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Reading L.a.

October 18, 1998

Kevin Credle, traffic school instructor:

"Desperation" by Stephen King (Signet Books).

"King must be bored. I'm a big fan and I'm half-way through 'Desperation,' but I'm starting to lose my patience. He's recycling his characters. The setting may be a little different, but I've read this all before. I wish he'd just get back to his Dark Tower series."

****

Richard Clark, student:

"The Man Without Qualities" by Robert Musil (Vintage).

"The best thing about this book--the story of a rather amoral man--is completely unintentional. The author died before he could finish it, so the last portion, which features his conflicting notes for what would happen, shows a fragmented fictional reality."

****

Ruth Sultzbach, retired public information officer:

"Blackbird" by Dorothy McMillan (Signet Books).

"This novel takes us inside the mind of a psychopathic microbiologist, intent on righting perceived wrongs with deadly bacteria. McMillan arouses sympathy for the young woman even as we recoil from her appalling acts."

****

Robert S. Lapiner, educator,

"The Wealth and Poverty of Nations" by David S. Landes (W.W. Norton).

"This is a history book with a purpose, essential for anyone concerned about the endemic poverty that plagues much of the world."

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