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*Four-Star Books*
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I don't review books I don't like! 

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


Four-Star Books

All of the books below earned an "Outstanding" rating from me--books I thoroughly enjoyed, that are well worth owning. 

The books are arranged by category, then alphabetically by author within each category.
I am not including Picture Books, since most of the Picture Books I review are at least four-star books.
Click on the book title to read the complete review. 


From the Good Earth, by Michael Ableman
The Story of My Life, by Farah Ahmedi with Tamim Ansary
The City of Falling Angels, by John Berendt
Earth from Above, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
The Earth from Above:  365 Days, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
The Pentagon's New Map, by Thomas P. M. Barnett
Storybook Travels, by Colleen Dunn Bates & Susan LaTempa
The Hills Is Lonely, by Lillian Beckwith
Inside the Kingdom, by Carmen bin Ladin
A Woman's Passion for Travel, edited by Marybeth Bond and Pamela Michael
The Horses of Proud Spirit, by Melanie Sue Bowles
Discipline:  The Brazelton Way, by T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. and Joshua D. Sparrow, M.D.
The Narrow Road, by Brother Andrew, with John and Elizabeth Sherrill
I'm a Stranger Here Myself, by Bill Bryson
Heal Your Headache, by David Buchholz, M.D.
Losing America, by Senator Robert C. Byrd
For the Love of Ireland, edited by Susan Cahill
Not So Funny When It Happened, edited by Tim Cahill
How To Remodel a Man, by W. Bruce Cameron
The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, by T. E. Carhart
The Road from the Past, by Ina Caro
The Waiting Child, by Cindy Champnella
 Sixpence House, by Paul Collins
Dr. Folkman's War, by Robert Cooke
The Case Against Lawyers, by Catherine Crier
Dorling Kindersley Travel Guides:  Scotland
A Castle in the Backyard, by Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden
Astonish Yourself! by Roger-Pol Droit
Suburban Nation, by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck
Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich
As the Romans Do, by Alan Epstein
There Are No Shortcuts, by Rafe Esquith
The Christmas Box Miracle, by Richard Paul Evans
Eyewitness Travel Guide:  Germany
Walking the Bible, by Bruce Feiler
 In Code, by Sarah Flannery with David Flannery
Longitudes and Attitudes, by Thomas L. Friedman
Castles of Britain and Ireland, by Plantagenet Somerset Fry
A House Somewhere, edited by Don George and Anthony Sattin
Write Away, by Elizabeth George
How Can We Keep From Singing, by Joan Oliver Goldsmith
Animals in Translation, by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson
The Soul of Capitalism, by William Greider
Lighthouses of France, photographs by Jean Guichard, text by René Gast
If Grace Is True, by Philip Gulley and James Mulholland
The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution, by Frederick Hahn, Michael R. Eades, M.D, and Mary Dan Eades, M.D.
  Journey from the Land of No, by Roya Hakakian
You'll Never Nanny in This Town Again, by Suzanne Hansen
Ripe for the Picking, by Annie Hawes
Getting the Love You Want, by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D.
River Town:  Two Years on the Yangtze, by Peter Hessler
The Coalwood Way, by Homer Hickam
Sky of Stone,by Homer Hickam
Winged Life, by Hannah Hurnaud
Raisin' Brains, by Karen L. J. Isaacson
In Focus:  National Geographic's Greatest Portraits
Italy Travel Books
In Search of America, by Peter Jennings & Todd Brewster
Of Paradise and Power, by Robert Kagan
Good Poems, selected by Garrison Keillor
The Writer's Book of Hope, by Ralph Keyes
Shoot Like a Pro!  Digital Photography Techniques, by Julie Adair King
Small Wonder, by Barbara Kingsolver
Room to Grow, edited by Christina Baker Kline
Knopf Guides:  Scotland
Against Depression, by Peter D. Kramer
Walking Forward Looking Back, by John Labriola
Plan B:  Further Thoughts on Faith, by Anne Lamott
There's No Toilet Paper . . . on the Road Less Traveled, edited by Doug Lansky
The Summer of the Great-Grandmother, by Madeleine L'Engle
The Irrational Season, by Madeleine L'Engle
