************************************************************** 
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 *         R E A D I N G    F O R    P L E A S U R E          *
 *                                                            *
 *                         Issue #7                           *
 *                                                            *
 *                      December 1989                         *
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 *                 Editor: Cindy Bartorillo                   *
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 *                                                            *
 *                      HAPPY HOLIDAYS!                       *
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CONTACT US AT:  Reading For Pleasure, c/o Cindy Bartorillo, 1819
Millstream Drive, Frederick, MD 21701; or on CompuServe leave a
message to 74766,1206; or on GEnie leave mail to C.BARTORILLO; or
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NOTICE:  Reading For Pleasure is not copyrighted. You may copy
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                     DISTRIBUTION DIRECTORY

Here are a few bulletin boards where you should be able to pick
up the latest issue of READING FOR PLEASURE. See masthead for
where to send additions and corrections to this list.

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NOTE: Back issues on CompuServe may have been moved to a
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                        TABLE OF CONTENTS

Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  137
What's News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  179
Featured Author: Charles Dickens  . . . . . . . . . . . .  367
Good Reading Periodically . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  645
New From Carroll & Graf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  712
Important Dates in December . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  804
Fiction Into Film . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  906
Religious Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  966
December Releases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1158
Number One Fan  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1241
Recent Paperbacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1293
An Incomplete Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1327
Great Endings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1415
New From Simon & Schuster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1549
New From Underwood-Miller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1642
Christmas Mysteries & Other Yuletide Reading  . . . . . . 1706
Random Reviews  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2070
On Line With Steve Gerber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2407
Unfinished Novels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2483
Back Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2514
The Last Christmas Trivia Quiz  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  302
Trivia Quiz Answers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2566

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   Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever
about that. The register of his burial was signed by the
clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner.
Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change for
anything he chose to put his hand to.
   Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
    --from "A Christmas Carol in Prose" by Charles Dickens

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                           EDITORIAL

People have celebrated the winter solstice, in one form or
another, for a very long time. As the autumn wears on we get more
and more darkness, less and less daylight, until finally, on
December 21, we get the shortest day of all the year. A
celebration at this time is a form of nervous laughter at the
darkness, our way of saying that we're highly developed beings
who aren't in the least afraid of the dark. Well, maybe just a
little.

However you celebrate the winter solstice, I hope you'll include
some books. Books make great gifts, of course. They last
reasonably close to forever, don't get "used up", and contain
wonders beyond counting. And don't forget to save a few good
books for yourself this season. After all, it's been a rough year
and you've been as good as good can be (provided the IRS doesn't
find out about your little "white lie" on the 1040).

Another subject dear to my heart is the sensual delights of
winter reading. Picture this: It's snowing outside, or maybe it's
just a blustery bitter cold--around 10 PM. You're tired, the day
didn't go all that well, and you feel like you may be coming down
with a cold. But very soon you're going to be as happy as you've
been all year, because you're going to shower, put on your
warmest flannel pajamas, get a hot drink, and settle down with a
good book. The perfect ending to a not-so-perfect day.

And speaking of endings, let's ring out the old year and old
decade with goodwill and hope that the next decade finds us all
healthy and happy. May your library grow ever larger.

Happy Holidays!

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        It was always said of him, that he knew how to
                   keep Christmas well.
        --from "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens

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                          WHAT'S NEWS

* Simon & Schuster will be opening an office in Moscow by the
first of the year. They currently distribute scientific,
technical, medical, consumer and reference books in the Soviet
Union, as well as professional information products. The new
office will represent Simon & Schuster at scientific symposia and
arrange book exhibitions.

* The figures for 1988 are in. There were 55,483 books published
in the U.S. in 1988 (what, you didn't get to all of them?).
Here's how that figure breaks down: Agriculture (666), Art
(1,602), Biography (2,250), Business (1,647), Education (1,113),
Fiction (5,564); General Works (2,475); History (3,260); Home
Economics (1,057); Juveniles (4,954); Language (628); Law
(1,343); Literature (2,272); Medicine (3,900); Music (329);
Philosophy and Psychology (1,955); Poetry and Drama (1,270);
Religion (2,746); Science (3,743); Sociology and Economics
(8,247); Sports and Recreation (1,099); Technology (2,694);
Travel (669).

* I thought you might be interested in the average price of
fiction:
                   1986           1988
                   ----           ----
Hardcover         $16.84         $17.63
Trade paper       $ 8.64         $10.07
Mass market       $ 3.46         $ 3.97

* John Steptoe, author and illustrator of award-winning books for
children, died of AIDS on August 28 at the age of 38. Two of his
books were THE STORY OF JUMPING MOUSE and MUFARO'S BEAUTIFUL
DAUGHTERS.

* The U.S. Court of Appeals has overturned the ban won by Cliffs
Notes against Doubleday's SPY NOTES in a lower court. The Cliffs
Notes people felt that the cover of the Doubleday book, which
closely resembles their famous yellow-and-black covers, infringed
on their trademark and was likely to be confused with their
books. The appeals court found that a greater latitude should be
given works of parody, and that the cover was clearly different.
For example, "A Satire" appears on the cover 5 times, and there
are other "wry notations" that distinguish SPY NOTES from the
real thing.

* The British Sunday paper the Observer printed that Penguin
Books plans to issue a British paperback of THE SATANIC VERSES at
a specified, but secret, date in 1990. The date is a secret for
security reasons, of course, but smart money says it'll be in the
first few months of 1990.

* The most-stolen book at the recent Moscow Book Fair was
Doubleday's THE ELVIS CATALOGUE.

* I hear that Mike O'Brien is now publishing a monthly newsletter
called SEASONED BOOKS, opinionated commentary on books that are
at least 30 years old and still in print. Subscriptions to
SEASONED BOOKS are $12 for six months:  P.O. Box 42615, Portland,
OR 97242-0615.

* Harlan Ellison has finally delivered the manuscript of THE
HARLAN ELLISON HORNBOOK to Mirage Press, 20 years after signing
the contract. Jack Chalker's Mirage Press will release a 500-copy
limited edition for around $30, with Penzler Books publishing a
trade edition.

* If you like science fiction, you'll want to see THE WORLD
BEYOND THE HILL: Science Fiction and the Quest for Transcendence
by Alexei and Cory Panshin (Tarcher Nov89 ISBN 0-87477-436-5
$29.95). Get a rich friend to buy it, then borrow it from him. Or
get a rich friend to buy it for you as a present. Or hassle your
local library into getting it.

* This fall has brought us the first Mike Hammer novel in a very
long time, marking the end of a 19-year writing hiatus for Mickey
Spillane and the 40th anniversary of the publication of Signet's
first Spillane thriller. To celebrate that anniversary NAL will
rerelease six of Spillane's bestselling titles: VENGEANCE IS
MINE; MY GUN IS QUICK; I, THE JURY; THE BIG KILL; ONE LONELY
NIGHT; KISS ME DEADLY (all $3.95 and all with vintage-type
covers). The new Mike Hammer novel is THE KILLING MAN, available
at $17.95 from Dutton. And yes, Mickey is working on another one
right now.

* David Morrell is getting a million dollars for each of his next
two books from Warner. The first is scheduled for next April--THE
FIFTH PROFESSION, about a bodyguard to the famous. April also
happens to be the time when the next Rambo movie will be filmed
(Morrell wrote the novel FIRST BLOOD, which started the whole
thing). I've heard that Morrell has been asked to write the
first-draft screenplay for the new Rambo, but I don't know if he
will or not.

* For the Sherlock Holmes fan on your gift list, you couldn't do
any better than the audio tape series from Simon & Schuster Audio
called THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. These are original
radio broadcasts starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. They
haven't been heard since the 1940s, and each one-hour tape has
two complete original mysteries, along with the original 1940s
commercials. There are five tapes that I know of, each one
costing $9.95.

* This fall you can buy the TE-TAO CHING (ISBN 0-34534-790-0)
from Ballantine, the first of the five hardcovers in their
prestigious Classics of Ancient China series. It incorporates
texts that are fuller and at least 500 years earlier than
anything previously available. The other four volumes (to be
released one each fall) will be: I CHING, longer than any known
version; SUN TZU'S ART OF WAR, containing chapters not found
elsewhere; fragments of Sun Pin's ART OF WAR, a previously
unknown text on military strategy; and a work that archeologists
identified as the long-lost FOUR CLASSICS OF THE YELLOW EMPEROR.
The TE-TAO CHING is $19.95, translated and with notes by Robert
G. Henricks of Dartmouth University.

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The only real blind person at Christmastime is he who has not
Christmas in his heart.
         --Helen Keller

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                 THE LAST CHRISTMAS TRIVIA QUIZ

1) What was the name of the novel of a small Texas town by Larry
   McMurtry? It was made into a major film, with Cybil Shephard
   in a featured role.
2) What was the name of the novel that Nikos Kazantzakis wrote
   about Jesus? It was recently made into a very controversial
   film.
3) Name the second of James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking
   Tales.
4) What was the name of the historical novel by Edward Bulwer-
   Lytton that is particularly famous for putting readers to
   sleep?
5) What is the number of Beethoven's last symphony?
6) What is the number of Dvorak's last symphony?
7) What is the number of Mahler's last symphony?
8) Doesn't this bother you just a tiny bit?
9) The phrases on the left below all say the same thing. What?
10) Match the phrases on the left with the languages on the
    right. (These are cribbed from a very old book; languages may
    have changed since then, but we thought you might enjoy this
    exercise anyway.)

1. Boas Festas                          a. Afrikander
2. Buone Feste Natalizie                b. Bohemian
3. Cestitamo Bozic                      c. Bulgarian
4. Chestita Koleda                      d. Croatian
5. Een Plesierige Kerfees               e. Danish
6. Feliz Navidad                        f. Dutch
7. Froehliche Weihnachten               g. Esperanto
8. Gajan Kristnaskon                    h. Esthonian
9. Glad Yul                             i. Finnish
10. Glaedelig Jul                       j. French
11. Gledelig Jul                        k. German
12. Hristos se rodi                     l. Hungarian
13. Iloista Joulua                      m. Irish
14. Joyeux Noel                         n. Italian
15. Kellemes karacsonyi unnepeket       o. Jugoslav
16. Linksmu Kaledu                      p. Lettish
17. Nadolig Llawen                      q. Lithuanian
18. Nodlaig mhaith chugnat              r. Norwegian
19. Priecigus Ziemassvetkus             s. Polish
20. Roomsaid Joulu Puhi                 t. Portuguese
21. Sarbatori vesele                    u. Rumanian
22. Sretan Bozic                        v. Serbian
23. Srozhdestvom Kristovym              w. Spanish
24. Vesele Vanoce                       x. Swedish
25. Vroolijk Kerfeest                   y. Ukrainian
26. Weselych Swiat                      z. Welsh

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I am sorry to have to introduce the subject of Christmas. It is
an indecent subject; a cruel, gluttonous subject; a drunken,
disorderly subject; a wasteful, disastrous subject; a wicked,
cadging, lying, filthy, blasphemous and demoralizing subject.
Christmas is forced on a reluctant and disgusted nation by the
shopkeepers and the press: on its own merits it would wither and
shrivel in the fiery breath of universal hatred; and anyone who
looked back to it would be turned into a pillar of greasy
sausages.
         --George Bernard Shaw

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FEATURED AUTHOR:

                        CHARLES DICKENS
                          (1812-1870)

Charles Dickens was a hearty man who loved people and parties,
the kind who'd yell a greeting across the room and slap your back
to make his point. Amateur theatricals were a favorite pastime,
and he gave dramatic readings of his works until shortly before
his death (many attribute his death to overwork of this kind).

Long regarded as one of the greatest writers that ever lived,
many have been repulsed by the length of his novels, or their
rambling style. It should be kept in mind, however, that Dickens'
stories were printed in periodicals in weekly or monthly
installments, and were, therefore, written with this serialized
presentation in mind. Because of this, it makes more sense to
think of Dickens' stories as you would a modern day TV soap
opera, a constantly-modulating, episodic work of the imagination.
And it helps to read the novels as they were meant to be read: 2
or 3 chapters at a sitting, spaced out over an extended length of
time.

What else does it help to know about Charles Dickens? For one
thing, like many gregarious optimists, he became disillusioned
with age. He began by thinking that the world was flawed only
because people were ignorant of the problems, but he ultimately
realized that many just don't care. Consequently, his later books
are decidedly darker, less cheerful, than the earlier ones.
Another point: Dickens occasionally became obsessed with the
political power of novelists and beat his drum about social
injustices a bit tediously, a minor complaint but noticeable.

If you want to talk a good game, any time Dickens' name comes up,
be sure to mention CHARACTERIZATION. Charles Dickens is known,
first and foremost, for the richness and variety of the
characters he created, and it wouldn't hurt to memorize the names
of some of the more memorable: Mr. Micawber and Uriah Heep from
DAVID COPPERFIELD, Pip and Miss Havisham and Abel Magwitch from
GREAT EXPECTATIONS, Sidney Carton and Charles Darnay from A TALE
OF TWO CITIES, or Serjeant Buzfuz and Samuel Weller from THE
PICKWICK PAPERS. If you decide to do yourself the favor of
actually reading these novels, I guarantee you won't forget the
characters (or their often-ridiculous names).

