The A to Z of Popular Books

The A to Z of Popular Books

A is for... Linda Austin

    What's Holding You Back Much has been written about the glass ceiling in business that seems to prevent women from entering the boardroom, but Linda Austin takes a different view - as she writes in the introduction to What's Holding You Back? "Many women will never reach the point where a door bangs in their face because they've already slipped out a side exit". She discusses the psychological glass ceiling, an invisible barrier erected by women that prevents themselves from moving upwards. By explaining the reasons for this under-achievement and presenting the ways to channel ambition and stay focused, Austin gives many tips to help the professional woman achieve her true potential.

B is for... Beowulf

    It's not an easy task to take a millenium old poem and take it into the best-selling lists, but Seamus Heaney is no ordinary translator and Beowulf is no ordinary poem. Many people will have studied the epic poem at college as I did, and found it difficult to appreciate. Heaney writes with such beauty and courage that he manages to bring the tale of knights and dragons to a public more than ready for it, and at the same time delights scholars with his artistry and quality of translation.

C is for... Cider House Rules

    Cider House Rules
    A recent Oscar winner, The Cider House Rules is re-released to tie in with the movie. The story of an orphan, Homer, raised as a surrogate son of the orphanage's Dr Larch, and of his journey out into the wide, bad old world, has touched many of its readers (and film-goers). Perhaps not John Irving's best book it is an interesting story of the 19th century, and raises issues of our place in the world and abortion amongst others.

D is for... Cybill Disobedience

    Cybill Disobedience Or How I Survived Beauty Pageants, Elvis, Sex, Bruce Willis, Lies, Marriage, Motherhood, Hollywood, and the Irrepressible Urge to Say What I Think. From her early films as object of desire through her Moonlighting years with Bruce Willis to the almost-true-to-life comedy that bears her name, Cybill Shephard has always shone through as a woman with opinions and the wit to state them. No-one could say she was the greatest actress in the world (she is always teetering on the edge of laughing at her own jokes) but she comes across as a warm and honest human being both on screen and in this book. As one reviewer says "For everyone who thinks Cybil is as special as she does". Buy it!

E is for... Eating Well For Optimum Health

    Eating Well For Optimum Health
    The jury still seems to be out on this one. Dr Weil not only looks at the excess of fat in our diets but also the lack of it in some of the other diets expounded by experts and used by the medical profession. Linking medical conditions such as autism and Parkinson's with fat intake, Weil presents his own diet, with 84 varied recipes, to ensure a healthy lifestyle. At times too scholarly for some, the doctor takes a lengthy look at how our body deals with fat and along the way discusses the role of vitamins and supplements and how to avoid some of the additives that are in many of our processed foods.

F is for... Finest News Reporting

    Finest News Reporting
    Weekly newspaper The Onion takes an irreverent and satirical look at American life every week and Finest News Reporting book looks takes a swipe at the news-stories that have obsessed US and international readers in the last few years. In amongst "Nation's Educators Alarmed by Poorly Written Teen Suicide Notes" and "Massive Oil Spill Results in Improved Wildlife Viscosity" are stories that may offend so beware. International readers may find the book too American but if you like satire at its best, this book, written by Scott Dikkers and The Onion, is for you...

G is for... John Grisham

    The Brethren Typically described as the highly "bankable" author, John Grisham takes a slightly different direction in his latest novel, The Brethren. True there are law connections - the brethren of the title are three ex-judges who conspire to blackmail wealthy, closeted gay-men from their prison cells, but unlike other books, there is less action and a more thoughtful narrative prose. As well as scrawling his pen over the theme of power and justice, Grisham also weaves the use of puppet politicians into the interesting and complex plot. For some less compelling than previous novels, The Brethren is nevertheless as "bankable" as previous movie-bound tales...

H is for... Harry Potter

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire The latest Harry Potter novel Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a huge bestseller. As a struggling single mother in an Edinburgh bedsit, Jo Rowling could not have imagined the fantastic success of her children's novel when she began work on the first book. A few years later and she is the fastest selling new author in the world. The new book was published in July. Also available are the three other Harry Potter books including Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Harry's third year at Hogwarts begins after a dreadful summer at his aunt and uncle's. Having turned one of their visitors into a inflatable balloon, Harry escapes in a three-decker bus. Returning to school he finds rather than being punished, he is being closely guarded since the notorious Prisoner of Azkaban has escaped and is after our hero... The third book in the series is another enjoyable romp through the world of magic with a plot that explains much of Harry's past...

I is for... The Indwelling: The Beast Takes Possession

    The fictional series Left Behind written by Tim F. Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, of which the soon to be published Indwelling will be the 7th instalment of 12, has a fascinating and frightening concept. The Rapture, Jesus coming back to earth to raise all believers to heaven, has happened in the blink of an eye, and those left behind must battle the anti-christ on an world beset with apocalyptic disasters. Criticised on one hand for its literal interpretation of the Book of Revelations, and on the other for the lack of depth in its female characters, the series has nevertheless captured the imagination of millions...

Popular Books: J - Z

Back to the A to Z Index

2000, Compiled by Alan J Stuart

Page last updated: December 31st, 2000