June Bibliolust

Although last month I was sort of whining about the number of books I had to review in the coming weeks, I got all six read and the reviews posted. There’s two additional ones that were offered after the first of the month that I got read but just haven’t gotten around to writing the reviews.

So, when a guy is stacked up with books to read, what does he do? Buys more to put in the TBR stack. Thus, this month’s bibiliolust actually reflects the books I bought in the last couple weeks, some of which I’ve already read.

Amerika: The Missing Person, Franz Kafka — Here’s one of those purchases that displays how well certain strategies work. I was ordering a book for my youngest daughter’s birthday and was just under the amount needed for “free shipping.” What’s a person to do? Rather than pay shipping, you spend probably three times as much to get a book that’s been on your “I want to read that someday list” since it came out last year.

Bel Canto, Ann Patchett — Wandering the local used bookstore and seeing one of those books you’ve been wanting to read since it came out leaves a person like me no choice. So my first Ann Patchett novel is now on the fiction shelf next to the bed.

The Drinker, Hans Fallada — I’ve wanted to read this since completing Every Man Dies Alone but it wasn’t in any of the local bookstores. Thus, when I saw it in a bookstore in Amherst, Mass., it was headed back home with me. I’ve already read it and whlie I didnt enjoy it as much as Every Man Dies Alone, it is still very good.

Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson — Another used bookstore acquisition. As much as I liked Gilead and Home, I figured I ought to read Robinson’s first novel.

The Stones Cry Out, Hikaru Okuizumi — My foreign lit fixation kicked in when I saw this in the bargain bin at the used bookstore. The phrase “Winner of Japan’s most prestigious literary award” cried out at me and I figured my first exposure to Japanese fiction was worth $2.

Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History, Harvey Pekar — As if the used bookstore isn’t proof enough of why I shouldn’t go into bookstores, here is another exhibit. I’m not into graphic novels or graphic works so wasn’t even aware Harvey Pekar had done a graphic history of the SDS. I saw this on the shelves in Amherst and it screamed to join Fallada in returning to South Dakota.

Voices From the Street, Philip K. Dick — Since I have most of Dick’s SF catalog, I figured that picking up a copy of this early, non-SF novel in excellent condition at the used bookstore could be easily rationalized — and it was.

This will never be a civilized country until we expend more money for books than we do for chewing gum.

Elbert Hubbard, The Philistine, June 1907

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