In any case, here's a list to get yourself oriented. Remember,
Charles Dickens became the greatest storyteller of all time by
being loved by millions, NOT by impressing the critics. So don't
expect long words, complex construction and obscure references.
He was a novelist for the Common Man that he so loved, and he
left a literary legacy that won't soon be equalled.

SKETCHES BY BOZ -- Satires on daily life that originally appeared
  in various periodicals from 1833 to 1835. The pseudonym Boz was
  the nickname of one of Dickens' younger brothers.

THE POSTHUMOUS PAPERS OF THE PICKWICK CLUB -- (1836-1837)
  Commonly known as the PICKWICK PAPERS. Dickens' first major
  success. This was also published under the pseudonym Boz, and
  originally began as simply a bit of prose to accompany some
  artwork, but the activities of the Pickwick Club became so
  popular that they completely eclipsed the drawings. Consistent
  with its purpose, this isn't so much a novel as a series of
  episodes, which appeared in 19 monthly parts. Humor and
  cheerfulness on every page, PICKWICK PAPERS contains some of
  Dickens' most famous characters--like Mrs. Bardell, Serjeant
  Buzfuz, Alfred Jingle, and of course Samuel Weller.

OLIVER TWIST --  (1837-1839) His first novel of social
  injustices, this one about the treatment of the poor, children
  in particular. The new Poor Law of 1834, that cut off
  supplemental assistance to the poor and forced families to
  separate into men's, women's, and children's workhouses--this
  was the primary evil that he illustrated. Serialized
  irregularly in 24 parts of varying length. Dickens, by the way,
  had ten children. Famous characters here: Fagin, Jack Dawkins
  (AKA the Artful Dodger), Bill Sikes, and Mr. Bumble. The story
  follows the ups and downs of the childhood of Oliver, an
  adorable child who has the misfortune to be born an orphan in a
  big city. Though our hero manages to rise above his beginnings,
  Dickens' point here is that poverty breeds crime (which was a
  reasonably new idea at the time).

NICHOLAS NICKLEBY -- (1838-1839) Serialized in 19 monthly parts.
  As OLIVER TWIST attacked the treatment of the poor, NICKLEBY
  attacks schools and teachers. As Dickens showed, students were
  often starved and seldom taught, and NICKLEBY led to the
  closing or reformation of many such schools. This is another
  story of a wonderful person (Nicholas) succeeding against
  enormous odds and much evil. Famous characters: Mr. Wackford
  Squeers and the Cheeryble brothers.

THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP -- (1840-1841) Serialized (40 parts) in
  Master Humphrey's Clock, a weekly periodical that Dickens
  started himself. Little Nell lives with her grandfather, who
  borrows money for good reasons, but when his compulsive
  gambling prevents paying it back they loose the Curiosity Shop
  and must roam the countryside as beggars. By the time they are
  found by some friendly rescuers, Little Nell has died and her
  grandfather soon follows. Secondary characters live happily
  ever after and tell the story of Little Nell, and The Old
  Curiosity Shop is torn down to make way for a new building.
  Some tastes find this story sweet, but for others the overdose
  of sentimentality is decidedly saccharin. Oscar Wilde said:
  "One must have a heart of stone to read the death of Little
  Nell without laughing."

BARNABY RUDGE -- (1841) Serialized in Master Humphrey's Clock.
  Here Dickens moved from a simple close-up view of poverty, to
  an examination of the government policies that afflict the poor
  (and the consequences of those policies). The highlight of
  RUDGE are the anti-Catholic Gordon riots of 1780, but otherwise
  the plot is generally considered to be one of Dickens' weakest.

AMERICAN NOTES -- (1842) His opinion of the U.S., and not
  entirely favorable. He didn't like slavery, and he particularly
  didn't like the way we published his books over here without
  his permission and without paying him royalties of any kind
  (Dickens advocated an international copyright). In addition to
  all that, he thought American's were narrow-minded and
  uncultured. Not surprisingly, Americans were angered and
  insulted by AMERICAN NOTES (as they were meant to be).

A CHRISTMAS CAROL -- (1843) Probably his best-known work, this
  was the first of five Christmas Books. This is the story of
  selfish miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is reformed by visits from
  three ghosts during the night of Christmas Eve. Famous
  characters: all of them, but especially Bob Cratchit and his
  son Tiny Tim.

MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT -- (1843-1844) A powerful, satiric novel of
  selfishness, hypocrisy and financial speculation. Published in
  19 monthly parts. Martin Chuzzlewit, Sr., kicks Junior out of
  the house to cure him of greed and selfishness. It works, but
  only after much difficulty and misfortune. Part of Martin
  Junior's trouble occurs in America, in a section of the novel
  which once again insulted Americans greatly. Dickens really was
  irritated with us. Famous characters: Sarah Gamp, Seth
  Pecksniff.

THE CHIMES -- (1844) This Christmas Book bears the unfortunate
  flaw of being pretty depressing. The forced and sudden happy
  ending is not convincing, and the reader is left with an
  emotional hangover of hopelessness. Not actually a bad tale,
  but not the best choice for a happy holiday.

THE CRICKET ON THE HEARTH -- (1845) Another Christmas Book, this
  one not quite as successful as A CHRISTMAS CAROL. It involves a
  young man who masquerades as an old man to find out if his
  girlfriend really loves the man she is engaged to marry. This
  was very popular at the time and outsold A CHRISTMAS CAROL,
  though time has relegated it to secondary position. A nice
  sentimental Yuletide tale nonetheless.

PICTURES FROM ITALY -- (1846) Dickens' second travel book, and
  don't worry if you've never heard of it--very few people have.
  Without the emotional involvement and anger of AMERICAN NOTES,
  there was very little left to be of interest to anyone.

THE BATTLE OF LIFE -- (1846) A Christmas Book that sold
  enormously well and was reviewed very badly. The Times said:
  "of all the bad Christmas books...the worst...the very worst."
  Possibly not the worst, but it is tedious. And it doesn't even
  have anything to do with Christmas.

DOMBEY AND SON -- (1846-1848) Written in Switzerland, this novel
  is more complex than usual (I don't think there's any
  connection there, but you never know). Published in 19 monthly
  parts. All Mr. Dombey wants out of life is a son to go into
  business with him, an obsession which causes him to drive his
  son past his limits and ignore his daughter. Much is made (in
  circles I don't travel in) of the symbolism of death as the sea
  and life as the flow of the river into the sea, a recurrent
  Dickens symbol used for the first time here.

THE HAUNTED MAN -- (1848) The last Christmas Book. Dickens
  returned to his famous Christmas themes and produced one last
  memorable story. The full title was THE HAUNTED MAN AND THE
  GHOST'S BARGAIN: A FANCY FOR CHRISTMAS TIME.

DAVID COPPERFIELD -- (1849-1850) Largely autobiographical, this
  was Dickens' favorite of his novels. Once again Dickens harps
  on the cruel treatment of children, but expands from there into
  a wonderful coming-of-age story. Published in 19 monthly parts.
  Famous characters: loads, including Mr. Creakle, Steerforth,
  Betsey Trotwood, Mr. Micawber, Uriah Heep, Dora, Barkis,
  Peggotty.

BLEAK HOUSE -- (1852-1853) Published in 19 monthly parts. The
  major social injustice here is the slow and unsatisfactory
  legal system. As background to the major plot, Jarndyce vs.
  Jarndyce is a dispute over the administration of a will, a
  legal suit which goes on so long it is actually passed from one
  generation to the next. By the time the suit is settled, the
  funds to be administered have all been eaten up in legal fees.
  A large motivation for this novel was Dickens' attempt to sue
  the pirate publishers of his "A Christmas Carol". Famous
  character: the wily detective Mr. Bucket.

HARD TIMES -- (1854) Published in 20 weekly parts. This novel is
  Dickens' harshest indictment of the practical and philosophical
  environment surrounding the Industrial Revolution. Thomas
  Gradgrind raises his children in an emotional void, everything
  is a matter of scientific fact and logic. Needless to say, the
  kids grow up psychologically stunted and get themselves into
  BIG trouble.

LITTLE DORRIT -- (1855-1857) Dickens' father was confined in
  debtors' prison, a memory which shows up in DAVID COPPERFIELD
  but is front and center in LITTLE DORRIT, published in 19
  monthly parts. William Dorrit lives in debtors' prison with
  his 3 children: Edward, Fanny, and Amy (who is Little Dorrit).
  One day they come into great wealth, and all of them turn out
  to be as insufferably pretentious when rich as they were
  pathetic when poor. All, that is, except for Little Dorrit, who
  falls in love with Arthur Clennam, who struggles mightily with
  the civil service's Circumlocution Office (Dickens' diatribe on
  bureaucracy).

A TALE OF TWO CITIES -- (1859) To begin with, the two cities are
  London and Paris, and the time is the French Revolution. This
  is high drama, and involves lookalikes and unjust imprisonment
  and great self-sacrifice. Possibly not Dickens' finest novel,
  but certainly good for stirring the blood. This is the source
  of that famous quote: "It's a far, far better thing that I do
  than I have ever done..." Published in 31 weekly parts.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS -- (1860-1861) A story of the maturation of a
  boy into a man. Philip Pirrip (called Pip) is raised by his
  sister and her husband, a simple blacksmith. Money for his
  education is provided by a secret benefactor, who will
  supposedly leave Pip his fortune when he dies. With delusions
  of grandeur, Pip leaves all of his humble friends and heads for
  the city to be Important. You can figure out the rest of the
  plot, which still succeeds with style and characters, though
  the plot is no longer fresh. This is frequently considered to
  be Dickens' greatest novel, though some think the cheery ending
  a bit forced. Famous characters: many, including Miss Havisham,
  Abel Magwitch, Biddy, the Pocket family, Uncle Pumblechook,
  Dolge Orlick, and Mr. Jaggers. Published in 36 weekly parts.

OUR MUTUAL FRIEND -- (1864-1865) It's Mr. Boffin and Wilfers who
  have a mutual friend, and the friend is John Harmon, who has
  been left a fortune on the condition that he marry Bella
  Wilfer. To make things interesting, Mr. Boffin gets the money
  if the condition is not fulfilled. This novel definitely shows
  Dickens' increasing pessimism about life. Dickens had always
  hoped that the upper classes would use their money to improve
  the quality of life for everyone, and his disappointment is
  shown in the recurrent use of dust as a symbol of money. This
  is also a much more contrived or deliberate novel than his
  usual, pleasing some and not others. Published in 19 monthly
  parts.

THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD -- (1870) Rosa Bud is loved by two
  men: Edwin Drood's supposedly devoted Uncle Jasper, and young
  Neville Landless. Unfortunately for all concerned, Edwin Drood
  and Rosa Bud have been betrothed by their fathers, and the
  forcing of the relationship has made any real feeling between
  them impossible. The night before they are to be wed two things
  happen--Edwin and Rosa agree to call it off, and Edwin
  disappears. Neville is arrested for the murder, but is released
  when no body can be found. A mysterious character called Mr.
  Datchery shows up, and then....  Unhappily, what happens then
  is that Dickens dies and doesn't finish the story, leaving a
  fascinating literary puzzle for armchair sleuths. What's your
  theory? The two key questions you have to answer are: 1) Is
  Edwin really dead? and 2) Who is Mr. Datchery? DROOD was
  originally planned to appear in 12 parts, of which 6 appeared,
  so it was left approximately half completed.

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

                  Please, sir, I want some more.
        --from OLIVER TWIST (Chapter 2) by Charles Dickens

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

                    GOOD READING PERIODICALLY

You say you'd like a literary magazine, for people who actually
READ, but not TOO literary? You say The New Yorker is nice, but
just a bit too snooty? You say you're tired of glitz and lack of
substance? If so, be sure you don't miss a new magazine called
WIGWAG (don't laugh, wigwag means "to signal someone home"). If
you were to send them $19.95, you'd get 10 issues a year, and
you'll probably be very happy with your purchase. WIGWAG manages
to strike a very nice balance of highbrow and fun--it won't
insult your intelligence and it won't bore you either. Send your
money to Wigwag, P.O. Box 823, Farmingdale, NY 11737, or call
1-800-257-6700 with your credit card in your hand.

There's yet another new magazine in town, this one with the
delightful name GARBAGE. I just couldn't resist--what a kick to
write a check made out to GARBAGE. So what is GARBAGE? The
subtitle is The Practical Journal for the Environment, and when
you think about it, they're right. The basic environmental issue
is wastes, of all kinds; and this magazine is dedicated to
helping us be better earthlings. It's full of things that real
people can do to make things better; if not for the whole planet,
at least for the parts of it that are closest to you. Here's a
quick look at the main features of the Premier Issue:

KITCHEN DESIGN FOR RECYCLING by Jonathan Poore (Separating your
garbage is a fact of life. Here's how to design (or redesign) a
kitchen to make recycling and composting practical and easy.
First in a series on the efficient kitchen.)

THE TRUTH ABOUT SEAFOOD by Lisa Lefferts (An evenhanded
assessment of health benefits versus risks in eating fish: good
fish/bad fish, shellfish and fin fish, saltwater and fresh;
pollutants, poisons, and disease. Tips on safe preparation of
fish.)

GARBAGE AT THE GROCERY by Janet Marinelli (About half of what we
throw away everyday is food packaging. Here's a saner way to shop
at the supermarket and do something about the garbage glut.)

