Picks and Pans Review: Great Reads

updated 03/27/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/27/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST


Attention. Deficit. Disorder. by Brad Listi
In this unsentimental debut, Listi's film-school grad protagonist tries to divine meaning from a life that seems to have "no trajectory," as his parents are fond of saying. An ironic, often humorous take on the anomie of youth.

The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean
Alzheimer's patient Marina, a former museum docent who survived the siege of Leningrad, remembers her life through masterpieces by da Vinci and Rembrandt. Dean writes with passion and compelling drama about a grotesque chapter of World War II.

A Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart
The author's fine writing and still-waters-run-deep characters prove hypnotic in this elegant and meditative novel about love, relationships and the meaning of home.

The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult
Another gripping, nuanced tale of a family in crisis from bestseller Picoult, who jumps on the graphic novel bandwagon and includes cartoons by artist Dustin Weaver. (His devil may seem familiar—Picoult told him she imagined Satan looking like Jack Nicholson.)

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