25 Books to Read Before You Die
 
 

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April 01
Selected by Sarah from New York, New York
Sarah won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Mans Search for Meaning an Introduction To Logotherapy
Mans Search for Meaning an Introduction To Logotherapy
by Viktor E Frankl

Few books in recent decades have had the continuing impact of Dr. Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning -- the classic best seller now considered to be one of the most important contributions to psychiatry since the writing of Freud. In it, Dr. Frankl gives a moving account of his life amid the horrors of the Nazi death camps, chronicling the harrowing experience that led to his discovery of his theory of logotherapy. A profound revelation born out of Dr. Frankl's years as a prisoner in Auschwitz and other concentration camps, logotherapy is a modern and positive approach to the mentally or spiritually disturbed personality. Stressing man's freedom to transcend suffering and find a meaning to his life regardless of his circumstances, it is a theory which, since its conception, has exercised a tremendous influence upon the entire field of psychiatry and psychology. (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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April 02
Selected by Deanna from Waynesboro, Virginia
The Geographer's Library
The Geographer's Library
by Jon Fasman

Good reading with a scientific/archeological bent -- each chapter ends with a detailed description of an item in an alchemists lab and lost for many centuries. (read more)

Your price $8.95
Used - Hardcover
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April 03
Selected by Susan from Providence, Rhode Island
Susan won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
The Glass Castle: A Memoir
The Glass Castle: A Memoir


"'The Glass Castle' is the saga of the restless, indomitable Walls family, led by a grand eccentric and his tempestuous artist wife. Jeannette Walls has survived poverty, fires, and near starvation to triumph. She has written this amazing tale with honesty and love." -- Patricia Bosworth, author of "Anything Your Little Heart Desires" and "Diane Arbus: A Biography" (read more)


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April 04
Selected by Christiana from Portland, Oregon
Christiana won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Secret History
The Secret History
by Donna Tartt

"A thinking-person's thriller....Think Lord of the Flies, then The Rules of Attraction....The Secret History combines a bit of both — the unmistakable whiff of evil from William Golding's classic and the mad recklessness of priviledged youth from Bret Easton Ellis's novel of the '80s....As stony and chilling as any Greek tragedian ever plumbed." New York Newsday (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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April 05
Selected by Sandy from East Troy, Wisconsin
1968: Year That Rocked the World (04 Edition)
1968: Year That Rocked the World (04 Edition)
by Mark Kurlansky

Kurlansky specializes in unlikely subject matter that might, from the outset, seem dry as toast, but in his hands becomes a delicious baguette. Following Salt, 1968 might seem like more boomer navel-gazing but it's actually an insightful and gripping account of one of the more tumultuous years of our recent past. Even readers born years later will find much to intrigue and delight them in this riveting account. Rico, Powells.com (read more)

Your price $9.00
Used - Trade Paper
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April 06
Selected by Joyce from Orlando, Florida
Joyce won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
What I Loved
What I Loved
by Siri Hustvedt

Poignant and erotic, this sumptuous novel is Hustvedt's best yet. Donna, Powells.com (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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April 07
Selected by Kelly from Portland, Oregon
1421: The Year China Discovered America
1421: The Year China Discovered America
by Gavin Menzies

Kelly's comments:
Could not put this one down. Factual, new information for history, and non-history, buffs to sink their teeth into. A great read. (read more)

Your price $4.50
Used - Trade Paper
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April 08
Selected by K from Vestal, New York
K won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
A Dead Man in Deptford
A Dead Man in Deptford
by Anthony Burgess

With A Dead Man in Deptford, Burgess concluded his literary career to overwhelming acclaim for his re-creation of the Elizabethan poet Christopher Marlowe. The whole world of Elizabethan England -- from the intrigues of the courtroom, through the violent streets of London, to the glory of the theater -- comes alive in this joyous celebration of the life of Christopher Marlowe, murdered in suspicious circumstances in a tavern brawl. (read more)

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April 09
Selected by Carol from Concord, Massachussetts
Carol won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Water in Between: A Journey at Sea
The Water in Between: A Journey at Sea
by Kevin Patterson

Carol's comments:
After a failed love affair, Kevin Patterson sets out from central Canada, buys a sailboat and heads for the Pacific islands. With both self-deprecating humor and literary nuance, Patterson explores the reasons sailing adventurers have escaped to the sea, while describing his own adventure, and detailing sea phenomenon and sailing techniques. Both sailing novices and seasoned sailors will enjoy this book. (read more)

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Used - Mass Market
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April 10
Selected by Anjali from Carson City, Nevada
Anjali won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Local Girls
Local Girls
by Alice Hoffman

