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Modern Recording Techniques
3.95
did not like it
This book is too wince-inducing to read, mostly due to its unnecessarily dumbed-down tone, its heavy reliance on meaningless wordy phrases ("In recent ...more
Feb 2009
Apr 17, 2009
 
A Book of Common Prayer
3.80
it was amazing
First of all, despite the title, this is not a Christian book about praying and shit like that. It’s a novel about human dislocation and the intractab ...more
Feb 2002
Dec 08, 2006
 
The Conquest of Gaul
3.96
liked it
Two quotes from The Simpsons are relevant here. First is the episode with Rodney Dangerfield, when the cops think Homer kidnapped Burns' son, and Mr. ...more
Aug 2011
Aug 25, 2011
 
Run River
3.84
it was amazing
Another great piece of understated fiction from Didion, about loveless marriage and whatnot, kind of like Gatsby but different. From the back of the b ...more
Jan 2001
Dec 08, 2006
 
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
4.25
liked it
Lewis's prose is always great, and he turns extremely complex financial transactions into an easily understood page-turner. The only issue is the book ...more
May 2012
May 11, 2012
 
Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip
3.35
it was ok
It's pretty inexcusable for a book about a comic strip and its creator to include zero images of said creator's work. Also, Martell's gratuitous inser ...more
Jan 2010
Jan 18, 2010
 
Ready Player One
4.31
liked it
What if Charlie and the Chocolate Factory took place in the world of Snowcrash, but with '80s video games instead of candy? Perfect for the nerd in yo ...more
May 2015
May 01, 2015
 
The Forger's Spell: A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century
3.83
liked it
This should have been a slam-dunk. An art forger who fooled the European cultural establishment and sold fake Vermeers to Hermann Goering? But Dolnick ...more
May 2010
May 19, 2010
 
Inherent Vice
3.71
really liked it
I read a review long ago on Amazon that sought to divide the works of Beck into two categories of music, Bizarro Beck (Stereopathetic Soul Manure, Mut ...more
Aug 12, 2009
Jul 30, 2009
 
The Alienist (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, #1)
4.05
it was ok
You know that scene in Titanic where Kate Winslet's jerk boyfriend refers to Picasso as a nobody who won't amount to a thing, and then you in the audi ...more
Feb 2015
Mar 13, 2015
 
The Corrections
3.78
really liked it
excellent, and accessible, tale of a contemporary American family and their tribulations in the 21st century, which includes aging, depression, sexual ...more
Nov 2006
Dec 07, 2006
 
The Big Sleep
4.04
it was amazing
"I don't mind your showing me your legs. They're very swell legs and it's a pleasure to make their acquaintance. I don't mind if you don't like my man ...more
May 2000
Aug 03, 2007
 
Gravity's Rainbow
4.03
it was amazing
hard to describe in just a few words. If you can make some sense of it while you're reading, it will blow your freaking mind. Budget six weeks or so o ...more
Jan 1995
Dec 07, 2006
 
Infinite Jest
4.32
really liked it
Too long by half. Then you get to the end, and you're like, "WTF??" And yet, it overcomes these faults. If you think about it for more than a minute, ...more
Aug 2000
Apr 26, 2008
 
Ulysses
3.73
liked it
If you analyze "Ulysses," you will get a lot out of it. However, if you just read "Ulysses," you will be tired and frustrated. But then at least you c ...more
Aug 2007
Jun 01, 2007
 
Pale Fire
4.19
it was amazing
A poem written by a Robert Frost-like poet is annotated by a classic Nabokov narrator, with hilarious and heartwrenching results. As always, his comma ...more
Sep 2004
Dec 08, 2006
 
Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
3.75
liked it
Hard to say. On one hand, Klosterman has a keen intellect and is quite insightful about things a lot of intellectual people don't think about very muc ...more
Dec 2010
Jan 09, 2011
 
Freedom
3.72
really liked it
The only thing "wrong" with this book is that everything gets tied up neatly at the end, which frankly happens in The Corrections as well. It makes yo ...more
Nov 2010
Jan 09, 2011
 
Executive Orders (Jack Ryan, #8)
4.04
it was ok
It's hard to overstate the letdown of this book; the only reason it gets a second star is for the last 350 pages, which are gripping. However, that ha ...more
Oct 18, 2009
Sep 03, 2009
 
The Lemur
2.95
it was ok
Too short, protagonist barely does anything but instead just (barely) reacts to things happening to him, characters are not believable, plot goes nowh ...more
Jul 10, 2011
Jul 10, 2011
 
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
4.30
really liked it
Wasn't sure I could power through this one. Pretty interesting for someone like me, who knows the broad strokes of Civil War history but not the detai ...more
not set
Sep 04, 2014
 
Tree of Smoke
3.57
it was amazing
It's hard to write an original book about the Vietnam War, and Johnson doesn't try. In fact, he acknowledges his debts, overtly (multiple references t ...more
Dec 05, 2009
Dec 05, 2009
 
The Keeper of Lost Causes (Department Q, #1)
3.97
it was ok
Reading this book was like being stuck in a long car ride with a talkative racist. It has a good plot, but the protagonist is an asshole. Not like a l ...more
Jul 2012
Jul 15, 2012
 
You Are Not a Gadget
3.51
liked it
I'm not into the cult of Jaron Lanier, but he raises some important points about the direction of the Internet and technology in general. Could only g ...more
Aug 2010
Aug 22, 2010
 
Old School
3.81
it was ok
gets two stars (rather than one) because of a few well-turned phrases. otherwise, plot is vague to nonexistent and characters are clichés. also, I did ...more
Jan 2009
Feb 04, 2009
 
The Affair (Jack Reacher, #16)
4.11
it was ok
Not bad, hard to believe in a few spots (the sheriff destroys evidence in her own backyard even though she's innocent, really?). Also, the protagonist ...more
Aug 2012
Sep 10, 2012
 
The Burnt Orange Heresy
3.92
it was ok
I mean look, I enjoyed the last 40 or so pages. And there's some interesting subtext about how art criticism is bullshit. But this was not a fun read ...more
Feb 2014
Feb 24, 2014
 
One Shot (Jack Reacher, #9)
4.20
it was ok
A decent but largely forgettable thriller. Kind of like watching a long episode of SVU or something. A couple plot holes (Spoiler: I don't see why Che ...more
Aug 2012
Aug 20, 2012
 
The Overlook (Harry Bosch, #13; Harry Bosch Universe, #15)
3.90
did not like it
I hope Michael Connelly's other books are good, because this one sucked. It overflows with cop clichés and the writing style is repetitive. Also, extr ...more
Dec 2011
Dec 03, 2011
 
Oryx and Crake
4.00
really liked it
Really good spec fic about the end of humanity, including some nods toward rumination on how bioengineering is playing God. Somewhat reminiscent of "T ...more
Nov 2012
Nov 20, 2012
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