What’s on your Bookshelves?

I love books. I suppose I’m a bit of a minor bibliophile, weighted heavily to Mormon studies. I would love to hear about your books, but I realize that it’s not really feasible for everyone to share a catalog of their 2,000 volumes or whatever. So it occurs to me that one way we could get a sense for your collection is for you to describe your bookshelves, basically shelf by shelf, with maybe a few representative titles for illustrative purposes. Sort of the report an archaeologist would give if he were digging up your bookshelves 200 years from now (and all of the books had survived intact, of course). I’ll go first (to give you a sense of what I’m looking for):

I live in a smallish house, so I don’t have a single library room. My books are divided into four main locations in the house.

Living room. Here I have two very sturdy, large “This End Up” shelves, about six feet high by eight feet long. The top couple of shelves on the left feature my prettiest collection, the University of Chicago Great Books series (think Mortimer Adler). My father bought this from a struggling graduate student who needed the money many years ago. The next couple of shelves are mostly books from my classics studies at BYU; lots of Latin and Greek texts, ancient history books, reference works. The bottom shelf is for oversize reference works (Compact OED, Gardiner’s Egyptian Grammar, old Kittel edition of the Biblia Hebraica, etc.)

The top two shelves on the right side are for my blue Harvard Classics Series. I almost never actually use any of these books, but again, they belonged to my father and were prominently displayed in my childhood home, so I keep them mostly for sentimental reasons. The next shelf has my hardbound Journal of Discourse and, to fill out the space, my four-volume Vulgate. The next shelf down has a first edition Comprehensive History of the Church (the same edition B.H. Roberts plunked on the Tabernacle pulpit during conference in 1930, shortly before his death), which was also my father’s and displayed in my childhood home. These are beautiful books (far superior to any later edition). Next to that is my Encyclopedia of Mormonism, then text critical stuff on Mormon scripture (all of the Skousen volumes on the BoM and the huge JST critical text), a set of facsimile reproductions of early Mormon scripture and texts, and then the old Sjodahl and Reynolds commentary on the BoM (again, something I keep displayed mostly for sentimental reasons). The bottom shelf is mostly oversized coffee table type books (Civil War, WWII, Black’s Law Dictionary are examples).

Family Room. Here I have built-in floor to ceiling shelves, maybe six feet across. We’re in the process of rebuilding the shelves, so the books are piled up in my bedroom. But the way I had it set up before, the top shelf was all BoM studies (mostly FARMS stuff). The next shelf and a half or so was Church history books. Then I had spaces for discrete subjects (each taking considerably less than a full shelf), such as Dead Sea Scrolls, Egyptian religion, Mormon apologetics, Mormon music, modern languages, English grammar, etc. Towards the bottom I had general English literature, mostly classics type stuff. (My favorite “for fun” reading is Victorian novels: Austen, the Brontes, Hardy, etc.). Again, the bottom shelf is mostly oversize stuff: genealogy books, “how to” books, travel books, etc.

Den. In my den I have two Ikea white bookshelves. This room is dedicated mostly to Mormon periodical literature. So, on the shelf nearest my desk, the top shelf is my pile of books in line for me to read, and I’m behind so it’s pretty much full. The next shelf down is JBMS and FR. The next shelf and a half, double stacked, are Dialogue, and then two multi-volume Bible dicitonaries (Interpreter’s in the back and Anchor in front). On the bottom shelf is Sunstone. On the smaller shelf in the closet I’ve got JMH and BYU Studies, together with miscellaneous stuff like Biblical Archaeology Review.

Pantry. In the pantry I have a large, substantial “This End Up” book hutch, also double stacked. On the back part of the shelves is my Anchor Bible collection, which I’ll probably complete about the time that I die. On the front are studies and reference works relating to biblical studies. At the bottom behind cupboard-type doors are two shelves. On the top shelf is my collection of BoA materials, which is pretty extensive for a regular member living away from Utah. On the bottom shelf are copies of articles and books that were references for articles I’ve written.

So, tell us about your bookshelves…


  1. In our pantry we have some food and the books that came with appliances, Microwave Cooking and the like.

  2. Julie M. Smith says:

    You put the Anchor Bible in your pantry?

  3. We have two sets of shelves in our living room. There are books scattered throughout the house but that’s the main spot for them (hey, it’s a 2-bedroom NYC apartment – what did you expect?). :) We left boxes of books in a basement in Utah – so this won’t be very complete here.

    We’ve got some of the following kinds of books here in NYC:

    – medical and anatomy texts (belonging to my wife)
    – art books (Kandinsky, Klee, Saul Steinberg)
    – some children’s books (the Narnia series, one or two Harry Potter books)
    – Jewish Studies books
    – a few books dealing with Biblical topics (Job, Genesis)
    – dictionaries/lexicons (English, Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish)
    – a few copies of the Qur’an (one with some very nice colorful fonts and gold-edged pages)
    – Sahih Bukhari (a multi-volume collection of hadith)
    – Sahih Muslim (a multi-volume collection of hadith)
    – Fatah al-Bari (a multi-volume commentary on Sahih Bukhari)
    – other books dealing with Islamic history and topics
    – some LDS books and biographies (Rough Stone Rolling, etc.)
    – some classics (Dostoevsky, Jules Verne, Mark Twain)
    – a few pulp fiction novels by Stephen King
    – a few American History books – 1776, which I still haven’t read

    My one and only major book wish: to get a set of Oxford English Dictionary books. It might be awhile.

  4. Kevin Barney says:

    Ha, ha, yeah, that’s pretty odd, Julie. As a disciple of Nibley I live in the same starter three-bedroom ranch I bought 19 years ago (I never moved up to a big, fancy house), so yes, my Anchor Bible collection is in the pantry.

    Danithew, I think I got my Compact OED as a Xmas gift one year. Even with the magnifying glass I can barely read it. But it’s a tremendously useful reference and I use it fairly often.

  5. We have bookshelves in every room in our house.

    In the bathroom, we have The Far Side, Jack Handy and other humurous books–Sarah’s friends loved our bathroom. In the front room, I have some pretty books and picture books.

    In my office, I have two bookshelves, one has poetry, life after death books, essay books, recovery books, and phone books from all the over the place (I always take them from hotels, they’ve come in handy). The other has my classics (think Les Miserables and CS Lewis) an old and much used set of encyclopedias, various atlases, a medical encyclopedia which I drive Bill crazy with, thinking I’ve come down with something, James Herriott’s collection and my “church books.”

    I have one in the hallway for novels, Elizabeth Berg, Amy Tan, Alice Hoffman, Anne Tyler, Wally Lamb, . . .there’s a crappy one in the basement where we put our old manuals and Ensigns, stored in cereal boxes with cardboard headers.

    And one in the kitchen for cookbooks. The bedrooms sort of have books piled all over. I am a book person.

  6. Kevin Barney says:

    Oh, annegb, I absolutely adore James Herriott!

    You just reminded me that I have another cranny, a small closet off the hallway that used to hold the furnace before we moved it to the attic. I used to keep my collection of Ensigns and church manuals in there, until my wife convinced me to ditch them. So now I’m reliant on lds.org for any of that sort of thing.

  7. I wish I had room for the Anchor Bible in my pantry … that’s where we keep our old tax returns. Not nearly as inspiring when I go to cook.