"When living and dying get a little extreme, Hoffman invokes the paranormal, replacing hard questions with pretty metaphors. This is comfort literature, and she does it well -- though she sometimes falls on the wrong side of the line between charming and cloying." Literary Review (read more)

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April 11
Selected by Tony from Las Vegas, Nevada
Tony won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Making Kind Choices: Everyday Ways to Enhance Your Life Through Earth- and Animal-Friendly Living
Making Kind Choices: Everyday Ways to Enhance Your Life Through Earth- and Animal-Friendly Living
by Ingrid Newkirk

"As this book explores, acts of kindness, even in the simplest ways, are what make our lives meaningful, bringing happiness to ourselves and others." The Dalai Lama (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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April 12
Selected by Lachelle from Dallas, Texas
High Country (Anna Pigeon Mysteries)
High Country (Anna Pigeon Mysteries)
by Nevada Barr

In Barr's latest New York Times bestseller, Anna Pigeon investigates the disappearance of four employees in Yosemite National Park. Following the scent of evil, she hikes up a snowy trail to the high country. What waits for her is a nightmare of death and greed ? and perhaps her final adventure. (read more)

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Used - Mass Market
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April 13
Selected by Meredith from Santa Rosa, California
Meredith won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals
The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals
by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

Weaving history, literature, anecdotes, scientific studies, and his own vivid experiences observing pigs, cows, sheep, goats, and chickens over the course of five years, Masson gives voice, meaning, and dignity to these gentle beasts that are bred to be milked, shorn, butchered, and eaten. (read more)

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April 14
Selected by Lucas from Birmingham, Alabama
Lucas won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Motherless Brooklyn
Motherless Brooklyn
by Jonathan Lethem

Motherless Brooklyn is narrated by Lionel Essrog, the "Human Freakshow." A victim of Tourette's syndrome, Lionel is prone to uncontrollable verbal outbursts. Sometimes his exclamations are merely bizarre. But not always: "Reality needs a prick here and there, the carpet needs a flaw. My words begin plucking at threads nervously, seeking purchase, a weak point, a vulnerable ear....That's when it comes...'Eat me!' I scream." In Lethem's hands, Essrog's Tourette's is far more than a clever device. Essrog is at once hugely entertaining and genuinely sympathetic, one of the most compelling ? and unlikely ? characters in recent fiction. Essrog was also Lethem's passport out of the science fiction ghetto. Farley, Powells.com (read more)

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April 15
Selected by Syd from Staten Island, New York
Syd won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Downtown: My Manhattan
Downtown: My Manhattan
by Pete Hamill

Syd's Comments:
"Nostalgia in its highest form. Whether you are a native New Yorker or wish to become a part of this city, this is the book to read. History and Pete Hamill's love of New York is intertwined and he asks you to enjoy and come along for the ride." (read more)

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Used - Hardcover
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April 16
Selected by Olive from Las Vegas, Nevada
Olive won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
by Marjane Satrapi

"I grew up reading the Mexican comics of Gabriel Vargas, graduated to the political teachings of Rius, fell under the spell of Linda Barry, Art Spiegelman, and now I am a fan of Marjane Satrapi. Her stories thrummed in my heart for days. Persepolis is part history book, part Scheherazade, astonishing as only true stories can be. I learned much about the history of Iran, but more importantly, it gave me hope for humanity in these unkind times." Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street and Caramelo (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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April 17
Selected by Lori from New Westminster, Canada
The Better World Handbook: From Good Intentions to Everyday Actions
The Better World Handbook: From Good Intentions to Everyday Actions
by Ellis Jones and Ross Haenfler and Brett Johnson

Lori's comments:
"The authors hope to inspire readers to help create a better world, not a perfect one, on the assumption that if we aim for perfection, people are paralyzed into doing nothing. Based on seven principles things like revitalized community, social justice and ecological sustainability the Handbook is full of actions that an individual can take on a daily basis to bring about a Better World. So influential is this book, that it inspired a group to create the Better World Handbook Festival in Vancouver, BC this year, which the authors all attended as MCs, speakers and guests." (read more)

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April 18
Selected by Dirk from Seattle, Washington
Dirk won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
Cloud Atlas: A Novel
Cloud Atlas: A Novel
by David Mitchell

While it was hard to narrow down my list to just five "best of" picks, I didn't have to think twice about what would be my favorite book of the year. In Cloud Atlas Mitchell again uses the format of connecting short stories with recurring motifs into a larger, almost epic narrative that spans the globe and centuries of human history. Filled with wonderful characters, effortless shifts in style, and more imagination than you can shake a stick at, Cloud Atlas will be a tough book for its author to top. Personally, I cannot wait to see him try. Gerry, Powells.com (read more)

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April 19
Selected by Julie from Farmington, Michigan
Julie won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Meditations from a Movable Chair: Essays (Vintage Contemporaries)
Meditations from a Movable Chair: Essays (Vintage Contemporaries)
by Andre Dubus