NATURAL PEST CONTROLS: ARE THEY REALLY SAFER? by Cheryl Best
(There has been an explosion in the number of companies selling
natural pest controls for safer and healthier cultivation. We
sort out chemistry, risks, and effectiveness.)

PRINTING GARBAGE ON RECYCLED by Patricia Poore (Print this
magazine on recycled paper? The answer wasn't at all obvious.
Here's how we decided in favor of the environment--AND the
business.)

GARBAGE is the environmental magazine for the rest of us--the
ones who don't march on Washington, D.C. twice a year and who
won't consider living in a cave. And who are mighty tired of
being told that EVERYTHING is hazardous and cancer-causing. If
GARBAGE sounds good, you can get 6 issues a year for your very
own for $21. Send a check to Old-House Journal Corp., 435 Ninth
St., Brooklyn, NY 11215 or call 1-800-274-9909 with your charge
card.

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

          There are books of which the backs and covers
                   are by far the best parts.
       --from OLIVER TWIST (Chapter 14) by Charles Dickens

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

NEW FROM CARROLL & GRAF:


                       THE BLACK CABINET
               Superb Stories Based on Real Crimes
              edited and introduced by Peter Lovesey

Where do crime writers get their ideas? Usually out of their
imaginations, triggered perhaps by a chance occurrence. But
sometimes their stories are based on real crimes, and that is the
case with the fifteen masterful stories presented here by Peter
Lovesey, whose prize-winning novel THE FALSE INSPECTOR DEW,
selected by H.R.F. Keating for his CRIME & MYSTERY: THE 100 BEST
BOOKS, was based on an actual case.

Lovesey leads off with a recounting by Abraham Lincoln of a weird
murder mystery he encountered as a young lawyer in Springfield.
Though it is a true story presented factually it is probably the
strangest story in the collection. Other stories include Sir
Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional solution to the mystery of the
Marie Celeste, and Angela Carter's marvelous reconstruction of
the hours--and the lives--that led to Lizzie Borden's mad
murders. O. Henry, Aldous Huxley, Anthony Boucher and Osbert
Sitwell complete what we may call the "period" portion of the
book, with Lillian de la Torre's delightful Dr. Sam Johnson story
"Milady Bigamy" providing an engaging break before we move on to
the modern era of murder.

Here, stories by Peter Lovesey, Roy Vickers, Jorge Luis Borges,
Anthony Berkley, and Miriam Allen De Ford provide a full measure
of passion and horror, ending with Harlan Ellison's Edgar Award-
winning story "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs", based on the murder
of Kitty Genovese before the eyes of thirty-eight witnesses in
Kew Gardens.

John Dickson Carr wraps up the book and brings it full circle
with an historical extravaganza that gives this volume its name
and is based on the murder of--Abraham Lincoln!

ISBN 0-88184-513-2  196 pages  $17.95


                      BEYOND THE OCCULT
                       by Colin Wilson

Twenty years after his first highly successful book on the
subject, THE OCCULT (1970), Colin Wilson sets out to prove that
the picture of the world presented by investigations into the
paranormal is as consistent and comprehensive as that of science.

Wilson begins with the human mind, and with vivid examples of its
unseen powers: ESP, precognition, clairvoyance, psychokinesis,
out-of-body experiences, and mystical occurrences of all kinds.
From there he moves to profoundly mysterious phenomena--
poltergeists, spirit possessions, reincarnations--that have
convinced him of the reality of disembodied spirits.

Hundreds of fascinating glimpses into the universe of the
paranormal are linked to the latest scientific thinking to
support Wilson's powerful case: that our so-called "normal"
experience may in fact be sub-normal, and that evolution may have
brought us near to the edge of a quantum leap into a highly
expanded human consciousness.

ISBN 0-88184-520-5  380 pages  $19.95


                      MURDER CAN BE FUN
                      by Fredric Brown

Originally written for the pulps, Fredric Brown's Edgar Award
winning books stand out for their ingenious plots, lucid style,
and headlong pace. Concealed beneath the surface are complex
themes and plots that nevertheless always play fair with the
reader.

MURDER CAN BE FUN is a tense, fast-paced tale of multiple murder
set in the world of radio soap opera. A script writer finds
himself prime suspect when a series of murders follow scripts he
wrote but never showed to anyone! He must think fast and act
faster to stay alive and out of jail.

ISBN 0-88184-504-3  219 pages  $3.95

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

        "If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, ...
                "the law is a ass, a idiot."
      --from OLIVER TWIST (Chapter 51) by Charles Dickens

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

                   IMPORTANT DATES IN DECEMBER

01 1886 Rex Stout, American detective-story writer
01 1905 Charles Finney, American writer
01 1935 Woody Allen, American film director and writer
01 1947 Aleister Crowley died at 74
02 1937 Brian Lumley, English writer
03 1857 Joseph Conrad, Polish-born English writer
04 1795 Thomas Carlyle, Scottish-born English writer
04 1835 Samuel Butler, English writer and satirist
04 1875 Rainer Maria Rilke, German poet
04 1903 Cornell Woolrich, American writer
05 1830 Christina Rossetti, English poet
05 1901 Walter Elias Disney, American cartoonist/film producer
05 1934 Joan Didion, American writer
05 1935 Calvin Trillin, American writer and critic
06 1883 Kahlil Gibran, Syrian-American writer
06 1886 Joyce Kilmer, American (male) poet
06 1892 Osbert Sitwell, English poet and writer
07   43 BC Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman writer, gets his head and
        right hand chopped off by Mark Antony's soldiers.
07 1873 Willa Cather, American writer
07 1888 Joyce Cary, Anglo-Irish (male) writer
08   65 BC Horace, Roman lyric poet and satirist
08 1894 James Grover Thurber, American humorist/artist/writer
08 1913 Delmore Schwartz, American writer
09 1608 John Milton, English writer
09 1848 Joel Chandler Harris, American journalist and writer
09 1905 Dalton Trumbo, American writer
10 1824 George MacDonald, Scottish writer
10 1830 Emily Dickinson, American poet
10 1903 William Plomer, South African writer
10 1907 Rumer Godden, English writer
11 1810 Alfred de Musset, French writer
11 1918 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer
12 1821 Gustave Flaubert, French novelist
12 1929 John Osborne, English playwright
13 1797 Heinrich Heine, German poet/satirist/journalist
13 1911 Kenneth Patchen, American poet and novelist
14 1919 Shirley Jackson, American writer
15 1888 Maxwell Anderson, American playwright
15 1913 Muriel Rukeyser, American writer
15 1932 Edna O'Brien, Irish writer
16 1775 Jane Austin, English novelist
16 1863 George Santayana, Spanish-born American writer
16 1899 Noel Coward, English actor/composer/playwright
16 1900 Sir V.S. Pritchett, English writer and literary critic
16 1917 Arthur C. Clarke, English writer of science fiction/fact
16 1928 Philip K. Dick, American writer
17 1807 John Greenleaf Whittier, American poet and editor
17 1830 Jules de Goncourt, French writer
17 1873 Ford Madox Ford, English novelist and editor
17 1929 William Safire, American wordsmith
17 1944 Jack Chalker, American writer
18 1870 Saki (H.H. Munro), Scottish-born English writer
18 1907 Christopher Fry, English playwright
18 1913 Alfred Bester, American author of science fiction
18 1927 Sterling Lanier, American writer
18 1939 Michael Moorcock, English writer
19 1861 Italo Svevo, Italian novelist
19 1906 H. Allen Smith, American humorist
19 1910 Jean Genet, French playwright and novelist
20 1875 T.F. Powys, English writer
20 1902 Max Lerner, American journalist
20 1911 Hortense Calisher, American writer
21 1804 Benjamin Disraeli, English statesman and novelist
21 1905 Anthony Powell, English novelist
21 1917 Heinrich B”ll, German writer
21 1940 F. Scott Fitzgerald dies of heart attack and is buried in
        Rockville, MD
22 1639 Jean-Baptiste Racine, French playwright
22 1869 Edwin Arlington Robinson, American poet
22 1905 Kenneth Rexroth, American poet/critic/translator
23 1804 Charles-Augustin de Sainte-Beuve, French writer/critic
23 1896 Giuseppe di Lampedusa, Sicilian writer
23 1926 Robert Bly, American poet/editor/translator
24 1754 George Crabbe, English poet
24 1822 Matthew Arnold, English poet and critic
24 1881 Juan RamĒn Jim‚nez, Spanish poet
24 1910 Fritz Leiber, American writer
25 1721 William Collins, English poet
25 1892 Dame Rebecca West, English novelist/critic/journalist
25 1924 Rod Serling, American playwright
25 1931 Carlos Castaneda, American writer and mystic
26 1716 Thomas Gray, English poet and letter-writer
26 1891 Henry Miller, American writer
26 1921 Steve Allen, American Renaissance man
26 1927 Alan King, American writer/humorist/actor
27 1896 Louis Bromfield, American writer
27 1930 Wilfrid Sheed, English-born American writer
28 1872 Pio Baroja, Spanish writer
29 1915 Robert Ruark, American writer
30 1865 Rudyard Kipling, English writer
30 1869 Stephen Leacock, Canadian humorist and economist

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

            "God bless us every one!" said Tiny Tim.
          --from "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

FICTION INTO FILM:

                        A CHRISTMAS CAROL
                   written by Charles Dickens
                         filmed by many

What would Christmas be without A CHRISTMAS CAROL? Since the
moment Dickens told the world that Old Marley was dead (as a
door-nail), we've been charmed and delighted (or nauseated) by
the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and the
ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.

Here are some of the versions of A CHRISTMAS CAROL available for
your holiday viewing, all available on videotape. They are
arranged by the actor playing Scrooge.

Alistair Sims (A CHRISTMAS CAROL, 1951, B&W, 86 min.)
  A British production directed by Desmond Hurst and generally
  considered to be the finest feature film version. The cast also
  includes: Mervyn Johns, Kathleen Harrison, Jack Warner, Michael
  Hordern, George Cole, Miles Malleson, Hermione Baddeley, and
  Patrick Macnee (The Avengers) as the young Marley.

Albert Finney (SCROOGE, 1970, 113 min.)
  Directed by Ronald Neame, this is a musical version that
  garners widely divided opinions. I guess it depends on how you
  like the music: I like it, but it seems to drive most reviewers
  to distraction. Also in the cast: Michael Medwin, Alec
  Guinness, Kay Walsh, David Collings, Laurence Naismith, Edith
  Evans, and Kenneth More.

Reginald Owen (A CHRISTMAS CAROL, 1938, B&W, 69 min.)
  Directed by Edwin L. Marin, this is generally considered much
  inferior to the Alistair Sims version. Scrooge was supposed to
  have been played by Lionel Barrymore, who was replaced due to
  illness at the last minute. This is a fairly mindless rendition
  of the Dickens story, more suitable for children than adults.
  Cast includes: Gene Lockhart, Kathleen Lockhart, Terry Kilburn,
  Leo G. Carroll, and Lynne Carver.

Mr. Magoo -- I couldn't resist. A delightful version for kids
  (big and small), with lots of raucous music. Jim Backus died
  this year, which makes it especially appropriate.

George C. Scott (A CHRISTMAS CAROL, 1984)
  This was made for television but is, in my opinion, the finest
  rendition of them all. This is a dark, moody CAROL that may not
  fit the bill for small children, but added layers of realism
  make it perfect for adults whose imagination has withered a bit
  with time. And Mr. Scott is, of course, brilliant. I've HEARD
  that this is on videotape but have been unable to confirm it.
  Let's hope a rerun shows up on TV.