    Our main book area is “the office.” 5 cheap walmart bookshelves. The books are grouped into categories:
    • literature (from my comp. lit. days, organized by color) • psychology/parenting, eco-lit, and music (Dillard, Berry, Leopold; various histories of music/jazz) • fiction series (Narnia, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Tolkien, Asimov, etc.) • philosophy (mainly bits of continental stuff I like) • general religion, including reference works (Koran, Schneemelcher’s NT Apocrypha, Eliade, Lewis, etc.) • “lit. crit.” (Purloined Poe, Toril Moi, Freud on art and lit., etc.) • college textbooks (mainly math and physics) • personal journals, family histories, etc.

    We have other shelves holding books throughout the house (cookbooks in the kitchen, kids books in the baby’s room, photo albums in the guest bedroom), but our other main book area is downstairs in the family room. To offset our movie collection, we decided to house our LDS books down there. They’re grouped into the following:
    • biographies (RRS, David O McKay, Lucy’s Book, etc.) • Joseph Smith (Words of Joseph Smith, Personal Writings of, Papers of, Teachings of, etc.) • FARMS and the Nibley set • Church publications/institute manuals • current prophets and apostles • articles, photocopies, and theses (more FARMS, Ehat’s master’s thesis, and the like)

    My dream: built in “real” bookshelves that won’t crush me in an earthquake.

  8. Upstairs:
    Fiction (scattered pretentious works, with a nod to the West in the person of Doig), food writing, lit-crit, and Bobo-style non-fiction works.
    Nabokov and Nabokoviana, mountaineering and ski texts/movies, Mormon studies, religious studies (including the mandatory Anchor), women’s studies, Russian fiction, theology, and cultural history, then pop psych stuff, activism books, some old Interpreter’s Bible volumes, and a small handful of general history books.

    Our one nod to military history/studies is Noam Chomsky.

  9. Kevin, I had the OED on CD-Rom but then when I got a new laptop, my OS became incompatible with it. They wanted me to pay for the upgrade and I decided the next time I got it, I would have a physical copy.

  10. You can browse my bookshelf here:


    It’s not everything I’ve got, but close enough. Some of my faves:

    * The huge stack of books on U2 I got from someone online (long story)

    * The Matt Groening Life is Hell books

    * Andy Goldsworthy, Stone

    * The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal

    * Loser

    Almost all of the LDS books I inherited from my husband’s grandma.

  11. Randy B. says:

    Susan, great books!

    I don’t know how old your kids are, but if I were you, I’d get those Messages of the First Presidency off the bottom row of the book shelves (you know what they’re worth, right?).

  12. Kevin (#6) — I too would like to stop subscribing to the Ensign, and just look up everything on lds.org. But then something happens that makes me value the printed versions. For example, in Sunstone’s news section back in November 2006, there was a write-up on two instances of post-publication censorship. It spoke of two articles that no one would ever find if searching lds.org or the CD-ROM. They are simply gone. My mum keeps everything, so I had her send me one: the 1971 environmentalist article by Helen Candland Stark. At times like that, it’s nice to have the artifact in hand. But then, you have more problems with space than I do! Good post.

  13. Our place in the states, (where we keep our books we can’t travel with) is super tiny, so I’m impressed all of you even have a place called a “pantry.” Also, because of the space situation, my husband regularly purges books from our apartment. It hurts. With that in mind, our bookshelves are:
    livingroom: shelves dedicated to the Beatles, rock bios, books of sheet music.
    What-sed-to-be-the-diningroom: shelves on film aethestics and criticism, and film and photography reference guides.
    Hall closet: smooshed next to linens and pillows are books on languages, arabic culture, odds and ends.
    Bedroom: many shelves on educational resources and references, a couple shelves of church books, novels, philosophy, and coffee table books on pop culture and Barbie and stuff.
    Kitchen: stuffed above the stove, in that little space where the fan is, are cookbooks, of course!
    Kid’s room: lots and lots and lots of kids’ books.

    All my old Mad Magazines and comics are stored at my mom’s house!

  14. You asked for it…come to my blog and take a look at my bookshelves!

  15. Randy B. says:

    What a fun post!

    We are in the process of moving, so many of our books are packed up. Those books that we still have out are in our living room on four sets of built in shelves.

    Here’s a rough break down by set of shelves with a sampling of what’s there.

    Set 1:
    – Law school books and some Mormon legal history
    – Joseph Smith and his family books (Brodie, Bushman, Lucy’s Book, Mormon Enigma, Papers of JS, books on Joseph’s kids)
    – Nauvoo books (Flanders, Launius, Nauvoo Endowment Companies, Nauvoo Temple by McGavin)
    – Mormon & women books (Mormon Mother, God the Mother, Women and Authority, Sisters in Spirit, lots of others)
    – Misc. fun (Sex Life of Brigham Young, Brigham’s Destroying Angel)
    – Messages of the First Presidency

    Set 2:
    – History of the Church
    – Comprehensive History of the Church
    – Some oversized art books
    – Bound volumes of Vandy Law Review
    – Set of Early Mormon Documents
    – Set of Illustrated Stories from the New Testament (for kids)
    – Nibley stuff

    Set 3:
    – News of the Plains and Rockies set
    – Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography set
    – USU’s Frontier Women series
    – Dictionaries
    – Set of Illustrated Stories from the Book of Mormon (for kids)
    – More Joseph Smith stuff (Collier’s Unpublished Revelations, JS’s New Translation of the Bible, etc.)
    – Dickens
    – Misc. bios (J. Golden Kimball, Lorenzo Snow, John D. Lee, Widtsoe, Maxwell, Nibley, Sir Richard Burton)
    – Utah War (Hafen’s book, Mormon Conflict)

    Set 4:
    – Signature Limited Diaries (still missing Joseph Smith and William Clayton; let me know if you have one to sell!!)
    – Other diaries (John D. Lee, Housea Stout, McClellin, Charles Walker)
    – Mormon Bibliographies (Flake, Crawley, Allen Walker & Whitaker, Bitton’s Diaries book)
    – Kingdom of the West series
    – Quinn’s books; Arrington’s books; Stegner’s books; Mauss’s Books; Given’s books
    – More bios (Juanita Brooks, David O. McKay, Sidney Rigdon, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Erastus Snow, Abner Blackburn, Orson Pratt, Orin Porter Rockwell)
    – Misc. fun (Mormon Thunder, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Wayward Saints)

    I should probably pack up more of these, but I can’t bear to.

  16. D. Allen says:

    My collection:
    Robert A. Heinlein
    Ray Bradbury
    Douglas Adams
    All of Harry Potter (pre-ordered book 7)
    Lewis’ Narnia series (the old set with Magician’s Nephew as book 7 instead of 1)
    a ton of Penguin and Dover classics
    Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
    A number of IT textbooks (VB, Excel, Access, and the like)
    several guitar chops books (mostly metal and hard rock technique with a little country tossed in)
    A collection of Guitar World and Guitar School magazines
    About a year’s worth of recent DC Comics
    My wife’s old Harlequin romance novels
    Stephen King
    A ton of pregnancy books
    another ton of Sesame Street books for the kids (oldest is 3)
    Church books that didn’t make it to my bookshelves until about 9 months ago

  17. Mine are all piled willy nilly in every room of my house. I have a lot of big leatherbound hardbacks from the 100 greatest books series. I love many of those books, but they’re heavy and unweildy so I find I usually read the paperback version of the same books and leave the hardbacks on the shelves to gather dust. I’m a big fan of Dostoyevsky so I have lots of his, and 19th c. Russians in general so I also have a fair sprinkling of Tolstoy, Turgenev, Gogol, etc. Some of the other lit-fic I have: Jane Austen, William Faulkner, Thornton Wilder, Henry James, Walter Scott, Franz Kafka, Anthony Trollope, Nikos Kazantzakis, Henry Fielding, Samuel Beckett, and lots of poetry: W.H.Auden, Robert Frost, Robert Browning, A.E. Housman, Emily Dickenson, William Blake, Percy Shelley, John Keats.

