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Reading L.a.

October 25, 1998

Claudia Albert, administrative assistant:

"Cruel As the Grave" by Sharon Kay Penman (Henry Holt).

"Writing well and writing a good mystery don't always go together. But Penman does it in this exceptionally well-researched, well-crafted story about Eleanor of Aquitaine, Prince John and Richard Lion-Heart."

****

Margaret Gascoigne, teacher:

"Paula" by Isabel Allende (HarperCollins).

"This is a wonderful, interesting, sad book. Allende is so full of life, even when writing about her daughter's death."

****

Linda Darling, librarian:

"The Sharpe Series" by Bernard Cornwell (HarperCollins).

"There are eleven books in this series about the Napoleonic Wars. I've read them all, some as many as three times. Last year I went to Spain and looked for some of the battle sites. That's how fascinating these books are."

****

Thomas M. Brod, psychiatrist:

"Arabian Nights & Days" by Naguib Mahfouz (Anchor / Doubleday).

"These utterly delightful tales begin where 'A Thousand and One Nights' left off. Genies play, and humans of high and low station are pressed into excruciating choices. Good or evil ripples through society; it's awesome how Mahfouz threads the holy into civic life."

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