April Bibliolust

I recently mentioned my overabundance of books waiting to be read. That meant I recently returned one of last month’s lusted for books to the library unread because I couldn’t get to it and someone else was waiting on it. So, to be lusting after even more books is probably ill-advised. But what is an addiction without consequences? Still, I think reality helped limit this month’s list a bit — but then I’m also omitting two books already on my Amazon wish list that don’t come out until May and June.

American Subversive, David Goodwillie — The pre-release publicity on this debut novel (often a cautionary combination of words) and the fact it involves blogging and terrorists has me intrigued. Since the book doesn’t hit the shelves until later in the month, I’m hoping I will have been able to clear the decks enough to get to it.

Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death, Jim Frederick — This is one of two books on this month’s list that is getting universal praise and that I currently have home from the library. I’m hoping I can get to this before it is due near the end of the month.

Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War, Karl Marlantes — This is the other book that’s been getting such great reviews that I have checked out from the library. Unfortunately, I think the 14-day loan limit (because it’s a brand new novel) may not be compatible with the book’s nearly 600 pages. I may end up seeing if I can pick it up at a good price so I have the time to devote to it.

The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, Elif Batuman — Another book whose great reviews enticed me. It also doesn’t hurt that I’ve got both Russia and foreign literature fixations and it allows me to combine the two.

Report Card:

Year-to-date (January-March)

Total Bibliolust books: 17

Number read: 6 (35%)

Started but did not finish: 2 (11.7%)

Cumulative (September 2008-March 2009)

Total Bibliolust books: 103

Number read: 63 (61%)

Started but did not finish: 5 (4.9%)

The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency—the belief that the here and now is all there is.

Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind

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