A note from the editor

WHEN you work on something day in and day out, it can be easy to lose perspective. So much of your attention is focused on the immediate -- what's coming out this week, this moment -- that the long view disappears. Yet as we here at Book Review went back over the titles we covered in 2006, one thing became quite apparent: In the world of books and publishing, it was a very good year.

In this holiday issue, you will find our "Favorite Books" list, highlighting 50 titles we admired over the last 12 months (25 fiction and poetry; 25 nonfiction). We make no claim, it must be said, to be definitive; yes, the books here moved us, but they are by no means the only ones. We've also asked a number of Southern Californians to suggest the books -- either new or old -- that they might want to give as presents. And we offer an array of other pieces, looking at old favorites and instant classics, books to enjoy throughout the year.

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-- David L. Ulin

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