THE PLAYER'S THE THING
Dan Kussart lives in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
To me, it's all about the characters. All of these books have wonderful players, beautifully crafted to the point that they come alive on the pages.
By Charles Dickens
An often overlooked Dickens classic. Set during the little-known 18thcentury anti-Catholic riots in London, this novel contains atmosphere and wonderful characters--including the simple Barnaby, the trustworthy Gabriel Varden, and his religious fanatic wife, Martha. The mystery may not be deep, but it is a wonderful tale.
Footnotes in Booklore
By Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone
This is the second of three books by a husband and wife team of book collectors. Their prose style is unusual (you often can't tell which one is speaking) and sometimes pretentious, if lighthearted. The book gives fascinating insights into the world of antiquarian books.
IN THE BEST FAMILIES
By Rex Stout
The best installment in the long-running Nero Wolfe mystery series. Aid to an aging heiress and subsequent threats to his life force detective Nero Wolfe to leave his brownstone and make arrangements to sell his orchids!
THE MAURITIUS COMMAND
By Patrick O'Brian
My vote for the best of the Aubry-Maturin novels, set in Napoleonic-era England, is splendid in describing the headaches a leader faces when personalities clash.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
By Harper Lee
* Pulitzer Prize
Perhaps too obvious a selection, but this tale of racial prejudice in Alabama during the Great Depression, and those who stood up to it, is still the greatest American novel.
THE WOMAN IN WHITE
By Wilkie Collins
Who is the mysterious Woman in White, and what hold does she have over the wicked Sir Percival? While Collins could have played up the eerie aspect a bit more, it is a fine mystery by an oft-neglected author.
OLD LONDON BRIDGE
The Story of the Longest Inhabited Bridge in Europe
By Patricia Pierce
For over 600 years, London Bridge was inhabited by homes and shops, and was witness to some of the grandest and bloodiest scenes in England's history. A fascinating anecdotal history of the grand old bridge.
By Rose Macaulay
This 20th-century writer and "dame" wrote mostly novels about the young and the spoiled. This collection of essays...