The 25 Most Intriguing
I would like to thank you for placing the New York City firefighters on your cover. My brother Paul Keating was one of the firemen killed on Sept. 11. He was off-duty and ran to the nearest firehouse to help. He was one of the first firemen in the towers, and he never made it out. I think it is very appropriate to recognize the ultimate sacrifice my brother and others gave that day.
Jeffrey P. Keating, Sea Girt, N.J.

I was delighted to see the cast of Friends as one of the most intriguing of 2001. After the devastating attacks, it is comforting to see your old friends have remained standing.
Kathleen Morgenroth, London, Ont.

Thank you for your story about Anne Robinson. She is truly a wonder and the reason why we watch Weakest Link. Robinson is an idol at my workplace.
Jeanette Frison, Prospect, Ore.

I'm glad to see that Nicole Kidman had two fabulous movies in 2001 and is looking better than ever. Who needs Tom Cruise? Nicole is the outstanding one now.
Holly Bentley, Denver, Colo.

The best you could find were Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman? The Heartbreaker and the Divorcée? "Wow! We are so intrigued.
Ginny and Sandi Burchard, Denver, Colo.

How could you possibly leave out our First Lady Laura Bush? This very private woman has risen to the occasion and has made us, and we hope all Americans, very satisfied with who she is. She is a lady of great dignity and just plain common sense.
Bob and Doris Argo, Kimberling City, Mo.

I was very surprised to not find one of my favorite actors, Russell Crowe. He was certainly in the news with his much-publicized relationship with Meg Ryan, the supposed kidnapping plot against him and his win of the Best Actor Academy Award. It's interesting that you included Julia Roberts, who won the Best Actress Oscar.
Robert Bennett, Oshawa, Ont.

I thought Eminem would surely be one and was surprised that he was not mentioned. He sparked a lot of controversy in the past year, but he succeeded in what his goals were and was able to express himself as he wished. Well, maybe next year?
Patricia Barfield, Harlem, Ga.

Thank you for your recognition of some of the country's best in the 25 Most Intriguing issue.
Laurie Anne Gardner, Nashville, Tenn.

Picks & Pans
Your assessment of high-pitched, shrill-voiced Billy Gilman is pretty right on. From the first time I heard his screeching, I felt pushing him off as a country singer was one of the cruelest hoaxes ever perpetrated on the American public. To call him a country singer is an insult to the greats. He couldn't polish their boots.
Brian McKenna, Nevis, Minn.

Thanks so much for including Citizen Baines on your Best of Tube list. I really enjoyed the characters and stories, and I was sorry it was yanked off the television schedule. Too bad it wasn't given time to find an audience. It was certainly deserving, and I was pleased to have your confirmation of that.
Patricia J. Winslow, Erie, Pa.

Give Jessica Simpson a break! This is the second year in a row that you listed her music under Worst of Song, and every year your comments about her are harsher. She is not only beautiful and irresistible, but underrated as an artist. And given the fact she has a cleaner, toned-down image, she's a far cry from being a "Christina Aguilera-wannabe."
Frances Elaine Hopkins, Garden City, N.Y.

You are not selecting the worst movies of the year. What you're picking are big budget, big star films that disappointed you—movies from which you expected more and got less. That's the truth, and you shouldn't pretend otherwise. There's no way that Serendipity and Planet of the Apes could compete with the cinematic dreck that has shown up in theaters.
Robert Carrelli, Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Sequels
Your article on Socks the cat once again reminded me how disposable a society we live in when pets are exiled after their human caretakers feel they no longer have room in their lives. They are living creatures who depend on us for their care and safety. Socks is one of the few lucky pets who found a loving and better home with Betty Currie. Shame on the Clintons for setting yet another bad example.
Bobbi Heller, Vice President, Felines & Friends, Santa Fe, N.Mex.