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The New York Trilogy
City of Glass (1985), Ghosts (1986) and The Locked Room (1986): Meta as in metafiction, also metaphysics and metaphor. This is fiction about fiction, ...more
Mar 15, 2009
Mar 04, 2009
Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story
An exuberant romp of a book. Holt ponders that most enduring & impossible of questions: why is there something rather than nothing. All well & ...more
Sep 11, 2012
Sep 12, 2012
Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water
A year later, I've given CD a second read and must, finally, award it the 5th star (for whatever that's worth) that it so deserves. One of the most sc ...more
Aug 03, 2011
Jul 04, 2010
The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography
Francophile that I am, I will never see France quite the same way after having read Robb's fascinating historical geography (or geographical history)o ...more
Nov 12, 2009
Oct 14, 2009
The Souls of Black Folk
I appreciate DuBois’s classic study of race as an historical document, and at times even as a piece of literature. I particularly value his depiction ...more
Feb 28, 2009
Feb 03, 2009
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon
1150 pages including the Epilogue but not the Bibliography! I read this book for months (I believe I started it in July). Black Lamb and Grey Falcon r ...more
Oct 05, 2008
Dec 31, 2008
Le liseur
I've read Le Liseur twice now in its French translation from the German. The film The Reader tracks the novel quite closely, with the only significant ...more
May 2009
May 18, 2009
Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth
This is a classic, published in 1969, first read by me back in 1970 or 1971, when we thought we would soon experience either the Dawning of the Age of ...more
May 20, 2009
May 10, 2009
The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains
Since Carr's thesis seemed self-evident to me, I underestimated how much I'd enjoy reading his book, and how much I'd learn from doing so. Blame it on ...more
Sep 13, 2010
Sep 01, 2010
The Flagellants
Really 3.5 (I hate grades). Although first published in France, The Flagellants is nonetheless a thoroughly American novel and one very much of its ti ...more
Oct 23, 2010
Sep 24, 2010
Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown
The author's analysis of the current Bubble Economy is compelling. They don't hold out any hope for good times ahead, although they have ethically sus ...more
Jan 29, 2012
Jan 28, 2012
The Life of Poetry
I am fascinated by Rukeyser's personal story & her engagement with history. Although her thinking in these essays is sometimes fuzzy & her use ...more
Jan 28, 2013
Jan 01, 2013
Lyric Postmodernisms: An Anthology of Contemporary Innovative Poetries
This anthology accomplishes what it purports to, which is to explore the lyrical tradition within the context of postmodern poetry. Reginald Shepard's ...more
Sep 09, 2009
Jul 08, 2009
The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live & Why They Matter
My current writing obsession is trees, which, of course, requires that I read about trees. I found Colin Tudge's compendium to be comprehensive & ...more
Aug 18, 2012
Jul 25, 2012
A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies
A must read only because it's a classic and an important historical document. de las Casas intended to write a legal and moral argument, 16th century ...more
Jul 15, 2010
Jul 08, 2010
Antonello's Lion
Not quite 4 stars, but I rounded up out of a New Year's spirit of generosity. Marked down due to some typos & stylistic tics (e.g.,using himself a ...more
Jan 05, 2011
Nov 12, 2010
Body Language
Body Language is a two-part book printed so that it can be read starting from either cover. In one direction, read “Primer,” and in the other directi ...more
Feb 08, 2009
Jan 25, 2009
The Land of Little Rain
"Mary Austin was convinced that the valley [Owens Valley*] had died when it sold its first water right to Los Angeles--that city would never stop unti ...more
Jun 30, 2011
Jun 20, 2011
Towards a Philosophy of Photography
Brief. Fascinating. According to Flusser, we’re caught, it seems, in a Kafkaesque condition of non-freedom, swallowed up so to speak by our apparatuse ...more
Oct 04, 2009
May 22, 2009
Les Malheurs de Sophie
My edition of this rather delightful book is dated 1892 and was once owned by an Aileen Frank at Miss Burke's School. Given to me by a friend back in ...more
not set
Jul 08, 2009
I Love Artists
Berssenbrugge, like so many poets of her generation, investigates perception; also the relationships among world (matter); image (thought, art)and sym ...more
Dec 06, 2009
Nov 17, 2009
The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World's Wild Places
Quite interesting, although a bit repetitious, when discussing soundscapes (geophony, biophony, anthrophony) & the bioacoustic recordings & lo ...more
Dec 16, 2012
Dec 06, 2012
Water: A Natural History
Although this short book is necessarily an overview, it's impressive how much detailed information the author manages to cover in a mere 186 pages. Mo ...more
Jun 11, 2011
Jun 04, 2011
China Cowboy
China Cowboy is an indeterminate prose work that veers toward story telling. Non-linear in that it ricochets back & forth between 1989 (when the h ...more
Sep 05, 2012
Aug 20, 2012
The New Life
I first read The New Life cerca 1997 or 1998 and fell in love with it then. I "won" the novel in an English Dept. Xmas party book exchange. The new pr ...more
Mar 31, 2009
Mar 22, 2009
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
In many ways, this is a conventional historical novel with a lot of narrative push. It's hard to put down, a quality that generally puts me on guard. ...more
Jan 13, 2011
Jan 09, 2011
Part two of a four part series that began with Practical Geography, followed by Here, Giscome Road and finally Prairie Style. I love Giscombe's poetry ...more
Mar 19, 2009
Mar 22, 2009
The Pictures
The Pictures is divided into two parts, “Still” and “Moving,” a series of still photographs or paintings followed by a series of moving pictures. This ...more
Jan 30, 2009
Jan 19, 2009
Bin Ramke pushes musicality (alliteration, internal rhyme, sliding of word to similar sounding word) to a point I almost find unbearable. Words as par ...more
Aug 06, 2008
Dec 31, 2008
MACNOLIA engaged me as a hybrid piece, more a novel comprised of poems than a book of stand-alone poems (and therein lies its strength, I think). As i ...more
Jul 09, 2010
Jul 08, 2010
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