Picks and Pans Review: Great Reads

updated 01/09/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/09/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST

Something for Everyone

Every Person on the Planet by Bruce Eric Kaplan A charming illustrated tale for grown-ups about a neurotic couple who throw a holiday party and guilt-trip themselves into inviting … every person on the planet.

Queens Reigns Supreme by Ethan Brown In his captivating and controversial debut, Brown documents the links between the drug-running kingpins of Queens, N.Y., in the' 80s to the hip-hop impresarios who later paid them tribute.

Mencken: The American Iconoclast by Marion Elizabeth Rodgers The definitive bio of the caustic writer's writer who called puritanism “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy.”

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr An elegant true story, meticulously researched, of Italian art detectives tracking a missing work by Caravaggio.

The Grace That Keeps This World by Tom Bailey A compelling first novel about love and rivalry in the Adirondacks builds toward a shattering con clusion.

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