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October Bibliolust

Here’s the books I’m lusting after currently:

The Angel of Grozny: Orphans of a Forgotten War, Asne Seierstad — I’ve always had an interest in those parts of the world that grab headlines and we then forget. Given it is written by the author of The Bookseller of Kabul, I have high hopes for this, which I’ve already picked up from the library.

The Forever War, Dexter Filkins — Since I’ve already started reading this perhaps it doesn’t qualify for the October list but I’m trying to avoid a twice-a-month lists. Whenever someone someone compares a book by a war correspondent to Michael Herr’s Dispatches, I’m going to take notice.

I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto, David Thompson. I heard a brief debate between the author and another music critic on whether the 1970s represented the end of real rock music. While I don’t think I enjoy the same ’70s playlist as the author, I’m intrigued by the potential.

Nothing to Be Frightened Of, Julian Barnes. Okay, I admit a review in this coming weekend’s NYT Book Review put this one on the list. But I gotta lust after it when someone (Garrison Keillor actually) describes it as “a book that keeps rumbling and grumbling in the mind for weeks.”

Scattershot: My Bipolar Family, David Lovelace — Perhaps it’s like slowing at a horrible car accident, but I am drawn to memoirs of persons and families struck by mental illness. (Which reminds me, if you haven’t you should read Eden Express, Mark Vonnegut’s account of suffering from schizophrenia.)

The Wasted Vigil, Nadeem Aslam. This novel exploring the lives of five people in post-9/11 Afghanistan has been on my Amazon wishlist for two months.

As for the status of of September’s Bibliolust items:

Child 44, Tom Rob Smith — I just completed this and my perception is the setting and role of the setting — Stalinist Russia — is what has brought it positive attention. I found it perhaps an above average thriller/mystery but am somewhat surprised it made the Man Booker Prize longlist.

Home, Marilynne Robinson — Couldn’t resist. Had to go buy it. It’s not Gilead but still worthy because if you liked Gilead you’ll enjoy Home.

The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead, David Shields — I don’t give up on a lot of books. This was a rare exception. It couldn’t decide it if wanted to be a collection of facts and figures, a look at aging ala Mary Roach or a memoir. It just seemed too muddled and directionless so I gave up about one-third of the way in.

The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature, Daniel Levitin — Started to read this and while there wasn’t anything wrong with it I got swamped by other things. I returned it to the library so others would have an opportunity but may very well check it out again in the near future.

To Siberia, Per Petterson — Just came out yesterday. Still lusting but I’m number one on the “hold” list at the library. That may be good because, as noted, I’ve already got a couple books from there I need to read.

White Guard, Mikhail Bulgakov — I got this as a birthday present from my kids so it is also in the “to be read” stack.


I was born with a reading list I would never finish.

Maud Casey, Genealogy

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