The Dance of Anger, by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.
The Dance of Intimacy, by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.
A Mind at a Time, by Mel Levine, M. D.
The Myth of Laziness, by Mel Levine, M.D.
Of Other Worlds, by C. S. Lewis.  Edited by Walter Hooper
One Nation:  America Remember September 11, 2001, compiled by the editors of Life magazine
The Hope of the Gospel, by George MacDonald
Wisdom To Live By, by George MacDonald
Walking a Literary Labyrinth, by Nancy M. Malone
Unfinished Business, by Dr. Julianne Malveaux and Deborah Perry 
Love, Greg and Lauren, by Greg Manning
The Mystery of Marriage, by Mike Mason
Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes
A Poem a Day, edited by Karen McCosker and Nicholas Albery
A New Kind of Christian, by Brian D. McLaren
The Knitting Experience Book 1:  The Knit Stitch, by Sally Melville
The Knitting Experience Book 2:  The Purl Stitch, by Sally Melville
Bringing Down the House, by Ben Mezrich
Busting Vegas, by Ben Mezrich
The Best of Lopi, compiled by Susan Mills and Norah Gaughan
Feynman's Rainbow, by Leonard Mlodinow
In the Spirit of Happiness, by The Monks of New Skete
Moyers on America, by Bill Moyers
Raising a Reader, by Jennie Nash
The Universe:  365 Days, by Robert J. Nemiroff and Jerry T. Bonnell
Castles and Ancient Monuments of Scotland, by Damien Noonan
The Power of a Praying Wife, by Stormie Omartian
The Power of a Praying Parent, by Stormie Omartian
Remarkable Trees of the World, by Thomas Pakenham
Let Your Life Speak, by Parker J. Palmer
It Must Be True, by Denys Parsons
Glimpses of the Devil, by M. Scott Peck, M.D.
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins
Running on Empty, by Peter G. Peterson
Here Speeching American, by Kathryn Petras and Ross Petras
The Other Side of the Dale, by Gervase Phinn
Over Hill and Dale, by Gervase Phinn
Head Over Heels in the Dales, by Gervase Phinn
Up and Down in the Dales, by Gervase Phinn
Seven Steps on the Writer's Path, by Nancy Pickard and Lynn Lott
Letters to a Young Therapist, by Mary Pipher
The Middle of Everywhere, by Mary Pipher
The Sea, photographs by Philip Plisson
Lighthouses of Europe, photographs by Philip Plisson and Guillaume Plisson, text by Daniel Charles
The Threatening Storm:  The Case For Invading Iraq, by Kenneth M. Pollack
The Oasis, by Petru Popescu
Rogue Nation, by Clyde Prestowitz
Imagined London, by Anna Quindlen
Biblioholism:  The Literary Addiction, by Tom Raabe
The Weekend Novelist, by Robert J. Ray
Angles of Reflection, by Joan L. Richards
Life's Journeys According to Mister Rogers, by Fred Rogers
The End of Poverty, by Jeffrey D. Sachs
End of the Spear, by Steve Saint
Secrets, Lies, Betrayals, by Maggie Scarf
The Complete Peanuts:  1950 to 1952, by Charles M. Schulz
The Complete Peanuts:  1953 to 1954, by Charles M. Schulz
The Complete Peanuts:  1955 to 1956, by Charles M. Schulz
Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life, edited by Barnaby Conrad and Monte Schulz
Natural Energy, by Erika Schwartz, M.D. with Carol Colman
Depression Fallout, by Anne Sheffield
The Working Poor:  Invisible in America, by David K. Shipler
America 24/7, created by Rick Smolan and David Elliot Cohen
Burned Alive, by Souad
The Child That Books Built, by Francis Spufford
The Spiritual Journey Toward a Healed Marriage, by Charlyne Steinkamp
The New Sugar Busters! by H. Leighton Steward, Morrison C. Bethea, M.D.,
Sam S. Andrews, M.D., and Luis A. Balart, M.D.
Driving Over Lemons, by Chris Stewart
The God I Love, by Joni Eareckson Tada
The Opposite of Fate, by Amy Tan
You Just Don't Understand, by Deborah Tannen, Ph.D.
Sweeping Changes, by Gary Thorp
My Love Affair With England, by Susan Allen Toth
Eats, Shoots & Leaves, by Lynne Truss
Love in the Driest Season, by Neely Tucker
The Art and Science of Web Design, by Jeffrey Veen
The Philosopher's Demise, by Richard Watson
Traveling While Married, by Mary-Lou Weisman
Wild Writing Women:  Stories of World Travel
The Impressionists' Paris, by Ellen Williams
Pooh and the Philosophers, by John Tyerman Williams
 Soul Survivor, by Philip Yancey
The Way of the Wanderer, by David Yeadon
Take Joy!  A Book for Writers, by Jane Yolen
Remarkable Reads, edited by J. Peder Zane


