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The Master and Margarita
Very little can prepare you for the wild ride that is Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita," especially if you've read other literature or fol ...more
Jun 09, 2008
Apr 23, 2008
The Aeneid
There are plenty of reviews here telling you why you should or shouldn't read book X. This review of Virgil's "Aeneid," the largely-completed first ce ...more
Jul 05, 2008
Jun 16, 2008
Back when I studied Latin, we were given bits of Virgil's "Aeneid" to translate. I always found it to be a chore, as poetry is more challenging to tra ...more
Jul 08, 2008
Jun 12, 2008
Wizard of the Crow
Set the fictional dictatorship of Abruria, this 2006 novel chronicles the decline of the corrupt Ruler and the rise of the resistance, which is inextr ...more
Apr 19, 2008
Apr 22, 2008
The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule
Being a social liberal, I figured it was high time that I read some unabashedly liberal nonfiction. Thomas Frank's intelligent and well-researched exc ...more
Nov 03, 2008
Oct 15, 2008
Bimbos of the Death Sun (Jay Omega, #1)
A painfully funny indictment of fandom via murder mystery at a fantasy/sci-fi convention. Though the computer technology in the book is 20 years old, ...more
May 27, 2008
May 28, 2008
Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America
I've been a fan of Robert Reich's no-nonsense commentary on Marketplace for quite some time, so it was no surprise to me that I enjoyed his 2004 book ...more
Dec 11, 2008
Oct 15, 2008
Few playwrights rival Tom Stoppard for intellectual playfulness, from his existential comedy based on on two minor characters from Hamlet (1966's "Ros ...more
May 2008
Apr 24, 2008
The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4)
Science fiction, says Ursula Le Guin, is not so much predictive as it is speculative; a mental exercise given free rein and narrative form.

In her awa
Jul 31, 2008
Jun 19, 2008
Doctor Faustus
Christopher Marlowe’s masterpiece “The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus” was first performed in 1594 and published over a deca ...more
Jul 31, 2008
Jul 16, 2008
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Much ado has been made over the patios and nationality of this book, its numerous accolades, and the way it's steeped in geek and pop culture. Yes, ye ...more
Sep 25, 2008
Jul 08, 2008
How could someone NOT love a play called “Tamburlaine the Great, Who, from a Scythian Shephearde by his rare and woonderfull Conquestf, became a most ...more
Jul 2008
Jul 31, 2008
There's loads to like here, provided you have a strong stomach in re: violence and gore and don't mind a walk on the morally ambiguous side. It's easy ...more
Aug 17, 2008
Aug 20, 2008
The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle, #3)
It is not at all surprising that Ursula Le Guin's third Earthsea novel "The Farthest Shore" earned a prestigious National Book Award, given the comple ...more
Jun 05, 2008
Jun 11, 2008
Parable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1)
I'm very glad I didn't read any descriptions of Octavia Butler's "The Parable of the Sower" before I started reading it, because I probably would have ...more
Jun 19, 2008
Jun 13, 2008
Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the "Frenzy of the Visible"
I grew up during a time when debate on pornography consisted of dire accusations that mainstream pornography was harmful to everybody- a view that was ...more
Dec 05, 2008
Sep 19, 2008
Doctor Faustus
You may know the story of Faust, that hapless fellow who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for mystical powers, but don’t let that stop you from ...more
Jul 31, 2008
Jun 13, 2008
The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle, #2)
This Newberry Medal winner is the second book in Ursula Le Guin's "Earthsea" novels and tells the tale of a girl named Tenar, who is believed to be th ...more
Jun 03, 2008
Jun 06, 2008
Kafka on the Shore
What makes me sad when thinking about Haruki Murakami's "Kafka on the Shore" is the number of people who are likely to pass it by because they either ...more
Jun 09, 2008
Apr 28, 2008
Foucault's Pendulum
When you pick up a novel by Umberto Eco, you can never be sure of what you're going to get, apart from an exhaustively researched, uniquely postmodern ...more
Nov 25, 2008
May 01, 2008
Petals of Blood
This book is very much a transitional novel by a great writer on his way to becoming legendary. Framed as a mystery story, Ngugi Wa Thiong’s 1977 book ...more
May 2008
Apr 23, 2008
The Best of Isaac Asimov (Doubleday science fiction)
The introduction to this 1974 collection of short stories perfectly encapsulates the writing contained in this book and they way in which they are tol ...more
May 15, 2008
May 09, 2008
A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #1)
How does one get to be an adult admirer of fantasy literature without ever having read Ursula Le Guin? I'm still trying to figure that out, actually, ...more
May 29, 2008
Jun 02, 2008
The Quiet American
This is the story of a middle-aged British journalist living in Saigon during the French colonial war with Vietnam. He is content, has a beautiful Vie ...more
Sep 20, 2008
Jun 13, 2008
Strong Poison (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #6)
This is a mystery that I recommend for people like me who don't often seek out mystery stories. Yes, it's about a woman wrongly accused of murder and ...more
Dec 25, 2008
Dec 26, 2008
Four Novels of the 1960s
High Castle: Self-aware alternate history in which oppressors are resented and people rebel by reading a banned alternate history. Solid execution.

Jan 2008
Apr 23, 2008
One Hundred Years of Solitude
This book is very similar in basics to William Faulkner's "Absalom, Absalom!," (e.g., the rise and fall of a bloodline and an era), but I found much m ...more
Apr 22, 2008
Apr 22, 2008
Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1)
Terry Pratchett's writing is uniformly delightful. This tale of Death's hapless apprentice was my introduction to the DiscWorld series, and I enjoyed ...more
May 25, 2008
May 30, 2008
The Nonexistent Knight & The Cloven Viscount
Two contemporary folk tales by a master fabulist, both set during religious wars with the Turks and both featuring deliciously improbable protagonists ...more
May 2008
May 04, 2008
I Am the Messenger
Any YA book that has "arse," "bitch," and "shit" in the first chapter definitely has its hand on the pulse of today's YA readers. For all that the set ...more
Jun 02, 2008
May 26, 2008
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