Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I'm such a book geek.

I've been considering challenging myself to stop buying new books and read all the books that I own but haven't read yet. I've thought about doing this before but gave up before I even started. This time, I was only going to allow myself to buy Zadie Smith's On Beauty in hardback in advance of her reading here next month. I was thinking that I would fast from book buying for a limited time, say six months or this school year. In the meantime, I would nourish myself by reading as many of the books that already own but haven't read yet. Occasionally, I might treat myself to a book that I can borrow from a friend or check out from the library.

Then tonight, after a long, late day of work, I get home and find that I have received an email from the Man Booker Foundation. The long list for the prize was announced yesterday, so now I have a whole list of new books to taste. Of course, binging on Booker Prize books can be a bit difficult here in the states. My fasting would definitely be over before it started if I lived in the UK.

Here is the long list. I've only heard of a couple of them. I'm sure that as book bloggers start talking about the list and predicting which should make the short list that my desire to sample and savor some of these may become too powerful to resist. If I am faithful to my fast, I will attempt the library before I buy, or at least, that's what I'm telling myself tonight.

Carey, Peter Theft: A Love Story (Faber & Faber)
Desai, Kiran The Inheritance of Loss (Hamish Hamilton)
Edric, Robert Gathering the Water (Doubleday)
Gordimer, Nadine Get a Life (Bloomsbury) - I haven't heard of this book, but I love Gordimer's short story "The Bedtime Story."
Grenville, Kate The Secret River (Canongate)
Hyland, M.J. Carry Me Down (Canongate)
Jacobson, Howard Kalooki Nights (Jonathan Cape)
Lasdun, James Seven Lies (Jonathan Cape)
Lawson, Mary The Other Side of the Bridge (Chatto & Windus)
McGregor, Jon So Many Ways to Begin (Bloomsbury)
Matar, Hisham In the Country of Men (Viking)
Messud, Claire The EmperorÂ’s Children (Picador)
Mitchell, David Black Swan Green (Sceptre) - I loved Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, but I read some mixed book blogger reviews of this novel, so I haven't tried it yet. Maybe I will now.
Murr, Naeem The Perfect Man (William Heinemann)
OÂ’Hagan, Andrew Be Near Me (Faber & Faber)
Robertson, James The Testament of Gideon Mack (Hamish Hamilton)
St Aubyn, Edward MotherÂ’s Milk (Picador)
Unsworth, Barry The Ruby in her Navel (Hamish Hamilton) - Great title! :-)
Waters, Sarah The Night Watch (Virago) - I recall reading something about this book recently, but I can't remember where I read it. It seems like it was a positive review though.

Now, it's late, so I won't sit here and look up all these books on Being back at work means that I need to be in bed by 10:30, but those damn Astros can't seem to win or lose tonight. It's 12:18a.m. and the score is tied in the bottom of the 17th inning. To be honest, I switched the channel to TNT at 11:00 to watch the replay of The Closer from last night and almost forgot about the game. I went to to see what the final score was, but it's not final yet. Oh well, I will have to find out what happens in the morning because I have a date with Sophie's Choice. Good night all.


Carl V. said...

One of the things I did at the start of the new year was to make shelf space in my basement and made three piles: one for books I have started but haven't finished, one for new books that I haven't read, and one for books that I had a hankerin' to re-read. The goal was to severely reduce the first two piles throughout the year. I started off well enough and continue to occasionally pull something off those piles but I have not been able to curb my desire to buy books, new and used, whenever the fancy strikes....and it bites the crap out of me on a regular basis!

Kim said...

Thanks for dropping by Carl and for making me feel better about my appetite for books. The fast didn't last long, I bought three books last week. I gave one to a friend for a gift, so I guess it doesn't count. I bought two books last week. Oh well, I guess it could be worse. I could be smoking up or drinking my money. At least, buying books probably won't kill me, unless my bookcase topples over on me. ;-)

Valerie said...

I sure am glad you bought those books! ;-P

cipriano said...

Yeah, I was really surprised by how unfamiliar I am with the Booker List this year.
Because I like Peter Carey's work so much, I will root for him.
But these others?
Who are they?
BTW, I have read Zadie's On Beauty, and really liked it.
Did you ever go to that lecture you were talking about? The Zadie one?
-- Cip