The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
Duty and Desire:  Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman, Book 2, by Pamela Aidan
 Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen
China Run, by David W. Ball
Jane and the Wandering Eye, by Stephanie Barron
Jane and the Ghosts of Netley, by Stephanie Barron
Death of a Village, by M. C. Beaton
Quentins, by Maeve Binchy
Render Unto Caesar, by Gillian Bradshaw
  The Wolf Hunt, by Gillian Bradshaw
The Wrong Reflection, by Gillian Bradshaw
The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown 
The Curse of Treasure Island, by Francis Bryan
The Thirty-Nine Steps, by John Buchan
 Drummer in the Dark, by T. Davis Bunn
Every Boy's Got One, by Meg Cabot
In the Stacks,
edited by Michael Cart
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, by Dai Sijie
A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture, by Apostolos Doxiadis
Stealing the Elf-King's Roses, by Diane Duane
The Game of Kings, by Dorothy Dunnett
The Far Side of Evil, by Sylvia Louise Engdahl
Lost In a Good Book, by Jasper Fforde
The Well of Lost Plots, by Jasper Fforde
Something Rotten, by Jasper Fforde
The Big Over Easy, by Jasper Fforde
The Zygote Chronicles, by Suzanne Finnamore
  A Moment on the Edge, edited by Elizabeth George
Otherwise Engaged, by Eileen Goudge
 The Five Quarters of the Orange, by Joanne Harris
Legacy of Love, by Joanne Trollope writing as Caroline Harvey
A Second Legacy, by Joanna Trollope writing as Caroline Harvey
Learning to Fly, by April Henry
The Probable Future, by Alice Hoffman
The Prisoner of Zenda and Rupert of Hentzau, by Anthony Hope
Seven Blessings, by Ruchama King
The Fairy Godmother, by Mercedes Lackey
One Good Knight, by Mercedes Lackey
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, by Lorna Landvik
Till We Have Faces, by C. S. Lewis
Out of the Silent Planet, by C. S. Lewis
Perelandra, by C. S. Lewis
That Hideous Strength, by C. S. Lewis
The Shop on Blossom Street, by Debbie Macomber
A Good Yarn, by Debbie Macomber
The Four Feathers, by A. E. W. Mason
Tears of the Giraffe, by Alexander McCall Smith
The Kalahari Typing School for Men, by Alexander McCall Smith
The Full Cupboard of Life, by Alexander McCall Smith
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, by Alexander McCall Smith
Blue Shoes and Happiness, by Alexander McCall Smith
The Sunday Philosophy Club, by Alexander McCall Smith
Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
Parnassus on Wheels, by Christopher Morley
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel, by Louise Murphy
The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
The Elusive Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy
Eldorado,  by Baroness Orczy
Case of Lies, by Perri O'Shaughnessy
The Dive From Clausen's Pier, by Ann Packer
Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, by James Patterson
Balance of Power, by Richard North Patterson
A Christmas Guest, by Anne Perry
Crocodile on the Sandbank, by Elizabeth Peters
The Curse of the Pharaohs, by Elizabeth Peters
Lord of the Silent, by Elizabeth Peters
Vanishing Acts, by Jodi Picoult
Davita's Harp, by Chaim Potok
Moving Is Murder, by Sara Rosett
Killer Smile, by Lisa Scottoline
The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
  Eight of Swords, by David Skibbins
The Wedding, by Nicholas Sparks
The Cinderella Pact, by Sarah Strohmeyer
The Jerusalem Scrolls, by Bodie and Brock Thoene
Carry On, Jeeves, by P. G. Wodehouse
Jeeves in the Offing, by P. G. Wodehouse

