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BLOG: Laura Bush checks in, and a great science fiction novel

Tom Jackson • Dec 15, 2011 at 1:14 PM

An update to my recent book posts: former "first librarian" Laura Bush wants to recommend a book, and I want to recommend the best science fiction novel I read this year.

I wrote to Mrs. Bush asking her to recommend something she read this year and heard back this week from Anne McDonald, "She is recommending Texas author Stephen Harrigan’s Remember Ben Clayton."

Kirkus Reviews says that Harrigan is a "great American novelist" and that his latest book "carries readers from the battlefields of World War I to the Texas frontier."

Although I finished it too late for my round-up of book recommendations for 2011 from authors and readers, I want to put in a word for Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, a fast moving novel about gaming and 1980s pop culture that's the best science fiction novel of 2011. It's a very well-reviewed novel; in this case, I have to say I agree with the received opinion.

 UPDATE: In an email, Harrigan says he's pleased Mrs. Bush endorsed his book.

"I'm extremely gratified that Laura Bush chose my book, particularly so because she's a reader whose judgement other readers have learned to trust," he wrote.

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