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The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History
This book took me a long time to read, for several reasons. First, it really is two books in one. The first book is a history of the men and women and...more
Dec 2008
Nov 28, 2008
The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome
I'm about halfway through this book, and I'm enjoying it thoroughly. In a style similar to her history books for school-age children, the author prese...more
Nov 2008
Sep 22, 2008
The Railway Detective
The Railway Detective is a good book to read while driving, which is how I read this one. Let me first begin by praising Simon Prebble's narration and...more
Mar 2009
Mar 04, 2009
Sea of Silver Light (Otherland, #4)
This book, the fourth in a four-book fantasy series, is an amazing example of how a good idea can be stretched and diluted until it is no longer pleas...more
May 2010
Mar 29, 2010
Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders
I've read some Neil Gaiman before, and been amused and touched by his work in The Graveyard Book, Stardust, and American Gods. But this collection of...more
Jan 2014
Feb 15, 2014
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
The most important political/historical book written in the last 30 years. Klein's book explains the means of greed leveraged through political (and o...more
not set
Sep 18, 2008
Water for Elephants
Do you know how some authors just have "it" - The Voice - while others do not? How, when you pick up a book and read the first few pages, you realize...more
Mar 2009
Mar 04, 2009
America's Hidden History: Untold Tales of the First Pilgrims, Fighting Women, and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation
This is an excellent book. Davis writes in a clear, engaging, narrative style, with purpose and focus. His purpose here is to tell more about the foun...more
Dec 2008
Dec 08, 2008
Time's Arrow
Time's Arrow is a fascinating fictional biography, of the kind of life that we have all heard about, or imagined, since Holocaust stories have been to...more
Feb 2014
Feb 15, 2014
Ideas That Shaped Mankind: A Concise History of Human Thought
I enjoyed this lecture series, despite the professor's voice which unfortunately might be described as "upper class British twit". His inflection rang...more
Oct 05, 2008
Sep 22, 2008
Flowers for Algernon
What a beautiful and humane book. I read this book in high school and remembered it with fondness, but re-reading it with my children was a rediscover...more
Nov 2008
Nov 13, 2008
The Book Thief
The Book Thief is a beautifully written book centered around an adopted girl living near Munich during World War II with her parents. She is surrounde...more
Sep 2010
Aug 30, 2010
Summer of Night
A group of elementary school kids and their bikes take on lurking evil in this story set in the midwest in 1960. The horror elements are creepy and gr...more
Apr 2014
Feb 15, 2014
An Instance of the Fingerpost
This is one of the most well-crafted, meticulously written, daring, busy, fun, and intriguing books I've ever read. It combines shifting points of vie...more
Jan 2000
Nov 18, 2008
Maus, I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Maus, #1)
Though I read through this book in just an hour or two, I literally could not put it down, though I was supposed to be getting ready for work, eating...more
Jan 16, 2009
Jan 16, 2009
Classic Science Fiction: The First Golden Age
A nice collection of early science fiction, from the heyday of Astounding Science Fiction, with John Campbell as editor. I had read about about 40% of...more
Apr 2014
May 06, 2014
The Memory of Running
The Memory of Running is a beautiful and sad piece of fiction. A modern-day, overweight, middle-aged Odysseus begins a transformative trek across the...more
Jun 2003
Mar 24, 2009
Pattern Recognition (Blue Ant, #1)
I was glad to see that Gibson's writing style has improved quite a lot since Neuromancer. This book is very readable science fiction, and only barely...more
Jan 2014
Feb 15, 2014
Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting
This is an excellent little series of essays on free will which only occasionally gets bogged down in "philosophese". Dennett very deftly takes on the...more
May 2014
May 06, 2014
Darwin's Lost World: The Hidden History of Animal Life
I enjoyed parts of this book quite a bit, though overall it was a slog to get to the end and finally gain the important punch line. Each part of the b...more
Apr 2014
Jul 31, 2014
Atlas Shrugged
This book was a strange ride. First of all, it needed a LOT of editing. By the last act, I just wanted it to end. The repetition was annoying - I get...more
Jan 2003
Feb 19, 2009
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Persepolis, #1-2)
A graphic novel in the tradition of Maus, this one told from the point of view of a girl/teenager living in the time of the Islamic revolution in Iran...more
Oct 2010
Oct 14, 2010
Silver Orphan
The author of Silver Orphan wants to highlight this predicament: sometimes virtuous people find themselves aging with no one to look after or care abo...more
Jun 26, 2013
Jun 29, 2013
The Last Lecture
There were parts of this book that I really enjoyed, and some of it is actually really helpful. In particular, I'm going to seek out the software trai...more
Nov 21, 2008
Nov 19, 2008
1,001 Not-So-Great Moments In Modern American Politics
Slansky is back on his game here, in 2008. This book is as good as (except for the lack of graphics) his book The Clothes Have No Emperor, and that is...more
Feb 19, 2009
Feb 17, 2009
Roanoke: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colony
Roanoke is book of history which is built on a single main thesis, but what is interesting about it is that instead of stating the thesis and then ham...more
Jan 2005
Mar 19, 2009
Shakespeare: The Seven Major Tragedies (Modern Scholar)
I borrowed this course from the library many years ago intending to listen to it with my kids when we were driving around, but the professor's manner...more
Aug 25, 2010
Aug 21, 2010
The Sword Thief (The 39 Clues, #3)
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Peter Lerangis, the third author in the series, takes the characters in directions that perhaps even Rick Riordan did...more
Mar 2009
Mar 17, 2009
Resurrection: Myth or Reality?
In this interesting book, Spong indulges in thought experiments based on the gospel accounts to reconstruct where the idea of the resurrection most li...more
Jan 2006
Jan 01, 2009
There is a theory of art that says making something simple and accessible takes away its fascination and that, by contrast, making a work complex enga...more
May 2009
May 26, 2009
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