July Bibliolust

I’m starting to think I may need to rename this Library Lust. It’s another month where the majority of the books on the list (five of six) will be coming courtesy of my friendly local library and their wonderful online reserve system. And I’m not even including two books I’m not quite lusting after but have sufficient curiosity about to add to another nice feature of the library’s website — putting books you may be interesting in reading on “My List” so the next time you’re online or log into the catalog at the library, your list is already there. Of course, it could be a while before I’m in search of more books to read.

Here’s what popped up on my radar since last month:

Everything is Broken: A Tale of Catastrophe in Burma, Emma Larkin — I enjoyed Larkin’s Finding George Orwell in Burma, her account of life in modern Burma based on George Orwell’s time there in the 1920s. As a result, I was intrigued when I saw she’s now written a book that looks at Burma after the catastrophic May 2008 cyclone. That intrigue turned to desire when I saw the library had it and I put my name on the reserve list.

God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World–and Why Their Differences Matter, Stephen Prothero — As I’ve indicated before, I’m about as irreligious as they come. Still, religion itself intrigues me and I enjoy books that explore the subject. Here, Prothero reportedly rejects the idea that all religions are a different path to the same God and his book argues why we need to recognize that fact. Another book on my reserve list at the library.

Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens — Speaking of irreligious, Hitchens certainly fits the bill. While I run hot and cold on his work, he’s enough of an outspoken iconoclast that I thought his memoir might make for interesting reading. I’ll be picking it up at the library for the weekend. (Here’s hoping he will be writing future memoirs in light of his announcement Wednesday that because his doctor’s “advice seems persuasive to me,” he will be undergoing chemotherapy for cancer of the esophagus.)

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Mary Roach — I’ve become a bigger fan of Roach’s work with each succeeding book. Thus, the space nut in me perked up when I saw she was writing a book on the practical issues associated with space travel — and was thrilled when I saw the library had ordered it and I would be number one on the reserve list. Given the number of books on this month’s list, I’m just happy it isn’t coming out until the first week in August.

Tinkers, Paul Harding — As a general rule, I’ve found Pulitzer Prize winning novels don’t really grab me. As a result, I was going to let this one, which won this year’s award, pass. But I picked it up and scanned it in a bookstore and it looked kind of interesting. Thus, I am one of many on the library’s reserve list.

Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor — Okay, translated fiction and a post-apocalyptic tale. Hard to get much more irresistible for me. This is one the library is unlikely to get so it’s on my “to buy” wish list.

Report Card:

Year-to-date (January-June)

Total Bibliolust books: 30

Number read: 15 (50%)

Started but did not finish: 3 (10%)

Cumulative (September 2008-June 2010)

Total Bibliolust books: 116

Number read: 74 (63.8%)

Started but did not finish: 7 (6%)

When I … discovered libraries, it was like having Christmas every day.

Jean Fritz, quoted in The Readers Quotation Book

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