Most of my fourth quarter reading was for BWW. Managed to get in a couple of quick hits in December:
Killing Lincoln (Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard–2011)
Sketch portrait of well-known events, It was an easy read–I can see why this series sells so well. Recommended for those with moderate interest in the subject, or youngsters looking for an easy introduction to the basics. The one interesting element I hadn’t encountered before (I’m not an expert on Booth-ology) is the suggestion that Booth and his co-conspirators may have had covert assistance from Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, a longstanding Lincoln ally/rival (Lincoln may have had more of those than any man in human history–he seemed to bring out the duality in his fellow man like no one else). I don’t know if there is any really convincing evidence of this and the authors don’t make a big deal of it, but it has certainly made me view Stanton a bit differently as I presently make my way through Shelby Foote’s epochal three-volume history of the Civil War. I mean he certainly seems both sufficiently tormented and sufficiently shady to be involved in plots.
Getting Off (Lawrence Block–2011)
Disappointing, but, gee, I guess that cover should have clued me. Murder porn divested of all psychological, moral and legal consequences. I have to confess that only Block’s considerable pulp skill kept my eyelids propped open for the duration.