Order of all Books - January 2014

This Table presents all the books read by the erstwhile-legendary Last Thursday Book Club, listed in order of quality based on the averaged numerical votes of the club members.  This list is reconstituted at the end of each calendar year to integrate the most current 12 selections.  In general see the Review Summaries for details on what the Club liked, did not like. 

We are currently hard at work reading and evaluating books during the year 2014.  We are exhausted from our efforts in 2013:  we entered two (2) books into our top twenty-five (OK, one was tied for #25), and (sadly) two into our bottom 25.   You will have to search deep to find Ulysses on our list.  The second column provides the date of the LTBC meeting during which the book was discussed.

Here is our revised table as of January 2014 representing the first twenty years of our existence  ...
Order discussion date Title Author Notes
1 29-Jan-98 The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck (580 pgs) Our choice for best of all
2 29-Apr-93 A River Runs Through It Norman Maclean  
3 25-Feb-99 Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage Alfred Lansing Alfred Lansing is perhaps the most underrated author in our list. 
4 29-Oct-98 Lolita Vladimir Nabokov  
5 28-Feb-08 Infidel Ayaan Hirshi Ali Ali was the Somali-born member of the Dutch parliament who faced death threats after collaborating on a film about domestic violence against Muslim women
6 25-May-00 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow....
7 27-Feb-94 The Killer Angels Michael Sharra (1974)
8 26-May-94 The Good Earth Pearl Buck (1937)
9 27-Jul-06 The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway Man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated. Pull the boat, fish.
10 28-Aug-94 Red Badge of Courage Stephan Crane  
11 31-Jul-97 Undaunted Courage Stephen Ambrose  
12 22-Aug-97 All the Pretty Horses Cormac McCarthy  
13 30-Jul-98 A Fan’s Notes Frederick Exley  
14 27-Apr-00 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Samuel L. Clemens  
15 28-May-09 When A Crocodile Eats The Sun Peter Godwin This story of a family was highly emotional. The author was watching his father die and his country die - what will it take (in time) to improve the situation in Zimbabwe? The father said whites in Africa are like Jews anywhere - waiting for the next crisis.
16 29-Oct-09 In Cold Blood Truman Capote It has been said of Mr. Clutter that his shoulders were broad, his hair had held its dark color, his square-jawed, confident face retained a healthy-hued youthfulness, and his teeth, unstained, and strong enough to shatter walnuts, were still intact.
17 28-Jul-94 Monsignor Quixote Graham Greene  
18 28-Jan-99 All The King’s Men Robert Penn Warren  
19 27-May-99 Angela’s Ashes Frank McCourt When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while.
20 25-Mar-04 Life of Pi Yann Martel a transformative novel, an astonishing work of imagination that will delight and stun readers in equal measure.
21 22-May-08 Out Stealing Horses Per Petterson The author as Trond Sander: "All my life I have longed to be alone in a place like this."
22 18-Nov-04 Disgrace JM Coetzee the least given to sentimentality of the talented novelists to have come out of South Africa.
23 25-Jul-96 The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.”
24 19-Dec-96 The Spy Who Came In From the Cold John LeCarre  
25 25-Mar-10 Three Cups of Tea Greg Mortensen One man's mission to promote peace, one school at a time. In 1996, Mortensen returned to Korphe to build the promised school.
26 30-Dec-93 The Assault Henry Mulisch  
27 26-Jan-95 Winter of our Discontent John Steinbeck  
28 29-Sep-05 The Actual Saul Bellow The worldly and clever Harry Trellman, a grand noticer of things, tells the familiar Bellow story of an old adolescent love which is finally admitted to and resumed.
29 27-Jul-95 The Moviegoer Walker Percy  
30 27-Mar-03 Master and Commander Patrick O'Brian the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels. Title provides links to Smithsonian articles on how this series came to be.
31 31-Aug-95 A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole the funniest book on the list; memorable characters
32 25-Jan-01 The Professor and the Madman Simon Winchester Creating the Oxford English Dictionary. One of the major contributors was a US Army surgeon who murdered a man in London and was in a lunatic asylum.
33 31-May-01 The Shipping News E. Annie Proulx From all outward appearances, Quoyle has gone through his first 36 years on earth as a big schlump of a loser.
34 22-Nov-01 This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind Ivan Doig The grandson of homesteaders and the son of a ranch hand and a ranch cook, Ivan Doig was born in Montana in 1939.
