Steve reports the following recent reads.
Summerland by Michael Chabon - I liked it, but not sure I would recommend it to people who don't like science fiction. Ethan Feld plays baseball, rather terribly, in Summerland, on the tip of Clam Island, where it never rains. Ethan's father is kidnapped by the evil Coyote, a shape-shifter and trickster who wants to bring about the end of the universe. Ethan and his friends (both human and fairy-like) set off on a quest through the different worlds that make up the universe to save his father, and the universe, by playing baseball.
Cleopatra's Heir by Gillian Bradshaw - I liked it a lot. The young son of Julius Caesar and the fabled Cleopatra, Caesarion was seen by some as the hope of the marriage between Rome and Egypt, by others as the folly of a commander's lust for a wanton foreign schemer.
The Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diamant - This is the same quality as The Red Tent; memorable characters.