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"More Books Than Sense"


There have never been so many unread books in the house. I blame it on Ms NOLA - she keeps me au courant. Not to mention the Blogosphere. Here you see three stacks of books, and, believe me, there's more where they came from. The books on the bedside table are the books that I am reading right now. The books reflected in the mirror are the books that I am going to read when I've finished with the books on my bedside table. It is understood that books bought between now and then may give this second pile a certain fly-in-amber quality. As for the Tower of Babel in front of the mirror, I can only say that it makes me feel as futile as a Soviet bureaucrat. There's no knowing when some burst of buzz will pull one of those books from the ziggurat, but that's probably what it's going to take for them - a burst of buzz.

I'm currently reading a serial-murder thriller, set toward the end of the reign of Henry II (the Becket/Lion in Winter king)  in Cambridge - there was no University at the time - that was sent to me by the good people at G P Putnam's Sons. It's called Mistress of the Art of Death, and it's by Ariana Franklin. The hero - "heroine" would be altogether wrong - is a female physician from Salerno who's even less insecure than Clarice Starling, but just as appealing. I call Mistress a "time-machine" thriller, because while the material historical details are correct, the characters talk in a way that you would find interesting. You may be sure that nobody in the late Twelfth Century actually did. I'm also reading Walter Kirn's The Unbinding. The mix is just right.


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