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April Bibliolust

I knew when I wrote last month’s Bibliolust that I was tempting fate. My thought that “I may be setting myself up for a bit of failure this month” became a self-fulfilling prophecy. The two books I thought might make the “Did Not Finish” list did, in fact, make the list. This early in the year, that constitutes 15 percent of this year’s Bibliolust books. I’ve noticed this year that there’s been a number of books I’ve been giving up on. I think that’s because with all I have around to read, I am quicker to jump to something else.

But, of course, that doesn’t mean more books don’t attract my attention. With one exception, I think also think every book on the list this month came from blogs, not traditional review sources. Here’s what’s intriguing me:

Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America, Gilbert King — So far I think I’ve seen two reviews of this book, both of which raved over it. When you add in the early career of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and the fact the library has it, it equals being on the list.

Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West, Blaine Harden — This book seems to have received increasing attention since I put it on my “hold” list at the library. Now to find out if all the rave reviews are justified.

The Good Father — There seems to be a growing genre of books about parents dealing with their normal and well-raised sons committing violent crimes. I thought a novel about a physician whose son assassinates the president was a unique twist and because the library had it, I am now on the reserve list.

The Mirage Matt Ruff — A good review attracted my attention buy what really sucked me in was the premise — an alternate history of 9/11. Alternate history is one of my preferred SF genres and this is the first novel in that line I think I’ve seen using 9/11 as the base.

The Sky Conducting, Michael Seidlinger — Anyone who’s read this blog knows my interest in dystopian lit long precedes all the recent ado about the Hunger Games. So when I saw another fan of the genre give this a good review, it got my attention.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, Cheryl Strayed — This is never a good reason to read a book but it seems everywhere I look I am seeing this memoir — and with wonderful reviews. So I am going to join the crowd (i.e., number 10 on the library reserve list), hoping we are not lemmings.

Report Card:

January-March 2012

Total Bibliolust books: 13

Number read: 8 (61.5%)

Started but did not finish: 2 (15.4%)

Cumulative (September 2008-March 2012)

Total Bibliolust books: 216

Number read: 170 (78.7%)

Started but did not finish: 16 (7.4%)

I’m not surprised some people prefer books. Books make sense of life. The only problem is that the lives they make sense of are other people’s lives, never your own.

Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot

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