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Top 10 reads

Daily Staff Report

The Bookworm of Edwards

1. “Queen’s Fool,” by Phillipa Gregory: In this eagerly awaited sequel to “The Other Boleyn Girl,” Gregory returns to Tudor England, where the offspring of Henry VIII ascend to the throne amid treason, poisonous rivalries, accusations of heresy and unrequited love.

2. “The Other Boleyn Girl,” by Phillipa Gregory: The daughters of a ruthlessly ambitious family, Mary and Anne Boleyn are sent to the court of Henry VIII to attract the attention of the king, who first takes Mary as his mistress and then Anne as his wife.



3. “Angels and Demons,” by Dan Brown: When symbolist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist, he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood which has surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy, the Catholic Church.

4. “The Solace of Leaving Early,” by Haven Kimmel: In her rich and nuanced debut novel, Haven Kimmel brings to life two irresistible people at odds with their small-town lives and with each other. Told with wit and surprising empathy, this is the story of finding our better selves through accepting the shortcomings of others.



5. “Da Vinci Code,” by Dan Brown: When a curator of the Louvre turns up murdered, his body surrounded by enigmatic ciphers written in invisible ink.

6. “Bringing Down the House,” Ben Mezrich: The inside story about a gambling ring of M.I.T. students who beat the system in Vegas – and lived to tell how.

7. “Birth of Venus,” by Sarah Dunant: A tour de force that brings alive the history of Florence at its most dramatic period, telling a compulsively absorbing story of love, art, religion and power through the passionate voice of Alessandra, a remarkable heroine with the same vibrancy as her beloved city.



8. “Duck for President,” by Doreen Cronin: From the author of “Click, Clack, Moo,” here is a duck who began in a humble pond. He worked his way to farmer, to governor, and now, perhaps, to the highest office in the land. Ladies and gentlemen, this election year you owe it to your country to vote Duck.

9. “Middlesex,” by Jeffrey Eugenides: Spanning eight decades, Eugenides’ long-awaited second novel is a grand, utterly original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire.

10. “Women of the Silk,” by Gail Tsukiyama: A rich portrait of one woman’s life in a China now lost. Her story is rendered with grace, with the clear dignity of legend or song. Tsukiyama lends her voice to figures of women emboldened by their dream of growth and personal power. Gail Tsukiyama will be at this year’s 2004 Festival of Words.

Verbatim Booksellers

1. “Angels and Demons,” by Dan Brown: When symbolist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist, he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood which has surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy, the Catholic Church.

2. “The Other Boleyn Girl,” by Phillipa Gregory: The daughters of a ruthlessly ambitious family, Mary and Anne Boleyn are sent to the court of Henry VIII to attract the attention of the king, who first takes Mary as his mistress and then Anne as his wife.

3. “Touching the Void,” by Joe Simpson: Joe Simpson and his climbing partner, Simon Yates, had just reached the top of a 21,000-foot peak in the Andes when disaster struck. Simpson plunged off the vertical face of an ice ledge, breaking his leg. In the hours that followed, darkness fell and a blizzard raged as Yates tried to lower his friend to safety. Finally, Yates was forced to cut the rope, moments before he would have been pulled to his own death. Yates, certain that Simpson was dead, returned to base camp consumed with grief and guilt over abandoning him. Miraculously, Simpson had survived the fall, but crippled, starving, and severely frostbitten was trapped in a deep crevasse. Summoning vast reserves of physical and spiritual strength, Simpson crawled over the cliffs and canyons of the Andes, reaching base camp hours before Yates had planned to leave.

4. “Queen’s Fool,” by Phillipa Gregory: In this eagerly awaited sequel to “The Other Boleyn Girl,” Gregory returns to Tudor England, where the offspring of Henry VIII ascend to the throne amid treason, poisonous rivalries, accusations of heresy and unrequited love.

5. “Da Vinci Code,” by Dan Brown: When a curator of the Louvre turns up murdered, his body surrounded by enigmatic ciphers written in invisible ink, code-breaker Robert Langdon and a French cryptologist are called in to unravel the clues to the killing.

6. “1,000 Places to See Before You Die,” by Patricia Schultz: An around-the-world, continent-by-continent listing of places both on and off the beaten track. The prose is enticing, and after dishing out the romance of the places, Schultz delivers the nuts and bolts: addresses, phone and fax numbers, Web sites, costs, best times to visit. Of special interest are subject-specific indexes: beaches, restaurants and more.

7. “King of Torts,” by John Grisham: Clay Carter has been a public defender too long and, like most of his colleagues, dreams of a better job in a real firm. When he reluctantly takes the case of a young man charged with a random street killing, he assumes it’s just another of the many senseless murders that hit D.C. every week. As he digs into the background of his client, Clay stumbles on a conspiracy too horrible to believe.

8. “Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books,” by Azar Nafisi: In 1995, after resigning from her job as a professor at a university in Tehran due to repressive policies, Azar Nafisi invited seven of her best female students to attend a weekly study of great Western literature in her home. Since the books they read were officially banned by the government, the women were forced to meet in secret, often sharing photocopied pages of the illegal novels. For two years they met to talk, share, and “shed their mandatory veils and robes and burst into color.”

9. “Three Junes,” by Julia Glass: Traces the lives of a Scottish family in three months of June over a decade as they confront the joys and longings, fulfillments and betrayals of love in all its guises. In prose rich with compassion and wit, Three Junes paints a haunting portrait of love’s redemptive powers.

10. “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of,” by Gregory Maguire: Now a Broadway musical, “Wicked” is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to be the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil. (Maguire will be in Vail in April as one of the featured authors for the Festival of Words).


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