13 July 2004

Books Finished and Continued


The Speckled Monster, history of the 18th century fight to have immunization against smallpox accepted as a legitimate medical treatment in both America and England. The book has a novel-like narrative that draws you into the story and there are copious notes at the end.

Freedom Just Around the Corner, a new history of the United States from the early 1600s to the Missouri Compromise. First history book I've ever read that made me understand what Bacon's Rebellion was all about.

Doctor Who: The English Way of Death--as I mentioned in another post, these have proved increasingly annoying in narrative in general, but this particular one wasn't bad. Features the fourth Doctor and Romana Mark 2, and a not-bad use of K-9.

In Progress:

Doctor Who: Milennial Rites--just started; surprised at the absence of the usual verbal gymnastics--this may be the first sixth Doctor story I've ever liked. But I won't hold my breath.

Christmas Customs and Traditions, the classic Clement Miles history from 1912. If you're into light prose about Christmas traditions, you probably won't like this book. This is a more a scholarly tome, going back to medieval hymns. On the other hand, due to its publication date, it's full of real Christmas traditions that don't involve the 35th viewing of It's a Wonderful Life, starting from All Saint's Day on November 1 and ending with Candlemas on February 2.

The Ghost Finds a Body--I haven't been so delighted by a mystery novel and its characters in a long, long time. Written by Brad Strickland and the late Thomas Fuller (damn, it still hurts to have to put that "late" in there), this is a grand mystery set in a small Florida panhandle town, involving a writer, a smart-mouthed Asian computer whiz, a romance writer's convention, the obligatory mysterious death, and a colorful collection of interesting supporting characters, including a reclusive romance author. So highly recommended this one bleeds...pun intended...off the scale.

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