February Bibliolust

Very little progress made on the lust list this year — but it’s not my fault. First, two of the books from last month won’t be released until next week. Another I just got from the library after the person who had it kept it two weeks past the due date. This means there were two books that would be on this list that I was able to get through the library and read before the month ended. And while I again somewhat pooh-poohed the NBCC award nominations, two of the finalists are on this month’s list (one of which I started reading before this month but I’m using it to balance out the two I already read that would have been here).

Guilt: Stories, Ferdinand von Schirach — A year ago this month Schirach’s collection of short stories based on his time as a a criminal defense attorney in Berlin, Crime: Stories, was on the Bibliolust list. I read and enjoyed the book enough that his second collection appears this month.

The Memory Palace, Mira Bartok — I heard bits and pieces about this memoir of growing up with and becoming estranged from a schizophrenic mother when it was released a year ago. I feared, though, that like others I’ve seen in this area it might be a bit exploitative. An NBCC award nomination for autobiography changed my mind — at least until I’ve read it.

The Orphan Master’s Son, Adam Johnson — Near universal praise for this mystery, set in North Korea of all places, lands it on the list. And although I placed a “hold” on it at the library more than three weeks ago, I am still third on the reserve list.

To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918, Adam Hochschild — When I read a couple reviews of this book when it came out last spring, I was almost intrigued enough to grab it. I got distracted by other things but it making the nonfiction finalist list for the NBCC awards resuscitated that interest.

Report Card:

Calendar Year 2012

Total Bibliolust books: 4

Number read: 1 (25%)

Started but did not finish: 0

Cumulative (September 2008-January 2012)

Total Bibliolust books: 207

Number read: 163 (78.7%)

Started but did not finish: 14 (6.8%)

Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren’t.

Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot

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