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Gonzo: A Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson
A good graphic novel, but it is so short and quick. It really only glimpses at the life of Hunter S. Thompson, focusing mostly on his "glory" years in...more
Oct 21, 2012
Oct 20, 2012
Chinese Propaganda Posters: From the Collection of Michael Wolf
This is a very good collection of Chinese propaganda posters ranging from 1949 to the 1980s, when the propaganda poster art began to decline as China...more
Jun 10, 2012
Jun 10, 2012
Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America
The book is a discussion and analysis of 13 books that the author argues changed America (i.e. what became the United States) in some way. The author...more
May 10, 2012
May 07, 2012
The Nazi Séance: The Strange Story of the Jewish Psychic in Hitler's Circle
This is definitely one of the most interesting and unique reading experiences for me this year. The moment I saw the title of this book, I felt it wou...more
May 02, 2012
Apr 26, 2012
Glazed America: A History of the Doughnut
This was an interesting book, but it did have some repetitive moments. It was the repetition at times that made me give it three stars instead of four...more
Jan 12, 2012
Jan 05, 2012
Tequila: A Natural and Cultural History
It was not a riveting book, but it was interesting in parts. I think readers may learn a thing or two about how tequila and mescal (remember, all tequ...more
Jul 03, 2009
Jun 26, 2009
Warrant for Terror: Fatwas of Radical Islam and the Duty to Jihad
This book's conclusion is basically something I have been saying for a while: until the moderates in the religion (Islam in this case, but a lot of wh...more
Jul 19, 2010
Jul 12, 2010
Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books
This is definitely one of the best books I have read this year. Once I picked it up, I had go on until I was finished. This is the story of Aaron Lans...more
May 23, 2012
May 14, 2012
63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read
I gave it the two stars because overall, the book was just ok. It was not bad, just ok. For me at least, some of the material were things I had encoun...more
Sep 14, 2011
Sep 03, 2011
The Coffee Book: Anatomy of an Industry from Crop to the Last drop
This book is a very good overview of coffee in terms of the product, its history, and where it stands now. It does read a bit like a textbook, which m...more
Jun 16, 2011
Jun 03, 2011
China in the 21st Century
This was a very good introduction to the country of China. If you all you know about China is that they are Communists and big, then you really need t...more
Sep 03, 2010
Aug 20, 2010
One Nation Under Sex: How the Private Lives of Presidents, First Ladies and Their Lovers Changed the Course of American History
**spoiler alert** I labeled it for the "erotica and sensual" shelf because it deals with the topic of sex scandals, but it is not a risque book per se...more
Mar 02, 2012
Feb 17, 2012
The Coffee House: A Cultural History
I was not particularly impressed by this book. The idea behind it, a history of the coffee house, does sound interesting, but the book itself is a ver...more
Jun 15, 2009
Jun 01, 2009
Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America
Though it can get a bit long at times (the chapter on restaurant history really felt like a long haul), the book overall is very good. Arellano is cov...more
Jun 12, 2012
May 22, 2012
Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil
I did not rate it higher because there are few long passages that slow down the reading pace. Plus, yes, I got the point there is a lot of fraud and b...more
Jul 05, 2012
Jun 14, 2012
9/11: The World Speaks
Only reason I am giving this two stars is because it was, for me, just ok. Do not get me wrong. This is not a bad book by any stretch of the imaginati...more
Oct 26, 2011
Oct 16, 2011
Lost Kingdom: Hawaii's Last Queen, the Sugar Kings and America's First Imperial Adventure
I will start by saying that I was in the mood to read a good, solid history book, and this definitely fit the bill. In addition, I did not know much a...more
Apr 03, 2012
Mar 12, 2012
The Photographer
This is definitely one of the best books I have read this year. Like Robert speaking of the Afghans he lived and worked among, for reading this book,...more
Aug 04, 2010
Jul 13, 2010
Secrets of the Sideshows
I would have rated this book higher, but I think that its strength is also a bit a of a weakness. The book is extremely comprehensive. Nickell, an exp...more
May 04, 2012
Apr 11, 2012
White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf
This was an interesting little book. It is indeed a social history, as it looks at how white bread has been seen in society, and it also looks at what...more
Apr 27, 2012
Apr 03, 2012
The Book on the Bookshelf
This is a history of bookshelves, and how people have been organizing books since the time we had books as scrolls. His main argument is that the book...more
Oct 08, 2012
Sep 14, 2012
Murder in the First-Class Carriage: The First Victorian Railway Killing
This book started out very interesting, but it got somewhat tiresome by the time I got to the end. It is the story of the first murder in a railway pr...more
Jun 27, 2012
Jun 02, 2012
Nuestra historia aun se esta escribiendo, La historia de tres generales cubano-chinos en la Revolucion Cubana
A brief but very interesting book. This book consists of a series of interviews with three Cuban generals of Chinese descent. The generals discuss the...more
Dec 10, 2010
Nov 15, 2010
The Planets
This is a nice pleasant book to read, but I don't think it is the author's best. I found Longitude and Galileo's Daughter to be better books overall....more
Nov 16, 2010
Oct 22, 2010
Caligula: A Biography
Not a very engaging book. It does get repetitive at times. A pity since it does present a different look at Caligula looking back at the source materi...more
Nov 15, 2011
Nov 14, 2011
Safe Area Gorazde : The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995
The only reason I gave this three stars is because this is a bit of hard reading. Not hard in difficulty, but hard in the subject matter. It can be a...more
May 11, 2009
Apr 20, 2009
Forgotten Fatherland: The Search for Elisabeth Nietzsche
I remember reading this years ago, and I was reminded of it again after reading Fordlandia, which I reviewed here as well. This book does two things....more
Dec 15, 1993
May 31, 2011
The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
**spoiler alert** Actually giving one star to this combination of regret and restatement of the obvious is being generous. Ravitch basically spent her...more
May 21, 2010
Apr 15, 2010
Are We There Yet?: The Golden Age of American Family Vacations (CultureAmerica)
This is a very good book looking at a specific time in American history: the family vacation from about the post-World War II era to about the 1970s....more
Feb 10, 2012
Jan 05, 2012
Hitler's Private Library: The Books That Shaped His Life
I managed to finish this one. In terms of pacing, it is a bit slow and dry at times. However, it does give a pretty good glimpse of the kinds of books...more
Nov 29, 2008
Nov 17, 2008
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