2017: The Books We Got for Christmas

Here’s my report on Christmas, 2017, and the books we got.


Two Kinds of Truth, the latest Michael Connelly mystery. This is a Harry Bosch book, not a Mickey Haller, so I think it’ll satisfy.

Since We Fell, by Dennis Lehane. This is crime fiction with an interesting female main character. And we love Lehane’s prose.

The Big Burn, Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America, by Timothy Egan. Published in 2010, this nonfiction work looks at Roosevelt’s legislation to create national parks, and the devastating forest fires in the Pacific Northwest in 1910 that swayed public opinion in his direction.


City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty. I am looking forward to dipping into this newly released fantasy novel. Of course it’s Book One of a trilogy!

Mixed Up, edited by Molly Tanzen and Nick Mamatas. This slim book contains cocktail-themed flash fiction and cocktail recipes for the drinks references. I don’t know which came first here; were the invited writers given a list of drinks to choose from, or did they pick the drink for which the editors then added the recipe? Whichever way it went, it is good fun. Like any anthology, the stories are not all to my taste, and the short word count exacerbates the problem in a couple of cases, but there are several I loved, and the cocktail lore is delightful. A perfect New Year’s Eve book.

In The Wake of the Plague, by Norman Cantor. Published in 2002, this upbeat little number looks at the spread of bubonic plague in 14th century Europe. It is interesting but disappointing on several levels. Cantor introduces the concept that there were two diseases, not one, sweeping Britain and Europe during the period in question. His theory is that the other disease was anthrax, which does fit the facts. So far, though (I’m on page 60) he’s said very little about that. He also dwells on the fact that the 14th century mindset was different from the 21st century mindset, and has no difficulty judging them from his lofty perch in the ever so much more enlightened 21st. My immediate reaction is to quote an old aphorism about glass houses and throwing rocks. His prose is also somewhat less than elegant. I will continue to read it though, because his descriptions of life during the time period is interesting.

Of course we got gift cards, so more books are coming!

Have a Happy 2018, everyone!

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