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Reading L.a.

May 30, 1999

Mariluna Martin, storyteller:

"Buddhism Without Beliefs" by Stephen Batchelor (Riverhead Books).

"This book about Buddhism deals with the basics and goes back to original teachings, before it became a religion. Batchelor shows how it's not about believing; it's about doing and learning through doing."

****

Dan Michel, advertising executive:

"The Veracruz Blues" by Mark Winegardner (Penguin).

"This story about baseball is about a whole lot more than about just playing ball. The author weaves historical figures like Babe Ruth and Ernest Hemingway into a story about some American players who defect to the Mexican leagues."

****

Louraine Meyers, office manager:

"Flight of the Blackbird" by Faye McDonald Smith (Simon and Schuster).

" 'I've got to let you go.' These haunting words of downsizing shatter the American dream of a successful African American family. This is an extraordinary story of a family's love, pain and struggles in the '90s."

****

Dianne Kim, attorney:

"Wait, Till Next Year" by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Touchstone).

"I've coached two years of Little League. It's the ultimate slow-down-and-enjoy activity. Goodwin writes about growing up on Long Island in the 1950s, with the Giants and Dodgers, and I can totally relate, even though I'm Korean, raising half-Jewish kids."

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