Steve Pfarrer’s best bets
GOOD BOOKS MAKE GOOD GIFTS
Books are my main stock in trade when it comes to Christmas gifts — both to give and receive — so in that spirit I’ll give a plug to one of the year’s great novels, “The Story of My Assassins” by the Indian author Teran Teipal. On one level it’s an engrossing thriller about a journalist who’s targeted by a group of killers and then must confront the contradictions of his own life. But it’s also a fascinating portrait of what one reviewer calls “the tragedy, comedy, color and violence of modern India.”
ANOTHER GOOD BET
Though I’m normally leery of biopics, given their loose use of facts, I saw “Lincoln” last week and thought it lived up to its hype. The acting is great, the sets look and feel authentic, and the plot hews closely enough to history that even many academic historians seem to have endorsed the film. Perhaps best of all, it gives you hope as an American that Congress can actually agree on and pass important legislation.