Books acquired: none.
Books read: “Men Without Women,” Ernest Hemingway; “The Illustrated Man,” Ray Bradbury; “The Bride of Fu Manchu,” Sax Rohmer; “Partners in Wonder,” Harlan Ellison; “Family Man,” Calvin Trillin.
Five books read in August, their titles forming something of a romantic arc, if you can picture the Illustrated Man and the Bride of Fu Manchu apart, meeting, marrying, living happily and spawning a family. (Me, I’m in the first phase, living vicariously through book titles.)
Hemingway’s book is an early collection of short stories, one of his best; Bradbury’s is his second story collection and ditto; the Rohmer novel is the sixth in the Fu Manchu series and silly fun; the Ellison book is a collection of not-bad collaborative stories with various SF greats, enlivened by the warm introductions; and the Trillin is a loose-limbed, humorous memoir about life with his wife and two daughters in Greenwich Village.
The Hemingway and Bradbury books were the clear winners with me. I’m of two minds about Trillin’s book. It’s often quite funny, but on the other hand there’s something of the insularity of a Salinger book or Wes Anderson movie.
I’ve owned some of these books a loooong time. Bradbury’s, which still has “10 cents” on the cover in grease pencil, might be the first one of his I bought, circa the mid-1970s. I read it back then but hadn’t touched it since. The Ellison was bought on vacation in Atlanta at the Book Nook in probably 1982 and unread ever since. Yikes! It’s satisfying to see it on my shelf now and know I’ve read it.
The other three are much more modern acquisitions: Trillin came from the former Foozles (!) remainder-bookstore in Ontario Mills around 2003, Rohmer from St. Louis’ Book House around 2006 and Hemingway from Powell’s in Portland in 2007.
So, five more down (and only, um, 523 unread books to go!) means I’ve finished an even 60 books in 2012, the precise number I read in all of 2011. A part of me would like to knock off for the rest of the year, but I’ll press on. New goal, based on what I expect to read in the next four months: 80.
Have you read any of the above? What are you folks reading? Are you getting to some of the books you had been hoping to get to this summer, or this year?