Unsurprisingly, it was a bookish Christmas. Among the many, many books given to me and V. by our friends and relatives was The Arts of Deception: Playing with Fraud in the Age of Barnum (thanks for the recommendation to recommendation; G., who surely deserves a more kindly present than the DVDs of the damned that I saddled him with; however, I needed to make good on a promise), which I finished yesterday. V. received Carter Beats the Devil, a book recommended by Judith, which is being quite good. The two books are about roughly contemporary historical periods, and moving on just a few years brings us to the time of Louis Feuillade’s bizarro French serial Les Vampires, a gift from me to V. (I swapped DVDs with my friend Andrew; I gave him The Stunt Man and he gave me Coup de Torchon, a French adaption of pulp auteur Jim Thompson‘s disturbing little fable, Pop. 1280.) And much more (stationery! Le Creuset! Sweaters galore! Being John Malkovich!) — it was a good loot year, even if I didn’t get Detective Comics #27, an authentic Navy howitzer from 1883 (pointed out to me by Aaaugh!), or Potato Island. Maybe next year. None