BOOK SENSE BEST BOOKS: 125 Favorite Books Recommended by Independent Booksellers

Mark Nichols, Editor, Book Sense, Compiled by, Barbara Kingsolver, Foreword by , edited by Mark Nichols, foreword by Barbara Kingsolver, intro. by Avin Mark Do Newmarket $12.95 (94p) ISBN 978-1-55704-643-7

This volume celebrates the fifth anniversary of Book Sense, a subsidiary of the American Booksellers Association composed of more than 1,200 independent booksellers in 50 states This work offers the members' list of 15 favorite adult titles and 10 children's favorites, all published in the last five years (several of the children's selections are new editions of older classics). It's clear that independent booksellers are passionate about reading, and their comments embellish their picks. Ranging from hugely successful titles like The Da Vinci Code (bookseller Jeff Azbill calls it "one of those rare books that... makes you question everything you thought you knew about religion, art, and what you were taught in school") to the literary memoir Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller ("a mixture of joy, tragedy, and reality," says bookseller Connie Heppner), the choices will intrigue and attract serious readers especially, but perhaps also casual readers looking for something good to dip into. There is also an extremely useful compilation of 50 recommendations for reading groups and 50 children's and young adult classic selections. Kingsolver's heartfelt tribute to independent booksellers is alone worth the price of this guide. She credits the "guardian angels" of the now defunct Book Mark in her hometown, Tucson, Ariz., with helping to launch her first novel, and eloquently argues for the survival of the independents. (Oct. 12)

Reviewed on: 10/04/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
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