Books – what’s on your bedside table?

I’m pretty nosey. I love looking at other people’s houses and all the little bits and bobs that make a home unique. I think it comes from when I was a child and on Saturdays my mum would sometimes arrange house viewings, pretending she was secretly wealthy and looking to buy. (That was probably what sparked our favourite game of ‘Estate Agents’ too). I particularly love rooting around on other people’s bookcases. It’s like a library, but without having to remember your card.

Unfortunately you’re not really allowed to just go into other people’s homes and start poking around in their bedrooms or anything. I think it’s called stalking, or possibly breaking and entering, depending on whether or not they are home at the time. I’m writing this post then in the hope that if I share a picture of my books, some people might return the favour. (Some might call this desperate, I prefer to call it ‘showing my initiative’).

This is what my bedside table looks like at the moment:


I have a rather annoying habit of starting books, getting about 10 pages in, and then starting something else, so apart from the lamp and an assortment of owl themed items, I’ve got…

The Mummyfesto – this is classic chick lit, but with a bit of a political edge, as a group of mummies discover a talent for political activism when they start a campaign to save the school lollipop lady. The Mummyfesto, which is published at the end of this month, has a website to go with it – – where you can join in the debate about how government policy effects us as mothers. Well worth a look is you have secret political ambitions.

Death and the Penguin – this is a Christmas book, and one I have actually read the whole way through. Hoorah! It reminds me a bit of when I started writing a post-apocalyptic story involving a camel.

A Street Cat Named Bob – Another Christmas book, and another one that I’ve finished. It lacked a little something in the literary style department, but then it is written by an ex heroin addict Big Issue seller. It was very sweet though, even if sometimes James read a little too much into Bob’s behaviour. The fact that Bob eats his dinner quickly, all in one go, really isn’t a sign James that he has led a hard life on the streets, never sure where his next meal will come from. It’s just a sign I’m afraid that he’s a cat.

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of The Window and Disappeared – This one is about a hundred year old man who, er, climbs out of his window and, well, disappears. His fate is doubly sealed when on a whim he steals a suitcase from a gang member who has left it in his care while he goes to the toilet.

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 3/4 – You know how there are some foods, like biscuits dipped in tea of a big bowl of cheesy chips, that just make everything feel OK? Adrian Mole is the book equivalent for me. I have read and reread them all so many times, and yet every time I get more of the jokes. I am a bit slow like that sometimes.

Licking the Spoon – A memoir about family alcoholism, troubled childhoods and marrying a man when you are actually gay and then having to get a divorce. (As you do). Oh and food. There is a lot of food in it. I’m actually giving away a copy at the moment if you’d like to win one.

Wool – I haven’t started this one yet, but I was drawn in by the blurb –  “In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo”. Sounds pretty cool doesn’t it? I love a bit of post-apocalyptic fiction, if only to make you grateful that you don’t live in a world ruled by man-eating plants where everyone is forced to live on a diet of old planks and bits of coal.

What books are on your bedside table at the moment? Please add a comment or share your link!

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  1. andrea sherriff
    6 February, 2013 / 1:44 pm

    I’m currently looking into getting a parenting book such as toddler taming or a guide to dealing with toddlers. Would you recommend anything like this? My daughter is just 2 and is already showing signs of the tantrums, I want to be well prepared on how to deal with them!
    Other than that I am just starting a book called “The 1st to die” by Jeffrey Deaver (I admit the title sounds a bit morbid!) But he has done some brilliant books, usually crime related. Definitely recommend him!

  2. Sarah
    6 February, 2013 / 1:58 pm

    Dust mainly!!

    • admin
      6 February, 2013 / 2:18 pm

      Ah yes, me too :-)

  3. Maria M
    6 February, 2013 / 2:43 pm

    I miss having a bedside table like that. my toddler sleeps with me so i have wipes, a Rapunzel night light and a glass of water (not gin honestly) next to me. Can’t wait till i reclaim it with my books!

    • admin
      8 February, 2013 / 10:22 am

      Gosh, that takes me back! Belle slept with me until she was about two and my bedside cabinet then was all picture books and breast pads!

  4. Dibs
    6 February, 2013 / 3:09 pm

    I’m afraid my bedside table looks like I’m getting ready to survive the apocalypse under my duvet (can’t think of a better place) – ipod, 2 mobile phones plus chargers, box of tissues, tub of antacids, 1/2 a pack of throat sweets (probably out of date), my childhood teddy (wearing a couple of nose studs from my teens), 2 glasses of water (one for the cats), a catnip mouse, ear plugs & a never ending pile of clothes that need mending. Oh & I just found a school letter that I should have signed a month ago under the mending (the guilt…..).
    I keep meaning to buy’ a street cat named Bob’ but there never seems to be enough pennies at the end of the month to justify it. I had to live in a homeless shelter when I was 18 for around a year & now I help run my local branch of a national cat rescue organisation so I’m sure it’ll be a great insight into an incredible bond between the 2 of them (& those tissues on my bedside table will probably come in handy when it brings back some strong memories).

