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Reading L.a.

March 16, 1997

Barbara Bain, actress and founder of Screen Actors Guild Book Pals:

"If On a Winter's Night a Traveler," by Italo Calvino (Harcourt Brace).

"Posing the question, 'What is the writer without the reader?' Calvino incorporates two 'readers' as characters. He has produced a masterwork that is wonderfully textured, continually surprising and ultimately a joyful, rewarding read."

****

Mike Buhbe, staff development coordinator, Hawaiian Avenue School, Wilmington:

"The End of History and the Last Man," by Francis Fukuyama (The Free Press).

"Despite the gloomy sounding title, the book has a message of hope for democracy in a global setting. Fukuyama suggests that we're at the end of history as we know it and starting to see mankind in a whole new light."

****

Taylor Green, sixth-grader, Lincoln Middle School, Santa Monica:

"Lord of the Flies," by William Golding (A Perigee Book).

"It's about a bunch of kids stranded on an island. It's kind of scary because they start out as friends and turn into enemies. I'm only 15 pages from the end, and I still don't know how it turns out."

****

Mario Solis, sportscaster, KVEA-TV, Channel 52:

"Infinite Jest," by David Foster Wallace (Little, Brown).

"It's a futuristic novel and has to do with media that control society's thinking. It's a little far-fetched, but anything that deals with the media catches my eye."

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