What would Christmas be if no one gave you a book? And what would Christmas be if you didn't give someone a book you know they will love? Here are a few titles to help you with your choices. Fiction: "Code To Zero," by Ken Follett (Dutton $26.95) a novel. At Cape Canaveral a question arises: Who is to save the Explorer I. Thriller fans will enjoy this novel set in 1958. "Don't Tell Anyone," by Frederick Busch (W,W Norton, $26.95) -17 fine stories by this excellent author. "The Fisher King," by Paule Marshall (Scribner, $23) a fine family drama by an author who, at least part-time, calls Richmond home. "Master of the Crossroads," by Madison Smartt Bell ($30) - a continuation of his fine chronicle of Haiti. "Protect and Defend," by Richard North Patterson (Knopf $26.95) a political novel in which a brand new president must nominate a chief justice of the supreme court but his efforts are thwarted. This should appeal to the political crowd. "To Cut A Long Story Short," by Jeffrey Archer (Harpercollins $25) - a collection of short stories that will rank him as one of the top storytellers. Non Fiction: "African Kings: Portraits of a Disappearing Era," by Daniel Laine (Ten Speed Press $40) - pictures of the tribal kings of Africa with accompanying text. "Alistair Cooke: The Biography" by Nick Clarke (Arcade 29.95) the life of the famous author of "Letters from America" and of other commentaries on the life and culture of our times. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition (Houghton Mifflin $60) 4,000 full-color illustrations and maps, regionalisms and language variations, 10,000 new words, medical terms and slang. "Extraordinary Chickens," by Stephen Green (Armitage $24.95)- a wonderful eccentric collection of pictures of different breeds of chickens "Eye of the Storm: A Civil War Odyssey," written and illustrated by Private Robert K. Sneden and edited by Charles F. Bryan and Nelson D. Lankford (The Free Press, $37.50) Sneden's diary tells of his experiences from Bull Run to Andersonville prison camp and then home. This book also includes reproductions of his fascinating paintings. A must for anyone on your list who is interested in "the late great unpleasantness." "Jazz: A History of America's Music," by Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns (Knopf, $65) -the companion to the PBS documentary series. "Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking," by Julia Child and David Nussbaum) (Knopf, $19.95) - For Child's fans, a collection of techniques and hints. "My Mother's Ghost" by Fergus M Bordewich (Doubleday $23.95) a memoir about a childhood trauma: the accidental death of the author's mother. To be released Dec. 26. "A Short Guide to a Happy Life," by Anna Quindlen (Random House $12.95) a small handbook of unsentimental, beautiful wisdom. "Sister Wendy's American Collection" Harpercollins $40) takes the reader on a tour of the major US art museums. This will also be a TV series next spring. "Sports Illustrated 2001 Sports Almanac," by the editors of Sports Illustrated.($12.95) This one is for the sports lover and trivial pursuit player - All Olympic victories, including those in Sydney, are recorded. Kelly Justice of Carytown Books, Beth Morelli of the Richmond Public Library, and June Stephenson of Barnes & Noble helped with this list.
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