35 28-Apr-05 Housekeeping Marilynne Robinson I have observed that, in the way people are strange, they grow stranger, says Ruth, our narrator. When she was young, her mother returned with her and her sister to Fingerbone, Idaho. Once there, she left the two of them on the front porch of her mother's
36 27-Mar-08 Man in the Holocene Max Frisch Erosion was a theme; Geiser’s mind was eroding. At the same time, Geiser remembers every minute on the Matterhorn.
37 20-Nov-08 The Yiddish Policeman's Union Michael Chabon "He has the memory of a convict, the balls of a fireman, and the eyesight of a housebreaker." "...collecting himself like a beggar chasing scattered dimes along the sidewalk."
38 24-Jun-04 The Reader Bernhard Schlink the story of a man whose adolescent affair with an older woman returns to haunt him years later.
39 30-Dec-05 The Nigger of the Narcissus Joseph Conrad "The Narcissus came gently into her berth; the shadows of souless walls fell upon her, the dust of all the continents leaped upon her deck, and a swarm of strange men, clambering up her sides, took possession of her in the name of the sordid earth. She h
40 29-Jun-06 Gilead Marilyn Robinson "I have lived my life on the prairie and a line of oak trees can still astonish me."
41 30-Apr-09 The Reluctant Mr. Darwin David Quannem "He didn't foresee being swallowed up by barnacle taxonomy for eight years ... His study must have smelled like a pub, from the evaporation of pickling alcohol off his specimens." Darwin anecdotes: Little son George asking his playmates, "Where does your father do his barnacles?"
42 29-Jul-10 The Big Sleep Raymond Chandler “I’ve been around,” he said. “Know the boys and such. Used to do a little liquor-running down from Huenene Point. A tough racket, brother. Riding the scout car with a gun in your lap and a wad on your hip that would choke a coal chute. Plenty of times
43 27-Sep-07 Deliverance James Dickey Dickey's writing is gripping - the rape scene actually hurt to read it. Some of his poetic descriptions were carried away. Provided unspoken interaction between the four guys, most of whom wanted to be macho like Lewis.
44 17-Dec-09 Mutiny on the Bounty Charles Nordhoff et al The story of the Bounty will be told as long as men sail the sea. The storytelling genius of the authors finds here a canvas filled with color, action and adventure. Readers will realize, as did the authors, that so large a drama could not be confined to a single volume.  We read the first of the trilogy.
45 28-Oct-93 Bless Me Ultima Rudolpho Anaya  
46 22-Dec-94 The Painted Bird Jerzy Kosinski  
47 23-Dec-99 The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway Everyone enjoyed the bull fighting descriptions, wanted more.
48 27-Jul-00 Citizen Soldiers: Normandy to the Bulge Stephen Ambrose combines history and journalism to describe how American GIs battled their way to the Rhineland.
49 26-Feb-04 The Debt to Pleasure John Lanchester If Humbert Humbert had written a cookbook rather than about his nymphet, this would have been the book.
50 25-May-06 As I Lay Dying William Faulkner It takes two people to make you, and one people to die. That's how the world is going to end.
51 28-Sep-06 Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the Sky Cormac McCarthy War endures. … Before man was, war waited for him. ... Men are born for games. Nothing else. ... (every child) knows too that the worth or merit of a game is not inherent in the game itself but rather in the value of that which is put at hazard.
52 25-Feb-10 The Road Cormac McCarthy In a novel set in an indefinite, futuristic, post-apocalyptic world, a father and his young son make their way through the ruins of a devastated American landscape, struggling to survive and preserve the last remnants of their own humanity.
53 29-Mar-07 Ironweed William Kennedy Ironweed is only secondarily about Albany. It is primarily about survival - about an ordinary man, a bum by his own admission, whose extraordinarily bad luck has brought him to rock bottom but also to the discovery, within himself, of an inner strength.
54 28-Oct-10 The Last Picture Show Larry McMurtry We enter the one-stoplight town of Thalia, Texas, where Duane Moore, his buddy Sonny, and his girlfriend Jacy are all stumbling along the rocky road to adulthood. The trip includes naked swimming parties, a visit to a blind heifer, mean high school coach.
55 30-Jun-05 The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from the final days of Afghanistan’s monarchy to the atrocities of the present.
56 26-Aug-99 Snow Falling on Cedars David Guterson
57 30-Nov-00 Flashman: From the Flashman Papers George MacDonald Fraser  
58 29-Jul-04 Benjamin Franklin: An American Life Walter Isaacson Transforms marble men into flesh-and-blood figures, complex and admirable if hardly perfect.
