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Reading L.a.

June 07, 1998

Kay Lindahl, consultant:

"Reaching Out," by Henri J. M. Nouwen (Image Books / Doubleday).

"This little book is full of wonderful questions to wrestle with. Nouwen views spiritual growth not as a finite path with a specific destination but an ongoing relationship with your innermost self, with others and God. It's a context for life, not the answer."

****

Pamela Conway, merchandise manager:

"Running in the Family," by Michael Ondaatje (Vintage).

"Ondaatje has a way of painting with his words. In this fascinating and sometimes wacky portrait of his ancestors and their lives in Ceylon, he has created a lyrical style evoking a dream-like state. One is lead through patches of remarkable pain and humor intertwined in his family tree."

****

Dan Hirsch, activist:

"John of the Mountains," edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe (University of Wisconsin Press).

"This is absolutely crystalline writing from Muir's time in Yosemite that was never intended for publication. There is a pure sense in these pieces that nature was a divine companion to Muir and that his heart was broken by the building of Hetch Hetchy Dam."

****

James Prideaux, playwright:

"Enchanted Evenings," by Geoffrey Block (Oxford University Press).

"If you love musicals, there's nothing more fascinating than reading about how they got made. This book is a great collection of behind-the-scenes stories regarding our favorite American musicals and how hard it is to put one together."

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