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There Is Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate
This is a playful and disarming introduction to Zen Buddhism written for people (like me) who grew up believing that self-correction is the path to ha ...more
Feb 2007
Sep 29, 2007
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
This is pop psychology, pages and pages of narrative prose describing civil war battles, musical careers, and police chases in support of the premise ...more
Jul 2007
Jul 21, 2007
Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out
Ecko made millions designing hip hop and skate culture inspired t shirts and hoodies. In this book he explains how he overcame various production and ...more
Dec 2013
Dec 23, 2013
The Bug
**spoiler alert** In the mid-nineties I renounced hope of making a career out of my BA in English and began studying math and computers. I bought Ullm ...more
Jul 2004
Sep 01, 2008
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)
**spoiler alert** This sat on my bedroom floor for months, dog-eared around page 100. The central investigation (the good part) begins and ends far wi ...more
Aug 05, 2010
Aug 10, 2010
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
In the interview on the Daily Show Jon Stewart pitched Chris McDougall an easy question, "so down there (Copper Canyon area of northern Mexico) is a s ...more
Nov 11, 2009
Nov 10, 2009
House of Holes
The complexity of the sentences (for the most part) feels at about an eighth grade level. Characters are two-dimensional and have names like Shandee a ...more
Sep 2011
Sep 27, 2011
The Visible Man
I enjoyed this darkly humorous sci-fi novella where a drug-addled scientist uses an advanced cloaking suit in order to camp out in people's homes and ...more
Jul 2012
Jul 02, 2012
A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing
The concept of a positron, a sister particle to the electron that fluctuates in and out of existence, was new to me. I know this is reductive, but Kra ...more
Mar 2012
Apr 01, 2012
Ham on Rye
Really enjoying this, there is a strong theme of punishment though. Buk has an unapologetic way of classifying those he knew as winners and losers
May 07, 2013
Apr 29, 2013
The Sense of an Ending
The main character, Tony, fails to be gracious when his ex-girlfriend and intellectual friend from high school begin dating. He sends them a nasty let ...more
Feb 2012
Mar 02, 2012
Some Can Whistle
**spoiler alert** Danny Deck's struggle for midlife happiness and acceptance from his long-estranged adult daughter could have made for a great sequel ...more
Oct 05, 2014
Sep 08, 2014
The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors
It is interesting to learn that just before Columbus landed in the New World English power and aristocratic traditions were in such steep decline. For ...more
Mar 08, 2015
Feb 09, 2015
Out Stealing Horses
Out Stealing Horses grew on me in the last twenty pages. For a book about stoic Norwegian men the prose felt a bit decorated. The narrator’s meanderin ...more
Jul 27, 2013
Jul 27, 2013
My Antonia (Great Plains trilogy #3)
Cather's descriptions of nature and human mannerisms occasionally have a stunning realism. However, these vivid episodes float around like loose molec ...more
not set
Aug 30, 2011
The Road
I read the first 2/3 in one sitting. I would have read it all in one evening, but I reasoned that could save the last 1/3 as a "treat" for the next da ...more
Oct 2008
Nov 24, 2007
Lone Star: A History Of Texas And The Texans
If you are new to Texas, or maybe not so new (it's been 15 years since moving to Austin from Chicago), this book can rid you of a great deal of naivet ...more
Oct 25, 2009
Jan 04, 2009
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Diaz's narrator occasionally uses the scolding rejoinder, "nigger, please" to suggest that the reader's understanding of a situation is naive. To a gr ...more
May 23, 2009
May 23, 2009
The Mandala of Being: Discovering the Power of Awareness
I am unexpectedly thrilled to be done with this book. Moss is a wise teacher and makes a strong case for his accessible and useful techniques. The pro ...more
not set
Sep 29, 2007

A part of my attention was spent comparing Nabokov's subtle prose to recollections of the '62 film, which I watched about twenty years ago on VHS. The
Oct 19, 2013
Oct 19, 2013
Blood Orchid: An Unnatural History of America
In his acknowledgments, Scott Carrier called Bowden the best American non-fiction writer working today. I noticed Bowden recently wrote something in N ...more
Aug 2007
Sep 12, 2007
The Moon and Sixpence
**spoiler alert** I was perplexed by the last paragraph. There is no explanation of it on the Internet so I'll give it a shot.

The narrator reacts to a
Aug 31, 2008
Aug 19, 2008
Falling to Earth: An Apollo 15 Astronaut's Journey to the Moon
Worden's description of the two week mission to the moon is superb. I couldn't put down my kindle. What's also interesting is that he writes not as a ...more
Sep 2011
Nov 12, 2011
A Disorder Peculiar to the Country
Insensitive woman and obsessively vindictive man make each others' lives hell while getting divorced in post-911 Manhattan.

It is not a cheery book, bu
May 2007
Jun 25, 2007
Half Moon Street: Two Short Novels
I had fun taking this used hardcover down to Barton Springs Pool, allowing the woolen studiousness of Theroux's face to stare out from the back of the ...more
Aug 07, 2009
May 23, 2009
Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West
Great historical novel about the old west. Narrator is somewhere in twentieth century (a few analogies refer to things that hadn't yet existed in 1840 ...more
Aug 27, 2009
Aug 27, 2009
The Varieties of Religious Experience
I'm on the lecture about the divided self. I love the agility of James' thinking. There is something about his attitude that impresses itself in a spi ...more
Jan 2008
Nov 24, 2007
At Large and at Small: Familiar Essays
She writes at the back of the book "I am an enthusiastic amateur, not a scholar" before listing her sources, probably aware that "enthusiastic" is red ...more
Nov 28, 2009
May 24, 2009
Blinding Light
Aging travel writer scores a years' worth of primo Ecuadorian hallucinogenic herbs and jump starts his life. As an old fan of Carlos Castaneda, I beca ...more
Jul 2006
May 23, 2009
An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter
Imagine an art museum wall placard describing formative experiences of 19th century artist Johann Rugendas extended to 87 pages. Aira's joke is to app ...more
not set
Jun 15, 2008
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