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31 of 50

  1. Alexander, Lloyd — The Black Cauldron
  2. Anthony, Piers — Letters to Jenny
  3. Cooper, Susan — Over Sea, Under Stone
  4. Proulx, Annie — Close Range: Wyoming Stories
  5. Kincaid, Jamaica — Lucy
  6. Christie, Agatha — The Unexpected Guest
  7. Dick, Philip K. — Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  8. Cooper, Susan — The Dark Is Rising
  9. Cooper, Susan — Greenwitch
  10. Shaffer, Peter — Amadeus
  11. Anonymous — Go Ask Alice
  12. Cooper, Susan — The Grey King
  13. Martin, Steve — Shopgirl
  14. Cooper, Susan — Silver on the Tree
  15. Gaiman, Neil — Stardust
  16. Gaiman, Neil — Coraline
  17. Le Guin, Ursula — A Wizard of Earthsea
  18. Le Guin, Ursula — The Tombs of Atuan
  19. Le Guin, Ursula — The Farthest Shore
  20. Le Guin, Ursula — Tehanu
  21. Merton, Thomas — The Seven Storey Mountain: An Autobiography of Faith
  22. Alexander, Lloyd — The Castle of Llyr
  23. Zelazny, Roger — Lord of Light
  24. Card, Orson Scott — Ender's Game
  25. Clarke, Arthur C. — Childhood's End
  26. Grahame, Kenneth — The Wind in the Willows
  27. Dahl, Roald — James and the Giant Peach
  28. Lewis, C.S. — Out of the Silent Planet
  29. Lewis, C.S. — Perelandra
  30. Milne, A.A. — Winnie-the-Pooh
  31. Card, Orson Scott — Speaker for the Dead

I'm far enough ahead of the pace for this year's goal that maybe I shouldn't be afraid of tackling a couple of long books. Maybe I can enjoy some Neal Stephenson this year after all!

I couldn't quite get into the first couple dozen pages of this story, perhaps because Ender wasn't a part of them yet. Once he entered the story, though, I found the way he transformed the lives around him fascinating. The intrusions by Jane and the Hive Queen were annoying at times, but Card had the presence of mind to tone them down as the story progressed.

I think what makes Ender such a fascinating character is that he embodies antithetical identities of mythic proportions, the "satanic" figure responsible for the Bugger xenocide and the saintly and compassionate original Speaker for the Dead, while most regard him as a potentially dangerous itinerant "priest" of a pseudo-religion and have no idea of his true identity. Yet Ender proves to have just as much a knack for restoring and healing as he had for death and destruction in Ender's Game.

Having read Speaker for the Dead, I am now eager to find out what happens to the colonists of Lusitania in their revolt against Starways Congress, how the pequeninos adapt to the explosion of knowledge they receive, and what becomes of the Hive Queen and the Buggers. As much as I enjoyed Speaker for the Dead, though, I've been warned often enough that the other sequels get too preachy and philosophical—something the introduction to this installment seems to suggest—that I'm not sure I should bother exploring the Enderverse any further.

<rant>On a tangential note, I get really annoyed by sloppy editing. I know this makes me seem pedantic; so be it. But is it so hard to catch obvious mistakes? Twice the book refers to "Libo" when clearly "Miro" is meant; after all, Libo has been dead for years and, since this isn't a ghost story, he couldn't very well be the one speaking. And once "Marcão" is written "Marçáo"; if you're going to use a foreign language that most English speakers find difficult to pronounce, a little consistency would be nice.</rant>.

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