Readers' picks

The book currently on my bedside table is Alexander Herzen's My Past and Thoughts. It is one of the great autobiographies in the world, although it is too little known in this country. Herzen was a 19th- century radical who has left us a penetrating critique of the Russian Bolsheviks. It is also a very entertaining book.
- C.R. Moyer, St. Paul, Minn.

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.I could not put this book down. A privileged Afghan child betrays his best friend, the child of his father's servant. As an adult, he gets a chance to redeem himself. A story that truly goes full circle, a heartbreaker. Best book I have read in years.
- Sean Ellott, Denver, Col.

O Pioneers and Other Tales of the Prairie by Willa Cather. There is such a sense of place that you can almost hear the summer winds in the Nebraskan prairie grasses, hear the floorboards creak in the pioneer homes, notice the way each person slouches or strides or gracefully moves. You feel the severity of the Nebraskan winter and catch the scent of summer roses.
- Anita Alvarez Williams, Boulevard, Calif.

I have so enjoyed reading The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason. It takes place in the 1880s when a piano tuner is requested to tune a grand piano in Burma. The trip and his experiences make it a very difficult book to put down.
- Louise Cox, Windsor, Conn.

City of Falling Angels by Jon Berendt is a delightful read on modern-day Venice, Italy with whole chapters on its colorful residents and centered somewhat on the fire at the Fenice Theater.
- Jan Wann, Mason City, Iowa

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