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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
4.00
liked it
My three-star rating has nothing to do with the quality of the ideas in this book; I think they're all top-notch. My lukewarm response has to do inste ...more
not set
Aug 21, 2008
 
The Firm
3.89
it was ok
I recently realized 1) I've never read any of John Grisham's novels and 2) that's a shame. So I picked this up at the library a couple trips ago, when ...more
not set
Jul 29, 2012
 
Teaching as a Subversive Activity
4.19
it was amazing
This is one of the very best books on education I’ve ever read. Although published in 1969, I find myself wishing that everyone everywhere would pick ...more
May 31, 2009
Apr 21, 2009
 
Westmark (Westmark #1)
3.91
really liked it
Like most readers, I first encountered and read this book many years ago. So long ago, in fact, that I could not finish it in a day. I remember taking ...more
not set
Jul 29, 2012
 
Bambi: A Life in the Woods
4.10
it was ok
After being told by my mother that this book was "nothing like the Disney version," I came prepared to read something like Watership Down for Children ...more
not set
Aug 17, 2009
 
Summer Sisters
3.83
liked it
Review pending, in order to incorporate Neil Postman's 1982 thoughts on Judy Blume...

Okay, I never did do this, so I'll just post what I wrote at the
...more
not set
Nov 10, 2009
 
Waverley
3.44
did not like it
Often regarded as the English language's first historical novel; and that's the only reason to read it. If you're the sort of person who loves firsts ...more
not set
Jul 29, 2012
 
Theories of Everything: Selected, Collected, and Health-Inspected Cartoons, 1978-2006
4.36
really liked it
This book is relentless. Everyone in it is a bourgeois New Yorker, and it frequently disregards the fact that a “Great Outdoors” even exists. (Guarant ...more
not set
Nov 10, 2009
 
Cakes and Ale
3.76
liked it
Okay. This is W. Somerset Maugham's version of "Breakfast at Tiffany's," written about thirty years earlier than Truman Capote's version and set at le ...more
not set
May 15, 2010
 
The World Without Us
3.79
liked it
According to Bill McKibben, “This is one of the grandest thought experiments of our time, a tremendous feat of imaginative reporting,” and I agree wit ...more
not set
Sep 15, 2008
 
Teaching As A Conserving Activity
3.88
it was ok
Published ten years after Teaching as a Subversive Activity, this book is interesting but hardly as interesting as that one. Teaching as a Subversive ...more
Jun 26, 2009
May 31, 2009
 
god is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
3.95
liked it
Oh boy. Lest anyone misunderstand the following review, let me first say that I enjoyed reading this book. Not only did I finish it, but I put it down ...more
Apr 2008
Apr 19, 2008
 
David Copperfield
3.96
really liked it
My overwhelming impression of this book is that it is Dickens at his most Dickensian. I don't mean that it is the best thing he ever wrote, the most l ...more
not set
Feb 12, 2009
 
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
4.23
really liked it
The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a cross between a children’s picture book and a young adult chapter book. In evolutionary biology terms, it is a trans ...more
Sep 13, 2008
Sep 13, 2008
 
Jam Tree Gully
3.69
really liked it
Kangaroos! Weebills (whatever those are)! Words like Wandoo and Coondle-Nunile! What's not to like in this collection of Australian poetry? Maybe one ...more
Aug 24, 2012
Aug 11, 2012
 
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
3.81
really liked it
When I heard Diane Rehm call this book “profane as it can possibly be. Every sentence, every other word…”, my ears perked up a little and I thought, “ ...more
not set
Mar 02, 2014
 
Twilight (Twilight, #1)
3.57
did not like it
I read this book out of curiosity. Several people (okay, girls) of my acquaintance read it, loved it, and recommended it. And when the movie came out, ...more
not set
Mar 28, 2009
 
A Christmas Carol
4.02
it was amazing
One of the best Christmas stories of all time. Crazy to think that Dickens had to self-publish it because no publisher would take it--a fact I didn't ...more
not set
Jan 02, 2009
 
How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now
4.26
really liked it
I'm giving this one four stars based on the sheer volume of scholarship it contains. However, if I could grade separately the first two chapters and t ...more
not set
May 13, 2009
 
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)
4.34
really liked it
Based on its immense popularity and its YA-ness (I guess really, on the fact that it's YA and also fairly recent...in some ways, I must admit, I'm a b ...more
not set
Jul 29, 2012
 
Light in August
3.93
really liked it
I can just see this being taught in high schools and colleges. This is the kind of book English teachers love to inflict on students: rich in esoteric ...more
not set
Sep 29, 2009
 
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
3.96
really liked it
I normally don't read anyone else's reviews of a book before writing my own. I don't want to "queer the pitch," as it were, with others' opinions, rea ...more
not set
Feb 10, 2013
 
A Tale of Two Cities
3.81
really liked it
This is my favorite of all the Dickens novels I have read to date (which puts it ahead of Bleak House, David Copperfield, and Oliver Twist). If I were ...more
not set
Nov 22, 2009
 
The Beggar Queen (Westmark #3)
3.97
really liked it
I find myself amazed no one has snatched up the movie rights to the Westmark books (Westmark, The Kestrel, and The Beggar Queen). Hollywood seems to b ...more
not set
Jul 29, 2012
 
The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain #1)
4.00
liked it
The first in a series of five novels. I probably first read this around age 11 or 12. I remember having this on my nightstand along with the other 6 o ...more
not set
Jul 29, 2012
 
Truth and Bright Water
3.88
really liked it
This is a crazy bildungsroman as only Thomas King could craft one. The tale takes place in two towns, one named Truth, the other Bright Water, separat ...more
not set
Aug 02, 2012
 
The Wizard of Oz
3.98
did not like it
Oh, this book is so bad. So, so bad. I can’t believe Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer made a movie out of this. How did that work? I would love to know what went o ...more
not set
Nov 10, 2009
 
Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid and Beyond the American Dream
3.64
liked it
My feelings toward this book fluctuated during the reading of it. I picked it up because it seemed to deal with topics I care about (environmental deg ...more
May 21, 2011
Jul 27, 2011
 
Stealing Buddha's Dinner
3.44
it was ok
My expectations for this book—not sky-high to begin with—turned out to be rather inflated, nonetheless. Somewhere around chapter 6, I began to suspect ...more
not set
Sep 03, 2010
 
Grandfather Twilight
4.35
liked it
There really isn't anything as arresting as a picture book you had read to you in childhood and which you haven't read since. I came across this book ...more
not set
Aug 17, 2009
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