March Bibliolust

I really don’t need to be lusting. Last month’s lust, along with a taste of this month’s, is taking roost. As occasionally happens, it seems a majority of my library “holds” come in at about the same time. As a result, I have five library books at the top of the TBR list. While, fortunately, only one of those is a 14-day loan item, my two “bonus” books from my Archipelago Books subscription have already arrived.

But lust is lust and things tend to even out in the end. Only two items on this month’s list are currently available through the library.

Black Hills, Dan Simmons — Although I loved Dans Simmons’s Hyperion series, I’ve haven’t read anything of his other than that. I figured this book might be a time to catch up. where George Custer’s ghost enters the body of a young Sioux boy at the Little Big Horn. The boy has the ability to see the past and future by touching people and later helps build Mount Rushmore, which is is also plotting to blow up when FDR visits.

The Listener, Shira Nayman — As often happens, a favorable comment on a book blog puts this on the list. The novel tells the story of the relationship between the director of a psychiatric hospital and a German scientist who claims to have committed himself to the institution to hide from his brother, a former Nazi.

The Mammoth Book of Alternate Histories, Ian Watson and Ian Whates (eds.) — Alternate history is one of my favorite subgenres of SF. I already have a number of novels and anthologies on my bookshelves. So it’s hard to resist another short story anthology that includes some of my favorite writers. It is on the lust list early, though, as the book isn’t slated for release until May.

Solar, Ian McEwan — I’m a McEwan fan so, despite the fact the novel supposedly deals with teh politics of global warming, it couldn’t help but make the list. It comes out at the end of the month and I’m at the top of the library reserve list.

Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History, David Aaronovitch — I have to admit the various assessments I’ve seen of this book by a British journalist has me running hot and cold already. My intrigue about how conspiracy theory has blossomed may offset my concern that the book serves up a rehash rather than an analysis of those theories.

2017, Olga Slavnikova – Let’s see. A Russian novel combining Russian politics and SF that won the Russian Booker Prize. How could this book, releasing later this month, not be on the list?

36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction, Rebecca Goldstein — At first, this novel about a “new atheist” professor didn’t sound all that intriguing. But the online and written comments and reviews I’ve seen of the book, written by a Macarthur Award (“genius grant”) recipient pushed it onto the list.

Report Card:

Year-to-date (January-February)

Total Bibliolust books: 10

Number read: 3 (30%)

Started but did not finish: 1 (10%)

Cumulative (September 2008-February 2009)

Total Bibliolust books: 96

Number read: 60 (62.5%)

Started but did not finish: 4 (4.2%)

…all distinterested lovers of books, will always look to [literature], as to all other fine art, for a refuge, a sort of cloistral refuge, from a certain vulgarity in the actual world.

Walter Pater, Selections from Walter Pater

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