25 Books to Read Before You Die
 
 

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April 01
Selected by Ron from LaCrosse, Wisconsin
Ron won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Waxwings
Waxwings
by Jonathan Raban

"If tackling the giant social novels of Jonathan Franzen or Tom Wolfe makes you wish for a book that isn't quite so full, Waxwings may be just the corrective you're after. Raban captures this exuberant era with striking efficiency. He prods us to consider that we're living in a period that makes us all somehow foreigners, desperate for residency." Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor (read more)

Your price $1.00
Sale - Hardcover
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April 02
Selected by Jen from Alexandria, Virginia
Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before
Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before
by Tony Horwitz

Jen's comments:
"It all started with Confederates in the Attic. From that point on, my love affair with Horwitz's writing style has been all-consuming. I absolutely refused to put this book down until I had read every last word, which happened on the train to work this morning." (read more)

Your price $5.50
Used - Trade Paper
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April 03
Selected by Susan from Roanoke, Virginia
Susan won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
The Grand Complication
The Grand Complication
by Allen Kurzweil

"A hunt along the lines of The Maltese Falcon for an ancient and desirable object...a satisfying, multi-level tale." New York Times Book Review (read more)

Your price $23.25
New - Trade Paper
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April 04
Selected by Anne from Grass Valley, California
Anne won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Exact Same Moon: Fifty Acres and a Family
The Exact Same Moon: Fifty Acres and a Family
by Jeanne Marie Laskas

Anne's comments:
"With a subtitle of Fifty Acres and a Family, this is a sequel to the authors first book, Fifty Acres and a Poodle. It's just as a funny and endearing, and I truly didn't want it to end." (read more)

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Used - Hardcover
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April 05
Selected by Carissa from State College, Pennsylvania
Carissa won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Complete Stories (71 Edition)
Complete Stories (71 Edition)
by Flannery O'Connor

"She could put everything about a character into a single look, everything she had and knew into a single story...For her, people were complete in their radical weakness, their necessarily human incompleteness. Each story was complete, sentence by sentence. And each sentence was a hard, straight, altogether complete version of her subject: human deficiency, sin, error — ugliness taking a physical form." Alfred Kazin New York Times Book Review, 11/28/71 (read more)

Your price $10.00
Used - Trade Paper
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April 06
Selected by Manuel from Costa Mesa, United States
Manuel won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
by Amin Maalouf

Manuel's comments:
"A very readable history made all the more fascinating because of current events and the realization that after 1000 years, Christians and Muslims still fail to understand each other." (read more)

Your price $7.50
Used - Trade Paper
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April 07
Selected by Ann from Sacramento, California
Ann won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid's Tale
by Margaret Atwood

Ann's comments:
"Written almost 20 years ago, this futuristic story is really a morality tale. Read today's news stories about pending legislature to control how mothers behave while pregnant and then read this book. Chilling!" (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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April 08
Selected by John from Phoenix, Arizona
All the President's Men
All the President's Men
by Carl Bernstein

John's comments:
"It seems like a new book comes out every week explaining why Bush is...er, 'failing' in his duties. Maybe it's time to take a look back at what Americans used to think was crime enough to throw a President out of office." (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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April 09
Selected by Cally from Seattle, Washington
The Beach: A Novel
The Beach: A Novel
by Alex Garland

Cally's comments:
"I just reread this book for the fourth time, and it's still my favorite. If you didn't like the movie, you should still read this book because it's different." (read more)

Your price $1.50
Used - Trade Paper
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April 10
Selected by Christy from Houston, Texas
The Spiral Staircase
The Spiral Staircase
by Karen Armstrong

"An engaging story of her own spiritual journey by contemporary religion's foremost public intellectual....[C]andid, witty, insightful, and moving. A book that teaches as it entertains." Marcus J. Borg, author of The Heart of Christianity (read more)

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Used - Hardcover
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April 11
Selected by Nancy from Willseyville, New York
Nancy won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $60.
Cold Company: An Alaska Mystery
Cold Company: An Alaska Mystery
by Sue Henry

Nancy's comments:
"Alaskan Wilderness, sled dogs, and Murder! What an addicting read. Tensions abound and pages fly in this great mystery novel!" (read more)

