The 100 Finest Fiction And Nonfiction Titles Of The CenturyWhat becomes a classic most? Convening in the literary equivalent of a smoke-filled room, Amazon.com's editors haggled over the 100 finest fiction and nonfiction titles of the century. Some months later, they emerged with a delicious--and judicious--mix of great books.
Best of the 1930s.
Worldwide depression left its mark on many writers, from Orwell to Steinbeck to Hurston. There was also an ornithological note struck by Flann O'Brien, William Maxwell, and that ultimate in-flight guide, Roger Tory Peterson. Take a look at our fiction and nonfiction top 10s.
Best of the 1900s.
The new century seemed to touch both a fictional and nonfictional ferment. Sigmund Freud and W.E.B. Du Bois checked in with epoch-making titles, while uptown girl Edith Wharton and decidedly downtown André Gide published some of their finest work. Take a look at our fiction and nonfiction top 10s.
Best of the 1990s.
We appear to be ending on a properly fin-de-siècle note, with epochal considerations of the great issues (race, epistemology, politics, war, and peace). Yet both Janet Malcolm and Nicholson Baker delivered witty, close-focus meditations on the self--and the petting zoo of the 1990s included the final installment of John Updike's Rabbit tetralogy as well as Claire Tomalin's dreamily good Jane Austen biography. Take a look at our fiction and nonfiction top 10s.
Best of the 1960s.
The 1960s saw a delayed reaction to World War II as Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Heller, and Primo Levi gave their very different testimonies. Meanwhile, Rachel Carson, James Baldwin, and Doris Lessing sounded calls to arms, and John le Carré documented the cold war at its most frigid. Take a look at our fiction and nonfiction top 10s.
NEW & NOTABLE BOOKS:
Michael Crichton's new novel opens on the threshold of the twenty-first century. It is a world of exploding advances on the frontiers of technology. Information moves instantly between two points, without wires or networks. Computers are built from single molecules. Any moment of the past can be actualized -- and a group of historians can enter, literally, life in fourteenth-century feudal France.
Imagine the risks of such a journey.Not since Jurassic Park has Michael Crichton given us such a magnificent adventure. Here, he combines a science of the future -- the emerging field of quantum technology -- with the complex realities of the medieval past. In a heart-stopping narrative, Timeline carries us into a realm of unexpected suspense and danger, overturning our most basic ideas of what is possible.
About the Author:
Michael Crichton was born in Chicago, in 1942. His novels include The Andromeda Strain, The Great Train Robbery, Congo, Jurassic Park, and Disclosure. He is also the creator of the television series ER.
Passage to Juneau : A Sea and Its...
Passage to Juneau
Amazon.com British-born Jonathan Raban sets out on a passage from Seattle to Juneau in a small boat that is more a waterborne writing den, and as usual with the brilliant Raban, this journey becomes a vehicle for history and heart-stopping descriptions that will make readers want to hail him as one of the finest talents who's picked up a pen in the 20th century. The voyage through the Inside Passage from Washington's Puget Sound to Alaska churns up memories and stirs up hidden emotions and Raban dwells on many, including the death of his father and his own role of Daddy to his young daughter, Julia, left behind in Seattle.
More than just a personal travelogue, however, Passage to Juneau deftly weaves in the stories of others before him--from Indians whom white men formerly greeted with baubles set afloat on logs, to Captain Vancouver, who risked mutiny on his ship when he banned visits with prostitutes, some of whom offered their services for bits of scrap metal.
Pressed into every page are intimate descriptions of life at sea--the fog-shrouded coasts, the crackly radio that keeps him linked to the mainland, the salty marine air, and the fellow sailors who are likewise drawn by a life of tossing on water. While Raban successfully steers his boat to the desired port, readers ultimately discover that this insightful, talented sage is in fact emotionally in deep water and may not fully be captain of his own life. --Melissa Rossi
Art for Dummies (For Dummies)
Art for Dummies.
Amazon.com What a privilege it is to stroll through thousands of years of magnificent art with the keen-eyed, confident, supremely knowledgeable Thomas Hoving, the former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, whose opinionated, charming prose could make anyone feel like an art-world insider. Whether or not you know an ism from an altarpiece, Hoving will gently grasp your elbow and welcome you to the party, introducing you to everyone who's anyone and encouraging you to partake of the nourishing, sumptuous feast. Like most of the books in the For Dummies series, this one isn't, really. It's a delightful, erudite romp, cleverly and clearly designed to allow the art-curious reader to correct for a nearly universal deficit in American education.
There are pictures, of course, including some in color, but this book assumes real love on the part of the reader, who is expected to get off the couch and--with Hoving's excellent guidance--go find the real thing and gaze upon it in the flesh.
Tom the Jargon Slayer offers 14 chapters on the history of Western art, from cave painting to the 1999 Venice Biennale; others cover appreciating art ("the only true enemy of art is good taste"); beginning your own collection ("Dürer is never mushy"); and what to do if your child shows artistic genius ("get out of the way"). He offers readers a priceless tip on how to visit any museum, tells you where the hidden gems are all over the world, describes a mysterious expedition with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to the Hermitage, and sputters bitterly over a shortsighted superior who refused to allow him, then a young curator, to buy a tiny Flemish masterpiece that is now a centerpiece at a rival museum. Although written for adults, this fact-filled book would entertain and educate students from middle school on. --Peggy Moorman.