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Auld Lang Syne and Typhus

Ah, a new year. Welcome to 2012, book bloggers! If the world ends this year, I'll be a little disappointed, but in case it does, let's all try to have just a bit more fun. And I guess be nicer to people.

You know what's lovely? Reading books that belong to people we love. More specifically, parents or grandparents, because most of the time, they're books they enjoyed when they were closer to our age and reading them can make you feel like you understand them just a bit better.

All my grandparents have passed away, as my parents skew a bit on the older end of the spectrum, and we got most of their books. These, and a bunch of my parents' older books reside in their basement. When I visit home, I like glancing around down there, and I usually pinch at least one and bring it up to Chicago (shh — don't tell them; only my dad apparently reads this, so Hi Dad! I'll return them!).

Last Christmas I found this completely fantastic gem from 1935, reprinted in 1967 (when my dad was 27, i.e. the age I'm going to be this year):


It's a biography of typhus by a bacteriologist! Who is kind of wandering and funny, with lines like "Having written the preceding paragraphs, we read them over and came to the conclusion that there was little in them that mattered very much."

Oh, and check this out: "But having ascended to these cold heights by laborious upward paths of reason, they sit down in their metaphysical toboggans and swish back into the warm and comfortable vales of theology."

Anyway. I am delighted by it.

Hoping you've all started out with similarly fun books. HAPPY 2012! I leave you with a gif of Alex Kingston and Matt Smith having a grand time.

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