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25 Books to Remember from 1995

Each year a committee from the staff of The New York Public Library selects 25 "Books to Remember"—noteworthy books of general interest selected on the basis of literary and informational value.


The Adventures of Maqroll: Four Novellas
By Alvaro Mutis. Translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman
A quartet of interrelated stories takes Maqroll on fantastic adventures in exotic places.

The Cunning Man
by Robertson Davies
A compassionate novel of a Toronto doctor's life.

The Good Negress
by A. J. Verdelle
A young girl must choose between the life expected of her and the one she could make for herself.

In the Place of Fallen Leaves
by Tim Pears
Donald I. Fine
A thirteen-year-old English girl comes of age during the crippling drought of 1984.

Independence Day
by Richard Ford
Frank Bascombe, of Sportswriter fame, sells real estate and reflects on life.

The Information
by Martin Amis
A jealous writer painstakingly plots revenge against a literary rival.

The Longest Memory
by Fred D'Aguiar
Characterized by spare prose and understated emotion, this first novel powerfully portrays a young slave's desire for freedom.

Memoir from Antproof Case
by Mark Helprin
The grumpiest of old men tells all--his climb to the top and back down again.

Pig Cookies and Other Stories
by Alberto Alvaro Ríos
A charming, gentle, and sweet recollection of life in a northern Mexican bordertown over a 50-year period.

The Unconsoled
by Kazuo Ishiguro
A pianist arrives in a city he cannot name and is plagued by people who demand a recital he has not planned.


Bad Alchemy: Poems
by Dionisio D. Martinez
A poetic rollercoaster that sweeps through the Tiananmen Square massacre, follows the decline of the variety show without Ed Sullivan, and soars to the heavens with a prayer.

Holocaust Poetry
compiled and introduced by Hilda Schiff
St. Martin's
European, Israeli, and American voices bear witness to the Holocaust and its aftermath in this moving tribute to the human spirit.


The Liar's Club: A Memoir
by Mary Karr
The gritty truth is revealed in this tough, honest memoir.

by Isabel Allende
Three generations of family life, love, and history are captured in a letter from a mother to her dying daughter.

Walt Whitman's America: A Cultural Biography
by David S. Reynolds
From the era of Brooklyn as a village sprang the life and times that influenced America's great poet.


Emblems of Mind: The Inner Life of Music and Mathematics
by Edward Rothstein
Times Books
The chief music critic of The New York Times crafts an eloquent inquiry into the historical, structural, and creative connections between music and mathematics.

From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers
by Marina Warner
From the Queen of Sheba to Walt Disney, classic tales are brilliantly reinterpreted in this thoroughly enjoyable, lavishly illustrated work of scholarship and insight.

A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books
by Nicholas A. Basbanes
Henry Holt
A chronicle of those who lust to acquire books.

Landscape and Memory
by Simon Schama
A noted historian explores concepts of landscape in art, religion and society in Western civilization.

Our Paris: Sketches from Memory
by Edmund White, with drawings by Hubert Sorin
White's chatty style and Sorin's trés amusant illustrations bring their Paris neighborhood alive.

Racial Healing: Confronting the Fear Between Blacks & Whites
by Harlon L. Dalton
These clearheaded essays, touched with humor, suggest specific ways to begin a dialogue between races.

Shaping the City: New York and the Municipal Art Society
by Gregory F. Gilmartin
Clarkson Potter
An excitingly rendered history of the organization that helped shape New York City as we know it today.

Terrible Honesty: Mongrel Manhattan in the 1920s
by Ann Douglas
A cultural cornucopia of American life as defined by the Manhattan of the 1920s.

Two or Three Things I Know for Sure
by Dorothy Allison
The author focuses her storytelling skills on her own family.

Vice Versa: Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life
by Marjorie Garber
Simon & Schuster
A witty treatise on bisexuality that includes cultural interpretations and a gossipy who's who.

Books to Remember 1996 Committee: Janet Campano, Nancy A. Farrell, Kenneth Giles, Rhonda K. Kitchens, Alice C. Phillips, Bonnie Farrier-Chairperson