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Reading L.a.

September 21, 1997

Elaine Howell, editor, writer:

"Bailey's Beads: A Novel" by Terry Wolverton (Faber & Faber).

"It's a beautiful story, told in poetry and prose, about the creation of reality and identity, and the life crises that can result when our conceptions prove inaccurate."

****

Katy Noviello, intern therapist:

"White Crosses" by Larry Watson (Simon & Schuster).

"What starts out as a mystery turns into a man's attempt to reconcile himself with the choices he's made over his life. The wide-open spaces of Montana serve as a perfect metaphor for his feelings of isolation."

****

Michele Boyer, sculptor:

"The Original Sin" by P.D. James (Warner Books).

"Since my work is solitary, I love mysteries. Suspense intrigues me, challenging my mind about people's behavior, and James is a master, capturing British formality so well that I am utterly foiled in my attempt to guess the murderer in this novel."

****

Alan Rachins, actor:

"A Fan's Notes" by Frederick Exley (Vintage).

"It's funny. It's crazy, and it's an amazing thing that someone so bizarre and irresponsible and who led such a mad life could have pulled such a fabulous book out of it."

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