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May Bibliolust

Given that in the last six weeks or so I returned four Bibliolust books to the library unread because I couldn’t get to them before they were due back, this is the second month in a row the lust list is short. In fact, two of the books on this month’s list don’t come out until June. I did, though, buy one of the Bibliolust books returned to the library and have two of them on hold again.

Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline, Daniel Rosenberg and Anthony Grafton — How can I resist a book described as “the first comprehensive history of graphic representations of time in Europe and the United States from 1450 to the present,” particularly when several people have already described it as “the most beautiful book of the year”? This may well be one you spend more time lingering over the pictures and art than reading.

The Passage, Justin Cronin — The hype and buzz on this book started weeks ago, even though it isn’t set to come out until June 8. Throw in the fact it’s a post-apocalyptic novel clocking in at more than 750 pages, the amount of talk it’s already generated dictated it be on my list. So I’ve already got a reserve on it at the library — which means I will undoubtedly face the task of getting it read in 14 days.

Record Store Days: From Vinyl to Digital and Back Again, Gary Calamar — One of the first jobs I had as a teenager was filling in for the owner of the local record shop during the summer when he wanted to take off early for a weekend or for vacation. The number of vinyl LPs I still own remains a testament to that so a book on record stores borders on irresistible.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, David Mitchell — Like many, I was bowled over by Mitchell’s 2004 novel, Cloud Atlas. His most recent novel isn’t slated for release until the end of June and isn’t in the same vein (if anything could be) but it’s still getting early raves, including suggestions of it winning the Booker Prize. Ergo, I lust.

Report Card:

Year-to-date (January-April)

Total Bibliolust books: 21

Number read: 8 (38%)

Started but did not finish: 2 (9.5%)

Cumulative (September 2008-April2009)

Total Bibliolust books: 107

Number read: 66 (61.7%)

Started but did not finish: 5 (4.7%)

“Lord!” he said, “when you sell a man a book you don’t sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue — you sell him a whole new life.”

Christopher Morley, Parnassus on Wheels

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