Sally Wilton

On this bookshelf you’ll see books that belong to the entire family. Most of my books are at the far end. Our children’s books are on the lower shelf towards the middle, and my husband’s books are the ones that are closest to the camera lens.

It was my husband’s idea to separate our books when we put them on the shelves, but he is always stealing books of mine that he likes and putting them on his side! For instance, all of my favorite Cormac McCarthy books have migrated west to his side, and so have my Willa Cather books. However, you’ll notice that none of his science books have migrated to my side. (Can’t imagine why I haven’t lately picked up Veterinary Neuroanatomy and Clinical Neurology or The Equine Distal Limb and had time to sit down and read them.)

Besides books on the shelf, you’ll see a few knick-knacks. “Teddy” is prominently featured because when I was a girl he sat on the shelf in my room, and I just haven’t retired him yet. He’s a special bear, with a bell sewn into his ear that you wouldn’t know was there unless you picked him up and moved him, and that’s what I loved about him as a child, that there was something secret about him. I did try to retire him once, but my children objected. There’s a wolf skull on my husband’s side that he acquired in veterinary school, and on my side there’s a ceramic Pueblo Indian bear that I picked up when I was driving across the country to start a fellowship with the Chesterfield Screenwriting Company in LA, where I learned I am not so good at writing screenplays.

Besides owning these books, we are frequent patrons of the public library, and I would say that of late, it would probably be a more accurate representation of what we’ve been reading to take a picture of the public library’s shelves than our own.


Yannick Murphy is the author of the novels, THE CALL, SIGNED, MATA HARI, HERE THEY COME, THE SEA OF TREES and her latest novel THIS IS THE WATER. Her story collections include STORIES IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE and IN A BEAR’S EYE. Her children’s books include THE COLD WATER WITCH, BABY POLAR, and AHWOOOOOOOO!. She is the recipient of various awards including a Pushcart Prize, a Laurence L. and Thomas Winship/PEN New England Award, a Whiting Writer’s Award, a National Endowment for the Arts award, and a Chesterfield Screenwriting award. Her story IN A BEAR’S EYE was published in the 2007 O. Henry Prize Stories.