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Author Joanna Goodman reads in her bedroom at her home in Toronto. (Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)
Author Joanna Goodman reads in her bedroom at her home in Toronto. (Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)

My Books, My Place

For whom the bed tolls Add to ...

I’m never reading fewer than three books at once, which is a pretty accurate reflection of my compulsive, attention-deficit-disordered life. In the mix, there’s always a business book, a novel and a “spiritual” book (all right, all right, self-help). Where I read is always in the comfort of my sumptuous bed.

Currently, one of the books on my bedside table is A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway. I must confess I’ve never been a great fan of his novels. In fact, it was only after reading The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain, that I became enthralled with him, his first wife, Hadley, and their Paris of the Twenties.

The book is a posthumously published collection of sketches about his life in Paris before fame and fortune – an ode to Hadley and his inner circle of friends, which famously included F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein.

As a writer, I’m enchanted by his immortalization of the City of Light, his observations about Fitzgerald’s self-destruction, and by the rituals and habits of his daily writing life at a time when he was still struggling to find his style and the success that would eventually be his.

Still, it’s taking me a while to finish this one because, well, my bed is so cozy. If the novel I’m reading doesn’t have a compelling enough plot, I tend to drift off pretty quickly. A Moveable Feast, as delicious as it is, just can’t compete with the powerful lulling effect of my reading place.

Joanna Goodman has just completed her fourth novel, The Seed Man’s Daughter. She is also owner of Toronto bedding store Au Lit Fine Linens.

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