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44. 1688: A Global History, by John E. Wills, Jr.

The title tells it all, really. The year 1688 is probably best known (amongst those who have studied British history, that is, not me) as the year of the Glorious Revolution. This book touches on that, of course, but it also tries to give a fairly complete snapshot of life pretty much everywhere else in the world at the same point in history. It's very interesting to compare the same year in Edo, Australia, Mexico, and Paris. Of course, it's all very brief, but I did kind of like that. Considering what the author was trying to do, there was no way to get in depth with anything and still cover, well, everything. But if you can get past that, it's a very enjoyable history.

45. The Bone Magician, by F.E. Higgins

Not that long ago, I read The Black Book of Secrets, and really liked it. This is a paraquel to it. Which means, essentially, that the stories were taking place roughly at the same time, in the same fictional country, and have some overlapping points that you'll only realize if you read both books, but otherwise can be read entirely independently. And I liked this one, too, every bit as much as The Black Book of Secrets. This one is set entirely in the fictional, Victorian London-esque city that The Black Book starts in. I liked the new characters, and I'll be interested to see how the two stories collide in a later book.
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September 2011

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