Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Quickie

Earlier in the fall, I made this nonsensical resolution that my to-read shelf on Goodreads would not be permitted to exceed the total books that I have read and am currently reading. So I haven't been to a bookstore and didn't ask for any books for Christmas. Besides, I haven't even had a chance to open a few of the books I got last Christmas, despite every good intention to devour them. But I did read We Need to Talk about Kevin before it even made it to the to-read shelf, and I'm reunited with my Napoleon book so I have high hopes.

And anyway, my brothers ignored my silly decisions and got me a whole bunch of books. Must admit this one is the most exciting. The perfect companion to Alexandre Dumas's Napoleonic epic (The Last Cavalier) must undoubtedly be The Black Count, which is a biography of Dumas's father (a celebrated general, and contemporary of Napoleon). Tom Reiss hasn't mentioned The Last Cavalier yet (it was lost until very recently), but the book does mention a few of the general's exploits (no historical text worth its salt would leave him out, apparently). So it's all very interesting and I'm reminded of why I love Alexandre Dumas oh so much. Despite the fact that he had a bit of a factory going on, and many of his longer texts are drastically inconsistent because they were written by other writers in his employ.

Nevertheless, they're all very exciting. And one of my brothers actually found an antique set of Dumas's work that was complete but for one novel. Have I mentioned that I collect antique editions of Dumas's works? No? Probably because it's the nerdiest pastime, that's why. But I've got four, and they're all beautiful.

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