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From: "Joel T. Sieh" <jsieh@cs.umass.edu>
Subject: (urth) Best book choices
Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2001 15:05:33 

	I noticed that a few people listed _A_Wizard_of_Earthsea_ as one 
of their best books.  I was just curious why....  I read it and thought it
was a pretty good read, but I didn't think it rated -that- well.  It's
been a while since I read it, but I remember feeling like I was watching a
movie that was shot completely from one far-away angle.  By this I mean
that I didn't feel like I could get close to the characters or even really
know them or see them as anything more than 2-dimensional.  
	I haven't read many of the other books people listed (including
Pullman, which is one of the next books on my list, after I reread
LotR).  I did read Susan Cooper's _The_Dark_is_Rising_, however, and at
the time was more impressed with some of the books, most notably
_The_Grey_King_ than I later was with _A_Wizard_of_Earthsea_.  
	I think I'd also put _A_Wrinkle_In_Time_ up there, and 
_The_Phantom_Tollbooth_ by Norton Juster.  I guess I'd put
_The_Hobbit_ and maybe even the rest of LotR, even though LotR is probably
better suited for adults.  The only reason I'm really including LotR,
though, is because it was sort of like a weird Book of Gold for me.  In
elementary school I  couldn't resist walking up to the "big
kids'" bookshelf in our school library and grabbing the large, slightly
tattered, forbidding black books branded with the red ring and eye.  Much
later I picked up Shadow and Claw because of that same forbidding look
(and because I read the first chapter, which was wonderful). 


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