59 29-Sep-04 Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress Dai Sijie lot of laughs as well as having our eyes opened again concerning Mao's Cultural Revolution
60 27-Jan-05 Beowulf - the new verse translation Seamus Heaney In the introduction to his translation, Seamus Heaney argues that Beowulf's role as a required text for many English students obscured its mysteries and "mythic potency."  We are treated to a world view in which a thane's allegiance to his lord and to God is paramount.
61 25-Aug-05 Beloved Toni Morrison Race, slavery, and the effects and banality of evil. Sethe, Paul D, and Stamp Paid have each endured a furious past, complete with the worst horrors imaginable.
62 31-Aug-00 Slaughterhouse Five or the Children's Crusade Kurt Vonnegut Extra Credit: Timequake
63 30-May-02 My Antonia Willa Cather
64 27-Feb-03 Blue Latitudes Tony Horwitz Boldly Going Where Capt. Cook Has Gone Before
65 26-Jul-07 The Things They Carried Tim O'Brien Included The Sweetheart of Song Tra Bong (story of Mary Anne and the Greenies) and On the Rainy River (story of the old man Elroy and The Trip (almost) to Canada).
66 29-Sep-95 The Reivers William Faulkner more great humor
67 25-Jun-98 The Crossing Cormac McCarthy Extra credit: Blood Meridian
68 17-Dec-98 Cities of the Plain Cormac McCarthy  
69 2-Aug-01 The Last Battle Cornelius Ryan Battle for Berlin: Ryan stressed realism and was meticulous in attention to detail and his extensive research notes.
70 30-Dec-04 The Seven Pillars of Wisdom T. E. Lawrence "All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.
71 28-Dec-06 The Brave Cowboy Edward Abbey Taking place in the fictional town of "Duke City, New Mexico"
72 7-Aug-08 A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini Plot more believable than The Kite Runner. A page-turner synopsis of Afghanistan with women as third class citizens. Mariam's hatred of Laila turn into Friendship.
73 18-Dec-08 What is the What Dave Eggers Valentino Achak Deng, the real-life hero of this engrossing epic, was a refugee from the Sudanese civil war - the bloodbath before the current Darfur bloodbath - of the 1980s and 90s. The fictionalized memoir by Salon.com's Dave Eggers.
74 27-May-93 The Education of Little Tree Forrest Carter  
75 22-Nov-94 Tortuga Rudolpho Anaya  
76 26-Jan-96 Glory Vladimir Nabokov  
77 25-Jun-96 Life on the Mississippi Mark Twain  
78 4-Oct-96 The Best of Edward Abbey [or Slumgullion Stew] Edward Abbey  
79 24-Oct-96 The Warrior Woman Maxine Hong Kingston  
80 26-Jun-97 The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad  
81 22-Sep-97 Recapitulation Wallace Stegner  
82 18-Dec-97 Lie Down in Darkness William Styron  
83 26-Oct-00 Cold Mountain Charles Frazier  
84 31-Mar-05 Flyboys James Bradley Over the remote Pacific island of Chichi Jima, nine American flyers - Navy and Marine pilots sent to bomb Japanese communications towers were shot down. Eight were captured by Japanese soldiers on Chichi Jima and held prisoner. Then they disappeared.
85 27-Oct-05 No Ordinary Time Doris Kearns Goodwin A compelling chronicle of a nation and its leaders during the period when modern America was created.
86 25-Jan-07 Saturday Ian McEwan a novel set within a single day -- 15 February 2003. Henry Perowne is a contented man - a successful neurosurgeon.
87 27-Jan-00 The Perfect Storm Sebastian Junger an extended Reader's Digest true-adventure article, except the heroes don't survive
88 25-Apr-02 Longitude Dava Sobel
89 29-Aug-02 The Chosen Chaim Potok
90 26-Sep-02 Julian Gore Vidal Gore Vidal's fictional recreation of the Roman Empire teetering on the crux of Roman Empire teetering on the crux of Christianity and ruled by an emperor who was an inveterate dabbler in arcane hocus-pocus, a prig, a bigot, and a dazzling and brilliant leader.
91 23-Oct-03 Love in the Time of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez unrequited passion so strong that it binds three people's lives together for more than fifty years.
