Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur, April 2007
- Ingrid D. Rowland, The
Scarith of Scornello: A Tale of Renaissance Forgery
- Or: how a teenager got out of being shipped off to law school by forging
ancient Etruscan writings, sparking a scholarly controversy that was to some
extent a rehash of the Galileo affair. Briskly and amusingly told, with no
great pretense that it was ever anything other than a brazen forgery — I
won't spoil some of the jokes by pointing out some of the evidence of
just how brazen. Thanks to John "reprieved" Burke for recommending
- Jane Haddam, Glass
- Serial killers, pedophiles, bookkeepers...
- C. J. Box, Trophy
- Animal mutilation and energy booms in Saddlestring, Wyoming. Some bits made me
wonder if Box had read Warren
(still, for my money, the best relation of the cattle mutilation myth).
- Larry Gonick, The
Cartoon History of the Modern World, Part I: From Columbus to the
- When I think about it, I realize a truly substantial proportion of my basic
knowledge of the world derives from reading Larry Gonick's Cartoon
Guides and Cartoon History of the Universe; this is a
worthy continuation of the latter.
the Social: On the Principles of Analytical Sociology
- Will get its own review. In the meanwhile: right on, brother, right
- Garry Wills, What
- Short devotional work presenting Wills's interpretation of the gospels.
Wills has no interest in recovering the historical Jesus, and explicitly says
that he finds such a project pointless; he is interested in the Jesus of his
faith, as presented by the gospels vouchsafed to him by the Catholic tradition.
(Presumably this is why, for instance, he uses only the canonical books of the
New Testament, and assumes that they tell a consistent story.) Fair
enough, if he wants to do that, though not at all convincing to someone without
a prior committment to that tradition. But then I utterly fail to see how he
can square this with rejection of, in no particular order, papal authority,
bishops, priests, and even (I think) the mass? Well, he says, I don't see any
justification for this in the text. But that same tradition which
guarantees the text for him also comes down on their side. And a Jesus who
founded a Church with bishops and priests performing miracles of
transubstantiation would be very different from the Jesus he wants...
- Battlestar Galactica [0; 1; 2;
- Yes, it really is based on that appalling old TV show. Yes, it really is
as good as everyone says.
in Shadow and Cast in Courtlight
- Fantasy novels with detective-story elements; the kind of thing which would
appeal to those who like P. C. Hodgell, though it is not as good as her books.
There is a weird emphasis here on names, writing (a --- you should excuse the
expression --- literal body of inscription is a central part of the
story, along with the magical struggle to control the reading of that text),
and, near the climax, the autonomous power of language itself; this tempts me
to postulate some kind of run-in with post-structuralism in Sagara's past (and
I'd even say not a happy one, given her heroine's attitude towards teachers),
but really anyone who comes to this looking for specifically Derridean
high fantasy would be disappointed. (Not that I can think of anyone who would,
now that Chun the Unavoidable is no longer among us.)
Books to Read While the
Algae Grow in Your Fur
Posted at April 30, 2007 23:59 | permanent link