Bach, David – The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich, 2004 – B+
Bauer, Joan – Best Foot Forward, 2005 – A-. Almost-as-good sequel to Rules of the Road.
Wonderful YA literature with strong characters who like to work.
Collard, Sneed B. III – The Prairie Builders: Reconstructing America’s Lost Grasslands, 2005 – A-. Children’s non-fiction; well-written and great photos. And that author’s name! Sneed B. Collard III! Worth the price of the book right there!
About Time: 12 Short Stories, 1986 – A-. These are all from I Love Galesburg in the Springtime and The Third Level, so I can let this go to a good home.
The Body Snatchers, 1955 – A-. Classic quality-pulp horror.
Good Neighbor Sam, 1963 – B. Strange but mildly funny.
I Love Galesburg in the Springtime, 1963. B+
The Night People, 1977. B. Quite strange but some very memorable set-pieces.
3 By Finney: The Woodrow Wilson Dime (originally 1968, stupidly and very badly updated in 1987–a few updated pop-cultural references (Linda Evans) which make the bulk of it anachronistic) – B; The Night People (1977), Marion’s Wall (1973) – B+.
The Third Level 1957. B+. Includes “Cousin Len’s Wonderful Adjective Cellar,” which should be read by all writers.
Time and Again, 1970 – A. My favorite Finney, and it still holds up, despite unanswered time travel questions (what happens to their bodies? why does the same amount of time elapse in the present as they live in the past?) The integration of the photos and woodcuts is a great asset, although this time I noticed how ridiculous it is to pretend that the artwork is all by Si Morley when the styles are radically different.
Frankfurt, Harry G. – On Bullshit, 2005 – B+. A great and interesting essay, but publishing under 10,000 words as a hardcover is just weird. Princeton University Press, meet Andrews-McMeel.
Goscinny, René, and Uderzo – Astérix books. I jotted the following two down and then read a mess of others…
Astérix et les Goths, 1963 – B+
Le Domaine Des Dieux, 1971 – A
Grogan, John – Marley and Me:Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog, 2005 – A-. Tear-jerking but not too sentimental.
Hubbell, Sue – A Country Year: Living the Questions, 1986 – A-. Very often entomologists are also wonderful writers. Or maybe it’s just that I love insects.
Ibbotson, Eva – The Great Ghost Rescue, 1975 – A-. I just love Ibbotson–a cross between the Munsters and Harry Potter. This isn’t her best, but it’s very enjoyable.
King, Stephen – Cell, 2006 – B+. I couldn’t put this down, but it does have the usual King “weird things happened, don’t ask/wonder why” unsatisfactoriness to the plot (worst on those lines was From a Buick 8). Seeing what happens half-way through, I wonder if Stephen King is a Firefly/Serenity fan?
Willis, Connie – To Say Nothing of the Dog, 1997 – B-. It’s supposed to be a fantasy and humor classic, and I really really wanted to like it… I love Victiorian fiction, time travel, animal stories, and the various referents (Oscar Wilde, Three Men in a Boat, Schroedinger’s cat, British mysteries, etc.), but I found the whole much less than the sum of its parts. Too telegraphic, allusive, and ultimately unsatisfactory in plot. Jonathan really liked it, though, so points for that.