Young Adult Fiction

Crossing the Panther's Path, by Elizabeth Alder
Crispin:  The Cross of Lead, by Avi
The Frog Princess, by E. D. Baker
I Am Not Esther, by Fleur Beale
The Folk Keeper, by Franny Billingsley
A String in the Harp, by Nancy Bond
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, by Ann Brashares
The Princess and the Pauper, by Kate Brian
All-American Girl, by Meg Cabot
Princess in Waiting:  The Princess Diaries, Volume IV, by Meg Cabot
  Goddess of Yesterday, by Caroline B. Cooney
The Widow and the King, by John Dickinson
A Wizard Alone, by Diane Duane
Wizard's Holiday, by Diane Duane
Wizards at War, by Diane Duane
By These Ten Bones, by Clare B. Dunkle
Rat Boys, by Thom Eberhardt
The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer
The Oracle Betrayed, by Catherine Fisher
Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes
Singing the Dog Star Blues, by Alison Goodman
Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey, by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale
The Last Chance Texaco, by Brent Hartinger
Stravaganza:  City of Masks, by Mary Hoffman
City of Stars:  Stravaganza, Book Two, by Mary Hoffman
City of Flowers:  Stravaganza Book Three, by Mary Hoffman
The King's Swift Rider, by Mollie Hunter
Drowned Ammet, by Diana Wynne Jones
Dark Lord of Derkholm and Year of the Griffin, by Diana Wynne Jones
Dogsbody, by Diana Wynne Jones
Unexpected Magic, by Diana Wynne Jones
The Hunting of the Last Dragon, by Sherryl Jordan
The Shamer's Daughter, by Lene Kaaberbol
The Shamer's Signet, by Lene Kaaberbol
Gilbert and Sullivan Set Me Free, by Kathleen Karr
Owl in Love, by Patrice Kindl
Magic or Madness, by Justine Larbalestier
Wolf Wing, by Tanith Lee
Gifts, by Ursula K. LeGuin
The Other Wind, by Ursula K. LeGuin
The Changeling Sea, by Patricia A. McKillip
Anne of Windy Poplars, by L. M. Montgomery
Anne's House of Dreams, by L. M. Montgomery
Rilla of Ingleside, by L. M. Montgomery
The Road to Yesterday, by L. M. Montgomery
The Year of Secret Assignments, by Jaclyn Moriarty
The Beast, by Walter Dean Myers
Out of Bounds, by Beverley Naidoo
Daughter of Venice, by Donna Jo Napoli
Slaves of the Mastery, by William Nicholson
Firesong, by William Nicholson
Across the Wall, by Garth Nix
by Mary O'Hara
  Waters Luminous & Deep, by Meredith Ann Pierce
The Perilous Gard, by Elizabeth Marie Pope
Pollyanna Grows Up, by Eleanor H. Porter 
Shylock's Daughter, by Mirjam Pressler
After, by Francine Prose
Millicent's Gift, by Ann Rinaldi
Taking Liberty, by Ann Rinaldi
  I Had Seen Castles, by Cynthia Rylant
The Schwa Was Here, by Neal Shusterman
Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Golem's Eye, by Jonathan Stroud
The Winter Prince, by Elizabeth E. Wein
A Coalition of Lions, by Elizabeth E. Wein
Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld
Pretties, by Scott Westerfeld
Shayla's Double Brown Baby Blues, by Lori Aurelia Williams
The Grand Tour, by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
Book of Enchantments, by Patricia C. Wrede
Sword of the Rightful King, by Jane Yolen

