I can’t keep away from books, which is probably why I retired from my life as a lawyer and became an editor. Once books and reading get hold of you, they never let go — somewhat like 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 then —
- Fairness and Freedom: A History of Two Open Societies: New Zealand and the United States by David Hackett Fischer
- Princeps by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
- The Story of Ain’t by David Skinner
- Heaven on Earth by Sadakat Kadri
- Henry Ford’s War on Jews by Victoria Saker Woeste
- On Politics: A History of Political Thought by Alan Ryan (2 vols)
- When General Grant Expelled the Jews by Jonathan Sarna
- The Atheist’s Bible by Georges Minois
- Comprehensive History of the Jews of Iran by Habib Levi
- The Story of English in 100 Words by David Crystal
- The Witness Quartet: Silent Witness, Privileged Witness, Expert Witness, Hostile Witness by Rebecca Forster
- Voices of the Dead by Peter Leonard
- The Stolen Crown by Susan Higginbotham
- The Devil’s Cradle by Sylvia Nobel
- Night Swim by Jessica Keener
- Leaving Before It’s Over by Jean Reynolds Page
- El Gavilon by Craig McDonald
- Cooking the Books by Bonnie S. Calhoun
- The Savior of Turk by Ron D. Smith
- To Serve the High King by Fran LaPlaca
- The Death of Kings by Marcus Pailing
- Paradise Burning by Blair Bancroft
- Daisy’s War by Shayne Parkinson
- Cephrael’s Hand by Melissa McPhail
- Song of Dragons: The Complete Trilogy by Daniel Arenson
- The Phoenix Conspiracy by Richard Sanders
- Circles of Light (6 vols) by E.M. Sinclair
- Whispers of a Legend by Carrie James Haynes
- The Other Worlds by M.L. Greye
- Anca’s Story by Saffina Desforges
- Blaze of Glory by Sheryl Nantus
- Blue Murder by Emma Jameson
Many 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 (or received as gifts) in the past few months. It is not a complete list. I’m sorry to write that my appetite for books grows much faster than my ability to read the books.
I looked at my to-be-read pile of books and discovered that I have more than 2,500 books waiting for my attention. (At the time of On Today’s Bookshelf (XI), my TBR was approaching 500 books, of which about 70 were hardcovers. I wish I could say I made a serious dent in that TBR pile before going on a shopping spree, but I didn’t.) Fortunately, most of the books are ebooks, so they take up little physical space.
One part of my problem as regards hardcover books is that most of the hardcover books in my TBR pile (and in the list above) lead me to buy other books. I will read an interesting point in a book, look at the note to the point, and decide I need to buy a copy of the book cited by the author in support of the interesting point.
A second part of my hardcover problem is that I have a long-term subscription to The New York Review of Books, each issue of which I faithfully read — both articles/reviews and the advertisements — which leads me to buy even more hardcover books.
Then I run into the problem of favorite authors coming out with new books, some of whom are very prolific, publishing a couple of new hardcovers every year.
At least when I retire, which is likely to be years from now, I won’t wonder what I’ll be doing. I’ll be attacking my ever-increasing TBR.