BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS…Last week I met Henry Farrell during a trip to Washington DC and learned, among other things, what an IPA is, drinkwise. (India Pale Ale, for those of you as ignorant of alcohol as I am.) Today he proves his worth again by praising Charles Palliser’s “wonderful historical novel,” The Quincunx. This comes as a passing reference in a long colloquium about the even greater wonderfulness of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which I haven’t read. Sounds like they’d both be great Christmas presents.

Just thought I’d pass that along, this being the shopping season and all.