Bookshelf Report: Amanda Winterhalter and the Giant Fist

The Bookshelf Report is an ongoing series where a Bushwick reader or artist shares a little bit about the books that occupy their shelves.


Amanda Winterhalter, Bushwick performer and program volunteer, takes the stage this Saturday at The Bushwick Book Club Presents: Original Music Inspired by The Little Prince. Before we see her then, let’s take a look around her home to see where all her books live.


How do you organize your books?

Generally, I order my books by genre (British Lit, American Lit, Poetry, World Lit, Nonfiction/Textbooks, Memoir and Essay, etc.), and then alphabetically by author name within genre. I was an English major, which basically means I joined a very expensive book club for four years and collected a lot of cool novels and anthologies. And I like order and systems. However, I don’t always put books back where they belong.

Be honest. What percentage of the books on this shelf have you actually read?

Mmmm… I’ve probably read 70%. I haven’t been reading as much as I used to in the last few years, and I keep collecting more books faster than I can read them.

What’s your favorite book on the shelf and why?

Ohhhhhh, it’s too hard to pick just one all-time favorite. Today, my favorite is Red Bird, by Mary Oliver. It brings me comfort whenever I go back to it.

What book do you plan on reading next and why?

Next I’m going to read either The Spider and the Fly, by Claudia Rowe, or This is Women’s Work, by Dominique Christina. An early short story version of Claudia Rowe’s book inspired one of my best songs, “The Spider,” and her book just released in January. She’s an amazing writer, and the story is fascinating, but I know it’s going to be a heavy read (it’s a true story about a serial killer), and I’ve been reading heavy stuff recently, so I might want something a little more lifting. I’ve been wanting to read Dominique Christina’s stuff for a while.

Who’s fist is that?

The fist is my ex-boyfriend’s. He’s a crafty guy and has a cool Etsy shop. A while ago he was making a bunch of hand casts and painting them and I thought the fist was cool so I got it as shelf jewelry.

Are you saving the whiskey to drink when you read a special book?

I don’t usually drink and read, but that is a good idea!


Wh at is the #1 Brain Rule from Brain Rules?

John Medina’s Brain Rule #1 is EXERCISE (boosts brain power). Uuggggggggh, why are you so honest, John Medina?
Thanks for letting us poke around your shelves, Amanda.


Hey you! I bet you have a bookshelf. If you would like to be featured on the Bookshelf Report, please let me know.