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Cairo Modern
really liked it
I wasn't expecting much when I snagged this book off the "new" shelf at the library, but I have to say that I found this novel to be the most compelli ...more
Nov 09, 2010
Nov 08, 2010
The Winds of Tara
it was ok
My fabulous sister-in-law hauled this copyright-defying "Gone with the Wind" sequel all the way from Australia for me - thanks, e! However, since only ...more
Jul 02, 2011
Jun 24, 2011
Lucrezia Borgia
it was ok
Last year I bought a boxed set of books about historical female personalities. I've already reviewed the set's biography of Mary Tudor, which I found ...more
Mar 2011
Feb 23, 2011
The Scarlet Contessa
liked it
When I picked this book up at the library, I was under the impression that a good friend of mine had strongly recommended "The Scarlet Contessa" to me ...more
Jan 21, 2011
Jan 18, 2011
A History of the Ayyubid Sultans of Egypt translated from the Arabic of al-Maqrizi with Introduction and Notes by R.J.C. Broadhurst
really liked it
One of the few (partial) translations of Maqrizi's "Suluk," and thus an excellent primary source for people who cannot read Medieval Classical Arabic. ...more
Feb 28, 2014
Feb 28, 2014
Ready Player One
really liked it
I enjoyed this book far more than I could have anticipated. Solid plotting, a well-developed setting, and strong characterization all came together in ...more
Dec 30, 2016
Dec 26, 2016
In the Eye of the Sun
really liked it
This book was recently recommended to me by an Egyptian feminist who said, "Read this book, and you'll understand everything we go through." While I d ...more
May 25, 2009
May 20, 2009
The City of Akhenaten and Nefertiti: Amarna and Its People
really liked it
Outstanding book about Akhetaten and the archaeology that's been going on there. I would've liked a bit more about the people, particularly, the royal ...more
Nov 10, 2014
Oct 24, 2014
really liked it
Imaginative structure underpins a deceptively simple story of two children in New York City separated by fifty years. As the story unfolds, Selznick u ...more
Dec 30, 2013
Jan 01, 2014
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
really liked it
Brilliant science writer Ed Yong has once again deployed his clear, engaging, and witty prose in "I Contain Multitudes." As a biologist, I often find ...more
Aug 31, 2016
Aug 24, 2016
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)
really liked it
Let me start with bare-bones honesty: I had trouble putting this book down. Rather surprising, actually. The story's not that original ("The Long Walk ...more
Jul 08, 2012
Jul 06, 2012
The Book Thief
really liked it
The New York Times described this book as not *quite* "Harry Potter and the Holocaust" - and I admit I find the idea of a young-adult Holocaust novel ...more
Jan 08, 2011
Jan 07, 2011
Writing with Quiet Hands: How to Shape Your Writing to Resonate with Readers
it was amazing
"Writing with Quiet Hands" is a wonderfully helpful book for writers that are a bit further along in the process. From strong first lines to dramatiza ...more
Dec 14, 2015
Oct 26, 2015
Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot
it was amazing
Utterly gorgeous. "Skyfaring" is the most emotive, insightful, exquisitely crafted writing I've read in a very long time. Why did it take me more than ...more
Oct 30, 2016
Sep 22, 2016
Verso and Other Stories
really liked it
"Verso and other stories" is a collection of short SF/fantasy works, many of which are placed in a world with an intriguing "datasphere." I enjoyed We ...more
Mar 07, 2016
Mar 06, 2016
Mary Tudor: The Spanish Tudor
liked it
I bought this book as part of a "Women in History" boxed set that I was afraid contained bodice-rippers. Nope! In fact, this rather scholarly biograph ...more
Oct 26, 2009
Oct 16, 2009
They Went Whistling: Women Wayfarers, Warriors, Runaways, and Renegades
liked it
Clearly feminist in bent, "They Went Walking" is an entertaining collection of stories about unusual women who don't make it into most history books. ...more
May 22, 2014
May 20, 2014
One Thousand and One Nights
liked it
A focused and entertaining retelling of the classic collection of stories, this "One Thousand and One Night" draws the Western reader's attention to t ...more
Apr 10, 2014
Apr 03, 2014
The Red Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #3)
liked it
To my surprise, I enjoyed "The Red Queen" far more than I enjoyed "The White Queen." I guess I found Gregory's writing about a crazy, deluded, malicio ...more
May 21, 2013
May 20, 2013
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
liked it
Let me start my review by pointing out that I'm a HUGE fan of the "European moves to Japan and learns to bathe and love" genre. I've probably read the ...more
Sep 04, 2010
Sep 06, 2010
A Moveable Feast
really liked it
When I read Hemingway it's like every other author in the world vanishes for me - how could I think any other writer clever, or observant, or heart-br ...more
Sep 08, 2011
Sep 07, 2011
The Great Famine in China, 1958-1962: A Documentary History
really liked it
I mistook this book for "Tombstone," the recently translated work about China's devastating famine of the early 1960s. However, "The Great Famine in C ...more
Feb 08, 2013
Feb 06, 2013
Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women
liked it
"Nine Parts of Desire" is the attempt of Australian journalist Geraldine Brooks to understand how the proto-feminist attitude of early Islam turned in ...more
Sep 11, 2011
Sep 09, 2011
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
really liked it
My friends really know me. I can't tell you the number of people who recommended, even outright bought me a copy of this book. "Packing for Mars" is a ...more
Mar 20, 2011
Mar 18, 2011
Duma Key
liked it
I've been a serious Stephen King fan for something like 15 years now, and I've got a good feel for how his talent has waxed and waned over the years. ...more
Jan 18, 2011
Jan 16, 2011
Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)
it was ok
I keep reading reviews that compare "Fifty Shades of Grey" to the "Twilight" series, so let me start by pointing out the critical difference: "Fifty S ...more
Nov 11, 2012
Nov 09, 2012
Revolution 2:0: A Memoir and Call to Action
really liked it
Let me get this right out there: I'm an American. I lived in Egypt from 2007-2009 under the Mubarak regime. And to my unending surprise, the Egypt tha ...more
Apr 08, 2012
Apr 05, 2012
The Crusades
it was ok
This book is basically a set of academic articles stapled together and interspersed with colorful (often questionable) photographs of artifacts and mo ...more
Aug 21, 2010
Aug 20, 2010
A Backward Glance
really liked it
I love Edith Wharton. Love her books. Admire and want to write like her.
I picked up this book to try to learn about becoming a writer. Wharton barely
Nov 03, 2009
Oct 30, 2009
The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)
liked it
Here's another book club read, and let me start by saying that I read fantasy quite a bit. Yes, I know it's not especially good for my brain (I once w ...more
Sep 07, 2011
Sep 04, 2011
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