Bedside Table: Nicole Galland

The books we take to bed.

Nicole Galland's bedside table. — Nicole Galland

First off, I have to fess up to owning an (early-generation) Kindle, which you can see poking out of the bottom of the pile; I almost never use it, but I recently got back from a 7-week trip around the world and it was lighter than books. I’ve been simultaneously reading “1599: A Year In the Life of William Shakespeare” (James Shapiro), “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” (Mark Mason) and finally, “Everything All At Once: How to Unleash Your Inner Nerd, Tap Into Radical Curiosity, and Solve Any Problem.” (Bill Nye). This last one is actually an audiobook read by the author, who sounds adorably nerdy. I’m about halfway through each of these.

1599 is research for my next novel. So, indirectly, is Ngaio Marsh’s “Light Thickens” (a very readable mystery set backstage during a performance of Macbeth), and “A Dead Man in Deptford” by Anthony Burgess, which I haven’t started yet. (Spoiler: the dead man is Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare’s playwright-contemporary and a spy for Her Majesty Elizabeth I). I am reading “The Essential Rumi” for the second time: I usually start the morning or close the evening by reading a few stanzas out of it.

Finally, beneath Rumi (only in the physical sense) is Robert B. Marks’ “Origins of the Modern World,” a non-Eurocentric look at — surprise! — the origins of the modern world. It’s strangely reassuring to know that we are not the center of the universe.

Nicole Galland is a novelist whose latest book, written with Neal Stephenson, “The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O,” was a NY Times Bestseller. Nicole also pens the cheeky advice column MV Ps & Qs, which appears in the MVTimes.

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