Julie's Comments:
"Finishing one of these essays is like hanging up from a phone call with an old, dear friend. Dubus doesn't just tell you a story he brings you into it." (read more)

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April 20
Selected by Sara from Portland, Oregon
The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon
The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon
by Tom Spanbauer

"Freud would have had a field day. The 384 pages offer plenty of plot twists, humor, graphic but not prurient sex, didacticisms, some magic realism (North American-style) and a consistent view of life that might be termed 'rebellious romanticism' for the 1990s. A different view of the West where the bisexuals and prostitutes wear the white hats, gender is up for grabs, and every permutation of love will have its way." Kirkus Reviews (read more)

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New - Trade Paper
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April 21
Selected by Kristine from Binghamton, USA
Kristine won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
The Adversary: A True Story of Monstrous Deception
The Adversary: A True Story of Monstrous Deception
by Emmanuel Carrere

Now a major motion picture starring Daniel Auteuil (Sade, Girl on the Bridge, Jean de Florette) directed by Nicole Garcia (Place Vendome)

Acclaimed master of psychological suspense, Emmanuel Carrère, whose fiction John Updike described as ?stunning? (The New Yorker) explores the double life of a respectable doctor, eighteen years of lies, five murders, and the extremes to which ordinary people can go.

(read more)

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April 22
Selected by Dan from Washington, D.C.
Dan won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
So Long, See You Tomorrow (80 Edition)
So Long, See You Tomorrow (80 Edition)
by William Maxwell

On an Illinois farm in the 1920s, a man is murdered, and in the same moment the tenous friendship between two lonely boys comes to an end. In telling their interconnected stories, American Book Award winner William Maxwell delivers a masterfully restrained and magically evocative meditation on the past. Dan's comments:
"Hidden in this story of guilt and atonement is the best explanation for why fiction matters." (read more)

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April 23
Selected by Kelly from Ann Arbor, Michigan
Kelly won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-And-Rock-N-Roll Generation Saved Hollywood
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-And-Rock-N-Roll Generation Saved Hollywood
by Peter Biskind

"Easy Riders, Raging Bulls is by turns exhilarating, astonishing, depressing, and hilarious. While Biskind's dramatic instincts lead him to focus on the more out-of-control films, leaving a false impression that every production was a runaway train lucky to pull into the station in one piece, the context of the work gives it a greater significance than salacious gossip. Biskind vividly captures the hopes, dreams, and highs ? and yes, the follies ? of the first truly independent film generation." Chris Bolton, Powells.com (read more)

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Sale - Trade Paper
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April 24
Selected by Larry from Baltimroe, Maryland
Larry won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Among the Missing
Among the Missing
by Dan Chaon

Larry's comments:
"A wonderful collection of stories, mostly about lonely people trying to come to grips with feelings of helplessness." (read more)

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April 25
Selected by Virginia from Tucson, Arizona
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
by Mary Roach

"Droll, dark, and quite wise, Stiff makes being dead funny and fascinating and weirdly appealing." Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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April 26
Selected by Gerry from Mobile, Alabama
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
by Michael Chabon

At the heart of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay are Sammy Clay and Joe Kavalier, two cousins who forge a comic book empire in forties New York....Chabon's remarkable characters provide a virtual tour through the classic themes of the human experience: good, evil, romance, friendship, longing, despair ? the whole package. Kavalier and Clay was both a critical success, receiving the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and an international bestseller, and is widely regarded as one of the best novels published in the past ten years. Farley, Powells.com (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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April 27
Selected by Andrea from Carmel Valley, California
Andrea won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $60.
Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason
Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason
by Nancy Pearl

Andrea's comments:
"Great for when you are looking for something new to read, but you just don't know what." (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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April 28
Selected by Liz from Eugene, Oregon
Liz won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
House of Sand and Fog
House of Sand and Fog
by Andre Dubus III

Liz's comments:
"This is one of those books that just sticks with you even when you put it down. Excellent!" (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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April 29
Selected by Kimberly from Beaverton, Oregon
Kimberly won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Home Land
Home Land
by Sam Lipsyte

Kimberly's comments:
"This book is a real treat. Most of us have all thought about how we will be perceived at our high school reunions. It is time to accept the fact that success comes in many forms." (read more)

Your price $6.95
Used - Trade Paper
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April 30
Selected by Kirsten from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Assassination Vacation
Assassination Vacation
by Sarah Vowell

Kirsten's comments:
"Sarah Vowell combines Sedarislike wit with truly educational material on three presidential assassins. If you find minutia fascinating, if you pull over to read historical plaques or if you make fun of people who do you will love this book." (read more)

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Used - Hardcover
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