92 29-Jan-04 Girl with A Pearl Earring Tracy Chevalier The novel isn't perfect, but provides a view into a fascinating period of history and a portrait of perhaps the world's greatest painter.
93 23-Feb-06 The Plot Against America Phillip Roth A "what-if" historical novel -- the isolationist, Nazi sympathizer, and anti-Semite Charles Lindbergh runs against Roosevelt in 1940 and wins.
94 3-Jan-08 Terrorist John Updike From the first chapter one hears the ticking of a bomb in the background. Ahmad was a U.S. citizen who didn't adopt to the outside world as his home country. Jack Levy defused him.
95 26-Mar-09 Blindness Jose Saramago Saramago's apocalyptic novel provides yet another view of man's animal nature. Chaos seems to inevitably bring out the worst in us. On the other hand, Saramago also portrayed some of the love and tenderness we associate with human behavior.
96 19-Nov-09 The Untouchable John Banville It was not about spying but about relationships. Protagonist was a twit in the true English tradition. The writing was at times very special - such as "a tracery of raindrops' and "Sodden sycamore leaves lolloping about the road like injured toads."
97 21-Nov-96 God: A Biography Jack Miles (won Pulitzer Prize in April, 1996)
98 28-Dec-00 Invisible Man Ralph Ellison  
99 26-Apr-01 Crossing to Safety Wallace Stegner [be sure to see the review by the Literary Society of San Diego]
100 27-Jun-02 A Bend in the River V. S. Naipaul Naipaul was 2001's Nobel winner in literature.
101 29-Apr-04 The Maltese Falcon Dashiel Hammett The best known, and considered the best, of Hammett's Sam Spade novels.
114 26-Jun-08 Lord of the Flies William Golding Golding described theme as an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature and that the "shape of society must depend on the ethical nature of the individual and not on any political system..."
115Right Ho, Jeeves P. G. Wodehouse
1166/27/2013  Lucky JimKingsley Amis"If you can't annoy somebody, there is little point in writing."  "... all his faces were designed to express rage or loathing. Now that something had happened which really deserved a face, he had none to celebrate it with. As a kind of token, he made his Sex Life in Ancient Rome face."
117 28-Jun-07 Bang the Drum Slowly Mark Harris “It might or might not probably ever happen” - Good story, clever dialogue held true throughout the 243 pages (even the doctors talked like baseball players), minor league characters working toward teamwork.
1181/27/2011Still AliceLisa Genova"Okay, Alice, can you spell the word water backwards for me?" he asked.
She would have found this question trivial and even insulting six months ago, but today, it was a serious question to be tackled with serious effort. She felt only marginally worried  
11912/29/2011War TrashHa JinSome of us rushed into the nearby bushes and some lay down in the roadside ditches. The planes dropped a few flash bombs, a shower of light illuminating the entire area; our troops and vehicles at once became visible. Then bombs rained down and machine guns began raking us.
120 28-Oct-04 Invitation to a Beheading Vladimir Nabokov Cincinnattus lives.
121 26-Oct-06 White Noise Don DeLillo Captures the particular strangeness of life in a time where humankind has finally learned enough to kill itself. Naturally, it's a terribly funny book, and the prose is as beautiful as a sunset through a particulate-filled sky.
122 6-Nov-08 Winter in the Blood James Welch “…Long Knife had become shrewd in the way dumb men are shrewd. He had learned to give the illusion of work, even to the point of sweating as soon as he put his gloves on, while doing very little.”
123 29-Apr-10 Suite Francaise Irene Nemirovsky Published more than sixty years following the author's death at Auschwitz, a remarkable story of life under the Nazi occupation includes two parts--"A Storm in June," set amid the chaotic 1940 exodus from Paris on the eve of the Nazi invasion, and "Dolce."
12412/20/2012 The Tennis Partner Abraham Verghese "perhaps he was drawn to doctoring because he subconsciously thought that if he attended to the pain of others, it would take care of his own."  
125 25-Mar-99 The Day of the Locust Nathanael West [#73; movie c. 1975]
125 30-Oct-99 A Walk in the Woods Bill Bryson Katz!
127 19-Dec-02 Founding Brothers Joseph Ellis non-fiction
128 25-Jun-03 the works of Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe any poem, short story, work
129 30-Jul-09 Water for Elephants Sara Gruen Gruen framed the story with Jacob as a 90 or 93 year old, and overpopulated it with characters (over 40 named). The nursing home scenes were entertaining, but the circus story itself was not so well written and not so credible.
