A list by Jim Pogue
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Jim Pogue
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The Emperor of All Maladies
Siddhartha Mukherjee
Well written, well researched.
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Foundation: The Foundation Trilogy, Book 1
Isaac Asimov
As a writer, Isaac Asimov’s reputation rests solidly on his ambitious Foundation Trilogy, which was awarded a special Hugo Award in 1966 as best science fiction series of all time. And although he would bow to fan pressure and resume the franchise nearly thirty years after publishing its initial ins...show more
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Foundation and Empire: The Foundation Trilogy, Book 2
Isaac Asimov
While Asimov’s saga nowadays seems less original than when it first appeared, the sweep of its conception maintains a thrilling freshness. Humanity spreads throughout the galaxy (there are, notably, no aliens to contend with) and reaches a developmental peak after 12,000 years, typified by the uber-...show more
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Second Foundation: The Foundation Trilogy, Book 3
Isaac Asimov
Asimov’s penchant for discursive logic and brains over brawn does not prevent the Foundation series from being enthralling. Even today, ranked against all that has followed, it glows with quiet majesty.
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Ender's Game
Orson Scott Card
The Wiggin children are unusual, even for the unusual world in which Ender’s Game unfolds. There’s the oldest, Peter, a power-mad sociopath; Valentine, the sister who turns her eloquence to Peter’s service; and then there’s Ender, their little brother, who is singled out by the authorities as the mi...show more
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Childhood's End
Arthur C. Clarke
The decade of Childhood’s End’s publication was rife with tales of alien invasions and “first contact,” especially in lowbrow cinema, as films like The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Invaders from Mars (1953), and This Island Earth (1955) attest. Clarke’s novel fits neatly into that subgenre, but...show more
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Dune
Frank Herbert
Inspired by a visit to the famed sand dunes of Oregon, Herbert delved into research on environmental science and related matters as he began to chart the long, complex backstory of his epic, which ultimately came to span some twenty-one thousand years of future history. Through canny and judicious t...show more
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A Wizard of Earthsea
Ursula K. Le Guin
Fun if you ignore the silly philosophy.
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A Canticle for Leibowitz
Walter M. Miller Jr.
A bit preachy but good story.
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A Game of Thrones
George R. R. Martin
Good old fashion fun. Great plotting, but a bit wordy.
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The Hobbit
J. R. R. Tolkien
In the late 1920s, J. R. R. Tolkien, a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University, scribbled a sentence while correcting some student papers: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” Those ten words are the seed from which grew a complex and elaborate mythology that would captivate the ima...show more
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The Lord of the Rings
J. R. R. Tolkien
Appearing in three separate volumes between July 1954 and October 1955, The Lord of the Rings constitutes a single linear narrative that was segmented for publishing convenience rather than by authorial intent. Tolkien’s hero, Frodo, is the adoptive heir of Bilbo Baggins, protagonist of The Hobbit. ...show more
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April 1865
Jay Winik
Well written
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Pigs Have Wings
P. G. Wodehouse
Anything by Wodehouse is good, but this is great. Funny
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The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker
Robert Mankoff, David Remnick, Adam Gopnik
Amy Macartney Freidenrich offered her reasons why The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker belongs not only on our coffee tables, but on our TBR lists at the Ridgefield Battle of the Books on 11/14/19. If, as some say, laughter is the best medicine, there's plenty to be had spending time between thes...show more
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