    There’s one shelf that’s devoted to world religions, and two downstairs that are engineering reference books (of which I have a fair number at work, as well). The downstairs hall has a wall of shelves that hold a lot of paperbacks that are literary fiction, science fiction, and science non-fiction. I favor the hard sciency types of science fiction like Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, Niven, as well as Orson Scott Card, Octavia Butler, Ursula K. LeGuin, Lois McMaster Bujold, etc. and of course every possible Tolkien book. Upstairs bedroom has a lot of shelves with more of the same, along with a number of philosophy, music, and math books that are mostly from my dad. Oh my complete collection of Nevil Shute is on that shelf too, plus Chaim Potok and Mark Salzman.

    On the fireplace are all the books I’ve ordered from the church website, the manuals for studying Book of Mormon, etc. The scriptures and “Preach my Gospel” are on the dining room table or the sideboard, because I read from them often while I eat.

  18. here’s a sample –
    shelf 1: The Quran, Church History in the Fulness of Times
    shelf 2: The Eco-Design Handbook, Cradle to Cradle
    shelf 3: Encyclopedia of Furniture Making, Bauhaus
    shelf 4: The Work of Charles and Rae Eames, The Design of Everyday Things
    shelf 5: Everything Jane Austen
    shelf 6: Gangs of New York, Kick Me (hilarious)
    shelf 7: Ishmael (Daniel Quinn), Soul Mountain
    the rest? church books from EFY to Jesus The Christ to When thou art Converted (Ballard)

  19. In our family room we have three short book shelves (three shelves each) full of children’s books, from chunky unrippable books for babies to picture books to early chapter books. We don’t have a library yet here (but we do have a library committee now!), so I like to buy boxes of used kids books on eBay. Super cheap. Usually you are buying something described as a box of “KIDS BOOKS – INCLUDES 12 CALDECOTT WINNERS” or something like that, but when you open it, there are all sorts of unexpected surprises.

    My kids each have small bookshelves in their rooms, where they keep their favorite bedtime books. Books are pretty much in a constant flow between the family room and their bedrooms.

    In the living room we have a few tall bookshelves with all of our non-fiction stuff – church books, business books, computer reference books, parenting books, gardening, home improvement books, etc. Whenever I want to know something, I buy a book, so it’s a pretty eclectic collection.

    In the basement we have a huge box of books I was going to take to the DI, but never quite got around to. It’s hard for me to part with books.

    In the office (where you would think the computer and business books would be), I have my ratty old shelves with all of my fiction books and well loved paperbacks. There’s current stuff, like Kiterunner or Time Traveler’s Wife, classics (Jane Austen, of course) and older well loved paperbacks that I’ve had since childhood, like my dog eared Anne series, Narnia books, and stuff from wierd phases I went through, like my brief run through various John Grisham novels.

    I would love to turn our formal living room into a true library, with floor to ceiling bookshelves. Heaven!

  20. I don’t know how old your kids are, but if I were you, I’d get those Messages of the First Presidency off the bottom row of the book shelves (you know what they’re worth, right?).

    No, what are they worth?

    My youngest is 13 so I think they’re safe.

  21. Susan,

    They list on Abebooks for 30 to 40 bucks apiece, or more (up to $70 or so), depending on condition. See http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?tn=messages+of+the+first+presidency&sts=t&y=0&x=0 .

  22. Norbert says:

    I’m jealous. Between international moves and living in a small flat, I can’t keep books at the rate some of you do.

    Living room: big IKEA bookshelves.
    Shelf 1: Lonely Planet guides, dictionaries (Eng/Finn, Finn/Swed, Eng/Dutch, Finn/French, Eng/Span, Dutch/Span). Shelf 2: poetry (Finnish and English), literary biographies. Shelf 4: hardcover fiction collection (Hemingway, Steinbeck, Morrison, Greene, Waugh etc.). Shelf 5: collection of Emerson and Thoreau, WW2 novels and nonfiction; Shelf 6: furniture and interior design references, art history textbooks. Shelf 7: church books (Finnish & English), family-history related books, Encyclopedia of Animals.

    In bedroom: two small shelves, all paperbacks, mostly unread or half-read. A random sample: Granta and British Council anthologies; essay collections by Martin Amis, Primo Levi, Alain de Botton, V.S. Naipaul; novels by Anne Tyler, John Irving, Jamaica Kincaid.

    Under the bed: magazine collections: New Yorker, Q, Atlantic Monthly, Wallpaper.

    Shelf over door: my treasured pulp fiction collection (Chandler, Hammett, Cain, etc.)

    The boys have more books in their room (Eng & Finn) than can be imagined.

  23. You all have such impressive book collections. One can only aspire. . . .

  24. Randy B. says:


    Kaimi is generally right, but volumes 5 and and especially 6 are more pricy. Volume 5 alone is listed on Amazon beginning at $95. Volume 6 alone is listed at Amazon for $270.

  25. Matt W. says:

    Any books I really like, I give away. It’s a bad habit my wife and I have. (ie- the books stacked by the side of my bed.)

    Anyway, here’s what I am reading right now.
    1. Spencer W. Kimball’s “Lengthen Your Stride” biography.
    2. The Wayment, Holzapfel new testament coffee table book I can never remember the name of.
    3. Blake Ostler’s Mormon Thought, book 2
    4. Bart Ehrman’s Intro to New Testament
    5. The Bible
    6. A triple combination
    7. Truman Madsen’s Eternal Man
    8. John A. Widtsoe’s rational theology
    9. Managing Human Resources
    10. Applications in Human Resource Management
    11. The 1st three issues of “The Golden Plates” by Mike Allred.

  26. That’s cool, thanks for the info. I have Volumes 1-5. I’m not the type to sell stuff, though.

  27. Kristine says:

    Argh–this is a painful topic at the moment–our house has been on the market, so half of my books (a dozen boxes or so)are in storage. Adding insult to injury, when we had the house “staged”, the decorator reorganized my shelves by size and color with plants and decorative objects all over the place. It is an abomination!!

  28. Randy B. says:

    I feel your pain, Kristine, being there myself. But you can’t leave us hanging completely! Inquiring minds want to know!!

  29. I’ve got Gibbons Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire and Beevor’s Stalingrad sitting next to Auto Repair for Dummies and a dozen translated Japanese comic books (“Maison Ikkoku and Nausicaa). Mostly general history books, old philosophical pieces I haven’t read since college, various nature field guides, chess books, various Mormon doctrinal works, the odd environmental rant (like Edward Abbey), gardening and child-rearing, quite a bit of children’s fiction, Dr. Seuss books, and a smattering of miscellaneous fiction (from Orson Scott Card, to Tad Williams, to Watership Down, Jane Austen, and Tolstoy).

    My home office has a few of the above mentioned as well. But it’s mostly dominated by a set of the Colorado Statutes (which I do actually use) and a bunch of old law school text books (that are absolutely worthless to me, but still look fairly imposing on my shelf).

