Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The bookshelf

Byron, Don Juan. Second try, da capo, at the masterpiece. Best read in a relaxed manner -- it's witty and clever, but not a page-turner.

James Ellroy, American Tabloid and The Cold Six Thousand. These are page-turners, and they've pretty much eclipsed my other reading while I dash through, upon which I hope that the final volume, Blood's a Rover, has made it to my library so's I can avoid buying the hardback. I hadn't read any Ellroy, but this review (warning: dumb-ass spoilers!) made me pick up the first book, and it's wonderfully engaging even to a non-conspiracy-buff like myself. (Most Kennedy-conspiracy works, I submit, are failed novels.)

Gordon S. Wood, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815. Latest in the Oxford History of the United States, whose volumes I am prone to snap up like potato chips ... well, like very, very large bags of potato chips, anyway. 100 pages in it's quite good, with an emphasis on "gentlemen" vs. "middling folk" in the politics of the early years.

Walter Isaacson, Kissinger. Almost finished with Chace's Acheson bio (very good, tho hampered by the author's subordinating chronology to topics) and dipping into the second of my Cabinet-secretary trilogy (a library copy of the new Rumsfeld biography is the goal here). Thrown off-track by the Ellroy novels, but looking forward to getting back to my Secretaries.

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