Rather than write about both sets, here I will only report the books bought. Two reasons for this: I have a GoodReads account where I report what I am reading, so interested folks can check there. And, more importantly writing about books I read feels like those dumb-ass book reports I had to do in elementary school. Nothing makes me want to quit doing something more than being forced to do that thing. Also, the anticipation of reading a book is almost as great (sometimes greater) as the very act of reading said book.
When you examine the list, there will be those who exclaim, "Holy Crap! That is a lot of books to buy in a month!" Others will have the opposite reaction, "Why so few?" I am without doubt a bibliophile. My house is filled with books. I can part with books, I have sold a lot, and given away more. However, books make me smile. I can't go into a bookstore without buying at least one book. The books I buy now are generally all hardcover (w/dust jacket), first edition/first printings.
I also collect Penguin Classics (black) and Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics (mint green). Almost all of the tomes I purchase are used from Goodwill, Arc, Savers, Half-Price Books, etc. It is like literary adoption. Also, many only cost a couple dollars.
So, without further ado...
- Ill Wind—Nevada Barr (autographed)
- Endangered Species–Nevada Barr
- Borderline—Nevada Barr
- Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC—Joseph McCormick & Susan Fisher–Hoch
- Mystic River—Dennis Lehane
- The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents—Terry Pratchett
- Out of the Crisis—W. Edwards Deming
- The Day Lincoln was Shot—Jim Bishop
- Murder in Minnesota—Walter N. Trenerry
- The Killer Angels—Michael Shaara
- Second Nature—Alice Hoffman
- Brightness Falls—Jay McInerney
- Dead Air—Mike Lupica
- Fugitives and Refugees—Chuck Palahniuk
- Oblomov—Ivan Aleksandrovich Goncharov (Penguin Classics)
- The Heart of Mid-Lothian—Sir Walter Scott (Penguin Classics)
- Where Angels Fear to Tread—E. M. Forster (paperback)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban—J. K. Rowling
- Reamde—Neal Stephonson
- The Pale King—David Foster Wallace
- Distrust That Particular Flavor—William Gibson
- One Mississippi—Mark Childress
I bought Mike Lupica's Dead Air because of his sports writing. This was his first work of fiction—published in the era of Air Supply (1986)—and will be put in the "to read" queue. For now it will join Wild Pitch on the shelves. Fugitives and Refugees is as the dust jacket blurb puts it, "the closest thing [Chuck Palahniuk] may ever write to an autobiography." Into the queue it goes. The same for the Terry Pratchett book (purchased because of his work with Neil Gaiman on Good Omens), and the Virus Hunters book (can't get enough of Ebola, Lassa, and Crimean Congo Hemmorrhagic Fever, see also Hotzone and Demon in the Freezer).
Alice Hoffman's Second Nature will join Practical Magic and Turtle Moon on the shelf. Some year I will read all of her works, but for some reason I associate her books with autumn, and since it isn't autumn, on the shelf they go. Same with the Nevada Barr books. They all include the character Anna Pigeon, a Park Service ranger. These books are meant to be read in the winter (Why? Because!).
Brightness Falls I am excited to read and that will move to the front of the reading queue. I read several of McInerney's books this year and two of the characters in The Good Life were actually introduced in this book. How can you not like an author who is part of the "literary Brat Pack"?
Murder in Minnesota caught my eye at Arc, and I put it in the cart. It was published by the Minnesota Historical Society in 1962 and recounts 15 murders that took place in Minnesota between 1858 and 1917. I have a penchant for the underbelly of Minnesota (got to shed that Minnesota Nice label). In fact, my friend Jeb and I once dreamed up a tour of the Twin-Cities in which tourists would be taken to several sites of shame and degradation (e.g., the parking lot of Red's Savoy in which Norm Coleman's dad got a hummer).
The Day Lincoln was Shot was one of those books that takes you back to your childhood. As a younger lad, I was more of a reader than a socializer (yeah....really), especially during family events. Our grandparent's house in Duluth had the usual selection of Reader's Digest collections (magazines and edited novels), but the more interesting books were three small books by Jim Bishop, The Day Kennedy was Shot, The Day Lincoln was Shot, and The Day Jesus Died. I read, and re-read those three books a lot.
Deming's Out of the Crisis was another thrift store find. Typically selling for $40–$70, this book was a steal at $1.69. Deming's ideas of sampling and quality control led to Six Sigma. This book is like the Six Sigma Bible, albeit without as much begatting. (Aside: When the act of 'begatting' is taking place, is it called 'begetting'? As in, "Noah begetting some of that.")