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What’s on my Bookshelf with Author Julie Schumacher

April 30, 2012

Today, we’re joined by novelist Julie Schumacher, whose newest book, THE UNBEARABLE BOOK CLUB FOR UNSINKABLE GIRLS, goes on sale next Tuesday, May 8th. Below, Julie shares with us what’s on her bookshelf at the moment. We were particularly excited to hear it considering THE UNBEARABLE BOOK CLUB is among other things, a book about books. Using five classic novels including THE AWAKENING and FRANKENSTEIN as a foundation to explore the corresponding themes and challenges in the lives of four teenage girls who are forced into joining a mother-daughter book club for the summer and are tasked with reading these very books, Schumacher creates a funny, insightful and sincere read about growing up and the power of the literature to enlighten. I enjoyed this book immensely and finished it a fan of not only Julie Schumacher’s writing but also her ability to dissect and display the heart of a good book. What better person to take reading recommendations from?!

We’ll be posting a second piece on Random Acts of Reading later in the summer to discuss the books that, just like for The Unbearable Book Club’s main character, Adrienne, helped us relate and make sense of our own lives in times of wonder and transition. Keep an eye out for it! We hope you’ll join us in the conversation and to get started, we’ll be giving away review copies of the book to the first few commenters.- Bobbie


I have books in every room in my house, on almost every surface.  I have a fear of being caught somewhere and not having anything to read.  Nonfiction lives downstairs in the basement; poetry (apologies to my poet friends) lives in the TV room.  Novels begin – alphabetized by author’s last name – in my study, then creep up the stairs to the second floor.  This is my study.  Books here begin with A (I have a healthy collection of Margaret Atwood and Jane Austen, who live happily side-by-side) and end with J, at which point you have to go upstairs.  But it’s kind of a mess up there, with books piled all over the radiators, their covers curling up at the edges, so I’ll keep those photos to myself.


Do other people have books in their bathrooms?  I always keep a few paperbacks at the edge of the tub, because here in Minnesota, in the winter, there’s nothing like a long hot soak while perusing a reference book.  I’m a sucker for any amusing book about unusual words and phrases.  I love reading the dictionary, but it’s not easy to hold one up in the air while you’re bathing.


On my mess of a desk I keep the books I pull off the shelf and look at often, including Lynda Barry’s WHAT IT IS, an amazing one-of-a-kind book about making art. 


On shelves where more well-adjusted people might keep flowers or photographs, I have little stacks of old books about penmanship and grammar, because – how cool are these?  Am I right? 


And on the table by to my bed are the books I’m planning to read next.  Several of these are memoirs, because I like learning the shape of someone else’s life when I go to bed: Alison Bechdel’s ARE YOU MY MOTHER?; Cheryl Strayed’s WILD; Jeanette Winterson’s WHY BE HAPPY WHEN YOU COULD BE NORMAL?  A friend loaned me Katherine Boo’s BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS, about India.  There are some terrific-looking novels in here, too: Joanne Beard’s IN ZANESVILLE, Carol Anshaw’s CARRY THE ONE, and Julian Barnes’s ARTHUR AND GEORGE.  And there’s a pen I stole from a hotel.  That’s okay, though, right?  It says “Welcome to the end of the day” on it.  The end of the day, for me, means getting into bed with something new and wonderful to read.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2012 8:11 am

    I am so happy to learn there is another Minnesotan who lives with books on the edge of their bathtub.

  2. April 30, 2012 12:37 pm

    My house looks a lot like this. In fact, so does my car – I always have several audiobooks in the car, just in case…


  1. Summer Reading and More: The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls « Random Acts of Reading
  2. The Wait is Over! New Titles Available in Paperback in May | Random Acts of Reading

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