An American Editor

March 19, 2012

On Today’s Bookshelf (XI)

Filed under: Books & eBooks,On Today's Bookshelf — Rich Adin @ 4:00 am
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It has been a long time — 5 months — since the last On Today’s Bookshelf post, so I thought I’d share with you some of the hardcover and ebook purchases I have made since Bookshelf X. As usual, the list below is not comprehensive. Rather it is a partial listing of the purchases I have made, especially of ebooks.

My current to-be-read ebook pile has grown to more than 500 ebooks. My hardcover TBR pile now bulges at near 70 books. I am trying to figure out how to stop buying and to read faster, but books are my addiction. If I don’t buy the book that interests me when I encounter it, I am unlikely to ever buy the book, so I buy — and the TBR grows. I’m doubtful I’ll ever get to read all of the books I buy even when I retire, but that doesn’t dissuade me. It is just another of life’s challenges.

So here are the books and ebooks for today’s bookshelf —

Hardcovers —

  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt (also bought ebook)
  • Saladin by Anne-Marie Eddé
  • Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation: Constitutional Conflict in the American Civil War by Mark E. Neely
  • Nazis on the Run: How Hitler’s Henchmen Fled Justice by Gerald Steinacher
  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough
  • The Death Marches by Daniel Blatman
  • The Heavens are Empty by Avrom BenDavid-Val
  • The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe (2 vols) by Gershon David Hundert
  • Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard
  • Roger Williams and the Creation of the Soul of America by John M. Barry
  • City of Dragons by Robin Hobb
  • Heinrich Himmler by Peter Longerich
  • The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  • A Rising Thunder by David Weber (also bought ebook)


  • Wrath: A Novel of Kentucky by Howard McEwen
  • The God’s Wife by Lynn Voedisch
  • The Deputy by Victor Gischler
  • The Color of Freedom by Michelle Isenhoff
  • Sherlock Holmes Omnibus by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Engines of Dawn by Paul Cook
  • Second Star by Dana Stabenow
  • Penumbra by Carolyn Haines
  • Nefertiti by Nick Drake
  • Mussolini’s Rome by Borden Painter
  • The Liberation of Alice Love by Abby McDonald
  • A Desert Called Peace by Tom Kratman
  • Gunwitch: A Tale of the King’s Coven by David Michael
  • Do No Evil: An Artemis Agency Novel by Ashley Goltermann
  • The Girl Born of Smoke by Jessica Billings
  • Nightbird’s Reign by Holly Taylor
  • Gap Creek by Robert Morgan
  • Birchwood by Roger Taylor
  • A Beautiful Friendship by David Weber
  • The Girl Who Tweaked Two Lion’s Tails by Pierre Van Rooyen
  • Mama Does Time by Deborah Sharp
  • Deadly Sanctuary by Sylvia Nobel
  • Black Out by John Lawton
  • Oppression by Jessica Therrien
  • Hose Monkey by Tony Spinosa
  • Healer by Linda Windsor
  • Eden by Keary Taylor
  • The Black Knight by S.C. Allen
  • New Religion: Rys Rising Book III by Tracy Falbe
  • The Pawn by Steven James
  • Den of Thieves by David Chandler
  • The Unwelcome Warlock by Lawrence Watt-Evans
  • Transfer of Power by Vince Flynn
  • I Dreamt I was in Heaven: The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter
  • The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Murder Over Easy by Marshall Cook

Most of the books and ebooks in the above lists I have yet to read. The lists are not recommendations, just a compilation of books and ebooks I have bought in the past few months.

Most of the hardcovers are nonfiction and nearly all of the ebooks are fiction. Hardcovers go into my permanent library collection. Some day, my children will have to figure out what to do with them. With the advent of ebooks, I have come to the conclusion that collecting a print library of books is really a way of getting even with one’s children for all the heartache they caused. Now they will have the headache of dealing with hundreds, if not thousands, of pbooks. A little bit of afterlife revenge :).

In reality, I like hardcovers because I grew up with them as the way to conduct research. I still prefer a print dictionary over an online dictionary; I like to see what comes before and after an entry. Besides, there is something aesthetically pleasing about some hardcover layouts, something that makes the eye want to look at the page. Someday that will also be true of ebooks, but not yet.

Are you stockpiling books and ebooks? Are there books and ebooks you would recommend?


  1. I’m a committed Kindle reader, but I share your preference for print reference books. I have learned many useful things from paging through a book looking for something else. It’s the same loss I experienced with the switch from the paper card catalog to the electronic search: no chance of serendipity from mistakes. I whittle away at my TBR pile on the Kindle by reading all the books simultaneously. Read a chapter, move on to the next book. Now and then I will break my habit and stay with a book for several chapters or even until I finish. That’s a great book. People ask how I remember what is going on since I don’t come back to a book for nearly a week. I have 229 items on my Kindle plus the 500+ archived items. I tell them that if I can’t remember where I am in a book, that’s a bad book, and I delete it. I wish I could stop buying books. I keep vowing not to buy another book until the count is under 200, but I keep breaking that vow. The Kindle Daily Deal is the worst temptation. The Fall of the Roman Empire by Peter Heather for $1.99? Can’t resist. A lovely YA about a confectioner’s sister in the plague year called The Sugared Plum, complete with recipes for $0.99? Give it to me. So the pile grows and grows. Complete works of George Eliot, Dickens, Henry James, Anthony Trollope, and many other classics, free for the asking? I’m doomed.


    Comment by Kilian Metcalf — March 19, 2012 @ 4:31 am | Reply

  2. What a wonderfully eclectic collection of books, most of which I hadn’t heard of before. Love some of the titles.

    Happy reading! 🙂


    Comment by Vicki — March 19, 2012 @ 3:00 pm | Reply

  3. I solved my addiction to book-buying two ways: (1) moving a lot when younger and (2) choosing an occupation with a low income and leaving a lot of the early corporate jobs (either voluntarily or on the toe of somebody’s boot) without having another, better job lined up, which left me perpetually short of funds.

    Ergo, I became a library junkie, and mourn the changes in that world as much as publishing world in general. I’d still rather read a hardcover than anything else. Paperbacks are just too fragile, though much more convenient when moving around or managing shelf space. E-books offer similar convenience plus the capability of upsizing the print — a feature I’ve come to value in my later years. Too many of the books I want to read do not come in large-size print, and that’s likely to remain true forever.

    Like others, though, I acquire and keep reference books in print, preferably hardcover. Won’t be able to burden my family with them, though, because I’m the last in line and have no children. If I outlive my spouse, he’ll have the dickens of a time unloading them (but all is fair in the universe: if I outlive him, I’m saddled with a machine shop, 20 vehicles in running or parts condition, two airplanes, two boats, a tractor, and a snowplow!)


    Comment by Carolyn — March 20, 2012 @ 6:57 am | Reply

  4. […] that alien being in the latest science fiction thriller. It has been quite a while since the last On Today’s Bookshelf (March 2012), so here are a few of the hundreds of books and ebooks I have acquired since […]


    Pingback by On Today’s Bookshelf (XII) « An American Editor — January 16, 2013 @ 4:02 am | Reply

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