R. Kent Rasmussen

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The Life of Mark Twain: The Early Years, 1835–1871

An authoritative and impressive achievement that promises well for Scharnhorst's next two volumes. Recommended.

Chasing the Last Laugh: Mark Twain's Raucous and Redemptive Round-the-World Comedy Tour

A welcome contribution to Twain scholarship, Zacks's book will also be relished by general readers. Recommended for most collections.

Mark Twain's Notebooks: Journals, Letters, Observations, Wit, Wisdom, and Doodles

This is a book for those not fussy about scholarship or facts and has little to offer to libraries already holding Milton Meltzer's better illustrated Mark Twain Himself.

American Vandal: Mark Twain Abroad

In relying heavily on secondary sources Morris gets enough of his own facts wrong to irritate scholars (for example, a sentence about the assassination of Czar Alexander II cites a passage in Innocents Abroad, which was published 12 years before the assassination occurred) but not enough to spoil the enjoyment of general readers who should find his work engaging. A suitable but nonessential book for general collections.

The Early Stories of Philip K. Dick

An excellent addition to all libraries with sf buffs among their patrons.

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon

Another excellent title from McCall Smith.

Dear Mark Twain: Letters from His Readers

Rasmussen is clearly an expert curator and researcher. Fans of Twain and most libraries will want to secure a copy.

Doctor Sally

A pleasant romantic distraction that should appeal to golf lovers and others.

Great Expectations

Simon Prebble's powerful narration brings Dickens's colorful dialog alive and will make the book's 18-plus hours seem so many minutes. During this bicentennial year of Dickens's birth, this audiobook should be a slam-dunk acquisition for most libraries. [See "Charles Dickens: Our Mutual Friend," LJ 2/15/12, for more Dickens titles in audio.]

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