Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Avalanched III

How many times this many? I have no idea.
So all those books on my shelves that are in the category of bought to read but not read yet. As you might imagine, some of these volumes have been in this status for years, in some cases, quite a few years. In this category would be books such as The Hour of our Death by Philippe Aries. It's a history of changing attitudes about death in the West for the last thousand years. It's a dense book, a commitment to read. But I still want to read it. Let me emphasize that all the books I'm going to mention here are books I still want to read. Whether they ever make it up the queue for that actually to happen . . . well, we'll see.

An even bigger read is Bob Sptiz's The Beatles, but my daughter has read this--I think she said more than once--so I feel like I have to read this one. These unread books are in all kinds of categories. Paul Krugman's The Return of Depression Economics; Will Bunch's Tear Down This Myth: How the Reagan Legacy Has Distorted Our Politics and Haunts Our Future--this was written before the great crash of 2008. Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City (serial killer at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair). The Perfect Murder: A Study in Detection (guide to best murder mysteries). Three books in the "everyday thing" category: Cod, The Box (shipping containers), Salt. Somewhat akin is Steve Almond's Candyfreak. This one, like several others mentioned here are gifts. I made a pledge--as yet unfulfilled--to read all the books that have been given me as gifts, which is no small number. If I did just that, I'd probably have at least 50 books to read.

  • The World's 20 Greatest Unsolved Problems--one of many books I've started and didn't finish. Not because the book was bad, but because I got distracted by another book.
  • Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything
  • Daniel Boorstin's magnificent trilogy: The Discoverers, The Creators, The Seekers. I'm almost finished with Discoverers, but not yet.
  • Shall I mention the baseball books that need reading? Biographies of Ty Cob, Lou Gehrig, Billy Martin. Team histories: Senators, Dodgers, Reds, Tigers, more. Sabrmetric tomes such as The Numbers Game and Baseball Between the Numbers. And some fat semi-reference works such as Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Blunders, Big Book of Baseball Lineups. The book he did with Bill James on pitchers. Bill James's Guide to Managers. A couple of books about umpires. And more.
  • Multiple books in the following catgories: Middle Ages, Reformation, both World Wars, Ancient history, Civil War biographies and battle books, poetry, and so forth.
  • And on and on. This is just a tiny sample.
If I never borrowed or bought another book, I have enough to read here to see me to the grave. But I know that ain't gonna happen. I'll always be distracted by something else good. For example, I'm going to quit this now and go continue reading With the Old Breed, a memoir of the Pacific War by a Marine. It's a book from the Norman library.
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