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Crossing to Safety
I'm not really sure how I feel about this book. I liked it less than I expected to. At first it seemed to be a simple, fond memoir of a friendship bet...more
Jan 2008
Jan 15, 2008
Giants in the Earth: A Saga of the Prairie
Thought I would re-read this book about Norwegian pioneers in South Dakota, in anticipation of the arrival of our exchange student from Norway.

I love...more
Jul 25, 2008
Jul 21, 2008
My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey
Thought I'd be more engaged than I was in this book. The writing is pretty flat. Her blow-by-blow description of her thoughts and physical sensations...more
Oct 23, 2008
Aug 24, 2008
A London Child of the 1870s
I love this writer's voice. She tells her story simply but with real wit. She's the youngest and only girl in a rambunctious Victorian family that liv...more
Nov 08, 2012
Nov 01, 2012
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
The story was effective in transporting me from a nondescript hotel room in Ohio to the Pacific Coast trail. She sets forth like a true nube, carrying...more
not set
Jun 25, 2012
Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)
A fantastic read -- well written and full of fascinating and thought-provoking relevations about the pyschology of driving, traffic engineering, traff...more
Sep 12, 2008
Aug 21, 2008
The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't
Only Nate Silver could get me to read a book about probability and statistics on my day off.
I appreciate his clarity and his agile use of examples. H...more
Nov 13, 2013
Sep 26, 2013
The Bridge
Profiles of the men who worked on bridges constructed in the mid-century. They were like migrant workers, except each stint lasted a few years.

not set
Oct 19, 2011
A Way from Home: A Novel
**spoiler alert** Sequel to "The Hills at Home", which follows Alden, Becky, little Becky and William to Prague and Libya.
A little disjointed, but I...more
Mar 2008
Jan 23, 2008
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
This book brought to life Williamsburg at the time my father-in-law, Jack, was growing up there. What a wondrous account of childhood chores, househol...more
not set
May 28, 2014
The Gay Talese Reader: Portraits and Encounters
Somehow I missed Gay Talese's work, probably because in the late 60's/early 70's I was not yet a regular reader of essays and longer journalism.

I was...more
Sep 28, 2011
Sep 28, 2011
Greenery Street
A novel of manners in 20's London -- a young couple settling to home on a street of houses where their neighbors are just like them. The narrator perc...more
not set
Apr 02, 2012
Life With Mother
An antique edition I found in my hotel room, left there for atmosphere. I remember 'Life with Father' was on a summer reading list in high school, and...more
Aug 05, 2009
Aug 05, 2009
It turns out that Richard Russo's expert depictions of factory towns are based on his life in Gloversville, NY, where he grew up in a single Mom/ 2 gr...more
not set
Jun 17, 2013
As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto: Food, Friendship, and the Making of a Masterpiece
Julia and Avis (wife of Bernard) build a lifelong friendship based on a shared disdain of stainless steel knives; about the only ones you could get in...more
not set
Mar 15, 2011
American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation
I am a sucker for history told through examination of the quotidian: cod, salt, houses -- now trees. The arc of this story is pretty simple: first we...more
May 04, 2013
Apr 28, 2013
Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land
A study of the landscape, the fauna, and the human society of Deseret, the Mormon 'dominion' of southeastern Utah. Irvine is a descendant of the most...more
Jun 13, 2012
Jun 07, 2012
Clementine in the Kitchen
Pulled this off the shelf for Clark and decided to reread it myself.

An American family living in Senlis, France, quickly repatriates in 1939, bringin...more
Apr 30, 2010
Apr 30, 2010
The Winter Sun: Notes on a Vocation
First, I'm not a fan of books of fragments. The subtitle 'Notes on a vocation' is quite apt -- these are notes.

Here is a good one, about her writing...more
not set
Jun 13, 2012
Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef
Gabrielle Hamilton is one fierce woman. She survives a neglected childhood, wild and druggy teenage years in the New York restaurant scene, and impecu...more
May 17, 2011
May 09, 2011
Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life
The title tells the story. Clover was quintessential old-money New England founder stock, wired into the Transcendentalist and philanthropic mindset,...more
May 21, 2012
May 11, 2012
The Luminaries
I'm bailing on this. Started it twice; am getting impatient with the many characters being introduced and introduced again. Not up for the 700 or so p...more
not set
Nov 07, 2013
This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War
Faust examines death during the Civil War from all sides. She starts with the ideal of the 'good death' which all too often was followed by the most r...more
Nov 20, 2008
Nov 04, 2008
Through an Uncommon Lens: The Life and Photography of F. Holland Day
F. Holland Day is probably the most well-known artist to emerge from my home town of Norwood (known originally as South Dedham, or Tiot). His family's...more
Oct 04, 2009
Sep 20, 2009
The Uncommon Reader
Loved it -- Alan Bennett on the joys of reading, as experienced by Her Majesty (played, in my mind, by Helen Mirren of course). He even lets the queen...more
Jan 2008
Dec 06, 2007
Excellent Women
Last week someone interviewed in the NYT book pages suggested that President Obama read some Barbara Pym, i.e. something clever and relaxing I guess....more
not set
Apr 06, 2013
1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3)
My first foray into Murakami. It started out strong -- mysterious and sinister. He created an alternate universe for some of the characters, and I was...more
Nov 16, 2011
Oct 26, 2011
Sorry, Jonathan Franzen, but Oprah's book list is exactly where this novel belongs.
He sites the story very specifically as to time and place, intendin...more
Oct 2010
Sep 06, 2010
Unpacking the Boxes: A Memoir of a Life in Poetry
Who knew that life as a poet was so full of travel, parties, famous people and brilliant conversation? Well, I guess if you're a poet with this pedigr...more
Aug 14, 2009
Aug 14, 2009
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
Loved this story of the voyage that inspired Moby Dick. Philbrook brings Nantucket and whaling to life, including the conflict between the Quakers' pa...more
Dec 2008
Dec 31, 2008
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