Sunday, December 21, 2008


Despite the Arctic howling outside, my thoughts have clawed along today. I finished The Lemon Table earlier today. Such was an impressive collection of stories, though I considered it front-loaded. I had read the last story before, 1-2 years ago. It is strange how I found the tome impenetrable at first approach.

Levi Stahl has cited the Nero Wolfe series from Rex Stout as of late. These references endeavored a grin, as my friend Roger has sworn the appeal of such for the near 20 years that I have known him. That stated I picked up a few of his books from the library and am a third of the way through Fer-de-Lance. I also bought a copy of Claire Tomlain's biography of Pepys (Mr. Stahl also mentioned this the other day). I have read the first chapter and cringed on occasion when the author leans towards suppositions which I find outside of reasonable authority. That said, I find her approach akin to that of Peter Ackroyd and thus worth the time in terms of pleasure, if not absolute edification. That trip to the shop yesterday also netted gifts for friends: Donald Kagan's book on the Peloponnesian War for Mark and Stones of Summer for Steve, who really liked Stone Reader.

While gathering my rasher of of Nero and Archie novels i also grabbed the Cross Channel collection from Julian Barnes; on impulse I checked to see how many uses his Nothing To Be Afraid Of had accrued since I read in October. Alas, this pithy memoir which was recently named one of the 10 notable books of the year by the NYT hasn't been checked out since I did.


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