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This book scared the living daylights out of me.

As everyone says - its gorgeously written. The language is so rich that it somehow spills over the se...more
Jan 2006
Jun 30, 2007
The Shipping News
This is one of the very best novels I've had the chance to read. It's not just that the story is rich in and of itself - and it is - it's that the wor...more
Jan 2005
Jul 01, 2007
The Piano Tuner
I was shocked by how poorly written this book was. Maybe I'm missing something. I admit that I abandoned it somewhere just past the halfway point, but...more
not set
Jul 02, 2007
A Widow for One Year
The first thing that struck me about this book was the heart-stopping beauty of Marion, a central character near the beginning of the book. It's tough...more
Jul 2004
Sep 07, 2007
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
Lamb is a funny book in the slapstick, irreverent tradition of Douglas Adams and Tom Robbins, and a really thought provoking look at what shaped the t...more
Aug 2006
Jun 29, 2007
Atonement is a gorgeous book; elegant, passionate, and involved. The pacing is used to great effect throughout to highlight intense emotional suspense...more
Feb 2006
Jun 30, 2007
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Above all, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a brilliantly twisted take the struggle of a hero against the world. The villian, Nurse Ratched, is a pe...more
Aug 2006
Jun 29, 2007
The Time Traveler's Wife
This was an immensely moving book. I'm not much on emotional whiplash - I don't have patience for novels at the spectacular extremes of love or sadnes...more
Sep 2004
Jul 31, 2007
A Confederacy of Dunces
This is a work of genius. At some level Confederacy of Dunces is a comedy, but its so unbelievably creative and so well written that it goes well beyo...more
Aug 2004
Jul 02, 2007
The Tale of Despereaux
This was Ella's book, one that Tracy read to her as a good night book. I picked up on a whim, and loved it. Kate DiCamillo is insanely versatile - thi...more
Jul 03, 2008
Jun 16, 2008
Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq
The first half of this book was profoundly disturbing. Stuff I already sort of half knew about the arrogance and idealist blindness of the post 9-11 B...more
Apr 2009
Apr 21, 2009
I Was Amelia Earhart
Compelling, poetic book. There's an intentionally ethereal, vague quality to narrative as it starts, but as the story unfolds, the early pieces come i...more
Jul 2007
Jul 05, 2007
Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
I've come to expect a certain popular story-telling structure from best-seller non fiction, but this book takes a decidedly drier approach than I imag...more
Jan 2004
Apr 28, 2009
The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3)
This is an amazing series. I thought The Subtle Knife was the most compelling of the three, though they are continuous, and more a single book in sepa...more
Dec 2007
Sep 11, 2007
The Lovely Bones
It would be hard to overstate the horror of the first chapter of this book, a stark and unflinching first person account of the rape and murder of a 1...more
Oct 2004
Jul 01, 2007
The Sheltering Sky
The protaganists in this book are thrown around with such violent force that even the non-perilous episodes are unsettling. At the opening of the book...more
Mar 2006
Jun 29, 2007
All the King's Men
All The Kings Men is written from the perspective of Jack Burden, a poetic, lost, troubled insider in the 1930s administration of southern-state Gover...more
Jul 2006
Jun 29, 2007
Everything Is Illuminated
This book touches on dreamy fantasy in interesting and playful ways - a little trendy in that we're-all-doing-magical-realism-now way, but it works. T...more
Mar 2009
Apr 21, 2009
The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6)
This was Ella's latest goodnight book. We're sort of picking our way through the series - we did The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe first, and then...more
Apr 14, 2008
Feb 16, 2008
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
was impressed by Kavalier and Clay - the book does as good a job describing deliriously happy teenage bravado as any I've read. The characters are gu...more
Feb 2005
Jul 01, 2007
Catch-22 (Catch-22, #1)
Catch 22 sweeps wildly from the silly to the horrific. I found it moving and, in places, really disturbing. It makes for particularly interesting soci...more
Feb 12, 2008
Jan 28, 2008
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
This is a fantastic historical account of the dust bowl. It's full of emotional details without seeming forced. It's gripping without resorting to cli...more
May 2008
May 06, 2008
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
I read this book right at the end of my Senior year at St. John's, in the Spring, while backpacking through the National Forest that bordered the scho...more
May 1994
Aug 01, 2007
This is a huge book - it's got this incredible story of self-awareness and somehow manages to shoehorn in some direct account of every major milestone...more
Jan 2005
Aug 16, 2007
Digital Fortress
This was a completely mindless book (as you'd expect), but exceptionally easy to read and gripping from the get go.

The central character is a soap-op...more
Jun 2006
Jul 01, 2007
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler
I love the lightness and compact clarity of Calvino. It's been a million years since I read this, but I remember pieces of it well, the clever absurdi...more
Jan 1994
May 27, 2009
A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1)
I ended up disappointed with this book. I read it to Ella and I found the writing pretentious and imprecise. I also found that, while clearly imaginat...more
Nov 2007
Sep 18, 2007
Water for Elephants
This was a blast to read. Super engaging, lovely in all regards. Not free of sadness, but still easy, with a linear, cinematic storyline, compelling b...more
Apr 2009
Apr 21, 2009
Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions
This was fun. Also, this was complete fluff, full of actual and hinted-around T&A in Vegas, huge egos, and very gaudy living. It's pretty good for...more
Oct 27, 2008
Oct 27, 2008
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
I loved this book. Kingsolver writes with charm, humor, quick pacing, and an eye for everyday drama. After Poisonwood Bible, I'd expected a more serio...more
Jul 2007
Jun 29, 2007
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