    Secret tip about lawyers:

    They never use most of the books you see on their bookshelves. It’s all for show. A lot of those are hopelessly outdated casebooks that have almost zero application in a real law practice – but nonetheless are bound in impressive blue and burgundy hardcover and sport impressive-sounding names like “Constitutional Law” (as if any of us ever actually used Constitutional Law). They’re also quite big, which adds to the macho factor.

  30. Kristine says:

    OK–on my nightstand:

    4 Zinas
    Interlinear Greek New Testament (yeah, I’m a total poser)
    Jane Clayson Johnson’s _I am a Mother_ (review forthcoming–watch this space!)
    latest issues of Dialogue and extra copies of Sunstone (because I’m an author :) !), First Things, Harper’s, Better Homes and Gardens, and O (true confessions…)
    a collection of John Donne a friend just gave me
    3 bad, formulaic “chapter books” my 8-year-old has been reading in my bed

  31. One thing I have tucked away somewhere (probably in a basement in Utah) is a copy of Roots with a signed note from Alex Haley inside the cover. My mother knew I was a fan of the book and she ran into Alex Haley at a genealogy library. She said he told her that if he knew about the Mormon records, he would have been able to do things faster. I’m not sure about how many African records we had back then – but I don’t think she was making that up.

  32. Thomas Parkin says:

    I realize I’m violating the instructions – but I had my little list at hand – and I can’t resist the chance to use it. hehe.

    We have three main book shelves and one supplimental shelf. We also have the back of the toilet, the kitchen counter, the top of the refrigerator, two bedstands, the floor beside the bed, and just about everywhere else. One is my hardcovers and quality paperbacks (listed below), one is my wife’s hardcovers, the other is shared and crammed full of papaerbacks several levels deep, like a deep soil sample.

    If you go on to read this list, you’ll note the absence of Mormon books. That’s because I jettisoned most of my LDS books while I was out of the church. I only kept my scriptures, and those were locked away. I’m beggining to recollect, but those are lying around in more useful places. The shelves are more like a museum, at this point.

    Complete Works; William Shakespeare
    The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets; Helen Vendler
    Complete Plays; Christopher Marlowe,

    Dune; Frank Herbert,

    Holy Bible, King James Version
    The Book of Mormon
    The Essential Koran,

    Basic Writings; Frederich Nietzsche
    Thus Spake Zarathustra; Frederich Nietzsche
    Nietzsche in Turin; Lesley Chamberlin,

    Written on the Body; Jeanette Winterson
    Art & Lies; Jeanette Winterson
    Art Objects; Jeanette Winterson
    Gut Symmetires; Jeanette Winterson
    Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit; Jeanette Winterson,

    As I Lay Dying; William Faulkner
    Complete Stories; Flannery O’Conner
    Outer Dark; Cormac McCarthy
    Sutree; Cormac McCarthy
    Blood Meridian; Cormac MCcarthy
    All the Pretty Horses, C McCarthy
    The Crossing, C MCcarthy
    Cities of the Plain, C MCcarthy
    No Country for Old Men, C McCarthy
    The Road, C McCarthy
    Perspectives on Cormac McCarthy; Various
    Moby Dick; Herman Melville,

    Complete Essays; Montaingne,

    Beowolf; translated by Seamus Heaney
    Redress of Poetry; Seamus Heaney
    Open Ground; Seamus Heaney
    The Vikings; Gwyn Jones,

    Complete Letters; Oscar Wilde
    Selected Writings; Oscar Wilde
    Oscar Wilde; Richard Ellman,

    Complete Poems; W.B. Yeats
    Later Articless and Reviews; W.B. Yeats
    Later Essays; W.B. Yeats
    Autobiography; W.B. Yeats,

    Winter Pollen; Ted Hughes
    Collected Poems; Ted Hughes
    Birthday Letters; Ted Hughes
    Tales from Ovid; Ted Hughes
    Collected Poems; Sylvia Plath
    The Silent Woman; Janet Malcom,

    Song of Soloman; Toni Morrison,
    Beloved, Toni Morrison,

    Omens of the Millenium; Harold Bloom
    The Western Canon; Harold Bloom
    The American Religon; Harold Bloom
    How to Read and Why; Harold Bloom,

    Sexual Personae; Camille Paglia,

    My Century; Gunter Grass
    The Magic Mountain; Thomas Mann
    Doctor Faustus; Thomas Mann
    Death in Venice and Other Stories; Thomas Mann,

    Letters to a Young Poet; Ranier Maria Rilke,

    Writings; Thomas Jefferson,

    Babel Tower; Antonia Byatt
    Possesion; Antonia Byatt
    Elementals; Antonia Byatt
    Djinn in the Nightengale’s Eye; Antonia Byatt
    Little Black Book of Stories; Byatt,

    Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision, Louis Breger
    Selected Writings; C.G. Jung
    Letters to 1950; C.G. Jung
    Memories, Dreams, Reflections; C.G. Jung *
    C.G. Jung Speaking; C.G. Jung
    The Soul’s Code; James Hillman
    The Blue Flame; James Hillman,

    American Poetry of the Twentieth Century in 2 volumes; various,

    Lives; Plutarch
    Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Vol I; Edward Gibbon
    Bulfinches Mythology
    Selected Dialogues; Plato,

    Essays; Ralph Waldo Emerson,

    The Decameron; Giovanni Boccacio,

    Selected Poems; Baudelaire,

    Of Love and Other Demons; Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Love in the Time of Cholera; Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    100 Years of Solitude; Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    News of a Kidnapping; Gabriel Garcia Marquez,

    Selected Non-Fictions; Jorge Luis Borges
    Selected Fictions; Jorge Luis Borges
    Selected Poems; Jorge Luis Borges,

    Don Quixote; Cervantes,

    All the Names; Jose Saramago
    Blindness; Jose Saramago
    Baltasar and Blimunda; Jose Saramago,

    The Bow and The Lyre; Octavio Paz
    The Labyrinth of Solitude; Octavio Paz
    Collected Poems; Octavio Paz
    The Other Voice; Octavio Paz
    Itinerary; Octavio Paz
    An Erotic Beyond Sade; Octavio Paz,

    Death In The Andes; Mario Vargas-Llosa,

    Collected Poems and Fiction; Edgar Allen Poe,

    War and Peace; Leo Tolstoy
    Anna Karenina; Leo Tolstoy,

    The English Patient; Michael Ondaatje
    Collected Works; Michael Ondaatje
    Soldier of the Great War; Mark Helprin
    Winter’s Tale; Mark Helprin,

    Old Man and the Sea; Ernest Hemingway
    Zorba the Greek; Nikos Kazantzakis,

    1001 Nights; translated by Hussein Haddawy,

    Seven Gothic Tales; Isak Dinesen
    Winter’s Tales; Isak Dinesen
    Last Tales; Isak Dinesen
    Out of Africa; Isak Dinesen #
    Anecdotes of Destiny; Isak Dinesen
    Isak Dinesen, Life of a Storyteller; Judith Thurman
    Letters from Africa; Isak Dinesen
    The Pact; Thorkild Bjornvig,

    Complete Plays; Henrik Ibsen
    History of Danish Dreams; Peter Hoeg
    Tales of the Night; Peter Hoeg,

    Hardy, A Life; Martin Seymour-Smith
    Tess of the Durbervilles; Thomas Hardy
    Heart of Darkess; Jospeh Conrad,

