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On My Coffee Table

Posted on May 14, 2015 at 6:00 am

By Kim Harshberger

On My Coffee Table

In recent years I have noticed that I have a consistent reading cycle. I enjoy reading all sorts of material but I tend to stick with one type for a period time.

When it comes to fiction, I most enjoy reading books that are a series. I recently finished the first three books of the Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks. I am now eagerly awaiting the fourth and final installment set to come out next year.

However, the more into a book or series I am, the harder it is for me to move onto another fiction piece when I am done. When that happens, I am drawn to reading blogs and articles that inevitably lead to a stint of reading nonfiction. I will then take on several books at once, comprising of any combination of self-help, biographies, or industry-related topics. That is the phase I am in right now and these are the books that have graced my coffee table in the past month.

On My Coffee Table by Kim Harshberger | Spokane County Library DistrictThe Highly Sensitive Person: how to thrive in a world that overwhelms you

By Elaine Aron

I initially thought that it might be helpful in dealing with some of the issues my children have with sounds and textures irritating them. For example, my youngest daughter is very sensitive to noises especially during class and on the bus; however, my oldest daughter is sensitive about how clothing feels, such as the decoration on a shirt feeling scratchy against her skin.

As I started reading, I knew immediately that the qualities of a highly sensitive person also describe me. I had always identified with being an introvert but it didn’t always explain some of my other idiosyncrasies. This book is helping me understand my children and myself a little better. I expect the knowledge I’m gaining will influence my understanding for years to come.

On Writing

By Stephen King

I am a huge fan of Stephen King’s writing, so while I have no interest in penning a novel myself, I couldn’t resist reading this book to gain insight into his processes and opinions on writing. Additionally, he gives great autobiographical content on his early years in the business and also on his recovery after being hit by a van. This is an entertaining read peppered with some of his greatest quotes, including one of my favorites: “I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs…” As a bonus, if you’ve ever wondered what your favorite author reads, Mr. King gives two lengthy lists of books he recommends (you can also find them listed online here and here.)

I Feel Bad About My Neck

By Nora Ephron

This was my first foray into writing of Nora Ephron and I was not disappointed. I kept the book on my nightstand and read an essay or two before bed each night. Her essays danced between humorous and poignant, and were always entertaining. The final essay was particularly moving. Coupled with the knowledge that she received her cancer prognosis shortly after publication, it felt like a foreshadowing look inside the mind of someone faced with her own mortality. I enjoyed taking this journey into her life.

On My Coffee Table by Kim Harshberger | Spokane County Library DistrictSpace: a nonfiction companion to Midnight on the Moon

By Will Osborn

My kids have loved reading the Magic Treehouse books, so when I happened to stumble upon this companion book while browsing the library stacks I snatched it up. It is full of facts and historical information that has led to some great discussions about not only space but also our place within it. This is big stuff.

I can already feel that I am moving out of the nonfiction cycle. After delving into information land for a month or two, I am starting to experience information overload. And while I feel the draw to lose myself in a really good book, I cannot seem to invest myself in another set of characters just yet. So I will cook, garden, and clean my house until I am ready to commit to a new book, or maybe I will re-read The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

Kim Harshberger

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