Some books I have read recently.Justinian's Flea
, by William Rosen. Fun, interesting, rambly account of the bubonic plague and the roman emperor Justinian.The Insanity Defense
, by Woody Allen. A collection of his prose works. A few are brilliant, most are somewhere between funny and hilarious, but I got a little tired of his stock digressions into absurdity when the momentum of some particular gag ran out. Still definitely worth reading, but don't feel guilty if you skim through a few of them.Bridge of Birds
, by Barry Hughart, which Paul
loaned to me. I don't exactly know how to recommend it, but I certainly do. It is a great fairy tale that happens to be a novel, or maybe vice-versa. It has characters that I love for much the same reason that I love a lot of Terry Pratchett's — those that are petty and greedy and conniving, but gosh they sure seem to be having a lot of fun doing it — but without the general trademark Pratchett comedic tone, which, let's be honest, is pretty funny in small doses, but really only then. Instead it has (with the possible exception of Lotus Cloud's nicknames for her lovers...) a much more carefully modulated sort of humor, which I enjoyed greatly.