    The End of Science; John Horgan
    The Undiscovered Mind; John Horgan,

    Hymns to the Night; Novalis,

    Lives of the Poets; Michael Schmidt
    Gothic: 400 Years of Excess, Horror, etc; Richard Davenport-Hines
    Byron; Benita Eisler
    Byron, A Portrait; Leslie Marchand
    Shelly; The Pursuit; Richard Holmes
    Coleridge: Early Visions; Richard Holmes
    Coleridge: Darker reflections; Richard Holmes
    John Keats, A Life; Stephen Coote
    Colerdige, A Bondage of Opium; Molly Lefebure
    Coleridge The Talker; Various
    Letters; John Keats
    Don Juan; Byron
    Illustrated Poems; John Keats
    Collected Poems; Percy Shelley
    Complete Poems; William Blake
    Biographia Literaria; S.T. Coleridge
    Rime of the Ancient Mariner (with woodcuts by whatshisface), Coleridge *
    Letters, in 2 volumes; Charles Lamb
    Frankenstein; Mary Shelley,

    The Proper Study of Mankind; Isaiah Berlin
    The Moral Obligation to Be Intelligent; Lionel Trilling,

    Canaan; Geoffrey Hill
    The Triumph of Love; Geoffrey Hill
    Speech!, Speech!; Geoffrey Hill,

    Complete Stories; Franz Kafka
    Complete Poems; Emily Dickenson,

    The Dream Songs; John Berryman
    Complete Poems; Eilizabeth Bishop
    Collected Poems; Wallace Stevens,

    Selected Poems; Gerard Manly-Hopkins
    A Hopkins Reader; Hopkins *
    Collected Poems; T.S. Eliot
    Inventions of the March Hare; T.S. Eliot
    Letters; T.S. Eliot
    T.S. Eliot, A Life; Lyndall Gordon,

    Complete Poems in English; Joseph Brodsky
    New and Collected Poems; Wislawa Szymborska
    Year of the Hunter; Czeslaw Milosz
    Complete Poems; Czeslaw Milosz
    Open Letters; Vaclav Havel,

    The Sea, The Sea; Iris Murdoch
    Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals; Iris Murdoch
    Existentialists and Mystics; Iris Murdoch
    The Good Apprentice; Iris Murdoch
    Sartre: Romantic Rationalist; Iris Murdoch
    Elegy for Iris; John Bayley,

    Watership Down; Richard Adams
    The Silmarillion; J.R.R. Tolkein,

    Invisible Cities; Italo Calvino
    The Castle of Crossed Destinites; Italo Calvino,

    The Varieties of Religious Expereince; William James,

    Room with a View; E.M. Forster
    Howards End; E.M. Forster
    Women in Love; D.H. Lawrence
    Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; James Joyce
    Dubliners; James Joyce,

    Voyage of the Beagle; Charles Darwin,

    The Name of the Rose; Umberto Eco,

    Sketches from a Hunter’s Notebook; Turgenev,

    Secrets of the Flesh, a Life of Colette; Judith Thurman,

    Walden, and Other Essays; Henry David Thoreau
    Leaves of Grass; Walt Whitman,

    The Odyssey; translated by Robert Fagles,

    The Creators; Daniel Boorstein
    The Discoverers; Daniel Boorstein
    History of Civilization, in 12 volumes; Will and Ariel Durant.


  33. Christopher Smith says:

    In the same vein, this website is kind of fun:


    Sort of a nerdy man’s myspace. You’re limited as to how many books you can list, but not so limited as to make it impractical. I’ve listed 134 of mine.

  34. Kevin Barney says:

    Thanks one and all for your contributions; this has been both fascinating and fun. Keep -em coming!

    Kristine, you forgot to mention your collection of Harlequin romances… (ducking)

  35. We live in a small apt with no room for much anything at all but one of my prized projects this year were these track shelves I built on the wall. Sleek silver tracks and shelf holders and shelves I painted a darker royal blue. Then there’s an unusuable fireplace in the apt that we also turned into shelving.
    My books are groups topically mostly: philosophy, religion, science (for scientists and science for nons, yoga, cookbooks (an ungodly number), Mormon, reference books, some non-fiction memoir types, and then all fiction. I have collections of Toni Morrison, William Faulkner and Marilynne Robinson. Everything else is a crazy hodge-hodge of fiction, though mostly all from the last century. I love books but with the amount of times that I move I am trying to talk myself out of my love of owning them and becoming more dedicated to libraries.I have read 95% of what I own consequently.

    Norbert, recently reading Chandler and loving him.

  36. Mark IV says:

    I own a copy of every book ever written by Elmore Leonard. If you like Chandler, run, don’t walk, to the nearest bookstore and buy one of Leonard’s books. You won’t regret it. My favorite is Touch, and Bandits comes in a very close second.

    Also, about 6 years ago, I got on a Louis L’Amour kick and started working through his entire oeuvre. I like books with titles like Westward the Tide and Utah Blaine.

  37. Books are a problem at our house, as I can barely ever part with them.

    Bedroom: My wife grew tired of the stacks by my side of the bed, so I got an Ikea wall mount shelf with doors that now sits in the upper corner of our bedroom on my side of the bed, mostly filled with my current reading. In there I have:

    C.S. Lewis collection (three volumes in one, The Pilgrim/s Regress, Collected Letters, and God in the Dock)
    Ballard’s “Counseling with our Councils”
    Stephen Covey’s “Spiritual Roots of Human Relations”
    “Revelation, Reason, & Faith” essays in honor of Truman Madsen, FARMS
    “The Quality of Mercy”, Eugene England
    Several Cisco certification books (not for pleasure)
    Old Deseret Alphabet copy of the first part of the Book of Mormon
    Copy of Robin Hood from the 1830’s brought to US by my Great Grandmother (Badly worn)
    “Rough Stone Rolling”, Bushman

    In other rooms, I have a lot of science fiction, church books, Dialog & Sunstone back copies, more Eugene England, hard cover and paperback fiction, trade paperback non-ficton, etc. Couple of terrific non-fiction books I’ve read recently:
    Hans Zinnser, “Rats, Lice, & History”, seminal work on the impact of infectious disease on world history.
    “The Worst Hard Time”, history of the 1930’s dustbowl
    “Undaunted Courage”, Stephen Ambrose (another favorite of mine”

    Living Room:

    Audubon’s Birds of America (about 11 x 14, never grow tired of it)
    Several art books, and a huge pile of piano and guitar books, guitar tablatures in looseleaf binders

    It all overflows into boxes in our garage.

    More interesting to me is some of the dreadful books that I haven’t yet disposed of:
    Several titles by Dan Brown (Okay, I enjoyed “The Da Vinci Code”, but hated “Angels & Demons”. Don’t bother reading any of his others, “Deception Point”, and I forget the other one about NSA supercomputer)
    Orson Scott Card, “Empire” obviously written under deadline, backstory to a video game.

    Books that have dramatically altered my view of life:

    Book of Mormon
    The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
    Joseph Smith & the Beginnings of Mormonism, Bushman
    “Eternal Man”, Truman Madsen
    “Sons & Lovers”, DH Lawrence
    “Ulysses”, James Joyce
    “Huebner” Roger’s original play as produced at BYU
    “Dialogues with Myself”, Eugene England

    I love books!

  38. I love books to.

    Sorry for me my wife loves to read but hates bookshelves and has recently been making me store books in the attic/garage or better yet in her view take books from the Lib and return them. See no clutter:)

    My most recent conquests are:

    The Covenant a historical novel about South Africa
    Red Storm Rising, Tom Clancey
    Band of Brothers, Ambrose

    These books are kept in the garage in a box.

