short Stories

By Daphne Du Maurier

My first encounter with the English author Daphne Du Maurier was in middle school when I checked out a copy of her gothic masterpiece, Rebecca. She quickly became one of my favorite authors and over the years I’ve read almost every one of her novels. Given my adoration, delighted doesn’t begin to describe how I felt when I discovered The Doll: The Lost Short Stories. Many of the stories in this collection have been out of print since the early 30s and were all penned before Du Maurier’s twenty-third birthday, when she was just beginning to hone her craft. She has been said by the New York Times to be “in a class by herself,” and I couldn’t agree more.

Food Network Magazine

Aside from Pinterest, Food Network Magazine is where I go when I need cooking and baking inspiration. The clean, fresh layout makes it easy to find recipes that are both unique and delish. I especially love that with my library card, I can access the magazine for free on my tablet via the library’s Zinio Magazine Collection. If you love magazines and haven’t used Zinio before, I definitely would recommend it. To find out more about getting started with Zinio, read Sheri’s recent blog post.

What do you have on your coffee table right now? Share your recommendations with us in the comments section below.


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