Readers' picks

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The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss is an engaging and well-written story of a young cowgirl who mysteriously shows up and slowly connects with a rural community in World War I-era Oregon. It is both a time piece about a period of American history and a reflection on the end of the Western ethos. – Joe Call, Fairfax, Va.

I'm reading Sigrid Nunez's The Last of Her Kind and loving it. She interweaves the characters' narratives beautifully. The way she presents the information between issues of the past and the present in their lives is very impressive. – Bessy Reyna, Bolton, Conn.

I just finished Patrick McGrath's Trauma. Part of what makes it an excellent read is that Mr. McGrath resuscitates familiar psychological terms, animating them through his characters' lives. His many insights gave me a greater understanding of the destruction caused by internal strife.– Susan Scutti, New York, N.Y.

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I have thoroughly enjoyed A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. His writing style is bizarre, jumping from thought to thought while still maintaining a central plot and story line. The book stands out from most other books that I have read in that the author, I would assume, is quite refreshingly and certifiably crazy. – Kaitlyn O'Connor, USS Hue City, the Persian Gulf

Sigrid Undset won the Nobel Prize in 1928 for Kristin Lavransdatter – a realistic portrayal of Norway in the 14th century. This 1999 translation by Tina Nunnally brings to life this magnificent story of passionate love, family bonds, and spiritual struggle. A compelling read – all three books of the trilogy!– Judy Weaver, Merrill, Wis.

I recently finished Uncle Tom's Cabin: Or, Life Among the Lowly by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Although well-read when published, it is not read much now and is highly controversial. This was one of the most moving, deep, insightful, and shocking books I have ever read. – Ellie Braman, Oroville, Wash.

I have been reading my way, slowly, through Dickens. I am up to Nicholas Nickleby and am thoroughly loving it. I'll write again to let you know how I'm doing on "Barnaby Rudge."– Phillip Brock, Los Angeles

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