1997 Christmas List (URL: www.rasmusen.org/_amazon/xmas97.htm)

  1. In the Company of Mushrooms : A Biologist's Tale, by Elio and Moselio Schaechter. 1997. 320pp. This has the best discussion of the biology of mushrooms that I've seen. $17.

  2. The Boys from Brazil by Ira Levin, 213 pp. 1976. A good novel, with a great premise and lots of suspense. Was Nazism the result of Hitler's genes, his environment, or the Germans?

  3. Arirang restaurant, Wright St. Urbana. This is a good, cheap, and filling Korean restaurant.

  4. Amazon.Com . Amazon has a huge list of books to sell, of course, but their Internet website is also easy to get around in and their prices are low. They will even search for out-of- print books.

  5. The Vanguard Tax-Managed Fund. Vanguard has always been good on keeping costs low. The three funds in this group are based on the excellent idea of using something similar to indexing while avoiding turnover, dividends, and capital gains.

  6. The Roth IRA. This new kind of retirement account allows you to pile up capital gains without paying tax on them as regular income when you withdraw the money after retirement. Vanguard has a good pamphlet on it.

  7. The Electric Tape Fence.We couldn't keep deer from eating our flowers till we put up this three-foot-high strand of plastic tape with wires in it. Installation is very easy, and it works.

  8. Rutland Independence Strong Ale. This 6.5 percent ale was brewed to celebrate the campaign to return county status to Rutland. Its motto: ``Independence through perseverance.'' We came across it on our trip to Britain this summer.

  9. Time Out. This is Cadbury's new candy bar, available in Canada. It's like a Flake Bar in the middle, with wafer around that, and a chocolate coating outside.

  10. The Encyclopedia of American Religions , Vol. 1 and 2, by J. Gordon Melton. 5th Edition, 1996, $195 for all volumes . Paperback edition, 1991, $15 each. This lists lots of denominations, but where it is special is in its histories and its explanations of doctrinal differences.

  11. Little Caesar, 1930. Edward G. Robinson is the gangster Rico, a little guy who wants to be tough and powerful. The plot is simple, but the movie is riveting anyway. $18.

  12. The Gun, by C.S. Forester, 1933, 152 pages. A good adventure novel of the Peninsular War, about guerrillas who find a siege cannon and use it to fight the French. $26.

    1997 Also-Rans

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    Last updated: December 17, 2003. All prices subject to change. Maintained by Eric Rasmusen, [email protected] .