By William Least Heat-Moon (Little, Brown and Company, $27.99)
Q is my wife, Jo Ann, a name for which she’s never felt much kinship. In fact, with names she’s not been lucky, even in her church. When it came time to choose a confirmation name, a sister convinced the seven-year-old Jo Ann that every female saint’s name was taken except one: Dorothy. The name, linked to the pluck of the Wizard of Oz heroine she admired, may have contributed to her deciding she possessed the power to fly if her belief was firm enough: she straddled a kitchen broom, her toy cat strapped to the bristles, and from the top of the basement stairs, leaped. She broke no bones, and if you consider falling in a slightly horizontal pattern to be flight, she flew. But she no longer trusted in half-reasoned faith.