A world wrapped up in covers and spines


Remember when I wrote about my lack of hoarding, and my penchant for throwing important items away? I failed to mention my dirty little hoarding secret. I hoard books. There isn’t a room in my house where you can’t find a stack of them lurking somewhere. Next to the bed, in the hutch, under the coffee table, stacked up high in the basement. A Kindle sits in a drawer somewhere with worlds hidden behind its screen. Lest you think this I consider this a problem, I assure you, it is one I never want to solve.

A few days ago, I saw a job posting for an assistant book scout. According to the description, the sole purpose of this job is to read for a living. Where has this been all my life? Jobs actually exist in which one is allowed to read books all day, every day? For a living? Forget this writing mumbo-jumbo. Let me feast on other people’s words. Let me bathe myself in their tears, and revel in their blood and sweat.

To that end, I thought I’d join Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy and show you all what’s on my bookshelf. Brace yourselves. My taste in books carries with it a certain “no rhyme or reason” sensibility. I also happen to share these bookshelves with a man who might read about Navy Seal operations one night, and Genesis in Space and Time the next. We make an odd pair.

Join me on the bookshelves?

For when I want fiction:


By far, the most confusing and difficult book in this little stack is One Hundred Years of Solitude. The rest, mostly winners. My Favorite: The Poisonwood Bible. Least Favorite: The Sugar Queen. Confession: I’ve never read The Lord of The Rings. Don’t hate me.

More fiction:


I’d read a grocery list written by Kate Morton. The Distant Hours will keep you up at night. Looking for a quirky, fun, cozy mystery? Give Alan Bradley a try. His character Flavia de Luce is one of my all time favorites. The Aftermath is fantastic. Before too long, I suspect it will make a blockbuster film. Get the book and cast the characters for yourself.

For when I want to remember:


We grew into the habit of picking up small tourist books from all of the interesting places we’ve visited over the years. Cheesy? Yes. A great way to remember all of the people and places that have shaped us? Absolutely. We have entire shelves of these.

For when I need real stories:


Another confession: Fiction is my first love. Non-fiction is sometimes a chore for me. My favorite: Walking on Water by L’Engle. ย Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist is also a contender. And Ann Lamott? Can I be her when I grow up? She is equal parts irreverence and wicked wit and burgeoning faith.

For when I can’t handle chick-lit:


These are the books that help me make up for a dismal secondary education. I want to crawl inside each of them and stay awhile (ok, not the Bobbsey Twins, that one is purely for nostalgia). My favorite book of all time, forever and ever, amen: Little Women. My parents gave me this vintage edition and sometimes I open it just to smell the pages.

Thanks for joining me on this sliver of a tour. Maybe another day we’ll get to the books I have piled up elsewhere. If you need me, I’ll be feasting in the stacks.


Tell me, do we have any books in common? I’d love to hear what you’re reading and what you think I should add to my bookshelves next.


  • Holland @hollandsays

    Lots of similar titles on our shelves – Secret Life of Bees, Night Circus, Shadow of the Wind. Little Women also in my top 10 as I had 3 sisters and so strongly identified with the sibling relationships. To see if we have anymore in common, I’m over at http://www.lifesimplifiedforyou.com. Thanks for sharing.

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks for stopping by! I’ll pop in over at yours too:)

  • rhondi mullins

    I love books too but I often clear them out and give them away only to wish I hadn’t sometime later! I love your comment about Kate Morton. I’ve read every one of her books and loved all of them. My favorite book is The Shellseekers by Rosamunde Pilcher.

    • KimberlyCoyle

      I’ve never read Rosamunde Pilcher, and so many readers have recommended her to me. Time to remedy this!

  • I thought I was the only one to have not read TLOTR! My kids keep pestering me to read it, but I have a mental block about it. This was fun!

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Total mental block. This is sacrilegious I know, but I think it could have used a wee bit of a heavier edit. Gah, all the details!

  • Jeannie

    I was thrilled to see that you put Little Women as #1, ever: I do, too. (Here’s a post from earlier this year about that very thing: http://prinsenhouse.blogspot.ca/2013/01/my-top-five-books-ever.html). I also love Secret Life of Bees, The Kite Runner, Kate Morton … Your collection looks great.

    • KimberlyCoyle

      It’s so nice to find a kindred spirit, Jeannie:)

  • Kathleen Botsford

    Elizabeth Berg is amazing. I would read her grocery list. Also if you like Historical Fiction try Sarah Dunant and Jeanne Kalogridis. Deborah Harkness got me hooked on the Witches/Vampire genre with history and time travel thrown in and of course Paulo Coelho is brilliantly brilliant. My absolute favorite of Sue Monk Kidd is “Dance of the Dissident Daughter”!

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks for the suggestions, Kathleen! I love historical fiction, must check on this immediately;)

  • Cassi Brightforest

    I love your collection, especially the vintage Little Women!

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks, Cassi:) It’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.

  • Mick Silva

    Love this…

    You’re an intrepid explorer–and a great tour guide!

    A shelf of sporadic reads:

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks for sharing your shelf:) I’ve wanted to read Beuchner for a while now, not sure where to begin.

  • Lane Arnold

    I’m on the way to the library now….perfect timing. I’ll grab an Alan Bradley…good to read your post and hear a bit of your unpacked life!

    • KimberlyCoyle

      I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

  • Love your shelves! I see a lot in common with mine. I really want to try Kate Morton but wasn’t sure what book to start with-which would you recommend? And an assistant book scout? That’s got to be the perfect job!

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks for stopping by, Moira! I started with Morton’s first book, The House at Riverton, and made my way from there. She gets better and better with each book. I liked growing along with her.

  • Anne Bogel

    I love your shelves! Your classics are gorgeous, love your taste in nonfiction, and your collection of tourist books is so sweet and personal.

    I keep spying the Alan Bradley books on everyone’s shelves! I’m adding them to my to-read list finally–this has to be the sixth place I’ve spotted them in the past hour, thanks to this link-up. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they’re really pretty. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for sharing your shelves with us!

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks for creating a place for us to share our shelves, Anne:) And thanks for stopping by too!

  • Jennifer

    Oh my, what a beautifully curated book collection! I apologize for the gushing, but I loved everything about this post.

    • KimberlyCoyle

      It’s impossible not to gush about books:)

  • Oooh! What a lovely collection! I adore Flavia books – and I see several titles that I need to add to my GoodReads list! Thank you so much for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks for stopping by, Ginger. I’m on goodreads too if you care to friend me:)

  • andrea paventi

    If you like historical fiction, I highly recommend Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. It’s a series. Start with the first. It centers around a WW2 nurse getting reacquainted with her soldier hubby post war. She falls through some Stonehenge type rocks and lands in 1745 Scotland right during the English/Scottish wars. It’s a wonderful epic romp as she is forced to marry a Clansmen for safety who she falls madly in love with. She’s forced to choose between her “new” life or finding her way home again. It’s being made into a series now by director Ron Moore.

    • Andrea Frazer

      That person above is me, Andrea Frazer, from http://www.happilytickedoff. I don’t know why I couldn’t sign in. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • KimberlyAmici

    I love looking at people’s bookcases when I visit their homes.
    I see a handful of books we have in common. I separated my book case by ‘to be read’ and “read” hoping one day I will make it through them all. However I keep buying more – which doesn’t help. I rarely buy fiction so not much of that on my shelves…

  • luis45645@mail.ru

    Occupations really exist in which one is permitted to peruse books throughout the day, consistently? Professionally? Disregard this written work gobbledegook. For devour other individuals’ words. Give me a chance to bathe myself in their tears, and delight in their blood and sweat….