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The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived is a riot. It's a brilliant concept, charmingly executed. Even when you disagree with their choices-and disagreeing is half the fun-Messrs. Lazar, Karlan, and Salter make such good, solid, and clever cases for their nominees that you have to nod in agreement or at least in admiration. From Odysseus to Bond, James Bond and Lilith to Mouse, Mickey Mouse, the selections are provocative, the writing lively, the discussion animated and engaging. Any book that can bring together Othello, Hiawatha, and Kermit T. Frog gets my vote. Over and over again, I found myself musing, why didn't I think of this? I'm insanely jealous. And grateful.