Best Books of 1998

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Morrie was a teacher at Brandeis Univ., Mitch was his student. They lost track of one another as most of us do. Many years later Mitch discovers his old teacher is dying of ALS and proceeds to fly cross country one day a week to visit him, on Tuesdays. Who benefits most from these visits? They both do of course. An incredibly inspirational book, beautifully written.

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
An American writer from San Francisco buys an old house in Tuscany and enchants us with her trials and tribulations in restoring it. Italy is a bit of heaven on earth and this book transports us there.

The Diving Bell & the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
The author was the editor of French Elle magazine and suffered a massive stroke, rendering him completely paralyzed other than the capacity to blink one eye. By doing so, he dictated this uplifting, beautifully written memoir of a man who retained his sanity, strength and keen mind while trapped in a body that failed him.

The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester
This is the story of how a murderer housed in a prison for the criminally insane helped create the Oxford English Dictionary. The most definitive “truth is stranger than fiction” book I’ve ever read.

Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns by Miller & Devon
The classic how-to book of the BDSM world. Don’t know what BDSM is? Read this book!

Brain Droppings by George Carlin
I started reading this book one day on my lunch break at work and seconds later I was laughing so hard I almost choked. Looks at life through the skewed eyes of a brilliant mind.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
This amazing first novel is a fascinating look at the life of a geisha starting with her being sold into virtual slavery, the auctioning off of her virginity, her talents brought to fruition and a Cinderella story happy ending. It is beautifully written, factually accurate and a great read.

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
A very intense read about twin brothers, one certifiably mentally unstable and the other so called normal. Their history, their lives, their love that overcomes seemingly insurmountable obstacles, one after another, draws you in and keeps you spellbound.

Snow Falling On Cedars by David Guterson
What appears to be a simple murder mystery takes on incredible depth as we are forced to explore themes of love, hate, prejudice, and compassion. This is the author’s first novel; the story is mesmerizing and the writing is exquisite.

My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki
A single, 30ish, Japanese-American woman becomes the producer of a TV show promoting beef sales in Japan. Our journey is across America, getting quite an education about our beef industry, meeting scads of strange characters and learning about the cultural differences that still exist between Japan and the U.S. A first novel that is interesting and quirky and may turn you into a vegetarian!

Rao’s Cookbook by Frank Pellegrino
The basics of Italian cooking; you needed an Italian mother to learn these recipes until now. The pastas are marvelous, the sauces perfection. Try the Shrimp Scampi, it is to die for! Bellisimo!

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