Several readers responded to my Dec. 12 call for the best books they read in 2004: Coleen Bobzien recommended "Shadow Divers" by Robert Kurson (Random House), a nonfiction account...

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Several readers responded to my Dec. 12 call for the best books they read in 2004:

Coleen Bobzien recommended “Shadow Divers” by Robert Kurson (Random House), a nonfiction account of a bunch of obsessive New Jersey guys who try to raise a German U-boat from the bottom of the ocean: “I do not dive and I’m not an adventurer, but this book made me feel like I am one.”

Mary Hawkins Key nominated “I Am a Pencil” by Sam Swope (Henry Holt), an account of the three years the author spent “teaching an extremely diverse class of New York kids the power, beauty and possibilities of the written word … this book is so good that halfway through, I had to stop reading it for a while.” Like a wonderful dessert, she read it in increasingly small bites to make it last.

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Mark Schecterson nominated “When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?” by comedian George Carlin (Hyperion) — “Guaranteed to make you laugh out loud,” he said.

An unnamed reader and former New York-area resident left a message nominating “Between Two Rivers” by Nicholas Rinaldi (HarperCollins), a novel that tells the story of the lives of condo dwellers in New York in the decade up to and including the Sept. 11 attacks.

Thanks for the tips; keep those library cards cocked and ready, and watch this space for more and better books to come in 2005.

Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times book editor