Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stockpile, then stop (for awhile)

If you've been over at Stefanie's blog this week, you may have noticed that I mentioned in the comments a(nother) book buying moratorium.

As of today, this afternoon, in fact, after opening four book packages. Many of these books are in anticipation of an expected birthday check from L.'s mom this weekend, but still.  And there are a couple of books yet to come--Storm Jameson's None Turn Back and Mrs. Oliphant's The Mystery of Mrs. Blencarrow. Only one of these books is on my read-immediately list, which is the main reason I think I need to develop some restraint.

I don't think I can make it the full four months I've been mulling over, but I am going to do my best to make it until February 1--that's when Karen Russell's first novel, Swamplandia, is coming out and I'm dying to read that just as soon as I can get my hands on it.

The new books are:

Birdbrain. Joanna Sinisalo. Did anyone read Sinisalo's Troll: A Love Story from a few years back? I pre-ordered Birdbrain months ago, based on how much I'd enjoyed the earlier novel. A Finnish couple go backpacking down under taking along a copy of Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

Saint Augustine. Rebecca West. I'm going to give top priority to my Rebecca West project in the coming months.

Mistress of the Art of Death. Ariana Franklin.  From C., who thinks I ought to read it soon if I expect her to retain enought detail to discuss it with me.

The Aeneid. Virgil. A birthday gift from W., chosen from my wish list, but given with the plea that I please not make her read it with me when I attempt it next year.

Surreal South. Laura Benedict and Pinckney Benedict, eds. Contains unsettling works by a lot of Southerners, plus, somehow, Joyce Carol Oates.

Chalcot Crescent. Fay Weldon. A futuristic satire.

Troubles. J.G. Farrell. Had to return the library copy of this that I'd checked out over the summer and got tired of waiting for it to be returned.

Poison Penmanship. Jessica Mitford. Subtitled the gentle art of muckraking.

Aurorarama. Jean-Christophe Valtat. First in a steampunk series set in the Arctic.

Doctor Zhivago. Boris Pasternak. For next month's group read at Nonsuch Books.

And yes, that is a new Kindle to the left of the bookstack, an early birthday present freshly loaded with Connie Willis's Blackout and Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad. He's my bus buddy and his name is Trey.


  1. If you make it four whole months not buying a book, you're made of better stuff than me. Good luck.

  2. I certainly want to read Mrs. Oliphant, Rebecca West, and J. G. Farrell. How can anyone not want to read these books? What a great list!

    The Aeneid is one of my favorite books. I love Fagles' translation--really, all of them are good. There's a new one by Sarah Rudens (not quite sure of her last name) which is on my list for a rereading.

  3. Oh I hear you about the book ban, and I ought to have one myself as I've been buying an awful lot lately. But... it's getting darker and colder and I hate this time of year and I start to fear the march of digital and... before I know it, I've dived into a bookstore on my way to buy food for dinner, and that's quite fatal! Your stockpile looks wonderful - it is SO hard to resist.

  4. Your book-ban post has been fatal for my own book-buying! ;-) I had no idea that Joanna Sinisalo had a new novel out, nor that Karen Russell had a novel coming next year. Excitement!

  5. What a lovely stockpile of books! Bridbrain sounds good. I love Heart of Darkness so I look forward to hearing more about the book. And new Kindle? Is it significantly improved over the K2?

  6. I So want that Weldon book!! I've been really good--not buying books...with my own money that is. I still am an Amazon associate and someone very kindly bought not one by two Kindles so I've been living off the credit from that!! I also still have a little bit left on a couple of Borders gift cards that I am milking for all they're worth! It's really hard to go cold turkey and buy nothing, but at least I've slowed down a bit in my purchases.

  7. Fay Weldon - oh wow, I have not read anything by her since the early 90s! Good luck with your book ban. I am about to go on a library ban again I think so I can whittle down my stacks but I never do very well with those bans :)

  8. I laugh in the face of book buying bans! :) Just don't work. I don't even try. And I am totally envying you that copy of Aurorarama. Not sure why I have become so attached to the possibilities of this novel but hoping that I am not disappointed.

    Nice haul! Thanks for the Pasternak join too.

  9. I had hoped that by confessing my buying each month that I'd cut down, but I charted some scary peaks in July and August.

  10. What an eclectic assortment of books! Why is it so hard to resist book titles? Each time I resolve to curtail my habit, I succumb to temptation.

  11. Tried book buying bans, but did not care for them...LOL

    Actually, I've been using the library a lot more. Great variety.

  12. Hi Susan--I see on your list you read the Sarton book--if you have a chance the discussion is going on the forum--do stop by--I'd love to hear what you thought it it! :)


As a reader I cherish the fantasy of one day stopping acquiring books, of subsisting only on what is already stashed away in the crammed lar...