130 18-Nov-10 Exiles in the Garden Ward Just Alex had the usual habits of one who lived alone: a fixed diet, a weekly visit to the bookstore, a scrupulously balanced checkbook, and a devotion to major league baseball and the PGA Tour.
1311/26/2012Caleb's CrossingGeraldine Brooks“Life is better than death. I know this. Tequamuck says it is the coward’s talk. I say it is braver, sometimes, to bend.”
1327/5/2012The Heart is a Lonely HunterCarson McCullers“This was her, Mick Kelly, walking in the daytime and by herself at night. In the hot sun and in the dark with all the plans and feelings. This music was her—the real plain her...This music did not take a long time or a short time. It did not have anything to do with time going by at all. She sat with her arms around her legs, biting her salty knee very hard.
133 30-Mar-00 Ceremony Leslie Marmon Silko  
135 28-Sep-00 Of Love and Shadows Isabel Allende  
136 31-Jan-02 Kim Rudyard Kipling
136 20-Nov-03 Atonement Ian McEwan  
137 6/30/2011 TinkersPaul Harding  “Your cold mornings are filled with the heartache about the fact that although we are not at ease in this world, it is all we have, that it is ours but that it is full of strife, so that all we can call our own is strife; but even that is better than nothing."
138 3-May-07 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Mark Haddon Focuses on one character and gives the character more autistic traits than are normally seen in one individual.
139 28-Jan-10 Italian Shoes Henning Mankell "I always feel more lonely when it's cold. The cold outside my window reminds me of the cold emanating from my own body. I'm being attacked from two directions. But I'm constantly resisting. That's why I cut a hole in the ice every morning. "
140 27-Oct-95 Mozart Marcia Davenport [extra credit: view Amadeus]
141 29-Feb-96 Death Comes for the Archbishop Willa Cather not at all the compelling book it's made out to be
142 29-Aug-96 I Heard the Owl Call My Name Margaret Craven The Indian knows his village and feels for his village as no white man for his country, his town, or even for his own bit of land.
143 27-Feb-97 Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad (novella, 1902)
144 29-May-97 Roughing It Mark Twain  
145 28-May-98 Dandelion Wine Ray Bradbury  
146 19-Nov-98 Hiroshima John Hersey  
147 24-Feb-00 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce extra credit: Dubliners
148 27-Sep-01 A Rumor of War Philip Caputo What the experience of Vietnam meant to a young college graduate, a 'gung-ho' lieutenant in the marine corps who enlisted for the 'heroic experience' of war.
149 22-Dec-01 Band of Brothers Stephen E. Ambrose The saga of Easy Company, whose 147 members Ambrose calls the nonpareil combat paratroopers on earth circa 1941-45.
150 29-May-03 In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead James Lee Burke The restless specters wait in the shadows for cajun cop Dave Robicheaux
151 18-Dec-03 All the Little Live Things Wallace Stegner many consider one of his three best.
152 27-May-04 The Map That Changed the World Simon Winchester In the early years of the nineteenth century, William Smith created the first geological map of Great Britain, a time-consuming, solitary project.
153 26-Aug-04 Reading Lolita In Tehran Azar Nafisi a memoir based on an underground book club in Tehran.
154 24-Feb-05 The Ornament of the World María Rosa Menocal The history of medieval Spain under the Muslims, from the eighth through the fifteenth centuries.This was a rare period in history, when Christianity, Judaism, and Islam flourished side by side, borrowing language, art, and architecture from each other.
155 31-Jan-08 Charming Billy Alice McDermott The grandmother "cooking the toughness into a roast." Her belief that vegetables and Brussels sprouts had no intrinsic taste but only received flavor from the salt and butter. The young lady awaiting word from her former suitor: Tell him "I am still here."
156 25-Sep-08 To A God UnKnown William Steinbeck In this short novel, Steinbeck explores the relationship of man to his land. The plot follows a man, Joseph Wayne, who moves to California in order to establish a homestead, leaving his father, who soon dies.
157 25-Jun-09 The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Diaz The life of Oscar Wao and the fukú. The curse served as a bridge across time and space. Diaz' ability to take depressing, brutal sequences under Trujillo and get us through them with a sparkling sense of humor. Example: "And you thought your committee was tough!"
15811/17/2011Cleopatra - A LifeStacy SchiffFamous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons.  Schiff boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order.
