My to-be-read shelves long to be single stacked, each book waiting for its moment in the sun, the moment when I will read it and place it on the main shelf, the shelf that contains only books I have finished. I spend a lot of time staring at that shelf. It is very meditative.
It turns out that it is pretty easy to decimate a to-read shelf. All I have to do is stop buying books. Ha. Totally easy, right? HA. Except about once every two months I get this un-ignorable urge, a twitch, a little voice in my head telling me it’s been a while since you stopped by the book store, Nikki, pointing out new titles I would like to read, itching, calling, crying, trying to shake the change out of my pockets in my sleep.
Making a want-to-buy list helps shut that voice the fuck up. I don’t need any new books. I don’t even really need all the books I already own. So in place of a post showcasing the wild book buying spree I have just completed, I present to you my next-books-to-buy list: For discussion (tell me what is awesome and I should buy, tell me what sucks and I should take off of the list), so I remember what caught my eye once I let myself back into a book store, and to quiet the scream in my head urging me to buy buy BUY.
It is truly an addiction.
The Hyped Books
Every year there is a flock of books that get all the attention and all the squee on the book blogs that I frequent. Last year that included titles like The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (no interest), City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett (loved it), and Ancillary Sword by Anne Leckie (minimal interest). This year a few hyped titles have already caught my eye, and in the name of actually knowing the titles that end up on all the awards lists next year (and because they all look pretty damn awesome), I am looking forward to getting my hands on The Vagrant by Peter Newman, Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear (my first Bear book!), and The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor (prequel to the magical and sorta apocalyptic Who Fears Death).
The Miéville’s With the Pretty Covers Missing From my Collection
Quite accidentally I have found myself hell bent on reading every book China Miéville has ever written. I already own all of them, technically, but because I keep giving away my copies to people I hope to seduce into loving his work as much as I do, I need new copies of The Scar and Perdido Street Station. I need a new copy of Kraken because I currently have the American version and not the sleek UK version, and looking at that mismatched row on my bookshelf will annoy the shit out of me. Might as well make a note to pre-order The Three Moments of an Explosion as well, a short story collection coming out later this year.
All the Books James Morrow Has Ever Written
I have fallen in love with (the work of) James Morrow. It took one book to convince me (This Is the Way the World Ends), and I enjoyed his style enough that I am ready to buy the rest of his work immediately. I can’t wait to see what else he makes fun of, what other topics he tackles, and all the ways he manages to make me laugh. First up: Only Begotten Daughter, City of Truth, Bible Stories for Adults, and Towing Jehovah.
And a Few Other Random Things
The Sunshine Crust Baking Factory by Stacy Wakefield came to my attention via Book Riot recently and is a fictional look at what has become of squatting movements and the inclusive/exclusive nature of the punk scene. Squatting and punk have both built nests in my heart, and I hope I don’t spend this entire book cringing. But as Wakefield has also written a non-fiction book about squatting, Not for Rent, I remain optimistic.
Carrot Quinn, whose blog I followed during several of her thru-hiking trips on the Pacific Crest Trail has turned those adventures into a book called Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart. If her blog writing is any sign, and it obviously is, this will be a beautiful and lovely book.
What books are you yearning to buy at the moment?