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Ethan Frome
**spoiler alert** This is a romantic tragedy that culminates in a sledding accident. I will just say a few brief words about that. First, there is pro...more
not set
Apr 24, 2009
The Fountainhead
this review is bizarrely getting votes from people i don't know, so let me just reiterate that the text of the prediction is from mcsweenys, in case i...more
not set
Mar 27, 2008
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
chris's fish died here at work and he seems down. everyone else was mean to the fish (not to its face mostly, just made fun and tapped on the glass) b...more
not set
Apr 10, 2008
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
there's so much history, and so many names and dates and places, that i feel like i don't remember much in detail (i have no mind for that stuff), but...more
not set
Apr 17, 2008
The Deerslayer (The Leatherstocking Tales, #1)
Mark Twain: "Cooper’s art has some defects. In one place in ‘Deerslayer,’ and in the restricted space of two-thirds of a page, Cooper has scored 114 o...more
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Mar 27, 2008
Rabbit, Run (Rabbit Angstrom, #1)
oh boy, i have issues with john updike. he has all the goody-goody provincialism that drives me crazy about john irving, without the (debatable) benef...more
not set
Apr 17, 2008
Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil
it's hard not to come away from this book with conflicted feelings. we all take for granted that what the nazis did was evil, but it's not such an eas...more
not set
Jun 18, 2008
Daniel Martin
After reading A Maggot and The Collector, I was operating under the conviction that John Fowles was incapable of a book unanchored in extreme oddity....more
Mar 2009
Sep 14, 2008
The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons
Pretty great. The whole thing is good... as an adventure story, as history, as a look at the geography and people of the Grand Canyon and environs cir...more
May 29, 2012
May 17, 2012
Discrete Mathematics with Ducks
There are all kinds of discrete math texts out there. Discrete Mathematics with Applications, Discrete Mathematics with Algorithms, Discrete Mathemati...more
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Jul 03, 2012
underneath kipling's unrepentant colonialism is a gifted storyteller and a great writer and a sympathetic observer. this is a much-better-than-you-thi...more
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Apr 23, 2008
Broken Bulbs
Not half bad.

And I mean Not Half Bad in the category of Book I Read. In the category of Book I Read Because The Random Dude Who Wrote It Friended Me...more
Dec 2008
Dec 13, 2008
Ghost Stories of M. R. James (Popular Classics)
if i had a creepy cool name like montague rhodes james i'd probably write ghost stories too.
not set
Apr 10, 2008
The Remains of the Day
I wouldn't have thought a book about an uptight butler motoring around England in the 1950's and reminiscing about his professional life (or any book...more
Jun 2011
Jun 01, 2011
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Extremely repetitive, inadequately researched, highly speculative, and overly assertive. Jared Diamond clearly knows a lot about some things, but he s...more
Aug 05, 2014
Jul 18, 2012
Galileo's Muse: Renaissance Mathematics and the Arts
I'm really curious to hear what other people think of this. I thought it was a great book, somehow simultaneously readable and full of scholarly detai...more
Dec 2011
Oct 24, 2011
Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
i would read this book again if i could find a copy that didn't have that ugly orange cover with the portrait of lawrence. big mike in the wood, if yo...more
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Mar 27, 2008
An unfinished song: The life of Victor Jara
a biography of chilean folksinger and political activist victor jara, imprisoned and murdered in the days after the pinochet coup. written by victor's...more
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Apr 14, 2008
The Vinland Sagas: The Norse Discovery of America
kickass stories of the norse settlement of north america circa 1000. the best thing about these sagas (they don't have quite the poetry of, say, Egil'...more
not set
Apr 20, 2008
The Man Who Was Thursday
G.K. Chesterton has so much potential as a writer, and he wastes it on an overblown, dreamy allegory where one of the characters is (spoiler alert) Go...more
Nov 23, 2012
Nov 23, 2012
Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Whatever else he is, Steve Martin is a writer. This book isn't meant to be funny, and it's not, and that's part of what makes it such an interesting r...more
Nov 2008
Nov 28, 2008
The Jungle Books
at the very base of the himalayas, there's the lush green of tropical rainforests: rhododendron blossoms, rivers, tigers, snakes; mowgli's rainforests...more
not set
Apr 23, 2008
A Family Canoe Trip: A Unique Approach to Canoeing--
"Summers are so nice in the north. There seems to be at least one good week almost every year."

I thought this was actually a pretty entertaining read,...more
Dec 2008
Dec 22, 2008
Mary Reilly
Valerie Martin is so much fun to read. This one was especially good, and I was lucky enough to read it after (finally) reading The Strange Case of Dr....more
Feb 07, 2012
Feb 01, 2012
Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity
I really wanted to like this, since I like the idea of it so much: a preternaturally fearless and curious outsider explaining the world of mathematics...more
Dec 2010
Dec 05, 2010
if you read this play, you need to get a version with the beardsley illustrations. aubrey beardsley was so far ahead of (or at least apart from) his t...more
not set
Apr 11, 2008
Blindness (Blindness, #1)
This book is terrible. I have no idea why anyone would want to subject themselves to Saramago's reveries on human degradation. I think someone cries/w...more
May 2011
May 03, 2011
On Cats
Doris ranks 4th from the bottom on my personal list of people I'd like to grab a beer with. But I guess that's not the point. She may be as finicky an...more
Mar 2009
Feb 15, 2009
The Romance of Tristan and Iseult
a despicable soothsaying dwarf!

passion and joy most sharp, and anguish without end, and death!

evil giants!

a magic, multicolored dog with a little fair...more
not set
Mar 27, 2008
Computers and Intractability: A Guide to the Theory of NP-Completeness
as an introduction to NP-completeness, it's good. as a reference on NP-completeness it's by far the best. like 200 pages of NP-complete problems with...more
not set
Apr 16, 2008
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