1595/31/2012The Warmth of Other SunsIsabel Wilkerson“They traveled deep into far-flung regions of their own country and in some cases clear across the continent. Thus the Great Migration had more in common with the vast movements of refugees from famine, war, and genocide in other parts of the world, where oppressed people, whether fleeing twenty-first-century Darfur or nineteenth-century Ireland, go great distances, journey across rivers, desserts, and oceans or as far as it takes to reach safety with the hope that life will be better wherever they land.”
1602/24/2011Queen of the SouthArturo Pérez-Reverte"There is one necessary skill…in this business.   Looking at a man and instantly knowing two things.   First, how much he's going to sell himself for.   And second, when you're going to have to kill him."
161 26-Feb-95 Farewell to Arms Ernest Hemingway  
162 6-Jun-96 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Philip K. Dick  
163 28-Feb-02 Bend Sinister Vladimir Nabokov
164 21-Nov-02 The Heart of the Matter Graham Greene
165 1-Nov-07 The Friends of Eddie Coyle George V. Higgins When Higgins wrote this, his first novel, he was a federal prosecutor for the Boston district.
166 27-May-10 Pompeii Robert Harris Pompeii is a blend of fictional characters with the real-life eruption of Mount Vesuvius on August 24, 79 that overwhelmed Pompeii and its surrounding towns. The author references various aspects of vulcanology, use of the Roman calendar, and Roman aqueducts.
1678/30/2012Winesburg, OhioSherwood AndersonIn that high place in the darkness the two oddly sensitive human atoms held each other tightly and waited. In the mind of each was the same thought. "I have come to this lonely place and here is this other," was the substance of the thing felt.”
1688/30/2012The Loved OneEvelyn Waugh“Mr. Schultz, you're jealous of Whispering Glades."  "And why wouldn't I be seeing all that dough going on relations they've hated all their lives, while the pets who've loved them and stood by them , never asked no questions, never complained, rich or poor, sickness or health, get buried anyhow like animals?”
1704/28/2011Half Broke HorsesJeannette WallsWhen people kill themselves, they think they're ending the pain, but all they're doing is passing it on to those they leave behind.”
“If I owned hell and west Texas, he said, I do believe I'd sell west Texas and live in hell.”
171 19-Feb-98 Laughing Boy Oliver La Farge (187 pgs)
172 23-Aug-01 The Time Machine H. G. Wells 1894 novel (his first) describes the adventures of his hero, the time-traveler, mostly in the year A.D. 802,701, when he encounters a class-ridden battle between the decadent Eloi and the primitive Morlocks.
173 24-Oct-02 It's Not About The Bike Lance Armstrong
174 31-Aug-06 The Devil in the White City Erik Larson Their fates were linked by the magical Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, nicknamed the “White City” for its majestic beauty. Architect Daniel Burnham built it; serial killer Dr. H. H. Holmes used it to lure victims to his World’s Fair Hotel.
17311/29/2012Three Empires on the NileDominic GreenThe book touches on the crumbling of the Ottoman Empire and the ascendency of British imperialism, with a cast of characters that includes a parade of colonial notables including Gladstone, Gordon, Kitchener and the corrupt pseudo-monarchs of the disintegrating Egyptian vassal state.
176 28-Aug-03 seldom disappointed: a memoir Tony Hillerman  
177 25-Sep-03 The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon Stephen King When a young girl finds herself lost in the woods, she tunes her Walkman to a Boston Red Sox game
178 29-Jul-93 The House at Otowi Bridge P. P. Church  
179 26-Aug-93 Sidhartha Herman Hesse  
180 28-Aug-98 On the Road Jack Kerouac  
181 28-Jun-01 The Sparrow Mary Doria Russell Religion-based framework for First Contact with clever clashing of ideas, humor & pathos.
182 30-Mar-06 Hard Line: Life and Death on the U.S.-Mexico Border Ken Ellington It's a timely issue, a local issue, a political issue, and a human issue of major proportions.
183 28-Aug-08 Bel Canto Ann Patchett Fictionalizing the Peru kidnapping. "Years later, when this period of internment was remembered by the people who were actually there, they saw it in two distinct periods: before the box and after the box." (of opera scores was brought in).
184 7-Dec-06 The World is Flat Thomas L. Friedman . . . A Brief History of the 21st Century
185 30-Mar-95 If Morning Ever Comes Anne Tyler  
186 28-Dec-95 A Thousand Acres Jane Smiley [extra credit: King Lear by W. Shakespeare] Iowa farmers really get down in the dirt. Jane should have left it to the bard.