    I like history books, historical fiction, and church books.

    Stephen Ambrose is my favorite author (right now)

  39. TStevens says:

    In trying to form a virtual ward library I documented my nonfiction LDS texts. Most of these I inherited or was given. Unfortunately no one else in the Ward was willing to document their books to get the library going.

    Games with Gospel Themes Alma Heaton
    Teaching With Objects Alma Heaton
    The Savior and the Serpent Alonzo Gaskill
    The Words of Joseph Smith Andrew F. Ehat
    What Latter Day Stripling Warriors Learn From Their Mothers Ardeth Greene Kapp
    First Year Book: The Seventy’s Course in Theology B.H. Roberts
    So You Are Going On A Mission! Barbara Tietjen Jacobs
    The Soft Reply Barlow L. Packer
    A Town Called Charity Blaine Yorganson
    The Loftier Way Blaine Yorganson
    The Holy Temple Boyd K. Packer
    Mormon Doctrine Bruce R. McKonkie
    The Millennial Messiah Bruce R. McKonkie
    The Mortal Messiah Vol. 1 Bruce R. McKonkie
    The Mortal Messiah Vol. 2 Bruce R. McKonkie
    The Mortal Messiah Vol. 3 Bruce R. McKonkie
    The Mortal Messiah Vol. 4 Bruce R. McKonkie
    The Promised Messiah Bruce R. McKonkie
    Classic Speeches Volume 1 BYU Speeches
    Bonds That Make Us Free C. Terry Warner
    Leadership and Self-Deception C. Terry Warner
    A Companion to your Study of the New Testament: The Four Gospels Daniel H. Ludlow
    Marking the Scriptures Daniel H. Ludlow
    The Religion and Family Connection Darwin L. Thomas
    Gospel Ideals David O. McKay
    Personal Writings of Joseph Smith Dean C. Jessee
    A Topical Guide to the Scriptures of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Deseret Book
    Christmas Classics Deseret Book
    Christmas Treasures Deseret Book
    Families Deseret Book
    Prayer Deseret Book
    The Apostle Paul, His Life, and His Testimony Deseret Book
    The Fullness of Times Drew S. Goodman
    Fathers and Sons in the Book of Mormon E. Douglas Clark
    Teachings and Commentaries on the Doctrine and Covenants Ed J. Pinegar
    Spencer W. Kimball Edward Kimball
    An Abundant Life Edwin Firmage
    Ezra Taft Benson: Boy of the Land, Man of The Lord Elaine Cannon
    A Witness and a Warning Ezra Taft Benson
    George Albert Smith Frances M. Gibbons
    Searching the Scriptures Gene R. Cook
    Love At Home George Durrant
    Our Search to Know the Lord George W. Pace
    Building Faith with the Book of Mormon Glenn L. Pearson
    Teaching with the Book of Mormon Glenn L. Pearson
    God the Father Gordon Allred
    Way To Be Gordon B. Hinckley
    Drawing on the Powers of Heaven Grant Von Harrison
    Fathers As Patriarchs Grant Von Harrison
    Is Kissing Sinful Grant Von Harrison
    David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism Greg Prince
    The Pearl of Great Price: A History and Commentary H. Donl Peterson
    The Pearl of Great Price: Revelations from God H. Donl Peterson
    The Story of the Book of Mormon H. Donl Peterson
    Approaching Zion Hugh Nibley
    A Joseph Smith Chronology J. Christopher Conkling
    Nauvoo Panorama Janath Cannon
    Ken Garff Jean R. Paulson
    A Guide to Scriptural Symbols Joseph Fielding McKonkie
    Bruce R. McKonkie Story Joseph Fielding McKonkie
    Prophets and Prophecy Joseph Fielding McKonkie
    Sustaining and Defending the Faith Joseph Fielding McKonkie
    Teach and Reach Joseph Fielding McKonkie
    The Life Beyond Joseph Fielding McKonkie
    Witnesses of the Birth of Christ Joseph Fielding McKonkie
    The Progress of Man Joseph Fielding Smith
    The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith Joseph Fielding Smith
    Harold B. Lee L. Brent Goates
    Sacred Truths of the Doctrine and Covenants Vol. 1 L.G. Otten
    Sacred Truths of the Doctrine and Covenants Vol. 2 L.G. Otten
    A Marvelous Work and a Wonder LeGrand Richards
    LeGrand Richards: Beloved Apostle Lucile C. Tate
    Boys Who Became Prophets Lynda Cory Handy
    Counseling with our Councils M. Russell Ballard
    Alma and Abinadi Mark E. Petersen
    Isaiah for Today Mark E. Petersen
    Joseph of Egypt Mark E. Petersen
    Joshua: Man of Faith Mark E. Petersen
    Malachi and the Great and Dreadful Day Mark E. Petersen
    Noah and the Flood Mark E. Petersen
    The Jaredites Mark E. Petersen
    The Sons of Mosiah Mark E. Petersen
    Three Kings of Israel Mark E. Petersen
    Matthew Cowley Speaks Matthew Cowley
    John Taylor: Messenger of Salvation Matthew J. Haslam
    Discourses on the Holy Ghost & Lectures on Faith N.B. Lundwall
    A Wonderful Flood of Light Neal A. Maxwell
    Literature of Belief Neal E. Lambert
    Mormons and the Bible Philip L. Barlow
    LDS Adventure Stories Preston Nibley
    Rough Stone Rolling Richard Lyman Bushman
    Joseph F. Smith: Portrait of a Prophet Richard Neitzel Holzapfel
    Take Heed That Ye Be Not Deceived Richard T. Winwood
    Within Reach Robert L. Millet
    Leadership For Saints Roger Dean Duncan
    Winning Spirit Shellie M. Frey
    Ezra Taft Benson Sheri L. Dew
    Faith Precedes the Miracle Spencer W. Kimball
    The Miracle of Forgiveness Spencer W. Kimball
    Where is Wisdom Stephen L. Richards
    Spiritual Roots of Human Relations Stephen R. Covey
    The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families Stephen R. Covey
    Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood Volume A The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
    Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood Volume B The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
    Our Heritage The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
    Priesthood in Action The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
    Live the Good Life Thomas S. Monson
    Joseph Smith, The Prophet Truman G. Madsen
    Truth Will Prevail: The Rise of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the British Isles 1837-1987 V. Ben Bloxham
    Choices: A Father’s Counsel William G. Dyer

  40. I’m in college right now, but I’ve still got a moderate book collection. I got a cheap 4 foot tall bookshelf at Walmart and everything else is in boxes under my bed. Also, most of my books I’ve either taken from home (without my parents noticing) or I’ve bought at used bookstores. They generally fall into four or five categories: sci fi / fantasy, books about the church, books about martial arts, books about the middle east, and textbooks. Most recently, I found a copy of Momo by Michael Ende at a used bookstore in Provo, and I got a whole box full of Leading Edge magazines from my friends at TLE.

    If only I had the time to actually read them…

  41. Good Grief,

    I can’t believe how large many of your collections are!!! It certainly would make Elder Monson happy to hear that one of the three pillars of an LDS home– a “library of learning”– is prevelant!

    Q: Fess up, how many of you forgot to put the Work and the Glory Series on your lists??? ‘Come on, speak up!!!

