Reading Charles Freeman's The Closing of the Western Mind while all this Pope stuff has been going on [6 column NY Times headline I expected to see a couple of weeks ago: "Pope Still Dead"] made for a not uninteresting juxtaposition. And William Bundy's A Tangled Web offers a convincing debunking of the Nixon foreign policy mystique. I will have to work in some mindless but well-written fiction next.
Before Elliott Smith wrote pretty music to slit one's wrists to (although,as Nixon would say, I don't condemn him for it), he was in Heatmiser, a more grunge-influenced group that is well worth hearing. On Mic City Sons, their last album, his mature style had clearly emerged but it benefited from being just part of the mix.