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The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
My having read - and enjoyed - a 200-page book about using checklists suggests that I'm a cocktail party nightmare, but I found this to be very much a...more
Dec 07, 2010
Dec 08, 2010
A Planet of Viruses
I liked reading this book, and I think so did many retroviruses I carry.

I've read a lot of Zimmer's blogs and magazine articles, and I've even seen hi...more
Feb 21, 2012
Feb 22, 2012
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America
"Nickel and Dimed" amounts to a good account of living a back-breaking existence while doing unskilled work. It offers a ground-up view of what it's l...more
Aug 03, 2008
Aug 05, 2008
Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom
First of all, I should clarify that I'm no scientist. But I do have an egghead mentality, and I've read plenty on evolution. What I hadn't read was mu...more
Jul 20, 2008
Jul 20, 2008
True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society
This was my election 2008 attempt-to-escape-the-news read. And it served its purpose well. It covers an awful lot of ground, but its main point is thi...more
Nov 09, 2008
Nov 10, 2008
Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don't Know About Them)
I generally avoid the religion section of the bookstore, not for lack of interest but because of a general fear of accidentally picking something up t...more
Nov 03, 2009
Nov 03, 2009
Round Ireland with a Fridge
This guy's funny. But ridiculous.

It reminds me of my travels from when I was in college, when much of the excitement was a direct result of me and my...more
Jun 15, 2008
Jul 18, 2008
Empire Falls
I really, really like Russo. It's easy to plow through -- 480 pages gone in nothing flat, but the characters nonetheless come to life. For my sake, it...more
Jun 09, 2008
Jun 09, 2008
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
This is the designated One Book San Diego for 2008 (, as promoted by the city's library system, mayor, and pu...more
Oct 18, 2008
Oct 20, 2008
War Comes to Long An: Revolutionary Conflict  in a Vietnamese Province
Long winded, sometimes meandering, and ending with a rather whimpering conclusion, this book reads like the dense dissertation it is, meant more to be...more
Oct 05, 2010
Oct 05, 2010
The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Now and then I'll go awhile without finishing a book. (I'd blame work, but the truth of the matter is that I've been watching a lot of basketball and...more
Mar 13, 2009
Mar 15, 2009
Slave Ship
It's a little hard to love a book whose main objective is to painstakingly detail the extent of human cruelty and terror in the slave trade, especiall...more
Jan 03, 2009
Jan 03, 2009
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
If it were that all comic books could be written like this. Or books for that matter. One could fill several books with thoughts about this particular...more
Jul 30, 2013
Sep 02, 2013
Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body
Last night, I ate too much, drank too much beer, and fell asleep too early. So I woke up at about three in the morning, feeling overheated, awake, and...more
Jun 10, 2009
Jun 17, 2009
The Annotated Origin
For anyone with any interest in reading "On the Origin of Species", this is a great way to read it. Costa's notes increase the length of the already-p...more
Sep 15, 2009
Sep 15, 2009
The Village
This is a great book. You can probably count the number of combat stories I'll read in my lifetime on one hand, but I'm very glad this is one. (In fac...more
Oct 13, 2010
Oct 14, 2010
The Gangster We Are All Looking For
The personal history of le thi diem thuy is certainly one worth telling. She was born in Vietnam at the height of American involvement in their war. T...more
Sep 26, 2010
Sep 27, 2010
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1)
First, a disclaimer. Fantasy is not really my thing. I read this series because of my lovely girlfriend's enthusiasm for these books, and as usual, he...more
Jul 05, 2010
Jul 14, 2010
In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
Erik Larson starts his acknowledgements by saying "what I did not realize as I ventured into those dark days of Hitler's rule was how much of the dark...more
May 11, 2013
Jun 10, 2013
The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View
Glanville seems a natural to write a baseball book like this one. He had a very successful career, tallying over 1000 hits in 9 seasons, but is also a...more
Jan 09, 2012
Feb 22, 2012
The Eastern Stars: How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de Macoris
This book badly needed to be written. May it please be put on library shelves, replacing dull histories of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Brooklyn Dodgers....more
Sep 22, 2010
Sep 22, 2010
The game that was;: An illustrated account of the tumultuous early days of pro football
This is no scripted history of early pro football. Rather, it's a loosely edited collection of old-man reminiscences. So consequently, there's a lot o...more
Jun 2009
Jun 01, 2009
The Tunnels of Cu Chi
As "war" books go, this is a great one. The authors took one slice of the Vietnam war and painstakingly interviewed and researched everything about it...more
Jan 19, 2011
Feb 07, 2011
The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds That Changed Basketball
College team sports can make for great drama. I think I learned this mostly from reading John Feinstein books over the years. Sure, you have guys who...more
Feb 10, 2012
Feb 13, 2012
The Bluest Eye
When I read many good writers I find myself thinking what a noble pursuit great writing is. Then when I read the likes of Toni Morrison I find myself...more
Dec 22, 2009
Dec 23, 2009
Gödel's Proof
I don't read much math these days, so when I do read it, it's a little like climbing a steep wall following a winter of sitting in front of a computer...more
May 25, 2009
May 25, 2009
Farm life - Mississippi - World War, 1939-1945 - Race Relations - African American veterans - Veterans.

Are you bummin' yet? Ah, you will be.

For a slow...more
May 06, 2010
May 07, 2010
The Kalahari Typing School for Men (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #4)
These are pretty much perfect airplane books. Easy to read, well-crafted, home-spun and nostalgic. Mma Ramotswe is everyone's mother figure, a "tradit...more
Sep 2013
Sep 02, 2013
A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos
A fine read about Copernicus.

First and foremost, it paints a clear portrayal of the forces Copernicus faced in the Europe of his time: the tensions be...more
Mar 30, 2012
May 20, 2012
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
I am probably like a lot of people in that everything I learned about the periodic table, I learned in the span of a single year at the age of 15, and...more
Nov 14, 2010
Nov 16, 2010
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