Your price $9.50
Used - Hardcover
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April 12
Selected by Mike from Portland, Oregon
Mike won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Nathaniel's Nutmeg: Or, the True and Incredible Adventure of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History
Nathaniel's Nutmeg: Or, the True and Incredible Adventure of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History
by Giles Milton

Mike's comments:
"An entertaining study on a neglected part of history, the competition between England and Holland for possession of the treasured spice-producing islands of Southeast Asia in the 17th Century. A great read for both history and nautical buffs, or for any cooks interested in learning the history behind the SPICE ISLANDS label in their cupboard." (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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April 13
Selected by Michaela from San Antonio, Texas
Little Children
Little Children
by Tom Perrotta

"[W]hat a wicked joy it is to welcome to town Little Children, Tom Perrotta's extraordinary novel....[The novel] raises the question of how a writer can be so entertainingly vicious and yet so full of fellow feeling." Will Blythe, The New York Times Book Review (read more)

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Used - Hardcover
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April 14
Selected by Tracy from San Francisco, California
Tracy won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality
The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality
by Brian Greene

"[Greene's] excitement for science on the threshold of vital breakthroughs is supremely contagious. The Fabric of the Cosmos is as dazzling as it is tough, and it beautifully reflects this theoretician's ardor for his work." The New York Times (read more)

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Used - Hardcover
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April 15
Selected by Roslyn from Medfield, Massachusetts
Roslyn won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
American Pastoral
American Pastoral
by Philip Roth

"At once expansive and painstakingly detailed....The pages of American Pastoral crackle with the electricity and zest of a first-rate mind at work." San Francisco Chronicle (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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April 16
Selected by Brian from Cincinnati, Ohio
Brian won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Hollywood Animal: A Memoir
Hollywood Animal: A Memoir
by Joe Eszterhas

Brian's comments:
"Suspense, intrigue, tension, and excitement are the givens in Basic Instinct, Fatal Attraction, Jagged Edge, and any movie written by Joe Eszterhas. They're also the constants in the very entertaining story of his life as a Hungarian immigrant and Hollywood player/rebel. The sex, fights, and gossip are fun, but expected. The surprise is how sensitively he writes about his childhood, parents, and struggle to fit in. An unpredictable read that will make you look at some very popular movies in a new light." (read more)

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Used - Hardcover
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April 17
Selected by Camille from Pittsburg, Kansas
Foreign Bodies (97 Edition)
Foreign Bodies (97 Edition)
by Hwee Hwee Tan

Camille's comments:
"A unique morality tale from an author who combines a globalized world view with a Christian, generation X sensibility." (read more)

Your price $11.00
Used - Trade Paper
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April 18
Selected by Christina from Pensacola, Florida
Christina won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
by Lynne Truss

Christina's comments:
"A friend gave this to me earlier this year and I am in love....with GRAMMAR! While the book is didactic, it should also be read for enjoyment." (read more)

Your price $4.50
Used - Hardcover
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April 19
Selected by Joshua from Portland, Oregon
Joshua won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Sound and the Fury: The Corrected Text
The Sound and the Fury: The Corrected Text
by William Faulkner

"For all the range of effect, philosophical weight, originality of style, variety of characterization, humor, and tragic intensity [Faulkner's works] are without equal in our time and country." Robert Penn Warren (read more)

Your price $2.50
Used - Trade Paper
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April 20
Selected by Lisa from Fillmore, Indiana
Lisa won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Noah's Children: Restoring the Ecology of Childhood
Noah's Children: Restoring the Ecology of Childhood


Lisa's comments:
"I have always loved Sara Stein's books, My Weeds and Noah's Garden. She completely changed the way I see my backyard as its own little ecosystem instead of my private little garden. Now she's changed how I look at raising my children. A wonderful book...every parent should read it." (read more)


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April 21
Selected by Maren from Minneapolis, Minnesota
Maren won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Achilles
Achilles
by Elizabeth Cook

Maren's comments:
"A lyrical short novel about one of the most famous Greek soldiers. It doesn't take a lot of time to read, but it is very enjoyable." (read more)

