Shelf Evaluation: What Goes in the Suitcase

I’m moving on Friday. It’s horrible. As I’m sure anyone reading this will know, moving books is the worst part of it. My dream house has a library with wall-to-wall shelving, but I’m not moving into my dream house—just another apartment. At least this one has a dining room with enough space for a full wall of floor-to-ceiling shelves. But I’m a Vitsoe girl on an IKEA budget, so it’ll be a few weeks before I can set up said shelves and start to unpack our boxes (and boxes and boxes) of books.

Here are the books I’ve left out to peruse between organizing, packing, unpacking, dusting (seriously, where does all the cat hair come from?), and cursing my existence. I’ve listed titles from the top down, with links to Booklist reviews when available.

The book pile, featuring my tortie, Astrud, who is happy to have any number of boxes upon which to sit.

Hark, by Sam Lipsyte

Sam Lipsyte (The Ask, 2009) is the funniest living novelist. Hark comes out in January.


Red Clocks, by Leni Zumas

I started this before I started packing and can’t wait to finish. Zumas is a weird and interesting writer, and her setting—an America where abortion is illegal—is frighteningly realistic.


Stephen Florida, by Gabe Habash

This book is so intense I know I’m going to have to wait until my living situation is less intense before I get down to it. I bought it during my first visit to Powell’s City of Books a few weeks ago. Exciting!


Ill Will, by Dan Chaon

I read this last summer and loved its trippy story of the 80s Satanic Panic beyond reason, but I lent it to my friend Martin, who just gave it back, so it didn’t make it into a box. Note to book borrowers: be like Martin, who always returns things.


Astral Weeks, by Ryan H. Walsh

The last time I moved, it was from Boston, where this book is set, where Van Morrison’s landmark album was recorded, and where some seriously weird stuff happened in the late 60s.


You’re on an Airplane, by Parker Posey

I read this book in galley form and loved it, so I was beyond delighted when I got the finished copy and saw the gorgeous, gorgeous pictures, which I’ve been looking at instead of thinking about the terrible wardrobe I’ve amassed, now in garbage bags in my living room. Best author photo of all time? (Duh.)

I’ll leave you with this glorious image of Parker. It’s back to the laundry room for me!



About the Author:

Eugenia Williamson is the former Associate Editor of Digital Products at Booklist.

1 Comment on "Shelf Evaluation: What Goes in the Suitcase"

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  1. Terri P. says:

    I like to think I learn something new everyday and today it was thanks to you, Eugenia, I learned what Vitsoe shelving is. I recognize it but did not know the name. I will have to get rid of books in the next four years since I am retiring to an RV full time and there will be little room for books. I have dreams of a storage place with other things I cannot part with including boxes of books that I will have inventoried (I’m a librarian but never THAT organized) and will stop by once or twice a year to restock the RV.

    Agreed, that is the best author photo ever. But Parker Posey is a pretty cool woman!

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