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review 2018-10-16 15:36
A Wonderful Pick for Book Lovers
Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany - Jane Mount

Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount is a beautifully crafted and charming tribute to the printed book as both a physical object and an enduring cultural contribution.  Mount’s delightful illustrations fill every page and are inspired by her prior experience as an artist painting clients’ “Ideal Bookshelves.”  This book provides informative and entertaining descriptions of a wide variety of titles, with chapters organized by familiar genres or quirky subjects (e.g.: “Unhappy Families Each in Their Own Way”).  Bibliophile focuses primarily on fiction, but some popular nonfiction categories are also presented.  Interspersed throughout the book are profiles on bookstores and libraries throughout the world known for their interesting origins, architecture or collections.  Author profiles and depictions of their writing spaces give insight into the creative surroundings and inspirations of well-loved classics.  Mount steps aside to give plenty of space to include recommendations by other book experts such as librarians, booksellers, editors, and artists.  Packed with the advertised “miscellany,” fun trivia and quizzes, this homage would make a wonderful addition to any book aficionado’s shelves, and a great gift for those who still revere the look and feel of this timeless media.

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text 2018-07-31 03:46
Good-bye July!
Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World - Rachel Swaby
Lincoln in the Bardo - George Saunders
A Book of Book Lists: A Bibliophile's Compendium - Alex Johnson
100 Books That Changed The World - Scott Christianson,Colin Salter
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions - Thomas McNamee

Well, I needed to read 22 books this month if I was going to pull myself out of the TBR-reducing-hole I'd dug for myself in June, and thanks to a reading binge, I pulled it off.  My total this month was 28 books.  6 of those were re-reads, but either way you interpret the parameters of my challenge, I still pulled it off.

 

I had 1 5-star read this month: Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World by Rachel Swaby and I recommend it to anyone - in either print or audio - that has an interest in women, history or science.  The bios are brief, but 90% of these scientists are ones you're likely to have never heard of before, so it's all new stuff and well-written.

 

I had 4 4.5-star reads too, including one Man Booker Prize winner; a first for me.  Lincoln in the Bardo was also the only fiction to make the cut this month.  

 

For July, since I was feeling chart-y this month:

 

 

  

 

(I just realised that second chart is mis-labeled; it should read "fiction/non-fiction" but I can't be bothered opening the program back up and fixing it.)

 

 

TBR Challenge update: 

 

July budget: -11

Books bought in July: 3

Books read in July: 28

Deficit brought forward to August: 0

# of books pre-ordered for August: 6

August budget: 7*

 

*: by my admittedly dodgy mental rules, because I went into July at a deficit, clearing it should start me back at zero, as though I'm starting over. So this month's budget is based on half the number of books I read in July *after* clearing that deficit.

 

So it would appear I have 1 book left to buy in August, except I don't.  I've placed an order for 5 books from Mysterious Books, which means I'm in the hole again by 4 books.  So far.  Hopefully it'll stay at 4; Halloween Bingo is coming up, but I have loads of books on my TBR I should be able to make work, so I'm semi-confident I won't need to buy any - at least until September.

 

How was your month?  :)

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review 2018-07-08 08:52
A Book of Book Lists
A Book of Book Lists: A Bibliophile's Compendium - Alex Johnson

This was a lot of fun.  Johnson has compiled book lists, but not the usual "you must read" sort.  These are lists like Darwin's TBR, Oscar Wilde's bookshelf at Reading Gaol, the books on Scott's Discovery bookshelves (he had them in every room of the ship), books seen to be on Sheldon and Leonard's living room bookshelves in Big Bang Theory.  Fun stuff like that.

 

Some of the titles listed are no longer to be found (Henry III's books, for example; probably hard to find if not impossible, and expensive to boot), some of them don't exist (books never written list - how did The Giant Rat of Sumatra not make this list?), some have yet to be written (the future library), and some of them are all to readily available and might be the death of any reader's TBR.  Personally, I was doing pretty well until the very end, where he includes a list of books about books.  My kryptonite!  Aaahhhh... 

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text 2018-07-08 04:54
Reading progress update: I've read 88 out of 203 pages.
A Book of Book Lists: A Bibliophile's Compendium - Alex Johnson

Queen Mary's Doll House.  I can't even.

 

The author failed here a tiny bit because before he explained the thing of wonder this doll house's library is (and it is, I assure you) he stole his own thunder by explaining that the doll house has running hot and cold water and flushing toilets.  

 

Oh, and a wine cellar.  With wine of course.  What kinds?  There's a wine catalog in the library, along with around 200 tiny, Moroccan bound books containing mostly unique, never before published works by authors like Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (his has since been published), Kipling, Wharton and Hardy.  

 

I can't even.

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text 2018-07-07 11:36
Reading progress update: I've read 44 out of 203 pages.
A Book of Book Lists: A Bibliophile's Compendium - Alex Johnson

Ok, this book is cool.  It's not your typical book of 100 books to read kind of thing, but an eclectic collection of lists like Osama bin Laden's bookshelf (totally predictable, sadly), the books on Oscar Wilde's Reading Gaol bookshelf, Charles Darwin's To Be Read list.  You get the idea, but I'd like to focus on Darwin.  He had a TBR.  That he kept as a list and kept track of.  This book quotes his son Francis as saying:

 

"He had one shelf on which were piled up the books he had not yet read, and another to which they were transferred after having been read, and before being catalogued.  He would often grown over his unread books, because there were so many which he knew he should never read."

 

He also kept notes in his private journal about his TBR books, my favorite of those included in this book being:

 

"Read Aristotle to see whether any of my views are ancient."

 

I ❤️ Darwin.

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