Bedside Table: Lynn Van Auken

The books we take to bed.

The bedside table of a children's book librarian. – Lynn Van Auken

Oak Bluffs resident Lynn Van Auken sent this to us on December 29, 2017.

The top shelf books are either current reads or next-ups.  This month’s OB School Library book is “Swim That Rock,” by John Rocco. It’s a YA (young adult) novel with a local flair that isn’t circulating much, but I think has potential with a personalized pitch.  “The Sympathizer” (Viet Thanh Nguyen) is next up on my adult list (highly recommended by a colleague), but that’s now competing with Celeste Ng’s, “Little Fires Everywhere,” which was a Christmas gift from my daughter. “Raymie Nightengale,” by the inimitable Kate DiCamillo, is there for the nights I wake up at 2 am and can’t get back to sleep.  DiCamillo’s simple yet powerful message of hope and peace woven into everyday chaos works like a charm every time.  

My bottom shelf books are a hodgepodge. There’s “The Little Paris Bookshop,” abandoned in the middle after losing patience with Monsieur Perdu; another to-be-read adult book found on Molly Coogan’s Recommended shelf at the Bunch of Grapes, “Boy, Snow, Bird” by Helen Oyeyemi, finished long ago but kept close by for easy rereading of dog-eared passages on pages 208 and 281; a gift book of poetry by Mary Oliver (also good for middle-of-the-night reading); the January 2017 National Geographic Gender issue, and two professional reads, “From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books,” and the November/December 2017 issue of The Horn Book.

Lynn Van Auken is the librarian at The Oak Bluffs School

Want to share what you’re reading? Send a snap of your bedside table with the date that you took the photo and a few sentences about what’s on it, what you’re reading, and why you like or don’t like it. While we hope you will show us your bed table as is, please note this is a family publication so before snapping your photo, we encourage you to remove anything . . . erotic . . . other than, perhaps, those lines found in the books you may be reading. Email photo and descriptions to