George Regas, rector emeritus, All Saints Church:
"Fist Stick Knife Gun," by Geoffrey Canada (Beacon Press).
"This is one of the best books on urban violence that I have read. Canada provides an insightful look at the environment in which young people are acting out in such deadly ways."
Tony Crowell, investment advisor:
"Bucking the Sun," by Ivan Doig (Simon & Schuster).
"Opening with a double murder, this is an incredibly vivid account of families living in the West in the 1930s and working on a huge WPA dam project. It's the story of people who start with nothing, intent on building their own little pursuit of happiness."
William Clewlow, archeologist:
"The Mojave: A Portrait of the Definitive American Desert," by David Darlington (Henry Holt).
"Considering the pivotal role the Mojave has played in California history, it's amazing how little I knew about it. Darlington's book has everything--Spanish explorers, miners, military personnel, motorcyclists, UFOs and desert rats."
Margaret Marsh, retired English teacher, Pasadena City College:
"The Good Book," by Peter Gomes (William Morrow).
"Gomes is good at setting the record straight when it comes to telling us what the Bible really says about such issues as anti-Semitism, women and homosexuality in a day and age when people want to interpret the Bible just as they wish."