    *One of the things that I’ve seen living next to a military base is that the lower ranking enlisted families rarely have the weight allowances to transport bookshelves. I can’t tell you how many homes I’ve seen in which there MIGHT be half a dozen books—maximum. Consequently, they rely on library books. In most parts of the country, LDS non-f and f isn’t readily available. Good luck T Stevens, it is a great idea!

    Q: Does anyone have that CD-ROM LDS classics collection?

  42. Amri — I love Chandler. Yes, the plots make no sense, but best prose ever.

    Mark IV — Elmore Leonard is indeed amazing. I just read The Hot Kid, and that put Hombre and Pagan Babies into my reread stack.

  43. I found a gem,
    “Wilbur and Oliver the Mormon Oxen”

    A children’s book by Patrick St. Clair. (If you loved ‘Ben and Me’ by R. Lawson– which was later made into the Disney cartoon, you’ll love this book as well!) Two thoughtful oxen recount the western trek and talk about the struggles and celebrations of the family they pulled. Illustrations are fresh and the banter between the two oxen captures true Mormon Pioneer whit.

    It’s a fun, but tricky catch. I wish it had received more attention from non-LDS multicultural children’s collections, as it really captures pioneer spirit and would be an excellent introduction to the Mormon Trail for young readers and appropriate for classrooms as well.

  44. What I can’t believe is that some folks here actually took the time to write out all those titles. Good grief!

  45. Seth,
    What’s the point of having books if you can’t show them off right? Good grief is right.

  46. Kristine says:

    onelowerlight! I LOVE Momo, and I’ve never met anyone else who has read it.

  47. Mark IV says:

    Norbert, # 42,

    You know what they say about great minds? I just re-read The Hot Kid last week – how about that!?!?!

    I’ve already (over)spent my book budget for the month, but on June 1, I’m buying Up In Honey’s Room, Leonard’s latest, which was just released in hardback on May 8. I can’t wait.

  48. Family Room: Church books
    Toy Room: Kids’ books and Harry Potter series
    Our bedroom: every book ever published by certain fiction authors (Mary Higgins Clark, Tony Hillerman, Elizabeth Peters, Louis L’Amour [true brain candy], etc.)
    My office: education and sales topics
    Kids’ bedrooms: their own favorites
    Every room: school texts and genealogy tomes and more church books

    I won’t list thousands of titles. I’m not that bored.

  49. Thomas Parkin says:



    I had that list written down several years ago – for a more utilitarian purpose. All I had to do was cut and paste. ;)

    I do have a mammoth ego about my books, but I’m not that neurotic about it. Someday I’ll write down all the paperbacks, too – then I’ll hand the list to new people I meet. Pleased to meet you, here’s the list of my books.


  50. TStevens says:

    Where is the love? Writing them out was not an act of boredom, rather it was an attempt to help my little ward. How small? Well I was YMP, SSP, Priest Quorum Advisor/Teacher, 12-13yo SS teacher, and Scout Committee chair all at the same time. Our little library at the church consists of 5 books with JFS’s Progress of Man as the most known. I knew everyone had several books in their homes that they would be willing to share with the other members so I wanted to created a virtual LDS Library. I wrote mine out to set the example but alas no one else seemed willing. I guess I should have erased the file, but I thought it just might be useful one day; and then today was the day. A simple cut and paste.

    If it redeems me at all, I do not have a record of my fiction LDS and all my non-LDS books, nor do I feel inclined to make one. That said I started to keep track of every book I read about 5 years ago and that is an interesting list, at least to me. Favourite writers are Ian Rankin, Henning Mankell, Haruki Murakami, and Marian Keyes. Yeah. I know that last one stands out.

  51. Being the one who mentioned boredom, I must admit that I wrote out a list of all the videos and DVD’s that we own – specifically to know what we had let friends borrow so we wouldn’t end up with half our library after a while.

    Also, my humor often gets lost in translation. Sorry for that T.

  52. Steve Evans says:

    “Someday I’ll write down all the paperbacks, too – then I’ll hand the list to new people I meet. Pleased to meet you, here’s the list of my books.”

    Thomas, you never should have left Seattle, man. We’d have had a blast.

  53. On the back part of the shelves is my Anchor Bible collection, which I’ll probably complete about the time that I die

    Dont bother, some of them arent worth the paper they are printed on (e.g., the infamously bad one on John’s Revelation).

  54. Kevin Barney says:

    Yeah, ED, I know that the quality of the volumes is quite uneven. Some of that has to do with the purpose of the series changing over time. Early volumes were meant to be basic overviews for a lay audience, but eventually they became works of scholarship in their own right.

  55. Thomas Parkin says:

    Aye, Steve. :)

    What’s weird. I’m likely the most sentimental person alive. I form emotional attachments to things like fire hydrants. My wife teases me that I say things such as “do you recall last week? Wasn’t that the Golden Age?”

    And yet, in spite of the fact that I loved living in Seattle for many years, I have very little sentimental feeling for it. I miss Bishop Hanley, and Kahoo and Theron and Pres Thatcher and others. But for the city itself, I feel remarkably little.

    When I first moved to Seattle, it was still very much a blue collar city. Boeing, and all that. It was very friendly. Almost like living in a great big small town – you very much had the feeling that you were living in your town. But then it was declared the best city in America to live, and Msoft and the other tech companies brought in tons of new money, and a new attitude.

    I bemoan what happened to a great little inexpensive neighborhood like Belltown, where all the artists could afford to live and you hopped down to the market, and all the sounds and smells and the autheticity – yes, it was once inexpensive. Wife says “come on, would you rather have the crack whores than the condos?” And I say “yeah, bring back the crack whores and ship these monstrous new ‘beautiful’ buildings out.”

    I do miss being able to walk to Mariner’s games on a whim. Now if we want to catch a game, it’s a major production.


  56. Elouise says:

    Merciful heavens! A fascinating and admirable thread!

    I have moved twice since 1999: the first move motivated me to sell or give away “almost all” of my books. But the little scoundrels followed me across country (like those dogs who manage to find their owners after being lost); and by 2004, hundreds of the books, or their kin, were ba-a-ck. Two years ago, I moved again; same scenario.

    So I thought rather than summarizing rooms or shelves (or prying open the still-sealed boxes in the garage), I would offer a sampling (maybe 30%) of the books I’ve ordered from amazon.com in the last 18 months or so.

    Letters of E.B. White
    Second Tree from the Corner: Stories by E.B. White
    E.B. White: A Biography
    The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler.
    Savage Beauty, a biography of Edna St. V. Millay
    Video Hound Golden Movie Retriever for 2007
    (Absolutely necessary for a movie buff)
    I Wish I Could Be There: Notes from a Phobic Life
    by Allen Shawn, son of former New Yorker
    editor William Shawn, brother of Wallace.
    Whatever Happened to the Quiz Kids? (Only of

  57. Elouise says:

    interest to those who remember the radio show.)
    Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith, by Barbara Brown
    Taylor. Taylor was an Episcopal minister for
    many years.
    Close Range: Wyoming Stories, Annie Proulx
    Writing Home, Alan Bennett
    Passing for Normal: A Memoir of Compulsion
    by Amy Wilensky
    The Complete Talking Heads, Alan Bennett
    Blessings in Disguise, a memoir by Alec Guinness
    Digging to America, Anne Tyler’s latest and my
    favorite of her novels
    The Last Word: the New York Times Book of Obits
    and Farewells. (Wonderful reading!)
    Body My House: May Swenson’s Work and Life–
    Swenson remains Utah’s premier poet to date
    I Can’t Help Smiling, autobiography of opera diva
    Eileen Farrell
    The History Boys, A Play. by Alan Bennett. Won
    the Tony last year.
    Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson. The only novel I’ve

  58. Elouise says:

    ever read that seems wrapped in holiness.