187 29-Mar-01 Sons and Lovers D. H. Lawrence There appears to be much autobiographical material in D.H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers.
188 28-Jul-05 Florence of Arabia Christopher Buckley They handed her a pamphlet titled 'What American Women Should Understand When They Marry a Wasabi National.' The State Department's reflexive response to any American in extremis overseas is to hand them a pamphlet…"
189 29-Nov-07 That Old Ace in the Hole Annie Proulx Proulx presents the Texas Panhandle through the eyes of 25-year-old Bob Dollar, a newcomer arriving by car.
190 24-Jun-99 The Life of Samuel Johnson Robert Boswell Most read the 430 page version, abridged from the 1799 edition. One of the most-frequently quoted men of the 18th Century. One should at least become familiar with it, but don't read every word.
191 27-Apr-06 The Year of Magical Thinking Joan Didion Writer Joan Didion's best-selling memoir, "The Year of Magical Thinking" is about the death of her husband and her daughter's ultimately fatal illness.
1922/28/2013Barney's VersionMordecai Richler"I don't hold with shamans, witch doctors, or psychiatrists.  Shakespeare, Tolstoy, or even Dickens, understood more about the human condition than ever occurred to any of you. You overrated bunch of charlatans deal with the grammar of human problems, and the writers I've mentioned with the essence."
193 17-Nov-05 Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe First published in 1958, a relentlessly unsentimental rendering of Nigerian tribal life before and after the coming of colonialism.
194 24-Jun-93 Talking God Tony Hillerman  
195 30-Sep-93 The City at the Edge of the World V. B. Price  
196 29-Mar-94 Hard Choices: Health Care at What Cost? Mark Jaffe et al  
197 31-Mar-96 Kingsblood Royal Sinclair Lewis  
198 30-Jan-97 The Thief of Time Tony Hillerman  
199 22-Oct-97 MidAir Frank Conroy [short stories]
200 20-Nov-97 The Bean Trees Barbara Kingsolver  
201 26-Mar-98 Brave New World Aldous Huxley (270 pgs)
202 29-Apr-99 The Sea of Grass Conrad Richter the triangle of rancher Colonel Jim Brewton, his unstable Eastern wife Lutie, and the ambitious Brice Chamberlain.
203 23-Sep-99 Tropic of Cancer Henry Miller
204 29-Jun-00 Tuesdays with Morrie - Life's Greatest Lesson Mitch Albom  
205 25-Oct-01 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone J.K. Rowling Harry Potter knows a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Then an owl arrives.
206 31-Jul-03 To The Lighthouse Virginia Woolf  
207 22-Feb-07 Young Men and Fire Norman Maclean Studying the Missouri River fire of 1949 was his passion for over two decades, and the book is still used as training material in firefighting schools.
208 29-Jan-09 The Other Dave Guterson Was John William truly “The Other” for Neil Countryman? Or a confused character who latched onto an enabler for his hare-brained schemes of wilderness and survival.
2093/29/2012The Good SoldierFord Madox Ford“There is no man who loves a woman that does not desire to come to her for the renewal of his courage, for the cutting asunder of his difficulties. And that will be the mainspring of his desire for her. We are all so afraid, we are all so alone, we all so need from the outside the assurance of our own worthiness to exist.”
2109/27/2012The Art of FieldingChad Harbach“What would he say to her, if he was going to speak truly? He didn't know. Talking was like throwing a baseball. You couldn't plan it out beforehand. You just had to let go and see what happened.
211 31-May-07 A Question of Loyalty Douglas Waller Plunges into the seven-week Washington trial of Gen. William "Billy" Mitchell, the hero of the U.S. Army Air Service during World War I and the man who proved in 1921 that planes could sink a battleship.
212 24-Sep-09 The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Robert Heinlein Heinlein celebrating our 200th anniversary of our own revolution by having us witness it again, but this time the colony was perhaps more like Australia: a penal colony that constituted the basis of the population of the moon in 2076.
213 22-Feb-01 Timeline Michael Crichton His Andromeda Strain was very well done, and so was Jurassic Park. Not Timeline.
214 30-Jan-03 A Little Yellow Dog Walter Mosley an Easy Rawlins Mystery
215 27-Oct-94 You Just Don’t Understand Deborah Tannen  
216 1-May-08 The Birth of Venus Sarah Dunant Historical view of Florence. The Strange Case of the Tattooed Nun.