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

                       Barkis is willin'.
           --from DAVID COPPERFIELD by Charles Dickens

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

                        RELIGIOUS READING


DICTIONARY OF RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY
by Geddes MacGregor
A reference of extraordinary scope. Over 3,000 entries on the
meanings of religious and philosophical ideas; identifies
contributions of theologians and writers. An indispensable
desktop reference.
(Paragon House; 624 pages; ISBN 1-55778-019-6 $35)

INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE: Voices from a New Frontier
edited by M. Darrol Bryant & Frank K. Flinn
A rich mine of insights about interfaith experience. Spiritual
leaders, scholars and educators report on the questions that
emerge from an attempt to learn from religious traditions other
than one's own.
(Paragon House; 250 page; ISBN 0-89226-067-X $24.95)

THE TAO TE CHING: A New Translation with Commentary
by Ellen M. Chen
This new translation with running commentary "has considerably
more depth than other recent efforts...depict(s) this work as a
unified religious document...re-integrating the social with the
natural..."--Library Journal
(Paragon House; 274 pages; ISBN 1-55778-238-5 $10.95)

THE BUDDHA: His Life Retold
by R.A. Mitchell; Preface by Roshi Philip Kapleau
A brilliant, lyrical retelling of the life of Prince Siddhartha
Gautama. Mitchell's poetic style brings to life the seed of
Buddhism. "Engaging, even magical."--Roger J. Corless
(Paragon House; 368 pages; ISBN 1-55778-151-6 $19.95)

TAKING A CHANCE ON GOD: Liberating Theology for Gays, Lesbians
and Their Lovers, Families and Friends
by John J. McNeill
Develops a Christian theology for lesbians and gays.
(Beacon Press; September paper; $9.95)

THE CASE FOR CHRISTIANITY
by C.S. Lewis
A trade paperback edition of the classic.
(Collier Books; $3.95)

CLASSICS FOR CHRISTMASTIME:
Five Novels About the Spirit of the Holiday
A beautifully illustrated hardcover edition of Christmas
classics, featuring: THE STORY OF THE OTHER WISE MAN by Henry van
Dyke; BROTHERLY HOUSE by Grace S. Richmond; THE BIRDS' CHRISTMAS
CAROL and THE ROMANCE OF A CHRISTMAS CARD by Kate Douglas Wiggin;
and A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens.
(Ballantine Epiphany Books; $14.95)

THE BUSINESSWOMAN'S BIBLE and
THE BUSINESMAN'S BIBLE
Success starts with the Bible! Nelson's Business Bibles in the
New King James Version give you the edge with Priority Profiles
(tm), 52 spiritual directives for success, by Dr. Charles
Stanley--author, senior pastor of Atlanta's First Baptist Church,
and host of the radio/TV ministry "In Touch". Elegant design and
Slimline (tm) format make this volume a welcome gift, desk
reference, and travel Bible. SPECIAL FEATURES: How to Introduce
Your Friends to Christ by Dr. Stanley; Over 60,000 Center-Column
References; Concordance; Center-Column Notes; Full-Color Study
Maps. Available in Full-Color Hardcover or Dusty Rose and Gray
bonded leather. Gift boxed with ribbon marker.
(Thomas Nelson; from $24.95 to $34.95)

ENCOUNTER: ESSAYS ON TORAH AND MODERN LIFE
edited by H. Chaim Schimmel & Aryeh Carmell
Debates a wide range of issues in the context of the Torah.
(Philipp Feldheim; $19.95)

THE BIBLE VISUAL RESOURCE BOOK, FOR DO-IT-YOURSELF SCHOLARS
Contains such reproducible visual teaching aids as pictures,
maps, charts.
(Gospel Light; $19.95)

FUN OLD TESTAMENT BIBLE STUDIES
by Mike Gillespie
Contains 32 creative studies on topics important to young people.
(Group Publishing; $12.95)

CHESTERTON ON DICKENS and
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CHESTERTON
by G.K. Chesterton
Two additional volumes in the Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton
series. This will make 13 volumes so far. The autobiography, with
37 rare photos, is the best book about Chesterton, and his
writings on Dickens are masterpieces of literary criticism.
(Ignatius Press; $17.95 and $14.95 respectively)

THE YOGA-SUTRA OF PATANJALI
by George Feuerstein
A new translation and commentary on the landmark scripture on
classical yoga.
(Inner Traditions; $12.95)

SETTINGS OF SILVER: An Introduction to Judaism
by Stephen M. Wylen
Provides a comprehensive and easy to understand overview of
Judaism as the belief system and way of life in the Jewish
people.
(Paulist Press; $10.95)

HEALING AND RESTORING: Health and Medicine in the World's
Religious Traditions
by Lawrence E. Sullivan
Looks at health, healing, sickness and death in Islam, Buddhism,
Taoism, Hinduism and native religions of the Americas, Africa and
Asia.
(Macmillan; $35)

A CHRISTMAS COLLECTION
by Patricia St. John, illustrated by Kay Hodges
Features tales and illustrations from North Africa, England and
Switzerland.
(Moody Press; $7.95)

RAISING KIDS ON PURPOSE FOR THE FUN OF IT
by Gwen Weising
Creative, practical suggestions for teaching Christian values
through shared family times.
(Revell; ISBN 0-8007-5322-4 $7.95)

STRESSED OUT BUT HANGIN' TOUGH
by Andrea Stephens
A handbook to help teens cope with stress.
(Revell; ISBN 0-8007-5326-7 $6.95)

CHRISTMAS MEMORIES
by Corrie ten Boom
A nostalgic celebration of the true meaning of Christmas.
Illustrated.
(Revell; ISBN 0-8007-1626-4 $8.95)

THE C.S. LEWIS HOAX
by Kathryn Lindskoog
Millions of C.S. Lewis fans heap well-deserved honor and praise
upon their favorite author, and rightly so. But in the last
twenty-five years a hoax has been perpetrated that threatens the
integrity of the Lewis legacy--"a deception that has gone on long
enough", according to author Kathryn Lindskoog. Seeking to
protect the wonderful heritage of his writings, THE C.S. LEWIS
HOAX is at once a fascinating detective story and an invaluable
contribution to C.S. Lewis studies. Read it and judge for
yourself whether or not one of the biggest literary deceptions in
years is finally laid to rest.
(Multnomah)

MAY YOUR DAYS BE MERRY AND BRIGHT: Christmas Stories by Women
edited and introduced by Susan Koppelman
Includes works by Willa Cather, Pearl S. Buck, Grace Paley and
Ntozake Shange.
(New American Library; $8.95)

1990 CATHOLIC ALMANAC
edited by Felician A. Foy & Rose M. Avato
A one-volume encyclopedia of facts and information on things
Catholic.
(Our Sunday Visitor; $15.95)

THE REVISED ENGLISH BIBLE
The first major revision of a Bible already recognized as one of
the finest literary and scholarly translation in modern English.
(Oxford Univ. Press; $19.95; with Apocrypha $21.95; leather
versions $44.95 and $49.95 respectively)

TEST YOUR CHRISTIAN LITERACY: What Every Christian Needs to Know
by Judith A. Lunsford
Contains the major facts about the Bible, Christian doctrine and
church history.
(Wolgemuth & Hyatt; $10.95)

A GUIDED TOUR OF THE BIBLE: Six Months of Daily Readings
by Philip Yancey
Will help those who struggle to learn how to read and study the
Bible habitually.
(Zondervan; $15.95)

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

And I DO come home at Christmas. We all do, or we all should. We
all come home, or ought to come home, for a short holiday--the
longer, the better--from the great boarding-school, where we are
forever working at our arithmetical slates, to take, and give a
rest.
       --from "A Christmas Tree" by Charles Dickens

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

                       DECEMBER RELEASES

(The 10-digit number is the ISBN, useful for ordering.)

Eating People is Wrong by Malcolm Bradbury (fiction)
  Academy Chicago Dec89 PB $5.95 0-89733-189-3
  (Satirizes the members of an English department at a provincial
  university.)
Object-Oriented Programming in Turbo Pascal 5.5 by Ben Ezzell
  Addison-Wesley Dec89 TP $22.95 0-201-52375-2  500 pages
Time Gate by Robert Silverberg
  Baen Dec89 PB $3.95
  (This novel mixes "top award-winning science fiction authors
  and the cutting edge of computer technology.")
The Veiled One by Ruth Rendell
  Ballantine Dec89 PB $4.95
  (The three-time Edgar Award-winner brings back Inspector
  Wexford to solve the murder of a perfectly ordinary housewife.)
Rama II by Arthur C. Clarke & Gentry Lee
  Bantam Dec89 HC $18.95 0-553-05714-6
  (In this sequel to the Nebula and Hugo Award-winning Rendezvous
  with Rama, the crew boards a second Raman spacecraft that
  enters our solar system.)
The Blooding by Joseph Wambaugh
  Bantam Dec89 PB $5.95
  (This bestseller recounts the murder of two English girls that
  was solved by genetic-fingerprinting.)
Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson
  Bantam/Spectra Dec89 PB $4.95
  (Gibson returns to the high-tech future of "cyberspace" and
  world-dominating multinational corporations.)
Murder Can Be Fun by Fredric Brown
  Carroll & Graf Dec89 PB $3.95 0-88184-504-3
The Demoniacs by John Dickson Carr
  Carroll & Graf Dec89 PB $3.95 0-88184-543-4
Beyond the Occult by Colin Wilson
  Carroll & Graf Dec89 HC $19.95 0-88184-520-5
  (The author of The Occult claims that the world of the
  paranormal is as consistent and comprehensive as that of
  science.)
Love Is All Around: The Making of the Mary Tyler Moore Show by
  Robert S. Alley & Irby B. Brown
  Delacorte Dec89 TP $9.95 0-385-29773-4 (or Nov89)
  (This paperback original chronicles the production of the
  popular TV program.)
Gone With the Wind: The Screenplay by Sidney Howard, edited by
  Herb Bridges and Terryl C. Boodman
  Delacorte Dec89 TP $12.95 0-385-29833-1
  (Based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell, contains the original
  script plus a behind-the-scenes look at how it evolved.)
Thornyhold by Mary Stewart
  Fawcett Crest Dec89 PB $4.95
  (This is the bestselling author's first romantic suspense novel
  in 12 years.)
The Case of the Constant Suicides by John Dickson Carr
  Harper & Row Dec89 PB $4.50 0-06-081016-5
The Four False Weapons by John Dickson Carr
  Harper & Row Dec89 PB $4.50 0-06-081017-3
Comic Books as History: The Narrative Art of Jack Jackson, Art
  Spiegelman, and Harvey Pekar by Joseph Witek
  Mississippi Dec89 TP $14.95 0-87805-406-5
  (Not just for kids any more, comic books of the '80s are used
  by serious artists to tell realistic stories for adults.)
Everyone's Favorite Duck by Gahan Wilson
  Mysterious Dec89 PB $4.95
  (Introduces Enoch Bone and his sidekick John Weston in this
  pastiche by the noted humorist.)
Nepal: A Photographic Introduction by Sandra Gibson
  Summer Wild Productions Dec89 HC $39.95 0-9692807-1-8
Some Freaks by David Mamet (essays)
  Viking Dec89 HC $16.95 0-670-82933-1
A Little Class on Murder by Carolyn G. Hart
  Bantam Dec89 PB

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

            Heap on more wood!--the wind is chill;
            But let it whistle as it will,
            We'll keep our Christmas merry still.
              --from "Marmion" by Sir Walter Scott

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

                         NUMBER ONE FAN
                         by Annie Wilkes

Trash Books vs. Literature -- I don't know any reader who doesn't
make some kind of distinction between Good Books and Garbage. Of
course, the line we draw is personalized and not likely to be in
the same place as someone else's. But we have a line nonetheless.

What I want to talk about is not WHERE anybody draws the line,
but HOW. Take two books that I read as a child:  DAVID
COPPERFIELD by Charles Dickens and DR. NO by Ian Fleming. It was
easy to understand why adults were more comfortable with my
reading Dickens than Fleming. Dickens was short on the sex and
violence; Fleming wasn't. But is that a valid distinction for a
mature reader to make? I don't think so.

I chose DAVID COPPERFIELD and DR. NO mainly because I thought
most of us could agree on these--the first is clearly on the Good
side of the line, the second, if not on the Trash side, is
certainly very close. So what's the difference?

Most people would probably say these books differ primarily in
the quality of the writing, which is an easy position to agree
with. But does that mean that Good Writing = A Good Book? It's
tough to put my finger on the reason, but instinctively I want to
say No. For one thing, I'm not at all sure that Good Writing is a
scientifically-defined entity. One reader's Good Writing is
another's pretentious babbling.

Another point:  A lot of people like to throw around the concept
of Worth. This book is worthwhile; this other one is not. This
doesn't get us any further because Worth is no more definable
than Good. Ambiguous terminology follows us everywhere.

I know a person who collects hardcover first editions
of a certain author's novels. I know another person who wouldn't
be caught dead reading this author's books. Which of them is
Right? Is there any meaning to the concept of Right in such a
situation? Would it help if I were to tell you the author's name,
so that we could all have an opinion and vote on the subject? In
other words, if the majority votes that the author is Worthwhile,
does that make it so?

The Big Fizzle:  I have no answers to these questions. Somehow I
feel that too much of the issues are tied up with personal
environment and experience. My literary choices won't be EXACTLY
the same as yours because we are fundamentally different people.
We disagree on an author because he speaks to some deep-seated
part of one of us, but not the other. So which of us is Right?

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

                        RECENT PAPERBACKS

Here are some recent paperback releases, presented just in case
you missed them. HINT: They also make great stocking-stuffers.

   Anything For Billy by Larry McMurtry
     Pocket $5.50 ISBN 0-671-67091-3
   The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams
     Daw $5.95 ISBN 0-88677-384-9
   Eternity by Greg Bear (sequel to Eon)
     Popular $3.95 ISBN 0-445-20547-4
   Koko by Peter Straub
     NAL $5.95 ISBN 0-451-16214-5
   Midnight by Dean R. Koontz
     Berkley $4.95 ISBN 0-425-11870-3
   Summit by D.M. Thomas
     Pocket $4.95 ISBN 0-671-67661-X
   McBain's Ladies by Ed McBain
     Mysterious $4.95 ISBN 0-445-40334-9
   Skiing: The Art of Catching Cold And
     Going Broke While Rapidly Heading
     Nowhere At Great Personal Risk
     by Henry Beard and Roy McKie
     Workman $5.95 ISBN 0-89480-650-5

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

       At Christmas I no more desire a rose
       Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled mirth;
       But like of each thing that in season grows.
         --from LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST by William Shakespeare

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

                     AN INCOMPLETE EDUCATION
                  by Judy Jones & William Wilson
         (Ballantine, Oct89 HC $24.95 ISBN 0-345-29570-6)

It's like this:  You're reading the Sunday book section and
there, in a review of a book that isn't even about physics but
about how to write a screenplay, you're confronted by that word
again: QUARK. You have been confronted by it at least twenty-five
times, beginning in at least 1978, but you have not managed to
retain the definition (something about building blocks), and the
resonances (something about threesomes, something about birdshit)
are even more of a problem. You're feeling stymied. You worry
that you may not use spare time to maximum advantage, that the
world is passing you by, that maybe it WOULD make sense to
subscribe to a third newsweekly. Your coffee's getting cold. The
phone rings. You can't bring yourself to answer it.

