The Brothers Karamazov
by Feodor Dostoevsky

(Spelling of the author's name varies by publisher)

Dostoevsky originally intended this as a book about children and their unique way of seeing the world and interacting with adults and their rules. And although several chapters carry this theme, he expanded the novel on the insistence of his publisher to create a most unusual work of fiction.

The father has been described as the most obnoxious character in print. His sons are each as different from each other as believably possible. One is a pious monk. Another a stiff soldier turned lawyer. One is a developmentally disabled. And one a carousing daredevil who wins your heart.

The novel avoids abject tradgedy. In several passages it is uplifting. It wanders the Russian landscape seemingly without object, and then mounts suddenly to tie in the elements to a stunning cressendo and satisfyfing ending.

Rendezvous with Rama

by Arthur C. Clarke

One of my favorite science fiction novels. An object is discovered hurtling towards our solar system from deep space. As it gets closer astronomers discover that its shape is perfectly cylindrical - a kilometer in diameter and ten kilometers long. Thus begins the most unusual oddysey's of realistically told, and in believale in classic Clarke style.

This book offers an unusually compelling escape from reality. The story is so out of the realm of usual experience, and yet so vividly told, that reading it for only a half-hour is enough to trasport you completely - enough to make a lunch hour seem like a decade.

The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing

by Melissa Bank

Funny and smart. If you like reading books about the literary field especially, but even if you don't, don't like to read, per se, and would rather watch Sex in the City, then you should read this book because you will like it and laugh out loud frequently.

Franny and Zoey

by J. D. Salinger

I've just finished the first part, Franny. Her experience of finding The Way of a Pilgrim so closely resembles my own that I found this story totally compelling. You don't get to that point in the story without first having to endure some of the pointless hubris of her youthful (read collegiate) associates , something at which Salinger is more adroit at than anyone else - ever - but it is worth it, and makes her escape into the spiritual more compelling.

If you have ever suspected that there is an alternate way to live life and see purpose in it, you should read this brief story. It will give you hope.