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The Bell Jar
I feel like I owe Sylvia Plath an apology. This is a book I actively avoided for years because so many people (namely female classmates who wanted to...more
Feb 23, 2013
Jan 04, 2013
The Stranger
I was so amped about this book when I tore through it a few weeks ago; alas, in that yawning chasm of time between then and when I first sat down to s...more
Dec 22, 2012
May 18, 2012
The Winds of Winter (A Song of Ice and Fire, #6)
It took a nearly fatal run-in with a van for Stephen King to finally guide "The Dark Tower" series to its decades-awaited conclusion. What kind of vio...more
not set
Jun 06, 2012
A Confederacy of Dunces
ETA: I recently came across a physical copy of this at my favorite used-book store. The eagerness with which I grabbed said copy--and the disappointme...more
Aug 10, 2012
Jul 12, 2012
A Wrinkle in Time (Time Series, #1)
I have one general, self-imposed rule about reviewing on this site: I write about the books I've read in the order I've finished them. By that logic,...more
May 21, 2013
May 14, 2012
The Glass Castle
It's no secret that I get to read on the job. I proofread for a financial publisher, which means that I spend my days getting lost in the lilting lega...more
Aug 22, 2012
Aug 13, 2012
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Like the friend whose brutal honesty is never immediately welcome but reveals its necessary truths the more you bitterly and obsessively try to prove...more
Mar 17, 2013
Jan 06, 2012
Infinite Jest
ETA, 5 Sept. 13: To say I've been thinking about this book all summer would be a lie, as I have been thinking about this book since I finished it in F...more
Feb 24, 2013
Nov 13, 2011
A Smuggler's Bible
Ho. Lee. Shitsnacks, I am in love.

I initially decided to read this book for two reasons: The first, to see if I like McElroy enough to warrant droppin...more
Jul 05, 2013
Apr 25, 2013
Invisible Cities
Italo Calvino is a veritable drug. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, and don't trust them if they do.

Ever since the rapturous reading experience th...more
Jun 21, 2013
Mar 05, 2013
Girl With a Pearl Earring
So the parts when Vermeer was actually being a painter were interesting. Seeing as I slogged through this on account of a recommendation that arose fr...more
Dec 16, 2011
Jun 03, 2008
The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made
(This review was originally written for and posted at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography's site. Again, I preordered this bad boy well...more
Oct 19, 2013
Mar 09, 2013
The Goldfinch
(This review was originally written for and posted at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography's site. My own funds supplied this book.)

The s...more
Dec 22, 2013
Oct 29, 2013
Swann's Way (In Search of Lost Time, #1)
I came into The Year of Proustifarian Delights accompanied by a vague dread, worried that I was embarking upon a seven-book voyage of joyless obligati...more
Feb 11, 2013
Jan 03, 2012
Jitterbug Perfume
Before I knew that magical realism was a thing, I loved Tom Robbins. Before I fell hard for postmodernism, I fell for Tom Robbins. Before I had develo...more
May 29, 2013
May 30, 2008
Mrs. Dalloway
Things I have done since opening up the "Edit review" page: opened three new tabs (one to buy five books, one to obsessively refresh that sickening "E...more
Mar 28, 2013
Jul 10, 2012
The Imperfectionists
Once upon an occupationally happier time, I was an award-winning journalist. The "award-winning" part wasn’t all that important (though obviously not...more
Mar 04, 2013
Jan 13, 2012
I propose that the titular "V." is neither a person nor a place but a preposition.

What, really, is more personal than a first novel? It's that all-or-...more
May 08, 2013
Nov 10, 2011
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader
If you'll excuse what I know has to sound like a weak attempt at an obvious pun, I find that books are easier to read than people. I summon far less e...more
Jun 02, 2013
May 10, 2013
You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense
Man, I wish you guys could see how banged-up and dog-eared my copy of "You Get So Alone" is. I think that's the only way I can do this collection just...more
Feb 02, 2010
Jan 12, 2010
The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break
Seven pages in, a passage that ostensibly illustrates the bond between M -- the titular smoking hybrid who's now safely mundane against the backdrop o...more
Oct 08, 2012
May 31, 2012
The Master and Margarita
(ETA, 9 October 2013: This is another one of those books that stuck with me long after I finished it. I needed a little bit of hindsight to realize ho...more
Sep 14, 2012
Jul 26, 2012
Cloud Atlas
Like I said, I have serious doubts about translating my love of this book from its native incomprehensible paroxysms of adoration into, like, words.

Aug 31, 2012
May 30, 2008
Mother Night
As much as I enjoyed reading Kurt Vonnegut expound upon Kurt Vonnegut in A Man Without a Country not that long ago, it didn't quite satisfy the cravin...more
Jul 12, 2013
May 15, 2013
Omensetter's Luck
This book is elegant madness. Beauty given meaning both because and in spite of life's brutality. Chaos in 300 pages of one gorgeously rendered senten...more
May 06, 2013
Jan 03, 2013
Bleeding Edge
(This review was originally written for and posted at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography's site. I paid for and preordered this book ba...more
Oct 05, 2013
Jan 04, 2013
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler
Your recent tango with a David Mitchell novel reminds you that he wrote "Cloud Atlas" under the influence of "If on a winter's night a traveler," a bo...more
Jun 21, 2012
Nov 13, 2011
A Man Without a Country
And if I should ever die, God forbid, I hope you will say "Kurt is up in heaven now." That's my favorite joke.

In a country that gets its feathers ruff...more
May 25, 2013
Aug 13, 2012
There were times while reading this short novel that I had to stop and wonder if my aspiration to one day be the female Bukowski is either setting my...more
Mar 10, 2013
May 17, 2009
The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language
I have this incredible mental block about reviewing nonfiction.

My formal linguistics experience is limited to exactly one History of the English Lang...more
Jun 22, 2013
Apr 21, 2012
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