217 24-Jun-10 The Land of Green Plums Herta Muller The Land of Green Plums is the story of a group of young people in Nicolae Ceausescu's Romania.
218 26-Aug-10 The Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell et al The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing: Push 'em out. Gentlemen, I'm your instructor for the next two weeks. I'll help you, if you need help, over matters of personal concerns. If you get injured, go to medical and get it fixed and get back into training.
219 4-Feb-94 The Children of Men P. D. James  
220 28-Apr-94 Einstein’s Dreams Alan Lightman (fiction)
221 26-Jan-06 The March of Folly Barbara Tuchman From Troy to Vietnam. "no experience of the failure of his policy could shake his belief in its essential excellence."
222 26-May-05 Acqua Alta Donna Leon Complex, moral, gracious, and fiercely loyal, Commissario Guido Brunetti is a husband, father, detective, and, above all, a proud resident of the enchanted floating city of Venice.
223 4-May-95 Hole in the Sky - A Memoir William Kittredge a life examined that shouldn't have been
224 2-Apr-02 Man and Superman George Bernard Shaw
2259/23/2011The Ancient ChildN. Scott Momaday"Set imagined it was to please, but it was to astonish God that he painted. His presumption and arrogance were pronounced and dangerous, for they would certainly lead to the Sin of Despair, thence to death and nothingness. "
2267/28/2011The StorytellerMario Vargas Llosa"But what do I have? The things I'm told and the things I tell, that's all. And as far as I know, that never yet made anyone fly."
22711/21/2013The Pot Thief Who Studied EscoffierJ. Michael Orenduff"If I stuck to my principles, the nightmare at Schnitzel never would have happened.  Maybe there was a lesson there.  I called Dolly and invited her for dinner.  The sale of a second plate shortly before closing buoyed my spirits.  If I eventually sold all one hundred, I'd gross ten thousand dollars."
228 29-Sep-94 The Devil at Home Oliver Lange  
229 23-Apr-98 Rabbit is Rich John Updike extra credit: Rabbit Run and Rabbit Redux
230 23-Sep-98 Buffalo Girls Larry McMurtry (350 pgs)
231 24-Apr-03 Ulysses James Joyce the major imaginative work in English prose of the 20th century.
232 27-Aug-09 The Kill Artist Daniel Silva Story of international intrigue and the global fight against terrorism with focus on Israeli intelligence efforts.Some intriguing questions about morality, particularly on the part of Ari Shamron who allowed the killing of a terrorist who was dying anyway.
2339/26/2013On Top Of Spoon MountainJohn NicholsCome that future day Ben would kneel beside my half-exposed skull on which bleached tufts of ancient pelage were fluttering while Miranda rustled through the weathered knapsack:  "Hey Ben, look!  Here's one of those antique cameras with a snapshot inside of our reasonable, responsible, and respected dad on his 65th birthday when he perished of heatstroke, a heart attack, and lethal naivete combined."
234 22-Jun-95 Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game Herman Hesse intellectual life vs. real life: choose one
235 22-Apr-97 Ride With Me Mariah Montana Ivan Doig  
236 30-Aug-07 The Castle Franz Kafka the new translation by the Kafka scholar, Mark Harman, who, according to the The New York Times, has "made it more faithful to Kafka's dreamlike style."
237 25-May-95 The Witches of Eastwick John Updike  
238 18-Jul-02 Swift as Desire Laura Esquivel LAURA ESQUIVEL is the award-winning and bestselling author of Like Water for Chocolate.
239 22-Nov-93 One Richard Bach  
240 25-Apr-96 Bluefeather Fellini in the Sacred Realm Max Evans My eternal source of shame, but not as bad as my brothers claim
241 27-Mar-97 One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia-Marquez  
242 25-Jul-99 Jonathan Livingstone Seagull Richard Bach  
243 30-Sep-10 Jemez Spring Rudolpho Anaya With "Jemez Spring," Rudolfo Anaya again centers on the literate and spiritual private investigator, Sonny Baca. We have a corpse. But not just any dead body. Sonny is beckoned to crack the mystery behind the death of New Mexico's governor.
244 30-Jun-94 Alburquerque Rudolpho Anaya  
A special purpose book for special consideration:
  26-Feb-09 Just Coffee Don Tobesing Special event.  Don Tubesing has already received the highest award from the LTBC - no further voting is necessary, no greater accolade is possible. May he rest in Wisconsin.

Last Updated on 01/04/2014
By Michael A. Blackledge