    Alice James, a biography by Jean Stouse. Alice was
    sister to William James and Henry James. One
    of the great biographies.

    Well, I seem to have botched up the posting of my comments here–sorry about that.

  59. Kevin Barney says:

    Wow, Elouise, if that’s only 30% of your Amazon orders, you sure do buy a lot of books! No wonder the little creatures keep following you around.

  60. All of my books from undergrad. Because we’ve moved recently, and foresee a couple more moves in the near future, I’m trying to pare down my bookshelves (only three right now!) and buy what I won’t be able to get at libraries easily.

    My books are basically in two categories, with my wife’s in another two and my daughter’s of the board book variety (and we have a number of board books).

    I have a lot of Mormon Studies/history books (UofI types), and probably more cookbooks and other food-related books. (And add to that the last three or four years of Bon Appetit magazine–that’s almost a shelf unto itself). My wife has dance- and education-related books. We have tons of other books scattered around but, again, thanks to moving, we’re trying (hopelessly but desparately) not to acquire too much more. For now.

  61. Elouise says:

    Re #59–Kevin, when I left Utah, I hauled a few crates of books up to Sam Weller’s, and the bookseller there said, “We rarely see such a WIDE collection.” She was diplomatically referring to the ships-shoes-and-sealing-wax hodge podge of subjects: lots of books about dogs, a few baseball books,some Art for Dummies sort of things,feminist books, some poetry (though I couldn’t bear to part with most of those)–nothing you really could call a serious collection such as you and your BCC colleagues have listed. There were a couple of books I had bought years earlier at a New England auction for 50 cents each; she offered me $200 for those. At the same auction, I saw a complete set of Dickens, leather-bound though not first editions, but from the period. I expected they would sell for hundreds–out of my price range at the time; but I walked off with the whole set for twelve dollars. One person’s trash is another’s treasure, without question.

    And as for amazon.com–it has surely done more for the sheer volume of the book business than any other phenomenon of our day except for Oprah and J.K. Rowling. It’s all far too easy. You browse, you see,you click, and a very few days later, there’s your book in the mailbox. Addictive!

  62. An Observer says:

    I don’t have time to list all my books, but for the curious here are some of the titles within reaching distance while seated at my desk. It’s an ad hoc assortment of what I’m using right now for current projects, but gives you some idea of what the bookshelves look like.

    Politics of Piety—Mahmood
    Feminist Social Thought—-Meyers
    God vs. The Gavel—Hamilton
    Body, Sex, and Pleasure—Gudorf
    The Archaeology of Knowledge—Foucault
    Feminism and Philosophy—Tong
    The Nature and Destiny of Man–Niebuhr
    Sexing the Church—Kalbian
    American Evangelicalism–Hunter
    Self Love and Christian Ethics–Weaver
    The Ethics of Authenticity—Taylor
    The New Oxford Annotated Bible
    The Five Books of Moses–Alter
    The Human Condition–Arendt
    Just Love—Farley
    The Desire of the Nations–O’Donovan
    The Erotic Phenomenon–Marion
    Sources of the Self–Taylor
    Gender Trouble—Butler
    Bodies That Matter–Butler
    Giving an Account of Oneself-Butler
    Undoing Gender—Butler
    The Psychic Life of Power—Butler
    Politics and Vision–Wolin
    Lectures on the History of Philosophy–Rawls
    Sex and Social Justice–Nussbaum
    Strangers in Paradox–Toscano
    Fits, Trances, and Visions–Taves
    The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind–Noll
    God’s Daughters–Griffith
    Transforming Grace–Carr
    Toward a Theology of Eros–Burrus and Keller
    Acts of Faith–Stark
    The Rise of Mormonism–Stark
    Rational Theology—Widtsoe
    The Book of Mormon
    The American Religion–Bloom
    Feminist Morality–Held
    Engaged Surrender–Rouse
    Love Disconsoled—Jackson
    Totality and Infinity–Levinas
    Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day
    The Elements of Style–Strunk and White
    City of God—Augustine
    Fear and Trembling–SK
    Feminism and Political Theory–Sunstein
    Evangelicals in the Public Square–various
    Swallowing a Fishbone–Daphne Hampson
    Situating the Self—Benhabib
    Democracy and Tradition–Stout
    Modernity and Self-Identity–Giddens
    The Identity of Persons-Rorty
    The Importance of What We Care About–Frankfurt
    Socrates in Love—Phillips
    Heaven’s Kitchen–Bender
    Soft Patriarchs—Wilcox
    Liberalism and Its Critics–Sandel
    The Ethics of Identity–Appiah
    Oneself as Another–Ricouer
    An Ethics of Sexual Difference–Irigaray
    The Book of Jerry Falwell–Harding
    The Jewish Social Contract–Novak
    The Angel and the Beehive–Mauss
    You Have Stept Out of Your Place—Lindley
    The Way That Leads There–Meilander
    The Church and the Second Sex–Mary Daly
    Liberal Equality–Gutmann
    Finite and Infinite Goods–Adams

  63. A handful of my favorites:

    Jesus Before Christianity – Nolan (truly a favorite)
    Jesus through the Centuries – Pelikan
    Modern Women’s Stories – Craig
    Our Nig (Sketches from the Life of a Free Black) – Wilson
    Without Remorse – Clancy (truly disturbing overall and truly inspiring in one particular subplot)

    I had one entitled “The Changing of the Gods” that I can’t find anymore and can’t attribute. For anyone interested in feminist theology, it was fascinating to read as a college student.

    Oh, and the Harry Potter series (doesn’t quite fit, but I love the books)

  64. The author of “The Changing of the Gods” is Naomi R Goldenberg. I’m just old enough that it takes me about 2 minutes to remember that “Google” is a verb.

  65. I’ve got some old Utne Readers and dog-eared copy of EasyRider some boyfriend left years before I got married…

  66. Elouise! I love Anne Tyler! I’ve read all her books. Patchwork Planet is my favorite, I just love Barnaby. But Digging to America is also excellent.

  67. Basement shelves – comic books and graphic novels.
    Pantry shelves – Cookbooks, books by cooks (like Anthony Bourdain’s tell-all)
    Front room shelves – LDS history, Stephen King, Robert Parker mysteries (Spenser is the greatest detective in literature right now), whatever we just bought or borrowed from the library. Very little LDS fiction, just can’t seem to find anything I like.
    Bedroom shelves- periodicals, my current reading material, old magazines
    Under the bed – And They Were not Ashamed (oh the irony) and The Art of Massage for Couples
    Kid’s room – enough children’s books that I could probably open a bookstore. I can brush of requests for toys from Target or a new video game no problem. My daughter has discovered I’m too weak to say no when she ask if “we can go buy a new book to read together”.

  68. Elouise says:

    Re #66–Annegb, isn’t Tyler a delight? I wish we had more good filmed versions of her novels; The Accidental Tourist was no slouch as a movie; the made-for-TV version of Breathing Lessons (Joanne Woodward and James Garner) was just so-so, despite how fine the actors were. Saint Maybe, which Digging nudged down to Number 1B on my list, worked pretty well on film. Am I missing others?