By John Wilson
But enough of Bad Books. There are many more good ones worth mentioning, and a long list of "forthcoming," more than we have space for. Mention of Christopher Buckley (whose forthcoming novel, Florence of Arabia, was noted last week) reminds me also to mention a book by that other Buckley, Miles Gone By: A Literary Autobiography (Regnery), not a continuous narrative but a superb anthology assembled by the founder of National Review. (Look for a B&C review in the November/December issue.)
Not so enjoyable but indispensable is The 9/11 Commission Report (Norton). And if immersion in the failures of our intelligence agencies leaves you utterly dejected, you might consider as an antidote Dark Voyage (Random House), the latest novel by Alan Furst, master of the espionage genre. If you like this one, there are seven more; best to start at the beginning. And be sure to have an atlas close at hand.
This concludes our midyear roundup. Again, thanks for your comments.
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For more books, see Christianity Today's 2004 book awards.
Books & Culture Corner appears every Tuesday. Earlier editions of Books & Culture Corner and Book of the Week include:
(Not Just) Summer Reading | Part 2 of our midyear report on outstanding books. (Aug. 17, 2004)
Real Fantasy | The first installment in a new Tolkien-inspired series shows genuine promise. (Aug. 17, 2004)
We've Got Books | The first installment of our new midyear book report. (Aug. 10, 2004)
'Be Happy!' | How the ancient Olympics differed from the modern spectacle. (Aug. 10, 2004)
Rediscovering 'Husbandry' | What Colonial farmers have to teach us about living with the land. (Aug. 03, 2004)
China's Spiritual Hunger | The lessons of Falun Gong (July 27, 2004)
Ambiguous Redemption | A riveting memoir by the author of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight. (July 20, 2004)
Tending the Garden | Evangelicals and the environment. (July 07, 2004)
How the Monster Grew | A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian looks at the origins of modern media. (July 05, 2004)
Wasn't That a Mighty Fall | Martha Stewart, VeggieTales, and Narnia revisted. (June 29, 2004)
Insect Theodicy | Who sent the locusts? And who exterminated them? (June 22, 2004)
Telling Lies, Telling Stories | Lars Saabye Christensen's The Half Brother reveals imagination as escape. (June 15, 2004)
The Art of Political War | A veteran columnist urges his fellow liberals to take a lesson from those nasty conservatives. (June 07, 2004)
Thou Shalt Not Swap | The uses and abuses of copyright. (May 24, 2004)
Mystery and Message | Must they compete? (May 10, 2004)
Celebrating Faith in Writing | A dispatch from Calvin College's biennial event. (April 26, 2004)