Sunday, July 29, 2007

The first half-year (plus a month) or, What I've Been Reading...

I meant to do this at the beginning of the month, as an inventory of the books I read during the first half of the year but never really got around to it. So, almost a month late and a couple of books longer, here is the list of books I've read so far this year:

1. Rage, Jonathan Kellerman (Ballantine Books, 2005) 391 pages (paperback edition).

2. Behind Closed Doors, Natalie R. Collins (St Martin Paperbacks, 2007) 322 pages. 8

3. The Lucifer Gospel, Paul Christopher (Onyx Books, New American Library, 2006) 357 pages.

4. Last on the Menu, Sister Eleanor Quin, C. S. J. (Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1969) 182 pages.

5. The Republican Noise Machine, David Brock (Three Rivers Press, 2004; Afterward copyright 2005) 432 pages.

6. The Templar Legacy, Steve Berry (Ballantine Books, 2006) 487 pages.

7. The Republican War on Science, Chris Mooney (Basic Books) 357 pages.

8. An Alphabetical Life, Wendy Werris (Carroll & Graf Publishers) 292 pages.

9. Hotel California: The true-life adventures of Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Mitchell, Taylor, Browne, Ronstadt, Geffen, the Eagles, and their many friends, Barney Hoskins (John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2006) 324 pages.

10. The Alexandria Link, Steve Berry (Ballantine Books, 2007) 462 pages.

11. Michelangelo’s Notebook, Paul Christopher (Onyx Books, 2005) 358 pages.

12. The Collar, Jonathan Englert (Houghton Mifflin, 2006) 301 pages.

13. Tutu Deadly, Natalie M. Roberts (Berkley Prime Crime, 2007) 248 pages.

14. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, Charles C. Mann (Vintage, 2005, 2006) 541 pages.

15. All Saints, Liam Callahan (Delacorte, 2007).

16. The Last Cato, Matilde Asensi (Rayo, 2006; originally published in Spanish, 2001) 458 pages.

17. The Machine’s Child, Kage Baker (Tor, 2006) 351 pages.

18. Evolving God, Barbara J. King (Doubleday, 2007) 262 pages.

19. Gods and Pawns, Kage Baker (Tor, 2007) 335 pages.

20. Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America’s Soul, Edward Humes (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2007) 380 pages.

21. By Their Father’s Hand: The True Story of the Wesson Family Massacre, Monte Francis (Harper, 2007) 285 pages.

22. Rembrandt’s Ghost, Paul Christopher (Signet, 2007) 347 pages.

23. Dr. Mary’s Monkey: How the unsolved murder of a doctor, a secret laboratory in New Orleans and cancer-causing monkey viruses are linked to Lee Harvey Oswald, the JFK assassination and emerging global epidemics, Edward T. Haslam (TrineDay, 2007) 374 pages.

Non-fiction titles are in bold. I kind of hesitated before bolding the last title on the list. It is non-fiction, but it is also one of those conspiracy-theory books that make interesting if fairly questionable claims about how history really happened. But, since it is presented as non-fiction, I decided that it qualified as such.

Actually, Dr. Mary's Monkey was in interesting book. I love conspiracy theories even if I can't ultimately buy most of them as presented. The best ones present their claims in terms that make logical leaps that you at least have to think about before dismissing them, and this book managed to do that. Yes, the idea that several people whose names are linked with the JFK assassination (primarily Clay Shaw, Guy Bannister and David Ferrie...the New Orleans contingent, in other words) were also caught up in clandestine research that might have grown our of an adulterated early polio vaccine that is now causing soft-tissue cancers in many of those innoculated with it as well as being the ulimate genesis of HIV takes a fairly big gulp to swallow. But Haslam manages to weave the story in such a way (and with plenty of references to follow up if one is so inclined) that it doesn't seem completely out of the question on first read.

This statement, of course, doesn't mean I believe a word of it. But as a conspiracy theory it certainly does better than the story, for example, that Elvis is alive and well and living in Cleveland or wherever.

1 comment:

JohnR said...

Wow! You've inspired to get back to working through my reading list!