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Thursday, February 23, 2012

AND AGAIN, THANK YOU

My complaint about the political leanings of the authors of the schlock fiction I have been reading produced a flood of comments, second in number only to my post, some while back, about New Gingrich's doctoral dissertation.  The comments were full of interesting suggestions, two of which I took immediately.  The first, THE SUNDAY PHILOSOPHY CLUB, proved to be a charming, gentle, quiet read, filled with lovely moments.  [Who knew that "a pen strews rot" is an anagram for "Peter Strawson"!].  I enjoyed it thoroughly.  Now I have started reading THE BEEKEEPER'S APPRENTICE, in which a fifteen year old girl encounters a retired Sherlock Holmes.  Inasmuch as I was, in my pre-teen years, a devoted fan of Holmes and the sacred canon of sixty stories, I took to this title naturally.  I have just finished the first chapter, and I am thoroughly hooked.

Not in many hours wandering forlornly up and down the aisles of the Chapel Hill Library could I have hit upon these titles.  I am very grateful to all of you who took the time to suggest books I might enjoy, and in time I hope to take a look at all of them.

Perhaps, with your help, I shall get through the Republican primary struggle without committing suicide out of despair and revulsion.

3 comments:

Superfluous Man said...

If you ever read history and want a book that will expose how lucky we are in the political realm, as bad as things may seem now, then I would recommend "The American Aurora" which has numerous takeouts from the "Philadelphia Aurora", a newspaper that caused that nasty Federal John Adams to enact the alien and sedition acts in an attempt to silence his newspaper critics at the Aurora. The publisher was Benjamin Franklin's grandson Benny Bache (pronounced Beech). The book is partly fictional in that the narrator is a made up person narrating the history but fictionally based upon history, but the newspaper accounts from the various newspapers of Philadelphia, the timeline and the history are all real. Here's a short takeout from the NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/r/rosenfel-aurora.html

The Aurora was in some ways the Fox News of its day, just a liberal version of it. And it caused His Rotundity a whirlwind of grief and agitation. By the end you'll be rooting for the great Uniter and not Divider Thomas Jefferson to take the helms of the ship of state and right her sails. Which of course is what happened.

http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/r/rosenfel-aurora.html

LFC said...

By the way, on Santorum I think this essay, which I just read, is worth a look.

Erik Hetzner said...

A few additional items, from a fellow reader of schlock who has the same reaction to right wing politics in my schlock. In my experience mystery writers tend to be more of the left and spy novelists more of the right. But for spy novels I would recommend Eric Ambler and Alan Furst. Ambler's novels are of the "ordinary man in extraordinary intrigue" genre, and are very good. The early ones are set between the wars and the later ones are usually contemporary (meaning 1970s and 1980s). Alan Furst has been writing a series of novels set around the 2nd world war and set in eastern and central Europe. They are very enjoyable.

I think everybody else has recommended better mysteries than I could, but I should mention that the highly popular series _The girl with the dragon tattoo_'s author, Stieg Larsson, was a longtime member of a Trotskyist group. I haven't read them, but I gather they must not be very political, given their popularity. But you never know!