Book Reviews by Author: A – M

Alcott, Luisa MayLuisa May Alcott

(November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888)

Friends with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau, Ms. Alcott had to work to help support her family, and like Jane Austen before her, she spun stories for her supper. Well known for her one transcendent novel, she also contributed sequels to the well-loved classic.

Little WomenLittle Women Norton Critical Edition

This is the story of four American sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, during and just following the Civil War.  Shepherded by their mother (Marmee), they become friends with their neighbors, Mr. Laurence and his grandson, Teddy (Laurie).  The book follows their lives, as well as various men they become involved with, but the book is concentrated in the person of Jo, the bookish second daughter, who is fifteen at the beginning of the story.


Isaac Asimov

Foundation


Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice

Mansfield Park

Sanditon and Other Stories


Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre


Truman Capote

In Cold Blood


Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Game


Arthur C. Clarke

The Songs of Distant Earth


Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist


Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games


Deborah Kay Davies

Grace, Tamar and Laszlo the Beautiful


Timothy Egan

The Worst Hard Time


Nicholas Evans

The Horse Whisperer


John Fowles

The Collector


Karen Hesse

Out of the Dust


Barbara Holland

Katharine Hepburn


Katelan Janke

Survival in the Storm:

The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards


Stephanie Kallos

Broken for You


Rebecca Kanner

The Sinners and the Sea


Jack Kerouac

On The Road


Barbara Kingsolver

Animal Dreams


Ron Koertge

Stoner & Spaz


Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird


Billie Letts

Where The Heart Is


Anne McCaffrey

An Introduction to the World of Pern

Dragonsdawn

The Dragonriders of Pern Trilogy

Dragonflight

Dragonquest

The White Dragon


The Harper Hall Trilogy

Dragonsong

Dragonsinger

Dragondrums


The Renegades of Pern


All the Weyrs of Pern


Jack McDevitt

The Academy Novels

An Introduction to the Series

The Engines of God

Deepsix

Chindi

 

 

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Game is a terrific science fiction novel, but it should and does have a much wider appeal. You could put it in a general literature category and it would still be highly ranked.enders-game

 It is the story of a boy in the future who must train to be the commander of a force that will save humanity. After being attacked by aliens (known as buggers) and barely surviving the attack, the military of Earth are planning to prevent a second wave by sending forces to the bugger home world to destroy them.

 Ender Wiggins is recruited at the age of six and goes through a grueling battle school in orbit of Earth, learning to develop new strategies and techniques to defeat the enemy. The school is set up as a series of games that the initiates play together. They are both brutal and instructive—and Ender prospers, growing from outcast to commander of his own group. What sets him apart is his ability to think outside the box and develop new strategies. It is thoroughly engrossing as Ender moves from one level to another, fighting his psychological programming as he puts together his own army, built on his own unique approach.

 Larger issues, especially government manipulation of individuals for its specific agenda, are dealt with in stunning detail. A second manipulation takes place as the author maneuvers his readers into rooting for a boy who is manipulated into becoming a mass murderer without even realizing that he is killing billions.

Winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Science Fiction, it raises more questions than it answers, but sometimes that’s what great works of art do—bring you into the conversation, but allow you to find your own answers. If you are looking for a book to really make you think, this would be it. And that, in the end is partly what makes great science fiction.