Children’s Nonfiction

Thura's Diary, by Thura Al-Windawi
The Pot That Juan Built, by Nancy Andrews-Goebel.  Pictures by David Diaz
The Future of the Earth, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, adapted by Robert Burleigh
The Princess and the White Bear King, retold by Tanya Robyn Batt, illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli
911:  The Book of Help, edited by Michael Cart
George Washington's Teeth, by Deborah Chandra & Madeleine Comora.  Pictures by Brock Cole
Through the Tempests Dark and Wild, by Sharon Darrow, illustrated by Angela Barrett
String Games, by Richard Darsie
DK Revealed:  Human Body, by Dr. Sue Davidson and Ben Morgan
Open Your Eyes, edited by Jill Davis
Dr. Ernest Drake's Dragonology
Ben Franklin's Almanac, by Candace Fleming
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, by Mordicai Gerstein
Journeys With Elijah, by Barbara Diamond Goldin.  Paintings by Jerry Pinkney
A Book About Design, by Mark Gonyea
The Spider and the Fly, by Mary Howitt.  Illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
A Kick in the Head, selected by Paul B. Janeszko, illustrated by Chris Raschka
Actual Size, by Steve Jenkins
Wonders and Miracles: A Passover Companion, written and compiled by Eric A. Kimmel
Wilma Unlimited, by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by David Diaz
A Life Like Mine
Helen Keller:  A Determined Life, by Elizabeth MacLeod
Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales
The Wand in the Word, compiled and edited by Leonard S. Marcus
1000 Play Thinks, by Ivan Moskovich
Show; Don't Tell! by Josephine Nobisso, illustrated by Eva Montanari
Poetry Speaks to Children, edited by Elise Paschen
Mayflower 1620:  A New Look at a Pilgrim Voyage, by Plimouth Plantation
Unlikely Pairs, by Bob Racza
When Marian Sang, by Pamela Munoz Ryan.  Pictures by Brian Selznick
The Milestones Project, photographs by Dr. Richard Steckel and Michele Steckel
Corn Chowder:  Poems by James Stevenson
The Best of Times, by Greg Tang
Casey at the Bat, by Ernest L. Thayer.  Illustrated by C. F. Payne
Under the Spell of the Moon

Children’s Fiction

The Arkadians, by Lloyd Alexander
Strange Happenings, by Avi
Chasing Vermeer, by Blue Balliett, illustrated by Brett Helquist
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
Vendela in Venice, by Christina Bjork
A Week in the Woods, by Andrew Clements
The Boggart and the Monster, by Susan Cooper
Lion Boy, by Zizou Corder
Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher, by Bruce Coville
Bloomability, by Sharon Creech
Love That Dog, by Sharon Creech
Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, by Sharon Creech
Iqbal, by Francesco D'Adamo
Swan Sister:  Fairy Tales Retold, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo
The Tears of the Salamander, by Peter Dickinson
Hanne's Quest, by Olivier Dunrea
The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau
The Breadwinner, by Deborah Ellis
Parvana's Journey, by Deborah Ellis
The Wolves in the Walls, by Neil Gaiman
Olive's Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
Bartlett and the Ice Voyage, by Odo Hirsch
The Whale Rider, by Witi Ihimaera
  Conrad's Fate, by Diana Wynne Jones
The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster, illustrations by Jules Feiffer
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, by Jean Kerr
Babe:  The Gallant Pig, by Dick King-Smith, illustrated by Maggie Kneen
The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place, by E. L. Konigsburg
King Matt the First, by Janusz Korczak
 For Biddle's Sake, by Gail Carson Levine
 The Fairy's Return, by Gail Carson Levine
Gooney Bird Greene, by Lois Lowry
More Perfect Than the Moon, by Patricia MacLachlan
Indigo's Star, by Hilary McKay
Permanent Rose, by Hilary McKay
The Exiles at Home, by Hilary McKay
Lulu's Hat, by Susan Meddaugh
Anne of Avonlea, by L. M. Montgomery
Rainbow Valley, by L. M. Montgomery
The Other Side of Truth, by Beverley Naidoo
The Prince of the Pond, by Donna Jo Napoli
Jimmy:  The Pickpocket of the Palace, by Donna Jo Napoli
Gracie:  The Pixie of the Puddle, by Donna Jo Napoli
My Friend Flicka, by Mary O'Hara
A Single Shard, by Linda Sue Park
Pollyanna, by Eleanor H. Porter
The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan
Wren to the Rescue, by Sherwood Smith
Wren's Quest, by Sherwood Smith
Wren's War, by Sherwood Smith
Heidi, by Johanna Spyri  
by Jean Thesman
Smith of Wooton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham, by J. R. R. Tolkien
Instead of Three Wishes, by Megan Whalen Turner
Heir Apparent, by Vivian Vande Velde
The Rumpelstiltskin Problem, by Vivian Vande Velde
Millicent Min, Girl Genius, by Lisa Yee
Girl in a Cage, by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris
The Bagpiper's Ghost, by Jane Yolen 

= Available at Sembach Library

  Sonder is a German prefix meaning "special."

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved. 

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