Books: The gifts that keep on giving

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Is it just me, or was this holiday a book bonanza for you too? Book glutton that I am, I started three all at once:

  • Salman Rushdie’s Shalimar the Clown, about a Kashmiri acrobat-turned-terrorist, not that the plot even matters to me – I’ll read any Rushdie for the lush language and incisive observation alone. (To hear me gush, ask me what I thought of Midnight’s Children.)
  • Tokyo: A Certain Style by Kyoichi Tsuzuki – with hundreds of photos of apartments of artists, animators, and avid collectors hardly larger than a futon, this book makes my one-bedroom apartment crammed with books seem wildly luxurious.
  • Close to the Machine by Ellen Ullman, a software engineer whose memoir of tech life exposes the peculiar satisfactions of debugging, and the singular frustrations of living in a world rife with glitches that can’t be readily fixed with code.

Credit for that last selection goes to my exceptionally well-read friend Anirvan over at BookFinder, who called it one of the most worthwhile books he’s read in years – and that’s coming from an omnivorous reader who’s devoured 613 books in the past 6 years. (More impressive still: he has the complete list on his PDA, and keeps a running tally of books he likes. No, really.)

As for my own reading habits, it’s confession time: I’ve never been a monogamous booklover. As a kid, I was bitter about the fact that the local library would only let a card-holder check out 16 books at a time. Never mind that I couldn’t physically carry even 16; 20 or 25 seemed like a much more fair number. These days, the stacks of non-fiction, art & design books, and novels at home are tall enough that I finally dispensed with the formality of end tables, so that I didn’t have to fear death by books during our recent minor earthquakes.

My New Year’s resolution is to keep books at replacement levels – as one comes in, another goes out. This means that I have to get rid of 10 books to make up for my holiday haul … ahem. I’ll let you know how that goes. But there’s a loophole: At Blurb, I get to be surrounded by all the books I want.

What are your latest book acquisitions, from Blurb and elsewhere? Got any hot recommendations for me for 2007? (Hint: This is where you pipe up and plug your Blurb book.)

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One Comment

  1. No blurb books yet, but here’s my current read list:

    “The God Delusion” Richard Dawkins
    “How would a Patriot Act?” Glenn Greenwald
    “Audacity of Hope” Barak Obama
    “Photo Portfolio Success” John Kaplan

    The last one is where the Blurb books are going to come in quite handy for :)

    Putting together some books for the Wedding and the Sports businesses.

      January 12, 2007 – 2:45 pm   Permalink

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