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You've Got to Read This!: More Submissions

currently focusing on fiction. Her creative influences include a little

Kerouac, a little Dylan and a long, fast highway with no destination.

There is a misconception that books printed on demand lack quality of

both writing and editing. Committed to using this new technology as

both a means of preserving the environment and creating an outlet for

new and exciting voices in fiction and nonfiction, Zumaya intends to

prove the exception.


Executive Editor

Zumaya Publications

Austin TX

The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor

These are stories that compel me to think about them time-and-time again.

Her depiction of characters from the depression era South is quite vivid and

the stories will invoke emotion with an intensity like no other author can.

Poland by James Michener

I have read all of Michener's work but Poland was the first and just blew me

away with the quality of the historical research and the entertaining way it

is presented.

The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

In my opinion Mark Twain is the gold standard for humorists. His satirical

wit is well known and this book is a wonderful example of how he can

discover and describe the humor of life.


Arlington, VA

You look at your hands and feet in an entirely different way. Those windows above your nose looking out into a technicolor world become a miracle you possess. Feeling your arms sway beside you and your legs saunter beneath you suddenly are wondrous to behold. The body intact what a fabulous entity you will never take for grant it again once you've read Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo, a book that has left an indelible mark on me and then you will think of our brave young lads in Iraq and the book will pierce your soul with its intense immediacy.

JOSEPH BONFANTI (Alexandria retired public school teacher)

Springfield, VA

My name is Kathryn Krentz. Today my address is{hellip}. Next week my address

will be{hellip}. My husband is in the U.S. Navy. We move frequently. Reading is how my children and I cope with this peripatetic lifestyle.


A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving made me gasp, laugh, and cry.

This book helped me connect with my college-age nieces and nephews and,

later, with my own daughter. The novel is about friendship and faith.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee caused me to think long and hard

about racism. I believe Harper Lee did as much, if not more, for Civil

Rights in the early 1960s as Harriet Beecher Stowe did for Abolitionism

in the late 1850s--and Lee was the more courageous of the two since she

lives in the South.

The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass inspired John Irving to write A Prayer for

Owen Meany so it demanded my attention. Now I buy it for my favorite

high school graduates. It is a captivating novel about World War II from

a unique German perspective.


Three that immediately come to mind as "Wow! Where was that book when I was a kid" are:

Orson Scott Card's Enders Game. It takes the reality of today's video games to a scary future. The Internet shows up as an international message board of freedom or deception. The series continues with the Bean character and makes a lot of comments about world politics and terrorism.

Lois Lowry's The Giver. It gets across the idea of a dystopia much better than anything else out there.

M.T. Anderson's Feed. It shows a scary world of what might happen to the future of education and what we might do to educate and inform our children.

For a list of recommended books, please see http://www.goldenduck.org


Glen Ellyn, IL

Golden Duck Awards for Excellence in Children's and Young Adult Science Fiction

The Book: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

I first read it the summer between 6th and 7th grade. Found the

tattered paperback version (without even the benefit of a cover) in a

box in my parents' basement. Had no idea what to expect. The book taught

me about greed and ignorance and fate and bad luck. It taught me

American history and our ties, both physical and spiritual, to our vast

landscape. Above all, it taught me compassion. I was forever changed.


University Park, MD

This summer I read a remarkable memoir called Hamlet's Dresser by Bob Smith. Smith was recruited at age 16 to help in the Stratford CT Shakespeare festival where he served as Hamlet's dresser. There, Shakespeare literally changed his life. In the book, Smith transports his readers between his own sad family life as the older brother of a severely disabled younger sister, his awakening to the power and wisdom of Shakespeare's words, and his work as an adult with geriatric New Yorkers to whom he teaches Shakespeare's plays. Smith quotes Shakespeare liberally weaving the bard's wisdom into Smith's own life. This book is a treasure and defies age barriers.


A book that in my opinion high school junior and seniors -- and others -- should read:

Lies My Teacher Told Me

James W. Loewen

Simon and Schuster 1995

This book discusses the material in American history that is either

omitted or false in the ordinary textbooks of American history. It

gives ample references to sources from which the book draws its information.


Silver Spring, MD

Sorry, I couldn't limit myself to three books.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat and other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sachs In this book, Oliver Sachs, a famous neurologist, writes about some of his strangest patients and their unusual afflictions. Although these people are truly bizarre, his descriptions of them reveal the respect he has for their humanity.

The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin This book describes the worldview of Australian Aborigines. It explains how, to them, the whole world is sacred. For tens of thousands of years, Aborigines have walked routes through their landscape and have sung certain songs about sacred ancestor animals who created features along specific paths. Chatwin tries to describe and reveal how, because of their worldview, the Aborigines consider everything in their landscape to be sacred. The path is a sacred song. The song is a map.

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov This book, written during and about Stalin's time of oppression in the Soviet Union, is a story about the Devil coming to Moscow and the bad, and good, that he creates.

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien This is a fictional book about the Vietnam War that reveals the feelings of some Americans who served there.

Shipwrecks by Akira Yoshimura This is about a small, poor fishing village in Japan that survives by salvaging boats that have been shipwrecked on the nearby shore. It shows how the culture, so different from ours, values people who obey the leader and do what they're told even if it means that they will die so the village can survive.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant This book is a fictional look at women in a family in the Bible. It brings this family, and these women in this ancient well-known story, to life in a manner that emphasizes and values the women's role in this patriarchal society.


McLean, VA

For the high school reader, instead of ENDER'S GAME a better science

fiction choice might be A CANTICLE FOR LIEBOWITZ. Classic prizewinning

SF! I read it for the first time when I was a junior in high school,

and immediately knew I was going to become an SF writer.


I would suggest Moby-Dick by Melville as reading by high school students. Moby-Dick, a classic of American literature, is Melville's masterpiece. It is a Greek tragedy, an allegory, a story of obsession, revenge, fear, paranoia, self-destruction. It is a story of how one driven man leads to the death of many. It is a story of a little known aspect of American history when American whaling ships scoured the world for whale oil to light the lamps of the country.


Silver Spring MD


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