Or it's like this:  You DO know what a quark is. You can answer
the phone. It is an attractive person you have recently met. How
are you? How are you? The person is calling to wonder if you feel
like seeing a movie both of you missed the first time around.
It's THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY, with Mel Gibson and that
very tall actress. Also, that very short actress. "Plus," the
person says, "it's set in Indonesia, which, next to India, is
probably the most fascinating of all Third World nations. It's
like the political scientists say, 'The labyrinth that is India,
the mosaic that is Indonesia.' Right?" Silence at your end of the
phone. Clearly this person is into overkill, but that doesn't
mean you don't have to say something back. India you could field.
But Indonesia? Fortunately, you have cable--and a Stouffer's
lasagna in the freezer.

Or it's like THIS:  You know what a quark is. Also something
about Indonesia. The two of you enjoy the movie. The new person
agrees to go with you to a dinner party one of your best friends
is giving at her country place. You arrive, pulling into a
driveway full of BMWs. You go inside. Introductions are made.
Along about the second margarita, the talk turns to World War II.
Specifically, the causes of World War II. More specifically,
Hitler. Already this is not easy. But it is interesting. "Well,"
says another guest, flicking an imaginary piece of lint from the
sleeve of a double-breasted navy blazer, "you really can't
disregard the impact Nietzsche had, not only on Hitler, but on a
prostrate Germany. You know: The will to power. The šbermensch.
The transvaluation of values. Don't you agree, old bean?"
Fortunately, you have cable--and a Stouffer's lasagna in the
freezer.

So what's your problem? Weren't you supposed to have learned all
this stuff back in college? Sure you were, but then, as now, you
had your good days and your bad days. Ditto your teachers. Maybe
you were in the infirmary with the flu the week your Philosophy
101 class was slogging through ZARATHUSTRA. Maybe your poli-sci
prof was served with divorce papers right about the time the
class hit the nonaligned nations. Maybe you failed to see the
relevance of subatomic particles given your desperate need to get
a date for Homecoming. Maybe you actually HAD all the answers--
for a few glorious hours before the No-Doz (or whatever it was)
wore off. No matter. The upshot is that you've got some serious
educational gaps. And that, old bean, is what this book is all
about.
       --from the Introduction

I have never seen SO MUCH information presented SO ENTERTAININGLY
and SO ECONOMICALLY before. This is one of those books for when
you're stranded on a Desert Island. Even if you know the
information being presented, you'll enjoy the text, and I
guarantee that there's LOADS here that you don't know.

The 12 chapters are: American Studies, Art History, Economics,
Film, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Political Science,
Psychology, Religion, Science, World History. And there's a
Lexicon in the back that's priceless; it's got foreign words and
phrases (and how to pronounce them), abbreviations, semantic
distinctions (oral vs. verbal, pathos vs. bathos, authentic vs.
genuine, etc.).

This is one of the most useful, and used, volumes on my shelves.

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

      The holiest of all holidays are those
      Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
      The secret anniversaries of the heart.
        --from "Holidays" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

                         GREAT ENDINGS

Since we're finishing up not only the year but the decade as
well, I thought it would be nice to remember how some great
storytellers have finished up their stories. Do these bring back
any good memories?

There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped
the chronicler's mind.
    --Douglas Adams (SO LONG, AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH)

And this story, having no beginning, will have no end.
    --Clive Barker (WEAVEWORLD)

  When spring arrived, the roses were really beautiful in Joe
Marks' garden. Passing strangers paused to admire their rich
redness and asked Joe what he'd done.
  The old man smiled. "The secret," he said, "lies in the
compost."
    --Robert Bloch (THERE IS A SERPENT IN EDEN)

  "Doc," he was saying, "sit down and hang on till I get there
before you fall down flat on your face."
  But the nearest stool was miles away through the brillig, and
slithy toves were gimbling at me from the wabe. Smiley's warning
had been at least half a second too late.
   --Fredric Brown (NIGHT OF THE JABBERWOCK)

It will always be too late. Fortunately.
   --Albert Camus (THE FALL)

"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done;
it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever
known."
    --Charles Dickens (A TALE OF TWO CITIES)

It is cold in the scriptorium, my thumb aches. I leave this
manuscript, I do not know for whom; I no longer know what it is
about: stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus.
   --Umberto Eco (THE NAME OF THE ROSE)

There in the place where all lost things returned, the young man
sat on the cold ground, rocking the body of his friend. And he
was in no hurry to leave. There was time.
   --Harlan Ellison ("Paladin of the Lost Hour")

They endured.
   --William Faulkner (THE SOUND AND THE FURY)

And so my thoughts turned away from the still shape that lay on
the floor of the stately old room in Lincoln's Inn, away to the
sunny vista of the future, where I should walk hand in hand with
Ruth until my time, too, should come; until I, too, like the grim
lawyer, should hear the solemn evening bell bidding me put out
into the darkness of the silent sea.
   --R. Austin Freeman (THE EYE OF OSIRIS)

There's nothing to say.
All I can do is keep walking.
    --Charles L. Grant (THE ORCHARD)

But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that
of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give
and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are
wisest. They are the magi.
    --O. Henry ("The Gift of the Magi")

They asked for my story. I have told it. Enough.
    --Susan Hill (THE WOMAN IN BLACK)

In the world according to her father, Jenny Garp knew, we must
have energy. Her famous grandmother, Jenny Fields, once thought
of us as Externals, Vital Organs, Absentees, and Goners. But in
the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases.
   --John Irving (THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP)

P.S. please if you get a chanse put some flowrs on Algernons
grave in the bak yard.
    --Daniel Keyes (FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON)

But now the hour is late, and all of that is another tale, for
another day.
    --Stephen King (THE EYES OF THE DRAGON)

That's the end. I have to turn off the light now. Good night.
    --Stephen King (RAGE)

Now my tale is told.
    --Stephen King (MISERY)

For like his accursed picture a year before, Joseph Curwen now
lay scattered on the floor as a thin coating of fine bluish-grey
dust.
    --H.P. Lovecraft (THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD)

A battle had been won, but the war went on.
    --Robert R. McCammon (THE WOLF'S HOUR)

"I'll think of it all tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then.
Tomorrow, I'll think of some way to get him back. After all,
tomorrow is another day."
   --Margaret Mitchell (GONE WITH THE WIND)

She emptied her mind of all thought of herself, of her children,
of all anger, of all rebellion, of all questions. Then with a
profound and deeply willed desire to believe, to be heard, as she
had done every day since the murder of Carlo Rizzi, she said the
necessary prayers for the soul of Michael Corleone.
   --Mario Puzo (THE GODFATHER)

"Now vee may perhaps to begin. Yes?"
   --Philip Roth (PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT)

Walker pulled the trigger.
And let God sort it out.
    --John Skipp & Craig Spector (THE SCREAM)

Suddenly there was blinding light and noise and pain, then
nothing.
    --Olaf Stapledon (ODD JOHN)

Come, children, let us shut up the box and the puppets, for our
play is played out.
    --William M. Thackeray (VANITY FAIR)

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

It was the almost unconscious act of fictionalizing one's own
life, and Thad didn't know a single writer of novels or short
stories who didn't do it.
           --Stephen King (THE DARK HALF)

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

                    NEW FROM SIMON & SCHUSTER
                       (January Releases)


THE LIFE AND DEATH OF A DRUID PRINCE
The Story of Lindow Man, an Archaeological Sensation
by Anne Ross & Don Robins

The most sensational archaeological discovery of the decade
unlocks the mysteries of the Druid past.

When a well-preserved human torso was found by a peat cutter in
the Lindow Moss of the English Midlands on August 1, 1984, it set
off an archaeological investigation as exciting as any detective
story. The tools of 20th-century science worked in concert with
archaeological expertise and led to a series of astonishing
discoveries. Lindow Man, as he came to be known, was 2,000 years
old and close examination of the marks on his body and even the
contents of his stomach revealed his identity, how he lived, and
how he died. Anne Ross, an archaeologist and an expert on the
Celts, and Don Robins, a chemist specializing in archaeological
investigations, lead the reader through their investigations and
show us that this is the body of a Druid nobleman and priest who
was ritually murdered after eating a special meal. As the facts
emerge, Celtic Britain under the Roman occupation comes sharply
into focus: Romans determined to destroy the Druid religion....
the Celts, defeated in battle, look to their gods for help.
Caught up in this human tragedy, we come to know the man who gave
his life to save his people and his religion and who, mute for
nearly 20 centuries, now speaks to us from his watery grave. THE
LIFE AND DEATH OF A DRUID PRINCE is as fascinating a human drama
as it is spectacular scientific detection.

(Summit Books) ISBN 0-671-69536-3  $19.95



THE SEAT OF THE SOUL
by Gary Zukav

From the American Book Award-winning author of THE DANCING WU LI
MASTERS comes a basic and rational explanation of New Age
thought, consciousness, and spirituality.

With the same extraordinary skill that he used to demystify
scientific abstraction and the new physics in THE DANCING WU LI
MASTERS, Zukav here gives a brilliantly lucid and very simple
explanation of what this change in consciousness we call New Age
is all about.

Grounded in the essential concerns of existence, THE SEAT OF THE
SOUL explains how we create our experience with the power of our
own thoughts, traces the path of the soul's evolution, and
describes our ability to transform our lives by developing our
own inherent authentic power. In addition, Zukav examines the
distinction between five-sensory and multi-sensory individuals,
conventional marriages and spiritual partnerships, and
traditional and spiritual psychology. Here is a compelling
odyssey for thousands of readers from one of the New Age
movement's liveliest intellectual explorers.

(Fireside) ISBN 0-671-69507-X  $8.95



DESERT SOLITAIRE: A Season in the Wilderness
by Edward Abbey

The best work of a great American writer, this journal of three
seasons in the Southwestern desert is "a forceful encounter with
a man of character and courage" (The New Yorker).

First published in 1968, DESERT SOLITAIRE is one of the most
celebrated books of our time. Now, a generation of readers can
experience the joy and challenge of Abbey's fierce, uniquely
American view of the desert day by day--untamed, glorious, and
endangered. As a park ranger in the vast canyon region of Utah,
Abbey accommodates rattlesnakes, sleeps under starry skies,
confronts bureaucrats, finds artifacts and a dead body, and
delivers an angry, moving hymn to the last American wilderness--
and to the society that would let it be destroyed.

(Touchstone) ISBN 0-671-69588-6  $9.95

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

When a man wantonly and wastefully destroys one of the works of
man we call him a vandal. When he wantonly and wastefully
destroys one of the works of God we call him a sportsman.
                  --Anonymous

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

NEW FROM UNDERWOOD-MILLER:

                 CLIVE BARKER'S SHADOWS IN EDEN
                    edited by Stephen Jones

"Somewhere between what the biographer writes, the conscience
confesses and the critic accuses you of, can be insights the
reader may find of interest and amusement. This book promises to
contain all of the above, plus some stuff even my analyst doesn't
know...."    --Clive Barker

CLIVE BARKER'S SHADOWS IN EDEN is a unique insight into the
career of literature's young Turk of imaginative fiction. Through
interviews, essays, reviews and discussions, the full spectrum of
Barker's immense talent is revealed. From the grand guignol stage
plays of the 1970s, through his notorious ground-breaking
collections, the BOOKS OF BLOOD, and acclaimed novels THE
DAMNATION GAME, WEAVEWORLD and CABAL, to his burgeoning movie
career and the box-office hits HELLRAISER I & II, Barker's
diverse output is chronicled here for the first time.

Produced in close collaboration with the writer himself, CLIVE
BARKER'S SHADOWS IN EDEN contains insightful commentaries by
Ramsey Campbell, J.G. Ballard, Dennis Etchison, Lisa Tuttle,
Stephen King, Douglas E. Winter, Stanley Wiater, and others, as
well as previously uncollected introductions and articles by
Barker and an extensive bibliography.

CLIVE BARKER'S SHADOWS IN EDEN is a book that no horror fan or
Clive Barker aficionado will want to be without.

Profusely illustrated with rare photographs, stills, jacket art
and illustrations -- many from Clive's own private collection --
and boasting a new afterword by the author himself, CLIVE
BARKER'S SHADOWS IN EDEN is a fascinating exploration of the dark
and hidden side of paradise.

** Clive Barker is the winner of The British Fantasy Award and
The World Fantasy Award.

** The first non-fiction book about the author, with a complete
bibliography, and an Afterword by Clive Barker.

** Art by Barker on almost every page, sketches and posters from
his plays for the London stage, scenes and illustrations from his
movies and book covers, including stills from his upcoming
NIGHTBREED.

