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Bookshelf


Choice books for avid readers with descriptions or reviews, variety of categories and publishers. Highlighted titles or authors have additional Folio reviews and in some cases listings of other titles by the same author. The most recent additions are at the top. Updated August 23, 2004.

Most of the books can be ordered from Amazon.com (you can always change your mind later).

Most prices have discounts of 20 to 30 percent on Amazon.com.

  • Art books -- Brassai, Conversations with Picasso, and Nicolaides, The Natural Way to Draw, and Warncke, Picasso 
  • Teaching Them To Read, by Dolores Durkin. A textbook for teachers of reading. Read more on Folio
  • Stevie Smith, Collected Poems and Novel on Yellow Paper. The pleasure of Stevie Smith is in her gift for the bizarre and the absurd. Read more on Folio
  • The Oxford Book of Essays, chosen and edited by John Gross. Read more on Folio
  • Jazz, by Henri Matisse. An astonishing distillation of Matisse's ideas and techniques. Read more on Folio
  • Seven Years in Tibet, by Heinrich Harrer. A rare and fascinating record of a now almost extinct culture. Read more on Folio
  • Middlemarch, by George Eliot. One of the greatest of all English novels. Read more on Folio
  • The Enigma of Arrival, by V.S. Naipaul; ". . . the fascinating process by which a person leaves one world (in Naipaul's case, childhood in Trinidad) and arrives in another (England) and thereby develops into a different person." Read more on Folio
  • Pale Fire, by Vladimir Nabokov. Read more on Folio
  • Full House, by Stephen Jay Gould, plus a selection of his other books. Read more on Folio

  • Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengard, by Isak Dinesen, a captivating collection of stories. Read more on Folio.

  • The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature, a treasure trove of information on children's books and writers. Read more on Folio.

  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. More than a suspense thriller. Read more on Folio.
  • Learning to Read: The Great Debate, by Jeanne Chall. What is the best way to teach children to read, sight methods or phonics? Read more on Folio (this book is not available on Amazon).
  • Invertebrate Zoology by Ruppert and Barnes. Folio review for readers interested in evolution and the teeming life around us.
  • Agatha Christie: Her autobiography and some detective novels. Read more on Folio.
  • Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide 1997, the essential reference guide for movie lovers. We keep ours on the coffee table, bookmarked with the channel guide from Cableview, and use it more than the phone book. Over 19,000 film reviews in over 1500 pages, with ratings, year, director and stars, summary, and value judgment, which we don't always agree with, esp. in the case of British movies; but by and large the reviews are an excellent guide to what's worth watching and what's not. The list is cumulative with new movies being added each year. We're still using the 1993 edition. It has worn well and we're only now considering the upgrade. At the back are lists of directors and stars with their movies and the year of production. An added attraction in 1997 is Maltin's top 100 choices for family viewing. Published by Signet (mass-market paperback), US$7.99. Take a look at it on Amazon. The Plume edition, also paperback, is more than double the price at US$19.95. It could be that better binding makes it easier to look up and more durable (ours is from Plume).
  • The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages by Harold Bloom. Those who care about books and reading will want to own this. Haven't finished reading it, review to come (lots of reviews on Amazon in the meantime, click on the title). First published in 1993. Paperback, US$12.00.
  • 1997 Writer's Market, a directory-type annual reference book for writers. Read more on Folio.
  • The Size of Thoughts by Nicholson Baker (great stuff) Read more on Folio.
  • Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. A small-format Signet Classic. (Click on the title to see more on Amazon)
  • Going to Ground, by Jeremy Taylor. A collection of essays. One of the essays is reproduced with permission. Read more on Folio.

  • Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. A fine paperback edition of one of the great Russian novels of this century; a special book. This medium-format edition is recommended. Sensitive editing is enormously helpful (e.g. of seemingly duplicated and therefore confusing names in the first translation). Complete and unabridged. (Click on the title to see more on Amazon)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien, 4-volume paperback set of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, US$45.95. (Click on the title to see more on Amazon)
  • The Actual: A Novella. A new novel by Saul Bellow, published May 1st; 112 pages (hardcover, US$17.95). (Click on the title to see more on Amazon)
  • David Gemmell, bestselling British fantasy fiction writer -- The Stones of Power series, legends of Drenai. Read more on Folio.
  • The Portable Darwin Original Darwin excerpts. Read more on Folio.

  • Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes by Stephen Jay Gould (one of his best collections of essays on science, evolution and natural history). (Click on the title to see more on Amazon)
  • Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and a list of his other books). Read more on Folio.
  • The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever. A great bedside book containing most of Cheever's short stories. (Click on the title to see more on Amazon)
  • A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf. The famous extended essay, beautifully written and reasoned; with an introduction by Mary Gordon. An absolute must-read. (Click on the title to see more on Amazon)
  • Fiela's Child by Dalene Mathee. A fine story from Africa with a fairy-tale quality. It has a strong sense of place -- a different Africa, of ostriches and deep dark forests and elephants with ancient and mysterious memories. (Click on the title to see more on Amazon)
  • The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. The Finca Vigía edition with previously unpublished fiction. Foreword by John, Patrick and Gregory Hemingway. (Click on the title to see more on Amazon)
  • The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker. Read more on Folio.

  • The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Weise (for children aged 3 to 7). Read more on Folio.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. A splendid read from the very first page, perfect for a long weekend; far better than The Three Musketeers (it's hard to believe they were written by the same person). This Oxford University Press paperback edition is complete and unabridged with good paper and binding -- the book lies open comfortably, not a small matter with such a big novel (1130 pages). (Click on the title to see more on Amazon)
  • Gosse's Jamaica, edited by D.B. Stewart. The observations of an exceptional nineteenth-century naturalist; next best thing to an original source in the history of science. Read more on Folio.


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