Drury Brennan, student:
"The Road to Los Angeles" by John Fante (Black Sparrow Press).
"Originally completed in 1933, this novel remained in the author's attic until his widow published it in 1985. The book's enchanting, deceptively simple language and descriptions of L.A. serve as a time capsule for an era long forgotten by today's Angelenos."
LeeAnn Lowe-Lantos, story analyst:
"The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara (Ballantine).
"Blending fact and fiction, this book chronicles the Battle of Gettysburg from the points-of-view of its leaders. Shaara's reconstruction of this horrific battle is so inventive, and the characters are so compelling, that I was transported."
Christy Vargo, student:
"Kitty O'Neil, Daredevil Woman" by Karen Ireland (Star People Series).
"I was impressed by how a deaf woman had the courage to do amazing things like jump from a helicopter and off a Sheraton Hotel into airbags. She was famous for doing these truly brave things."
Lara Dieckmann, professor:
"Home Town" by Tracy Kidder (Random House).
"In this ethnography of Northampton, Mass., Kidder explores the ways people within a community are connected and makes you think about childhood and old age at the same time."