First edition: Dustjacket by Stephen Player. Clothbound,
oversize: 7-1/2" x 10". 288 p. Illustrations by Clive Barker.
ISBN 0-88733-073-8  $29.95

500 numbered copies in deluxe binding and slipcase, signed by
Clive Barker (if there are any left).
ISBN 0-88733-074-6  $75

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

God, in his bounty and generosity, always creates more horses'
asses than there are horses to attach them to.
          --from METZGER'S DOG by Thomas Perry

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

         CHRISTMAS MYSTERIES AND OTHER YULETIDE READING

I'm not sure why mystery writers seem attracted to Christmas; I'm
hoping it's the contrast. But whatever the reason, there are a
huge number of mysteries with some kind of Christmas setting or
theme, many of which are listed below. There are also some other
non-mystery seasonal titles suggested that you might care to seek
out. Hope you find something of interest.

Abbot, Anthony  About the Murder of a Startled Lady (1935)
                About the Murder of Geraldine Foster (1930)
Alexander, David  Shoot a Sitting Duck (1955)
Allen, Michael  Spence and the Holiday Murders (1977)
  (Rich and handsome bachelor Roger Parnell is found murdered
  three days before Christmas. Very soon police find that Roger
  had a mysterious past and a long list of enemies.)
Altman, Thomas  Black Christmas (1983)
Amory, Cleveland  The Cat Who Came for Christmas (1987)
  (Must reading for cat fanciers.)
Asimov, Isaac, ed.  The Twelve Crimes of Christmas (1981)
  (Yuletide mayhem: "Christmas Party" by Rex Stout, "Do Your
  Christmas Shoplifting Early" by Robert Somerlott, "The Necklace
  of Pearls" by Dorothy L. Sayers, "Father Crumlish Celebrates
  Christmas" by Alice Scanlan Reach, "The Christmas Masque" by
  S.S. Rafferty, "The Dauphin's Doll" by Ellery Queen, "By the
  Chimney With Care" by Nick O'Donohoe, "The Problem of the
  Christmas Steeple" by Edward D. Hoch, "Death on Christmas Eve"
  by Stanley Ellin, "The Adventure of the Unique Dickensians" by
  August Derleth, "Blind Man's Hood" by John Dickson Carr, "The
  Thirteenth Day of Christmas" by Isaac Asimov.)
Asimov, Isaac, ed.  The Twelve Frights of Christmas (1986)
  (You had to expect this. Contains: "The Chimney" by Ramsey
  Campbell, "Markheim" by Robert Louis Stevenson, "The Night
  Before Christmas" by Robert Bloch, "The Festival" by H.P.
  Lovecraft, "The Old Nurse's Story" by Mrs. Gaskell, "Glamr" by
  S. Baring-Gould, "Pollock and the Porroh Man" by H.G. Wells,
  "The Weird Woman" by Anonymous, "The Hellhound Project" by Ron
  Goulart, "Wolverden Tower" by Grant Allen, "Planet of Fakers"
  by J.T. McIntosh, "Life Sentence" by James McConnell, plus a
  Christmas present: "The Star" by Arthur C. Clarke.)
Babson, Marian  The Twelve Deaths of Christmas (1980)
  (The holidays become a season of terror when a serial killer
  comes out of a cozy West End rooming house to strike at random,
  leaving no motive and no clues.)
Baker, North  Dead to the World (1944)
Ballinger, W.A.  A Corpse for Christmas (1962)
Black, Gavin  A Dragon for Christmas (1963)
  (Paul Harris is warned that his life is in danger even before
  he sets foot on Chinese soil.)
Blackstock, Charity  The Foggy, Foggy Dew (1964)
Blake, Nicholas  Thou Shell of Death (1936)
  (Fergus O'Brien receives letters threatening his murder on
  Boxing Bay, so he invites all his enemies to his country house
  for the holidays, so he can keep an eye on them.)
                 The Corpse in the Snowman (1941)
  (Another house party, and this time the corpse is found in a
  snowman.)
                 The Smiler With a Knife (1939)
  (Nigel Strangeways and his wife Georgia investigate fascists in
  Devonshire, shortly before WWII.)
Brown, Carter  A Corpse for Christmas (1965)
Bruce, Leo  Such is Death (AKA Crack of Doom) (1963)
  (Carolus Deene must find the perpetrator of the Perfect Crime
  in a seaside resort town during the off-season.)
Burley, W.J.  Death in Willow Pattern (1970)
  (Dr. Henry Pym and his secretary Susan are invited to a country
  manor house supposedly to look at some old manuscripts, but
  really because the baronet wants him to investigate the
  threatening letters he has been receiving.)
Carter, Nick  The Christmas Kill (1983)
Chalmers, Irena  The Great American Christmas Almanac (1988)
  (A complete compendium of facts, fancies, and traditions; and
  great fun to wade through.)
Chastain, Thomas  911 (1976)
Chaze, Elliot  Goodbye Goliath (1983)
Christie, Agatha  Murder for Christmas (AKA A Holiday for Murder,
                  AKA Hercule Poirot's Christmas) (1939)
  (Elderly Mr. Simeon Lee gathers his abrasive family around him
  at Christmas, to amuse him as they fight amongst themselves.
  He's found murdered in a room locked from the inside with only
  two clues: a tiny piece of rubber and a tiny piece of wood.)
Clad, Noel  The Savage (1958)
Clark, Mary Higgins  Stillwatch (1984)
Constantine, K.C.  Upon Some Midnights Clear (1985)
Cornish, Constance  Dead of Winter (1959)
Craig, Alisa  Murder Goes Mumming (1981)
Creasey, John  Death of a Postman (AKA Parcels for Inspector
               West) (1957)
Dalton, Moray  The Night of Fear (1931)
Dane, Joel  The Christmas Tree Murders (1938)
Darby, J.N.  Murder in the House With the Blue Eyes (1939)
Davis, Frederick C.  Drag the Dark (1953)
Davis, Mildred  Tell Them What's Her Name Called (1974)
  (Three supposedly accidental deaths were each preceded the same
  phone message. One girl suspects the truth, but nobody will
  believe her.)
                Three Minutes to Midnight (1971)
Dean, Spencer  Credit for a Murder (1961)
DeAndrea, William L.  Killed on the Ice (1984)
  (Matt Cobb's TV network is making a special starring a young
  ice skating star when a psychiatrist is found dead "on the
  ice".)
Dick, Alexandra  An Old-Fashioned Christmas (1944)
Dickson, Carter  The White Priory Murders (1934)
"Diplomat"  The Corpse on the White House Lawn (1932)
Douglas, Laura W.  Never Kill Santa Claus (1974)
Downing, Todd  The Last Trumpet (1937)
Duncan, Francis  Murder for Christmas (1949)
Durham, Mary  Keeps Death His Court (1946)
Eberhart, Mignon  Postmark Murder (1956)
  (A tale of impersonation and murder, with a war orphan and a
  relative miraculously returned from the dead.)
Egan, Lesley  Crime for Christmas (1983)
Erskine, Margaret  House of the Enchantress (AKA A Graveyard
                   Plot) (1959)
  (On his way to visit friends of his aunt, Inspector Septimus
  Finch is caught in a snowstorm and made a captive audience to a
  murder.)
Farjeon, Jefferson  Mystery in White (1937)
  (Train passengers, stranded on Christmas Eve, are each drawn to
  Valley House, a house that is awaiting guests for tea but that
  is apparently untenanted.)
Ferrars, Elizabeth X.  The Small World of Murder (1973)
  (Nicola Foley's baby is snatched from its carriage, then her
  marriage fall apart, then she starts having one "accident"
  after another. Is she just unlucky?)
Fleming, Ian  On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963)
Flynn, Brian  The Murders Near Mapleton (1929)
Foley, Rae  The Hundredth Door (1950)
            Where is Mary Bostwick? (1958)
Ford, Leslie  The Simple Way of Poison (1937)
Godfrey, Thomas, ed.  Murder for Christmas (1982)
  (Great holiday reading: "Back for Christmas" by John Collier,
  "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" by Arthur Conan Doyle,
  "The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding" by Agatha Christie,
  "Maigret's Christmas" by Georges Simenon, "A Christmas Tragedy"
  by Baroness Orczy, "Inspector Ghote and the Miracle Baby" by
  H.R.F. Keating, "Dr. Marigold's Prescription" by Charles
  Dickens, "The Adventure of the Dauphin's Doll" by Ellery Queen,
  "The Thieves Who Couldn't Help Sneezing" by Thomas Hardy,
  "Death on Christmas Eve" by Stanley Ellin, "The Case is
  Altered" by Margery Allingham, "The Murder For Christmas Guide
  to Gift Giving" by A.A. Milne, "Mother's Milk" by James Mines,
  "The Flying Stars" by G.K. Chesterton. Illustrated by Gahan
  Wilson.
Godfrey, Thomas, ed.  Murder For Christmas Volume II (1982)
  (And more: "Death on the Air" by Ngaio Marsh, "Mr. Big" by
  Woody Allen, "Cambric Tea" by Marjorie Bowen, "A Terrible
  Night" by Anton Chekhov, "Christmas Is for Cops" by Edward D.
  Hoch, "The Butler's Christmas Eve" by Mary Roberts Rinehart,
  "Blind Man's Hood" by Carter Dickson, "Silent Night" by Baynard
  Kendrick, "Markheim" by Robert Louis Stevenson, "Dancing Dan's
  Christmas" by Damon Runyon, "The Necklace of Pearls" by Dorothy
  L. Sayers, "A Chaparral Christmas Gift" by O. Henry, "The
  Stolen Christmas Box" by Lillian de la Torre, "Christmas Party"
  by Rex Stout, and a Boxing Day Bonus: "Ring Out, Wild Bells" by
  D.B. Wyndham Lewis. Illustrated by Gahan Wilson.
Gouze, Roger  A Quiet Game of Bambu (1964)
Gray, Dulcie  Dead Giveaway (1974)
Grimes, Martha  Jerusalem Inn (1984)
  (It's Christmas Eve in the English countryside, and Inspector
  Richard Jury and amateur detective Melrose Plant must solve the
  murder of an attractive woman with no known relatives and no
  enemies.)
                The Man With a Load of Mischief (1981)
  (One body is found on a mechanical clock. Another is found in a
  keg of beer. Inspector Jury must discover not only whodunit,
  but why in these crazy places?)
Gunn, Victor  Death on Shivering Sand (1946)
Hammett, Dashiel  The Thin Man (1934)
  (This was Hammett's last novel and is a definite change of
  pace. Nick and Nora Charles solve a murder from the comfort of
  their New York hotel at Christmastime.)
Hardwick, Richard  The Season to be Deadly (1966)
Hare, Cyril  An English Murder (1951)
  (Another English country house during Christmastime, as Lord
  Warbeck gathers his family around his deathbed. A great plot,
  with amateur detective Dr. Wenceslaus Bottwink.)
Hay, M. Doriel  The Santa Klaus Murder (1936)
Hays, Lee  Black Christmas (1976)
Herman, Henry  The Crime of a Christmas Toy (1893)
Herriot, James  The Christmas Day Kitten
Heyer, Georgette  Envious Casca (1941)
  (A contentious family gathers for an old-fashioned Christmas
  get-together. Inspector Hemingway is called in when the host is
  found stabbed to death in his bedroom.)
Hinkemeyer, Michael T.  A Time to Reap (1984)
  (Former sheriff Emil Whippletree comes out of retirement to
  solve a local murder in a German-American community in
  Minnesota.)
Howie, Edith  Murder for Christmas (1941)
Howlett, John  The Christmas Spy (1975)
Hughes, Cledwyn  The Inn Closes for Christmas (AKA He Dared Not
                 Look Behind) (1947)
Hume, Fergus  A Coin of Edward VII (1903)
Hunter, Alan  Landed Gently (1976)
  (Lord Somerhayes invites a loud young American home for the
  holidays. Chief Inspector Gently is called in when the young
  man is found dead at the foot of the staircase.)
Iams, Jack  Do Not Murder Before Christmas (1949)
Innes, Michael  A Comedy of Terrors (AKA There Came Both Mist and
                Snow (1940)
  (The Roper family gathers for Christmas but a new hobby, target
  shooting, ultimately involves Inspector John Appleby.)
                Christmas at Candleshoe (1953)
  (Mrs. Feather and her son, Americans, find just want they want:
  an old castle owned by old Miss Candleshoe.)
Jeffers, H. Paul  Murder on Mike (1984)
Jordan, Cathleen  A Carol in the Dark (1984)
Kane, Henry  A Corpse for Christmas (1955)
Kelly, Mary C.  The Christmas Egg (1966)
Kezer, Glenn  The Queen is Dead (1979)
  (Max Ambrose must solve the crimes when bodies start turning up
  all over a small Hudson River village at Christmastime.)
Kitchin, C.H.B.  Crime at Christmas (1935)
  (A gathering of houseguests are shocked on Christmas morning to
  find one of their number dead.)
Knight, Kathleen Moore  They're Going to Kill Me (1955)
Lambert, Elizabeth  The Sleeping House Party (1951)
Lathen, Emma  Banking on Death (1961)
Lawrence, Alfred  Colombo: A Christmas Killing (1972)
L'Engle, Madeleine  The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas
  (For younger readers.)
Lewis, Ted  Jack Carter's Law (1975)
Lockridge, Richard  Dead Run (1976)
Lynch, Miriam  Crime for Christmas (1959)
MacKenzie, Donald  Death is a Friend (1967)
Macleod, Charlotte  The Convivial Codfish (1984)
                    Rest You Merry (1978)
  (In his first case, professor Peter Shandy finds the body of a
  faculty wife in his living room.)
Manley, Seon & Gogo Lewis, eds.  Christmas Ghosts (1978)
Marsh, John  Monk's Hollow (1968)
Marsh, Ngaio  Tied Up in Tinsel (1972)
  (Another Christmas house party, only all the servants are
  convicted murderers.)
McBain, Ed  The Pusher (1956)
            Sadie When She Died (1972)
            Ghosts (1980)
McCloy, Helen  Two Thirds of a Ghost (1956)
               Mr. Splitfoot (1968)
               Burn This (1980)
McClure, James  The Gooseberry Fool (1974)
Meredith, Ann  Portrait of a Murderer (1934)
Meredith, David William  The Christmas Card Murders (1951)
Michaels, Fern  Without Warning (1981)
Millar, Margaret  Vanish in an Instant (1952)
Miner, Valerie  Murder in the English Department (1982)
  (Dr. Nan Weaver finds the body of a colleague at Berkeley and
  winds up on trial for murder.)
Moore, Clement C.  The Night Before Christmas (1848)
  (When is the last time you read this wonderful poem?)
Moyes, Patricia  Season of Snows and Sins (1971)
  (A ski instructor with a very complicated love life is
  murdered, probably by his wife. Or maybe it was someone
  else...)
Nabb, Magdalen  Death of An Englishman (1982)
Nash, Anne  Said With Flowers (1943)
Nielsen, Helen  Borrow the Night (1956)
Palmer, Stuart  Omit Flowers (1937)
Parker, Robert B.  The Widening Gyre (1983)
  (A senator's wife needs Spenser's help when sex and drugs lead
  to blackmail.)
Pearl, Jack  Victims (1972)
Queen, Ellery  The Egyptian Cross Mystery (1932)
               The Finishing Stroke (1958)
  (The Twelve Days of Christmas becomes a murderous joke, as
  cryptic rhymes and anonymous gifts portend murder. The case
  that took Ellery a quarter of a century to solve.)
Quentin, Patrick  The Follower (1950)
  (Mark Liddon's wife is missing and her ex-fiance is dead. He
  must find her in squalid criminal underworld of Mexico.)
Rea, M.P.  Death of an Angel (1943)
Reinsmith, Richard  A Body for Christmas (1984)
Roberts, Patricia  Tender Prey (1983)
Ruell, Patrick  Red Christmas (1972)
  (Dingley Dell, a remote country inn, promised a true Dickensian
  Christmas; but when it's used as a cover for a top-secret
  convention of master spies the plot becomes more Ian Fleming
  than Charles Dickens.)
Sanders, Lawrence  The First Deadly Sin (1973)
Serafin, David  Christmas Rising (1983)
Seuss, Dr.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Shannon, Del  No Holiday for Crime (1973)
Simcoe, Mary Ann, ed.  A Christmas Sourcebook
Simenon, Georges  Maigret's Christmas (1977)
Smith, Naomi Royde  The Altar Piece (1939)
Spain, Nancy  Cinderella Goes to the Morgue (1950)
Stagge, Jonathan  The Yellow Taxi (1942)
Symons, Julian  The Name of Annabell Lee (1983)
  (Dudley Potter has started over again in the U.S., but must
  return to England to follow actress Annabell Lee.)
Taylor, Elizabeth Atwood  The Cable Car Murder (1982)
  (Maggie gets involved when her half-sister Celia is killed in a
  bizarre cable car accident. Improbable but charming.)
Thomas, Dylan  A Child's Christmas in Wales
Toral, Judith  Daddy's Gone a Hunting (1983)
Treat, Lawrence  Q as in Quicksand (1947)
Underwood, Michael  A Party to Murder (1983)
  (Goodwill is in short supply at the Christmas party in the
  chief prosecuting solicitor's office, particularly since one of
  them has been promoted beyond his due.)
Walsh, Thomas  The Resurrection Man (1966)
Warren, Charles Marquis  Deadhead (1952)
Witting, Clifford  Catt out of the Bag (1939)

