John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

Book dump: June 2008

These are the books I read in the month of June:

  • The Innocents Abroad, or The New Pilgrims' Progress by Mark Twain
     
    I always enjoy travel literature, and this was no exception, though it took me a while to get accustomed to Twain's old-fashioned phraseology.
     
  • John Tyler: The Accidental President by Edward P. Crapol
     
    I don't remember learning much about John Tyler when I was in school, but now that I've read this biography, I think he's gotten sort of a raw deal from historians. As an apostate Whig, he was hated by the political party that had elected him Vice President; as a proud slave owner, he was hated by abolitionists; and as a strong supporter of Southern secession, he was hated by everyone who remained loyal to the Union; so there was no one around to defend his legacy. As a result of his bad reputation, his successor, James K. Polk, got the credit for Tyler's major accomplishment as President -- the annexation of Texas -- and Tyler himself was consigned to the ash-heap of history. Aw.
     
  • A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
     
    I've read a bunch of Sherlock Holmes short stories, but had never read this novel. I don't know exactly what I expected from it, but I can say with some certainty that I didn't expect it to have anything to do with evil Mormons.
     
  • I Shall Not Want by Julia Spencer-Fleming
     
    The sixth Claire Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne novel was entertaining but perhaps not as ambitious or epic has the fifth. Given the events of this book, it seems to me that Spencer-Fleming might be well-advised to wrap up the series with a seventh book and move on. I still think investigative reporter Ben Beagle, introduced in the fifth Fergusson/Van Alstyne novel and making a cameo appearance in this one, could support his own series.
     
  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
     
    Satrapi's first-hand account of the Iranian Islamic Revolution and the early days of the Iran-Iraq War would be an interesting read even if it wasn't in the form of a graphic novel, but the amazing black-and-white artwork takes it to a whole other level. She has some splash pages that will take your breath away.
     
  • Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
     
    Like I said the other day, this novel is a little dated and the prose a bit stilted, but it's still a very entertaining read. (Also, I forget: Drury actually named 91 Senators, not ninety -- I forgot the one who was appointed to fill out the unexpired term of a Senator who left office during the course of the novel.)
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