August books


Knut Hamsun – Sult
Because it’s been recommended to me several times, so I figured why not give it a go. I love Norwegian, after all. Right after ordering it I read how Knausgård reads it in Min Kamp 5, which must be some sort of sign.
Mark Z Danielewski – House of Leaves
Because it’s supposed to be insane! It definitely looks it. I’ll post some pictures of it later; strangest format I’ve seen.
Stephen King – It
Because I’ve only read it on my Kindle and I just couldn’t go one more day without owning a hard copy. It’s such a fantastic novel.
Stephen King – The Stand
Because [insert above-mentioned reason but replace Kindle with audiobook… and change some of the other words, because “read it on my audiobook” is stupid.]
Shirley Jackson – We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Because I’ve come across it several times on recommended lists, and I loved The Lottery…
William Gay – The Long Home
Because you can honestly never have too much, or even enough, Southern Gothic, and I’ve loved everything else I’ve read by him.
Jaroslav Hasek – The Good Soldier Svejk – And His Fortunes in the World War
Because it inspired Catch-22. That is surely reason enough. Why haven’t I bought it sooner, then? Hush.
Don Delillo – Americana
Because it’s Don Delillo, come on people!
Jorge Luis Borges – Labyrinths
Because I’ve decided to give him a 3rd chance. I’m sure he’d appreciate my effort.
Justin Cronin – The Passage
Because… I don’t know. Good reviews, might be good for some easy reading?

What was your best buy in August?

July books


As you can see, I’ve managed to control my book shopping urge somewhat this month (kind of?). Mostly because I’m going on vacation and don’t want books in the mail too close to departure day. Someone needs to make sure they arrive, you know? So a few books, and the mug gets an honorable mention for being book-related. And instructional.

Tom Rob Smith – Child 44
Because it was cheap and thrillers practically never get long listed for the Man Booker Prize. It could be good.
Edan Lepucki – California
Because it’s post-apocalyptic and that’s about all I know. Kind of a blind buy, this one.
Fourth of July Creek
Because it’s set in the American heartland, dark, violent and about the End Times. I do like me some End Times!
Neel Mukherjee – The Lives of Others
Because it’s gotten great reviews and I haven’t read a lot of books set in India. Maybe none.
Karl Ove Knausgård – Min Kamp (My Struggle) 6
Because I’m starting volume 5 soon (I hope) and would like to finish the series this year. Also because, if it’s anything like 1-4, it’s going to be amazing.
Carys Davies – The Redemption of Galen Pike
Because I like short stories, it sounded great and it was pretty. I’ve reviewed it already. It was ok.
Jacques Strauss – The Curator
Because it’s supposedly dark and unsettling and set in South Africa, which is new to me.
Keith Lowe – Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II
Because I have a weakness for World War II history.
Tor Rye Andersen – Den nye amerikanske roman (The New American Novel)
Because I finished university ages ago and we didn’t get around to all of these authors, several of which are among my favorites.  Also, it was dirt cheap.
The Mug
Because we should listen to the mug!


I accidentally stumbled upon some cheap paperbacks. What’s a bibliophile to do?


Patti Smith – Just Kids
Because people have been recommending it for years.
Jon Krakauer – Into Thin Air
Because I do love these types of books and Into the Wild was pretty decent.
Ernest Hemingway – A Farewell to Arms
Because I didn’t have it. Yikes.

August will most likely be even more quiet, book purchasing wise, as I’m away for half of it. But I will probably order a few things off my Amazon Wish List. And of course I’ll need to pre-order the new Franzen novel that’s out September 1. And even if I don’t end up getting as many books as the past couple of months, well, my shelves are bulging with unread books as it is. They’re all just standing there, waiting, hoping it’s their turn next. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t keep buying. By no means! Just ask Umberto Eco and/or Nassim Nicolas Taleb about that. They’ll tell you that unread books are more valuable to us than read ones.

” The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight real-estate market allows you to put there.”

Yeah, definitely. I’m totally onboard with this. Buy more books! Let me know if you spot a fitting mug for that.





June books


Or books I’ve gotten in the past month, but “late May to late June books” just doesn’t sound as nice.

Flannery O’Connor – Complete Stories
Because I love Southern Gothic and short-stories, but have yet to read any female author in that genre. Now is the time.
Flannery O’Connor – Wise Blood
Because I except to love the short-story collection so much I will need more instantly.
Philipp Meyer – The Son
Because Meyer’s style has been compared to McCarthy, Steinbeck and Faulkner. Northeastern Gothic? Great Lakes Gothic?
Philipp Meyer – American Rust
Because I pre-collect.
Denis Johnson – Train Dreams
Because when I get really into a genre, I go nuts. Western Gothic and anything wildernessy.
Bill Bryson – A Walk in the Woods
Because I too want to hike for months on end.
Peter Ackroyd – Hawksmoor
Because it had a cool cover and looked pretty bleak.
Richard Yates – The Easter Parade
Because his Eleven Kinds of Loneliness is one of the best collections of short-stories out there. And Revolutionary Road. Come on.
Daniel Woodrell – Winter’s Bone
Because… I’ll just be repeating myself here.
Anthony Doerr – All the Light We Cannot See
Because it’s getting all this praise and may make for good summer reading.
John Irving – A Prayer for Owen Meany
Because it had better ratings than The Cider House Rules.
John Irving – The Cider House Rules
Because I really want to read it.
Hilary Thayer Hamann – Anthropology of an American Girl
Because I haven’t read a lot of coming-of-age literature and this had pretty colors.
Nikolai Gogol – Petersburg Tales
Because I hope to make friends with the Russians yet. (No, not even The Master and Margarita could do that).
David Grann – Lost City of Z
Because I love South America despite the humidity and bugs of the Amazon. And archaeological mysteries are fun!
Warren Fellows – The Damage Done
Because I’ve already watched every episode of Locked Up Abroad/Banged Up Abroad.
Nathan Filer – The Shock of the Fall
Because Amazon had three paperbacks for £10 and I needed a third.
Richard Flanagan – The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Because of the rave reviews and war.

I’m sure I’ll get more before June is over. And then I’ll have to start doing my summer picks.  Sure, I won’t get through all of these this summer, but you need choices. Whenever I finish a book and am ready to start the next, I love perusing my bookcases to see what tickles my fancy. I order books that I feel like reading now. I may not feel like it in a week, but maybe in a month or a year. No, I haven’t read all of my books and no, I don’t buy them just to fill the shelves or to pretend to read more than I do. I just like having a stash, even if it is a large one and one I will probably never get all the way through, unless at some point I decide to stop buying books. I really don’t see that happening. And so what if there are books on my shelves I will never read? It’s about never running out, not about being done.

Do you guys ever get those annoying questions about your book collection? And do you feel guilty about buying more books when you have plenty to choose from already?