NEW BOOKS:

Ghosts for Christmas edited by Richard Dalby
  Carroll & Graf Nov89 $18.95 ISBN 0-88184-518-3
  (Comprehensive collection with material by: Charles Dickens,
  Algernon Blackwood, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, E. Nesbit, Hugh
  Walpole, M.R. James, Marjorie Bowen, J.B. Priestley, Ramsey
  Campbell, L.P. Hartley, H. Russell Wakefield, and many more)
All About Christmas by Ian Guthridge
  Australia In Print Dec89 $9.95 0-9588-6451-9  146 pages
A Garfield Christmas by Jim Davis
  Ballantine Dec89 TP $5.95 0-345-35368-4
Merry Christmas, Murdock by Robert Ray (mystery)
  Delacorte Dec89 HC $16.95 0-385-29832-3
  (Murdock returns in a tale of mayhem among Orange County's
  moneyed elite. From the author of The Hitman Cometh.)
Christmas Trees: Growing and Selling Trees, Wreaths, and Greens
  by Lewis Hill
  Storey/Garden Way Dec89 TP $9.95 0-88266-566-9
A Fatal Advent by Isabelle Holland
  Doubleday Nov89 $16.95
  (Another case for Rev. Claire Aldington, assistant rector at
  Manhattan's St. Alselm's parish.)
Deadly Promise by Mignon F. Ballard
  Carroll & Graf Nov89 $15.95 0-88184-515-9
  (Newly widowed Molly, along with daughter Joy, visit her late
  husband's relatives for a quiet small-town Christmas. Quiet,
  that is, until the poisoned fruitcake, the dead mouse, and the
  funeral wreath.)
Historical Christmas Stories by various authors
  Silhouette Nov89 $4.25 0-373-83211-7
  (Popular Silhouette authors evoking memories of Christmas in
  the America of the 1800s.)
Silhouette Christmas Stories by various author
  Silhouette Nov89 $4.25 0-373-48218-3
  (The fourth edition of Silhouette Christmas Stories contains
  four contemporary Silhouette stories.)
Corpus Christmas by Margaret Maron
  Doubleday Nov89 HC (Holiday mystery)
Mistletoe Mysteries edited by Charlotte MacLeod
  Mysterious Nov89 $16.95 0-89296-400-6
  (Anthology of stories by: Charlotte MacLeod, Peter Lovesey,
  Dorothy Salisbury Davis, Eric Wright, John Lutz, Howard Engel,
  Mary Higgins Clark, Bill Pronzini, Sharyn McCrumb, Henry
  Slesar, Edward D. Hoch, Aaron Elkins, Susan Dunlap, Isaac
  Asimov, Marcia Muller)
Martha Stewart's Christmas: Entertaining, Decorating and Giving
  by Martha Stewart, photography by Christopher Baker, design by
  Virginia Edwards
  Potter Nov89 $18.95 0-283-99975-6

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

To die for an idea is to set a rather high price on conjecture.
         --Anatole France

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

RANDOM REVIEWS:

                         VERY OLD MONEY
                        by Stanley Ellin
                             (1985)

     Mike and Amy Lloyd are unemployed schoolteachers down on
their luck. When they decide to become a "couple in residence" at
the Duries (she's a private secretary, he's a chauffeur), they
discover what the title of this book means. 

     The Duries live very quietly and very well, and Mike and Amy
are worried about how they're going to live with the indignity of
being servants. Of being subservient. But, to their surprise,
they like their jobs very much indeed, which is part of Stanley
Ellin's message here, which (as I see it) is that our values are
upside down. There's more dignity in being a servant than in
having servants. Servants are so capable, they can take care of
their life and other peoples'. Masters are so incapable, they
need others to care for them. This book can really make you think
about class systems.

     Of course, there is a mystery here, and a typically well-
crafted one. Why did Margaret Durie want a secretary that was
tall? What happened to the old chauffeur? Why is Margaret Durie,
a blind woman, buying paintings? What are all of those pills she
takes? Every revelation makes you wonder why you didn't see it
all along. Stanley Ellin uses each scene for a specific purpose,
to say something or to drop careful hints. Good reading.


       THE MEDIA LAB: Inventing the Future at MIT
                  by Stewart Brand
                   (Viking, 1987)

MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) has a beautiful
building called the Media Lab (also a department of the college)
where some of the finest work in the future of communications
technology is being done. This book raises the lid of the Media
Lab and lets you peer in.

Mental candy for high-tech types, that's what this is. If you
like gadgets and look forward to tomorrow's inventions, this book
will give you LOTS of material to ooh and aaahhh over. Stewart
Brand (THE WHOLE EARTH CATALOGs) has a lot of experience at
ferreting out what people would be interested in and making it
intelligible. You'll read about:

** NewsPeek, computer software that creates a custom newspaper
for you, with just the stuff you're interested in, arranged
with consideration to priorities. You could get YOUR news quickly
and easily every day, wherever you are in the world.

** Movie Map, the interactive video version of Aspen, Colorado.
It puts a street scene from Aspen on the monitor and you can
follow that street anywhere you want to go, even going into many
of the buildings to see what's there.

** Conversational Desktop, software that takes the place of a
secretary. It will answer the phone for you, recognizing the
voices of friends, giving and receiving messages--and it will
know who should be told you're busy and who should be put through
immediately. It will also make appointments, reservations, and
tell you the weather. And of course it does the simple things
like keeping track of your personal calendar.

** NewsPrint watches the TV news for you, collecting the stories
that you would be interested in. Later, you can read a printed
version of these stories on your computer, which NewsPrint will
provide for you, along with appropriate illustrating video, also
collected from the TV news show.

** Talking Heads would allow you to have a group meeting with
people who aren't there. We're not talking videophone, though.
Life masks would be taken of all the people, with live video
projected into the back to animate them. You would sit there
talking to an animated mask of Joe, while Joe's somewhere else
talking to an animated mask of you. The masks show facial
expressions and head movements. Kind of ghoulish.

** Paperback Movies, if they can invent a new data compression
method, will put full feature-length films on CDs (which cost 30
cents to produce), making movies cheaper to buy than to copy
(like paperbacks). This would short-circuit the large worldwide
pirating industry, not to mention what it would do to rentals.

** The Hennigan School, a grade school in inner-city Boston
that's been given enough computers to give each child several
hours' access every day. The result: some "learning-disabled"
children are reaching goals beyond those of "normal" children.

** The Connection Machine, created by Daniel Hillis, which makes
parallel processing possible on a grand scale, having 64K (K is
thousands) processors. Unlike your PC, which can only handle one
job at a time (even if it LOOKS like it's doing more), the
Connection Machine can literally do 64K things at one time.

Another part of THE MEDIA LAB that you shouldn't miss is the
Bibliography, which is a great list of more good reading in the
field of communications technology. Don't miss Stewart Brand's
semantic inventiveness either. Like a true computer disciple,
when the word he wants doesn't exist (or come to mind), he
creates one. I caught: expectable, message (used as a verb, as in
"I messaged him"), detaily (adjective), and bogglement.

THE MEDIA LAB: A Sampler:

"Imagine what it would be like if TV actually were good. It would
be the end of everything we know."
         --Marvin Minsky

"The Japanese HDTV (high-definition TV) format is outdated now,
because they designed it at a time when VLSI (very large scale
integrated) chips did not exist, so computation was not
considered as a way to get a better picture. To get five times
the resolution, they used five times the bandwidth, which would
be dumb today."
         --Nicholas Negroponte, Director of the Media Lab

About Marvin Minsky: "He collects an enthusiastic audience
whenever he speaks, often on short notice, always
improvisationally, always with humor as dry as lunar dust and a
tendency to veer off topic with parentheses that don't close."

"Anything that you hear about computers or AI should be ignored,
because we're in the Dark Ages. We're in the thousand years
between no technology and all technology. You can read what your
contemporaries think, but you should remember they are ignorant
savages."
         --Marvin Minsky


                   NOT THAT YOU ASKED...
                   by Andrew A. Rooney
                         (1989)

     Even though Mr. Rooney has had books published since 1944,
NOT THAT YOU ASKED can be considered the fifth of the books that
we're familiar with today, the "Andy Rooney" books. In case
you've forgotten, there's: A FEW MINUTES WITH ANDY ROONEY (1981),
AND MORE BY ANDY ROONEY (1982), PIECES OF MY MIND (1984), and
WORD FOR WORD (1986). And by the way, friends call him (and he
prefers to be called) "Andrew".

     If you've ever seen one of Mr. Rooney's commentaries on 60
MINUTES, or read one of the previous collections, you know what
to expect here. Many people like his downhome common sense
approach to issues, as well as his very personal delivery. Others
find him too smug and self-satisfied. I like his ideas. He says
things that need saying, brings up issues that need bringing up.
You could consider him the philosopher for the rest of us.

Andrew A. Rooney sampler:

"With so many fools in the world, it's impossible to make the
world foolproof."

"I do not accept the inevitability of my own death. I secretly
think there may be some other way out."

"I don't favor abortion although I like the people who are for it
better than the people who are against it."

"I dislike loud-mouthed patriots who suggest they like our
country more than I do. Some people's idea of patriotism is
hating other countries."


    ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN:
            Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things
                         and
           IT WAS ON FIRE WHEN I LAY DOWN ON IT
                    by Robert Fulghum
                 (Villard, 1986 and 1988)

Both of these books are runaway bestsellers, and after reading
them it's easy to see why. Robert Fulghum is a very wise and very
charming man, with the talent of a born storyteller to use words
to convey his meaning of the moment.

It's unavoidable to compare him to Andrew Rooney--both speak to
us of values and of priorities that need reshuffling. But where
Mr. Rooney is a cantankerous curmudgeon, Mr. Fulghum is a gentle
nonconformist. Where Mr. Rooney uses satire, Mr. Fulghum uses the
heartwarming parable. Where Mr. Rooney constructs perfectly
grammatical and often quotable sentences, Mr. Fulghum follows a
different grammatical drummer and his sentences are mere threads
of his overall fabric and few will stand alone. Where Mr. Rooney
talks about humanity and reveals himself, Mr. Fulghum talks about
himself and reveals humanity. As Mr. Fulghum himself says of his
essays, "It is my stuff from home--that place in my mind and
heart where I most truly live."

How can you tell the two books apart? Well, his second volume
deals with a few tougher, darker subjects that the first avoids,
so if you want nonstop cheerfulness, try ALL I REALLY NEED TO
KNOW. What's my favorite story? Hard to say, but I really liked
the girl who was sitting on her plane ticket.

Oh, yes, and what DID Robert Fulghum learn in kindergarten?

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Flush.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life--learn some and think some and draw and
 paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold
 hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam
 cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really
 knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in
 the Styrofoam cup--they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you
 learned--the biggest word of all--LOOK.

"The line between good and evil, hope and despair, does not
divide the world between 'us' and 'them'. It runs down the middle
of every one of us."
         --Robert Fulghum


                   RICH, RADIANT SLAUGHTER
                    by Orania Papazoglou
                     (Doubleday, 1988)

This is marginally a Christmas mystery, meaning it DOES take
place during the Christmas season, but the holidays play no part
in the story. Beyond an occasional reference to December and
seasonal decorations, RICH, RADIANT SLAUGHTER could take place at
any time of year.

The amateur sleuth in Ms. Papazoglou's mysteries is Patience
McKenna, former romance novelist who's now writing true crime
books. Her best friend and many of her acquaintances are still
romance writers, however, so the subject continues to be
prominent, which the title implies also. (The three previous
books have romance titles too: SWEET, SAVAGE DEATH; WICKED,
LOVING MURDER; and DEATH'S SAVAGE PASSION.)

This time Patience is on a book tour to aid another of Evelyn
Nesbitt Kleig's charities. There are complications aplenty: her
best friend, romance novelist Phoebe Damereaux, has morning
sickness that lasts all day long; Pulitzer Prize-winning
Christopher Brand is an irritating alcoholic; Christian Romance
novelist Tempesta Stewart is a sanctimonious prig; and "boy
billionaire" Jonathon Hancock Lowry, who's backing the tour, is
an awkward nerd.

When the tour gets to their last city, Baltimore, the murders
start, and McKenna turns detective. The first body is found at a
mystery bookstore called The Butler Did It, owned and run by Gail
Larson (this is a real store, and Gail is the real proprietor),
and, as usual, it's someone nobody liked. There are many elements
of this story that seem contrived or unnecessary, like the
presence of McKenna's adopted daughter and fiance, or the clue
about the chalk. The murder method seemed unusually bizarre, too,
and was never adequately explained.

The bottom line is that this is an Adventures of Patience McKenna
story, enormously enjoyable as such but not of much value to
mystery purists. Also, RICH, RADIANT SLAUGHTER, like Ms.
Papazoglou's other novels, seem to be targeted more to women than
men--not just because romance writing is featured prominently,
but because most of the characters are female, and the overall
point of view and sensibility of the stories is female. That
being said though, I found that the chance to spend a couple more
hours with Patience and Phoebe makes RRS definitely worth
reading.


                       THE DARK HALF
                      by Stephen King
                       (Viking, 1989)

the sparrows are flying

Picture this:  You are Maine novelist Thad Beaumont, married and
with two babies (fraternal twins). You've published two books
under your own name; the first critically acclaimed, the second
much less so (and neither sold well). To overcome a writers'
block you then wrote four violent, commercially successful
novels, all published under a pseudonym (George Stark). The Stark
books are pretty disgusting, but it's been better than not
writing at all.

Then a creep named Frederick Clawson discovers the Beaumont-Stark
connection and sticks his hand out for some money to keep the
secret. You decide you no longer need George Stark and his
revolting novels any more, and you certainly don't need
blackmail, so you go public with the Stark story yourself. Boy,
is Clawson pissed off. But you have everything under control,
right?

Wrong. Because shortly after the People Magazine story about you
being George Stark comes out, the police come knocking on your
door and they're REAL mad. Seems like someone committed the
brutal, senseless murder of a harmless local fellow and the
police lifted some truly fabulous fingerprints of the killer and
guess what? Surprise! The prints are yours. It sure is lucky that
you have an airtight alibi for the time of the murder. Whew! But
hold it, shortly thereafter, your prints show up at another
bestial murder, and this time the victim is Frederick Clawson.

Remember him? Don't you think it's interesting that somebody with
your fingerprints has killed somebody that you had a motive to
kill? The police think it's mighty interesting. And according to
them, there's no known way to fake fingerprints. So what are your
fingerprints doing somewhere where you aren't? You don't suppose
it could be your alter ego who you just killed? That's silly--
George Stark was only a figment of your imagination. Or was he?
And what connection does George Stark have to that supposed brain
tumor you had removed when you were eleven years old? And what do
sparrows have to do with anything?

That's as far as I'm going to take you. If you'd like to hear the
rest of this story, you're going to have to go to the storyteller
himself. You'll never look at sparrows quite the same way again.

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

I am reminded of the Fundamentalists who go into agonies at the
very thought of their children's being EXPOSED to Darwin. It
strikes me as a feeble God indeed who can't weather a heresy now
and then.
               --William L. DeAndrea

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

                    ON LINE WITH STEVE GERBER


Recently READING FOR PLEASURE was able to contact Steve Gerber,
one of the finest writers in comics today (see the review of his
NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET in RFP #6). We asked him what he was up
to, and here's what he had to say:

 
Okay.  Here's the laundry list of the stuff I'm working on now,
all of it for Marvel Comics:
     
Beginning with issue #10 -- on sale any minute now, I gather --
I'll be writing the SHE-HULK comic book on a monthly basis. Of
the various monthly books I'm doing for Marvel, this is my
favorite at the moment. Wildly satirical. Lots of acerbic social
commentary. A chance to be funny and say something important, I
hope, at the same time. If you liked my old Howard the Duck
stories, you'll like this.
 
Beginning with issue #29, I'm writing the HAWKEYE strip in
AVENGERS SPOTLIGHT. Up until now, this book has been what I call
a "costume-versus-costume" title. A superhero and supervillain
get together and beat on each other for a certain number of
pages, then turn around and go home. I've changed the whole
thrust of the book. Beginning with #29, Hawkeye gets involved in
a very down-to-earth story about Los Angeles street gangs and the
Beverly Hills drug trade. I'm still not completely comfortable
with what I'm doing on the book -- Hawkeye is one of the oldest
of the Marvel characters, with a long history behind him and yet
almost NO personality, and I'm trying to change that drastically
-- but, for whatever it's worth, the editors at Marvel are very
enthusiastic about what's been done so far.
 
I'm also working on a limited series called FOOLKILLER, based on
the villain I created for MAN-THING some fifteen years ago. This
is a very dark, very violent story of a vigilante propelled on
his mission by something other than the standard motive of
vengeance.
 
Oh, the Hawkeye stuff should begin to appear on the stands in a
couple of months.  The first issue of FOOLKILLER will probably be
released in early spring of 1990.
     
In addition to these ongoing series, I'm doing several special
projects as well, including a MAN-THING graphic novel (a
psychological horror story about an animation writer undergoing a
nervous breakdown), a sort of graphic novella called SUBURBAN
JERSEY YUPPIE SHE-DEVILS (about three housewives and their
sensei, Melba Slotnik, battling to save the world from being
ingested by the largest mouth in the universe), and another
horror-oriented mini-series called LEGION OF NIGHT (difficult to
describe, but it combines elements of the horror and superhero
genres with a modern reinterpretation of some of the ancient
Marvel monster characters).
 
SHE-HULK is being drawn by Bryan Hitch, a newcomer from Britain
with talent oozing out of his ears. The HAWKEYE strip is drawn by
Al Milgrom and Don Heck. FOOLKILLER is pencilled by J.J. Birch,
who did the recent CATWOMAN mini for DC.
 
And I'm just about out of time, or I could go on.
 
                   --Steve

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But if HIP means seeing through all the bourgeois baloney and
embracing an alternative (excuse the expression) life-style, I
note with interest that, as I spit on my hands in preparation for
pushing 40, I seem to be embracing the very bourgeois life-style
the baloney of which I so mercilessly continue to see through.
          --Ellis Weiner (SPY magazine)

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                       UNFINISHED NOVELS

If you didn't manage to finish all of your 1989 chores, don't
feel bad. The unfinished project affects even the great ones, as
the following list from Steven Gilbar's THE BOOK BOOK shows. Of
course these people probably had a better excuse than you do, but
it's the principle that counts, not the trivial details.

Jane Austen, SANDITON
James Agee, A DEATH IN THE FAMILY
Joseph Conrad, SUSPENSE
Charles Dickens, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD
Fedor Dostoevski, THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV
F. Scott Fitzgerald, THE LAST TYCOON
Nikolai Gogol, DEAD SOULS
Nathaniel Hawthorne, DR. GRIMSHAWE'S SECRET
Gustave Flaubert, BOUVARD AND PECUCHET
Henry James, THE IVORY TOWER
Franz Kafka, AMERIKA
D.H. Lawrence, MR. NOON
Malcolm Lowry, OCTOBER FERRY TO GABRIOLA
Robert Musil, THE MAN WITHOUT QUALITIES
Marcel Proust, JEAN SENTEUIL
Sir Walter Scott, THE SIEGE OF MALTA
Stendhal, LAMIEL
Robert Louis Stevenson, WEIR OF HERMISTON
William Thackeray, DENIS DUVAL
Thomas Wolfe, THE HILLS BEYOND

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                           BACK ISSUES

ELECTRONIC EDITION:  Check the BBSs in the Directory first. If
what you want isn't available, send $5 to us for a disk
containing ALL available issues. Disk will be formatted using
PC/MS-DOS (for IBM clones). Specify 3-1/2" or 5-1/4" floppy.

PRINT EDITION:  Send $1.50 for each issue requested.

Checks:  Make checks payable to Cindy Bartorillo.

Address:  See masthead on Table of Contents page.

ISSUES AVAILABLE:

#1: Premier issue: 1988 World Fantasy Awards; Books I'm Supposed
to Like, But Don't; Pronunciation Guide to Author's Names;
Christie Characters on Film; Featured Author: Richard Matheson;
Baseball & Cricket Mysteries; Stephen King Checklist; Time Travel
Books

#2: Summer Reading Issue: Award Winners & Nominees; Beach Bag
Books; Featured Author: Stanley Ellin; Splatterpunk; Murderous
Vacations; The Psychology of Everyday Things; The Shining; SF
Fan-Lingo; Pseudonyms

#3: Books About Books Issue: Two-Bit Culture; Christopher Morley;
84 Charing Cross Road; Assorted References; Bibliomysteries; Deep
Quarry; Featured Author: Harlan Ellison

#4: Hollywood Issue: Recent Awards; About Hollywood; Silver
Scream; Death of a Salesman; Joe Bob Briggs; The Hollywood
Mystery; Featured Author: Fredric Brown; The Dark Fantastic;
Darryl Kenning Reviews

#5: Halloween Issue: Hugo Awards; Year's Best Horror Stories
XVII; Tracy Kidder; Supernatural Mysteries; Thomas Harris;
Falling Angel Heart; Ray Garton; New From Underwood-Miller;
Featured Author: Robert R. McCammon; The Modern Halloween Shelf;
Darryl Kenning Reviews; The Ultimate Stephen King Character Quiz

#6: Computers & Robots Issue: 1989 World Fantasy Award
Nominations; Donald M. Grant, Publisher; Cyberpunk & Neuromancer;
Computer Books; Digital Delights; Nightmare On Elm Street, The
Comic; Banned Books; Featured Author: Josephine Tey; Mystery
Terminology; Darryl Kenning Reviews; Books On A Chip; New From
Carroll & Graf; Computer Cowboy Reading; and the usual

#7: Happy Holidays Issue (the one you're reading now).

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                       TRIVIA QUIZ ANSWERS

1) The Last Picture Show
2) The Last Temptation of Christ
3) The Last of the Mohicans
4) The Last Days of Pompeii
5) 9
6) 9
7) 9
8) It should
9) Merry Christmas
10) 1-t   2-n   3-o   4-c   5-a   6-w   7-k   8-g   9-x  10-e
   11-r  12-v  13-i  14-j  15-l  16-q  17-z  18-m  19-p  20-h
   21-u  22-d  23-y  24-b  25-f  26-s

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  He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
  And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
  But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
  "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
    --from "A Visit From St. Nicholas" by Clement C. Moore

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