Your price $2.95
Used - Trade Paper
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April 22
Selected by Rachel from Metuchen, New Jersey
Rachel won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel
Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel
by Richard H. Minear

Rachel's comments:
"Fascinating political cartoons by Dr. Seuss. The same wit and charm that we all know and love focused on a different subject." (read more)

Your price $12.00
Used - Trade Paper
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April 23
Selected by Cheryl from Spokane, Washington
The Story of Lucy Gault
The Story of Lucy Gault
by William Trevor

"Reading books...that purvey...'feel good' notions, I can't help feeling that I am being told what something thinks I want to hear: genial, consoling, hugely well-meaning, mostly harmless lies....Whereas, reading Trevor, I feel that I am being told the truth ? the melancholy, regrettable, unromantic truth, but a truth I recognize....Now, more than ever, when it so often appears that we are inundated with lies ? lies told by our government, by corporate CEOs, by the popular media ? the meticulous fidelity to truth embodied in such fictions as The Story of Lucy Gault seems especially valuable and refreshing." Francine Prose, Harper's Magazine (read more)

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April 24
Selected by Scott from Erie, Pennsylvania
History of Christianity
History of Christianity
by Paul Johnson

Scott's comments:
"A strength of Johnson's book on Christian history is its chronological approach. He divides the book into Christian eras, based on key events. For example, part 3, Mitred Lords and Crowned Ikons, is an era from 450 AD to 1054 AD: from the Council of Chalcedon to the Western papal schism from the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church. Part 4, for example, The Total Society and Its Enemies, goes from 1054 AD 1500 AD, from the Latin papal schism to the era of the Protestant German Reformation. This book is a classic text. Though it may contain opinions to which some will object, it is nevertheless required reading for anyone interested in reading about Christian/Church history, from a variety of viewpoints. Johnson's book dates from 1976." (read more)

Your price $9.95
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April 25
Selected by Erwin from Seattle, Washington
Herland
Herland
by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Erwin's comments:
"The strange, biologically implausible all-female society in this novel proves to be an illuminating prism through which to view our society. The invitation to consider the root causes of violence, disease, and social malaise is as relevant today as in 1915. The arrival of three men ? adventurer, poet, and sociologist ? in the egalitarian society is a clumsy tool, but an effective method for sociological dissection." (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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April 26
Selected by Barry from Minneapolis, Minnesota
Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America
Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America
by Jonathan Rauch

Barry's comments:
"I have a brother who is gay. But I was still having trouble with the idea of gay marriage until I read this excellent book, which explains how allowing gays to marry would be good for all of us." (read more)

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Used - Hardcover
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April 27
Selected by Faisal from Enugu, Nigeria
Great Expectations
Great Expectations
by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations is the first novel I read that made me wish I had written it; it is the novel that made me want to be a novelist ? specifically, to move a reader as I was moved then. I believe that Great Expectations has the most wonderful and most perfectly worked-out plot for a novel in the English language; at the same time, it never deviates from its intention to move you to laugher and tears." John Irving (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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April 28
Selected by Mary from Longmont, Colorado
Mary won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $120.
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
by Alexander McCall Smith

"The author's prose has the merits of simplicity, euphony and precision. His descriptions leave one as if standing in the Botswana landscape. This is art that conceals art. I haven't read anything with such alloyed pleasure for a long time." Anthony Daniels, The Sunday Telegraph (read more)

Your price $3.95
Used - Trade Paper
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April 29
Selected by Adam from Atlanta, Georgia
Adam won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
In the Miso Soup
In the Miso Soup
by Ryu Murakami

Adam's comments:
"This phenomenal dark comedy examines the sexual and psychological mores of Americans and Japanese in a biting satire. Not for the squeamish, but a book that anyone who can stomach some intensely violent scenes won't be able to put down." (read more)

Your price $10.95
Used - Hardcover
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April 30
Selected by Jen from Cambridge, Massachussetts
Jen won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Golden Notebook: Perennial Classics Edition (Perennial Classics)
The Golden Notebook: Perennial Classics Edition (Perennial Classics)
by Doris Lessing

"The Golden Notebook is Doris Lessing's most important work and has left its mark upon the ideas and feelings of a whole generation of women." Elizabeth Hardwick, New York Times Book Review (read more)

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