The nightstand: ideal place to keep the books you're planning to read soon. (Opposed to the bookcase, where you keep the books you're planning to read someday.) Here's what's on my nightstand right now.
The Philosopher's Pupil by Iris Murdoch. This is what I'm reading now. It has the classic Murdoch elements: well-off people living in beautiful houses, facing existential crises, and dogs with personality.
An English Year by Nan Fairbrother. Also reading this, although very slowly. The chronicle of a year, written by a woman who was living in the English countryside with her two small children while her husband was off fighting in WW II.
The Complete Book of Sewing by Constance Talbot. Written in 1943. Fabulous illustrations.
Confusion by Elizabeth Jane Howard. Book three of the Cazalet Chronicles.
Casting Off by Elizabeth Jane Howard. Book four (and last) of the Cazalet Chronicles.
Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth. Written in 1800. Possibly inspiration for Jane Austen.
Inflating a Dog: The Story of Ella's Lunch Launch by Eric Kraft. Eric Kraft's whimsical novels are hit and miss for me, but I can't resist the "lunch launch."
Nikolai Gogol by Vladimir Nabokov
Miss Buncle's Book by D.E.Stevenson
The Far Side of the World by Patrick O'Brian The 10th book in the superb Aubrey/Maturin series.
In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson. A long-term resident of the nightstand. I read it when I'm bored with whatever else I'm reading.
Whipped, not Beaten by blogging friend Melissa Westemeier. I'm saving this one for a rainy day when I need cheering up.