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Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping
Rather disappointing -- it reads like a book length sales brochure for Envirosell, the company the author founded. Every page follows the same formula ...more
Jul 2007
Jul 01, 2007
Beachbum Berry's Sippin' Safari: In Search of the Great 'Lost' Tropical Drink Recipes…and the People Behind Them
Jeff Berry is single-handedly restoring respect to the tiki drink, which has for too long been a hipster joke When these cocktails first appeared in t ...more
Aug 2007
Aug 06, 2007
Car Camping
I found this book free at the local post office, and picked it up because I thought it was a guidebook to car camping, My first thought was, that's od ...more
Aug 2007
Sep 01, 2007
Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans
New Orleans is like the Canary Islands, home to cultures that evolve independently from the rest of the world. The local brass bands -- the descendent ...more
Nov 25, 2013
Oct 31, 2013
The Dark Heart of Italy
Easy-reading overview of contemporary Italian politics with a bit of culture thrown in. It's more journalistic than literary, and parses politics more ...more
Apr 30, 2008
Apr 24, 2008
Coming Through Slaughter
This is experimental fiction set in early 20th century New Orleans. Sadly, the experiment failed. It conveyed neither place nor people nor plot -- it ...more
Mar 31, 2008
Mar 20, 2008
Last Harvest: How a Cornfield Became New Daleville: Real Estate Development in America from George Washington to the Builders of the Twenty-First Century, and Why We Live in Houses Anyway
This John McPhee-like (McPhee-esque?) account of a the development of a piece of farmland in Pennsylvania reads nicely -- not quite a thriller, but wi ...more
Sep 2007
Sep 04, 2007
Mushrooms Demystified
I will actually be "currently reading" this book for the rest of my life - at least during those months that the mushrooms are out.

The most extraordi
Jun 2007
Jun 23, 2007
Education of a Yankee
I read this years ago, but picked it up again this summer after kayaking around Vanceboro, Maine, the remote town where Hale's Boston blueblood family ...more
Sep 2009
Aug 24, 2009
Running After Antelope

Extremely well-written. Only complaint: it's a collection of shorter radio and magazine pieces that tries to cohere around a theme, but doesn't quite
Nov 21, 2012
Nov 16, 2012
Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America
This was recommended to me as an essential read for anyone trying to figure out how New Orleans works. I've still got a long way to go to figure it ou ...more
Aug 2007
Aug 24, 2007
Kingfish: The Reign of Huey P. Long
Karl Rove wa a piker compared to Huey Long. The Kingfish's ability to manipulate and dominate Louisiana for years remains one of the most entertaining ...more
Sep 2007
Sep 03, 2007
The Pirates Laffite: The Treacherous World of the Corsairs of the Gulf
Well-researched, engaging bit of history right up until the conclusion of the War of 1812. Then Davis seemed to lose his narrative thread and wandered ...more
Jul 22, 2009
Jun 29, 2009
Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad
Great book! Touring the sausage factory behind these hit shows isn't always pretty (TV people are evidently unable to utter a single sentence without ...more
Mar 13, 2013
Feb 21, 2013
A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans
This is an academic history of New Orleans and the Mississippi River, and can bog down in some spots.

But the historical episodes mostly sucked me rig
Jun 2007
Jun 18, 2007
Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock 'n' Roll
When I grew up Fats Domino strictly an "oldies" musician. It was great to rewind back to a time before then and discover just how ground-breaking and ...more
Oct 2007
Sep 28, 2007
New Orleans: Behind the Masks of America's Most Exotic City
Meh. Scattered snapshots of the city leading up to Mardi Gras 15 years ago. Some interesting matter re: Dorothy Mae Taylor and the city-mandated integ ...more
Feb 11, 2009
Jan 24, 2009
How's Your Drink?: Cocktails, Culture, and the Art of Drinking Well
Eric Felten is writing more detailed and carefully researched cocktail history than anyone else today -- his Saturday columns in the Wall Street Journ ...more
Nov 2007
Sep 11, 2007
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2)
Perfect flight-to-London reading.
Oct 2009
Oct 28, 2009
The Storm: What Went Wrong and Why During Hurricane Katrina--the Inside Story from One Louisiana Scientist
Good information, if told a bit breathlessly and with a few too many exclamation points. Sort of a rough diamond in a rough setting.
Dec 16, 2008
Dec 04, 2008
Contagious: Why Things Catch On
This is a pretty good 1,500 word article in a fat suit.
Aug 2014
Jul 27, 2014
The Bones of the Earth
Howard Mansfield writes better about the invisible world around us than anyone else - and his writing are especially gemane for anyone living in New E ...more
Jun 2007
Jun 24, 2007
Take the Cannoli
Five parts attitude to one part insight, both good. But I would have preferred it a bit heavier on the latter.
Sep 2009
Aug 18, 2009
The Big Red Train Ride
Newby is a bit off his game in this account of a trip across the Soviet Union by train in the 1970s. He keeps me reading because I know I'll find some ...more
Dec 04, 2008
Oct 28, 2008
The Half-Life of an American Essayist
Well worth it for the introduction (the sorry life of a freelance scholar) and the last chapter (in defense of the lazy). Intervening chapters -- a co ...more
Dec 2007
Sep 22, 2007
Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas
Ms. Solnit and Ms. Snedeker prove that atlases can still fire the imagination and incite wonder. "Unfathomable Cities" is essentially a portrait of a ...more
Aug 10, 2013
Jul 29, 2013
Uncle Tom's Cabin
An important and sometimess engrossing historical artifact. But as far as literature goes, way more melodrama than drama. By the time angelic Little E ...more
Jul 02, 2008
Apr 28, 2008
The Valkyries
He had me from "halo." Then he lost me midway, when it got a little New Agey. The first 50 pages were fun in that Carlos Castenda way, making you thin ...more
Aug 2007
Aug 20, 2007
The Politics of Disaster: Katrina, Big Government, and a New Strategy for Future Crises
The author was evidently trying to convince his readers of his argument involving Christian efficiency and liberal duplicity, but just kept beating ab ...more
Oct 11, 2008
Sep 22, 2008
From a Cause to a Style: Modernist Architecture's Encounter with the American City
How did modern architecture migrate from a social movement hellbent to improve cities worldwide to Dwell magazine? Glazer traces this path with great ...more
Jul 2007
Jul 09, 2007
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