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An eclectic selection of five-star finds

Julee Rudolf "book snob"
The list author says: "Forty books that I absolutely love."
The Giver (Giver Quartet)
The Giver (Giver Quartet)
"Boy bites off more than he's willing to chew as the Receiver of knowledge"
Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet)
Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet)
"Brilliant boy bred to battle the buggers in this futuristic tale"
Planet of the Apes
Planet of the Apes
"What if the roles of humans and apes were reversed?"
Fahrenheit 451
Fahrenheit 451
"Book burning at its best"
The Book Thief
The Book Thief
"One of my favorite novels of all time - death narrates this story about a German girl growing up during the Holocaust"
A Fine Balance
A Fine Balance
"Brilliantly bleak story set in Bombay"
The Fixer
The Fixer
"Jewish handyman wrongly imprisoned in Kiev in the early 1900s in this (multi) award-winning book"
The Killer Angels: The Classic Novel of the Civil War (Civil War Trilogy)
The Killer Angels: The Classic Novel of the Civil War (Civil War Trilogy)
"Civil War historical fiction"
Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
"Frank McCourt's Catholic, poverty-prone upbringing in Ireland"
Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World (Random House Reader's Circle)
Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World (Random House Reader's Circle)
"Tracy Kidder does a wonderful job of telling the story of do-gooder Dr. Paul Farmer"
John Adams
John Adams
"In spite of history not being my "thing," I read it twice and would do it again."
The Two Kinds of Decay: A Memoir
The Two Kinds of Decay: A Memoir
"Manguso's no-holds barred recounting of her experiences with a debilitating illness is really good"
Execution by Hunger: The Hidden Holocaust
Execution by Hunger: The Hidden Holocaust
"A look at life during Stalin's famine"
Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster
Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster
"You'll never think of Chernobyl the same way after reading these oral histories about those affected by the nuclear disaster."
Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
"Even the historically-challenged will love this story about the pilots of WWII."
In Cold Blood (Modern Library 100 Best Nonfiction Books)
In Cold Blood (Modern Library 100 Best Nonfiction Books)
"Capote set the standard for this genre, writing about the men behind the a family's senseless murder."
The Things They Carried
The Things They Carried
"One wonders what to call this genre - short stories, historical fiction? Either way, author Tim O'Brien has put together a different kind of book about the Vietnam War."
Interpreter of Maladies
Interpreter of Maladies
"Award-winning short story collection about the experiences of Indian-Americans"
Servants of the Map: Stories
Servants of the Map: Stories
"Superb stories for the science-minded."
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich: (50th Anniversary Edition) (Signet Classics)
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich: (50th Anniversary Edition) (Signet Classics)
"Controversial among Russians because of its trying-to-avoid-work main character, this is a masterful, short story about one day in the life of prisoner of the GULAG."
Kolyma Tales (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)
Kolyma Tales (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)
"Shalamov's semi-autobiographical stories about life in the GULAG"
Great Expectations (Penguin Classics)
Great Expectations (Penguin Classics)
"A clinic on how to develop characters and a plot"
To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird
"An absolutely perfect coming-of-age story about a girl growing up in the South."
The Woman in White (Dover Thrift Editions)
The Woman in White (Dover Thrift Editions)
"This mystery is really long, but worth every minute spent following its fabulously developed characters and un-figure-out-able plot."
Mrs. Dalloway (Oxford World's Classics)
Mrs. Dalloway (Oxford World's Classics)
"I love the way this book about one day in the life of Mrs. Dalloway begins. Read this first, then The Hours (below) for the best experience."
Coraline
Coraline
"“She stole our hearts, and she stole our souls, and she took our lives away, and she left us here, and she forgot about us in the dark” The book on CD (which I couldn't find at Amazon) read by the author is five-star fabulous. (Book itself - four stars)"
Tales from Outer Suburbia
Tales from Outer Suburbia
"An odd book with awesome illustrations."
The Dead Zone (Signet)
The Dead Zone (Signet)
"My favorite book by the King of this genre"
Time's Arrow
Time's Arrow
"The best way to enjoy this book is by knowing as little as possible about this extremely unique story"
The Stepford Wives
The Stepford Wives
"“They never stop, these Stepford wives…They work like robots all their lives.”"
Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel
Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel
"Terrific tales of gal with "gumption" are a tremendous tribute to Walls' grandmother, Lucy Casey in this "True Life" novel."
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, Book 1)
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, Book 1)
"Collins' plotting is perfect in this sci-fi story about a gutsy girl named Katniss who competes in the Hunger Games, a battle to the death between mostly teens."
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
"Rebecca SklootÂ’s account of the medical community's  controversial acquisition and use of the world famous HeLa cell line is terrific."
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
"Subtitled "a biography of cancer," Mukherjee's (generally chronological) treatise on the subject is extraordinary not only in the quantity of information it contains but also in its telling. It's a book, I believe, which will live in infamy."
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
"In this collection of oral histories of six persons who defected from North Korea, readers learn everything they ever (or maybe never) wanted to know about what life is like for those living north of the DMZ under the thumb of The Dear Leader. If you have time to read just one book about North Korea, this should be it."
The Yellow Birds: A Novel
The Yellow Birds: A Novel
"Perfectly poetic prose is the best of the book in this story about a young Iraq war veteran's reflection on his experiences over there, specifically, circumstances surrounding his promise to a fellow soldier's mother to bring his friend home safe."
Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic
Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic
"“The subject of animal disease and the subject of human disease are…strands of the same braided cord.” This story is as relevant as ever, informative, engaging and scary. For the Ebola only version, choose Quammen's Ebola-The Natural and Humand History of a Deadly Virus instead."
All the Light We Cannot See
All the Light We Cannot See
"This beautifully-written, well-plotted story transported will transport you into Marie-Laure and Werner and their friends and family so well that you'll hate for it to end. Loved this line especially, “Open your eyes…and see what you can with them before they close forever.”"
His Dark Materials Omnibus (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass)
His Dark Materials Omnibus (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass)
"A mind boggling level of imagination went into making this book which is my favorite fantasy novel."
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
"From humble beginnings, honey badger-hearted young man helps propel his team to victory."