    • admin
      8 February, 2013 / 10:21 am

      Haha! You sound like my daughter Belle – she has a bag next to her bed which is her ’emergency escape kit’ – spare pants, some plasters, a box of tic tacs, that sort of thing.

      Email me your address and I’ll send you my copy to read as I’ve finished it now :-)

      • Dibs
        8 February, 2013 / 7:10 pm

        Sooo sweet of you, thanks Jo; It’ll certainly be making the rounds of all us cat ladies after I’m done reading. Email on the way (& extra box of tissues on standby for the weepy bits…).

  5. 6 February, 2013 / 4:19 pm

    My brother made me read his fav series – “The Witcher” by Andrzej Sapkowski (polish writer). On my bedside table apart from the above mentioned dust I always have a bottle of mineral water, some tissues and a footcream…I hope that satisfies your couriosity! :)

    • admin
      8 February, 2013 / 10:20 am

      Yes, duly satisfied thank you :-)

  6. 6 February, 2013 / 8:19 pm

    Loving the new site btw, very cute. I am a kindle girl so I don’t have a pretty stack of books but I also don’t have to find somewhere to store them. I am reading some cheesy chick lit thing I found on the free downloads list, it is rather turning a little porny also so won’t recommend it, unless you like that kind of thing in which case text me.

    • admin
      8 February, 2013 / 10:20 am

      Thank you!

      Belle apparently downloaded something a bit porny to her kindle last night by mistake as it had the same name as a picture book she likes??!!?? You’d think amazon would have something in place to stop that!

  7. 7 February, 2013 / 11:43 am

    ohh love this… will run off and take a photo right now…

    • admin
      8 February, 2013 / 10:19 am

      Yes do! Run!

  8. Diane Read
    7 February, 2013 / 4:04 pm

    Loving this question, my bedside cabinet has a lot of clutter on it at the moment as well as some books. J.K. Rowling/ The Casual Vacancy, Linda Lear/ Beatrix Potter, Garden Birds, Bible, Note Pad as my memory is poor, Journal. Lamp, Lava Lamp, Kindle,Ornamental Perfume Bottles, DVD/Yoga for Beginners, various paper work, Pen, TV/DVD controls, CD/Michael Buble= Christmas, my Hearing Aid, and final item are my Depression Tablets.. Basically, I need to tidy my Bedside Cabinet, which is actually a chest of draws, plus remove dust, and organise myself into some semblance of order.. LOL. I bet you wished you’d never asked now. Don’t even get me started on what I have on my Dressing table.. I’m too embarrassed to actually take a photo, plus I don’t know how to send it through to you..:))

    • admin
      8 February, 2013 / 10:13 am

      Oh my goodness, I really want to see a picture now – that sounds like an incredible collection of nonsense! :-)

      You can always email or tweet me a pic?

  9. 8 February, 2013 / 4:41 pm

    Great question! I don’t have a bedside table, but instead I’ll give you the ‘contents’ (ha!) of my ‘library’ (the book rack in the toilet). Of course there’s ‘Musings on Mothering’ (everywhere in our house you’ll find a copy of Musings on Mothering!), ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’ (I’ve read this, but keep dipping into it), ‘The Ode Less Travelled’ by Stephen Fry and ‘Mog’s Bad Thing’ (always have a children’t book near me too…). Hope this gives you a little insight into the craziness of my mind/house!

  10. 11 February, 2013 / 1:21 am

    There is a huge pile of constantly renewed library books that I eventually get to about a fifth of before really having to take them back … currently about four on Abraham Lincoln (after seeing the film), Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel,What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (love story / nineteenth century Chinese culture) .. and as ever travel books like Lonely Planet’s China. It also has Once a Runner, by John L. Parker, Jr and Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson. And thank you notes for cards I think I still have to write months after the birth of baby two … (but don’t look in the bedside cabinets with months of Sunday Times magazines not yet read – and why are there seven packs of Polos in there?)

  11. 11 February, 2013 / 1:50 pm

    Mine is a mess. Bedside lamp, mobile phone (and earphones for listening to my slimpod), fitbit (before putting it on for sleep), kindle paperwhite, pen, crocheted chain which was to sew onto N’s gloves but I never got round to it, a tissue, bottle of water, an old NCT newletter, and the latest Alex Barclay book. Can’t remember the name, but it’ll be psychological murder genre.

  12. 12 February, 2013 / 10:48 am

    I’ve just finished the Andre Agassi autobiography actually. A bit late to the party I know, but it was unputdownable! Well worth it, even if you’re not a tennis buff.

  13. 27 April, 2013 / 7:08 am

    Right now I have iPhone, iPad, Bluetooth keyboard, Tolkiens ‘letters from Father Christmas’, Pratchetts ‘Dodger’, ‘Farenheit 451’, ‘a Game of Thrones’, and ‘Thats my boy’, my kindle, an alarm clock, glass of water, 2 remotes and a scattering of hair bands.

    Now I think I’ll get up and start cleaning!

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