Some of My Books – From A to Z

My A-E books

I am in the process of reorganizing my bookcase. I’m running out of space (which I’ve already written about in a blog post titled “So Many Books, Not Enough Space” and I’m hoping that my reorganizing will make some more space, and maybe reveal some books I no longer wish to keep in my personal library. (I usually donate these books to my local public library or my neighborhood little free library.)

I have too many books to list them all here, but here’s an A to Z List of Books on my white Ikea bookcase. Are any of these titles on your bookcase? Let me know in the comments.

A The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel. Such a good book, providing this look into the lives of these incredible women. 

B Beyond the Diaper Bag edited by Megan Bekkedahl and Melaina Lausen. The first time one of my essays was published in an anthology. 

C Chronic Resilience: 10 Sanity-Saving Strategies for Women Coping with the Stress of Illness by Danea Horn. Should be required reading for all those living with chronic illness and those living with someone who has a chronic illness.

D Dream When You’re Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg. A touching story full of rich images and sensory details. The relationship these sisters have, the sacrifice one can make for another, the forms true love can take —  beautiful. 

E Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center. This book captivated me at the first sentence: “The day I decided to change my life, I was wearing sweatpants and an old oxford of Peter’s with a coffee stain down the front.“ It was the first book I read by Katherine Center, and now, anything she writes, I definitely buy. More than that, I pre-order it, in hardcover, from her favorite independent hometown bookstore because she signs them!

F The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. Such a delightful read while at the same time touching upon some serious topics. 

G Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert. This novel remains on my haven’t-read-yet shelf. But I am looking forward to diving into this friend-recommended book that features a protagonist who lives with a chronic illness. 

H Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. I admit to watching the movie before buying and reading the book. 

I Instant Mom by Nia Vardolos. The specifics may vary, but I found so much of what Ms. Vardolos wrote — about parenting, about living with an autoimmune disease —so very relatable. 

J Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens. So much more than the delightful, escape sort-of-read I thought it would be. 

K Kicking in the Wall: A Year of Writing Exercises, Prompts, and Quotes to Help You Break Through Your Blocks and Reach Your Writing Goalsby Barbara Abercrombie. A book I have read more than once, filled with writing prompts that I utilize during my daily five-minute writing exercises. 

L Leaving Orbit: Notes From the Last Days of American Spaceflight by Margaret Lazarus Dean. What an incredible “inside scoop” sort of book. The young girl in me, the girl who dreamed of becoming an astronaut, so enjoyed this book! 

M Mr. Perfect on Paper by Jean Meltzer.  I really enjoyed Ms. Meltzer’s first novel (The Matzah Ball) and am excited to read this one. For now, my pre-ordered signed copy remains on my to-be-read shelf. 

N No Cure for Being Human: And Other Truths I Need to Hear by Kate Bowler.  My copy of this book is full of sticky notes! Which reminds me — I still haven’t read Ms. Bowler’s other book Everything Happens For a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved. (I love these titles!)

O Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year by Anne Lamott. I remember reading this book during those first few months of my son’s life. When Ryan woke during the night, I fed him, kissed, him, and placed him back in his crib. Then I’d sit in the next room reading Operating Instructions until I knew Ryan had fallen back asleep and it was safe for me to go back to bed.   

P People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry. Not just an enjoyable book, but it’s the book I read on our family vacation to Maui. 

Q Quint and Drik’s Hero Quest by Max Brallier. I admit — this book is on my son’s bookcase, because I couldn’t find any “Q” books on my bookcase. I have read this book with my son, so this feels like an okay cheat-of-sorts. 

R Reaching for the Stars: The Inspiring Story of a Migrant Farmworker Turned Astronaut by José Moreno Hernández. I love reading about the paths astronauts have taken, the decisions and challenges that led them to outer space. 

S Surviving and Thriving with an Invisible Chronic Illness: How to Stay Sane and Live One Step Ahead of Your Symptoms by Ilana Jacqueline. I do wish I had found this book closer to when I received my diagnosis.

T The Things We Don’t Say edited by Julie Morgenlender. Though one of my personal essays is included in this anthology, and you may think I’m biased, I really do believe I’ve never come across another book quite like this one. The chronic illnesses may vary, but many of the emotions and experiences are so universal.  

U Untamed by Glennon Doyle. A friend gave me this book, but it still remains on my to-be-read shelf. 

V The Victoria’s Secret Catalog Never Stops Comingand Other Lessons I Learned from Breast Cancer by Jennie Nash. Many years ago, I took a class Jennie Nash taught through the Writers’ Program at UCLA Extension. Now Jennie is the CEO of Author Accelerator. 

W The Wildwater Walking Club by Claire Cook. A story about the power of walking and the power of female friendship. (And if you like this one, there are two more books in this series.) 

X Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss. I’m really stretching it here. This book isn’t even on my son’s bookcase anymore. But it is packed away with other childhood favorites. Such a fun book to read, it was on constant rotation here at home and when I taught kindergarten. 

Y Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes. When I read this book, I marked many pages with sticky notes. Sometimes I think about reading it again, but then I look at my to-be-read shelf, and decide to read one of those first.  

Z Bookends: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Literature by Zibby Owens. I admit, I’m cheating on this one a bit, because the author’s name, and not the title of the book, starts with a Z. 

So Many Books, Not Enough Space

Lovey (aka Jill) and books from a long time ago

I have a “situation.” 

It’s not serious enough to be classified as a problem. 

And, it’s really not a terrible situation to be in. 

I am running out of shelf space. 

This year, I have bought more books than I usually do. Because of the #22in22 initiative (if you’re not familiar with the initiative, you can click here to read an earlier blog post about it), I find myself not just visiting more bookstores, but shopping in these bookstores. Which means, I have a stack full of books that I have yet to read. And, I am running out of space for all these books.

I decided to spend some time trying to re-arrange my shelves. Was there another way, a more efficient way, to stack my books? Generally, I try to keep one author’s novels grouped together. For nonfiction, I try to group them by subject when possible. 

On a bottom shelf I found a few books that I haven’t looked at in a long time. These were books I read quite a long time ago. Before adulthood. Before I moved out of my parents’ house when I was twenty-two. These are books that moved with me when my then-fiancé, now-husband moved in together. And when we moved from our one bedroom apartment to our current three-bedroom townhome, these books moved with me. But even more than that, these books were moved and unpacked and put on my bookcase. 

Now the time has come to move these books to another location. They will be moved into a large plastic box I have in my closet, a box that has a few pieces of jewelry that were important to me when I was younger, a doll that had two names (Lovey and Jill), and a little scooper I made in my junior high school metal shop class. 

I’m not ready to donate these books. But I am ready to claim their shelf space.

Readers, I’m curious. Do you have any books from your childhood that you’ve held on to? Please share!!