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Tarnsman of Gor (Gor, #1)
Ah, yes... the Gor series. At first it was just sort of Nietzchean-Burroughsian sword-and-sandal escapism with an overtone of sexist-pigotry, but then...more
not set
Apr 18, 2009
Some Girls: My Life in a Harem
I admit that I gave this memoir five stars instead of four because I know the author, though only distantly. I admired her writing early in her career...more
Mar 25, 2011
Mar 25, 2011
I love this classic collection of Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology. It has many negatives, but I still have an affection for it because I read it dur...more
not set
May 04, 2009
Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series
Near the end, I finally had to abandon this too-long, too-slow, too-discursive "biography" of Jewish gangster Arnold Rothstein. Rothstein is a fascina...more
Jul 18, 2010
Jun 23, 2010
Inside the CIA: Revealing the Secrets of the World's Most Powerful Spy Agency
From a purely informational and documentary perspective, this book is useful. However, it's just too kissy-assy from a journalist who clearly thinks t...more
Oct 21, 2009
Aug 16, 2009
Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power
This is a great book, by a liberal from a military family. Throughout, Maddow treats the military with the respect it is due, but calls out numerous p...more
Apr 2012
Apr 07, 2012
Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001
I was prepared to dislike this somewhat enormous 2004 book on the CIA's involvement in Afghanistan, mostly because many other writers of books in this...more
May 12, 2012
May 13, 2012
Classical Mythology
I love this 24-lecture series about Greek and Roman mythology. What is most helpful to me is the overview of what the actual sources are, whereas I mo...more
Jul 07, 2009
Jul 07, 2009
The Complete Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist
Okay, so apparently I'm not supposed to like Hothead Paisan, partially because Diane DiMassa is reported to be transphobic. I guess I can see that, pl...more
Jan 2000
Apr 18, 2009
All the Shah's Men: An American Coup & the Roots of Middle East Terror
Exhaustive account of the 1953 coup that deposed nationalist Iranian Mohammad Mosaddeq, who was anti-British but mildly pro-American, in order to inst...more
Jul 24, 2010
Jun 23, 2010
Paris: The Musical Kaleidoscope, 1870-1925
I almost can't say enough good things about this great study from the late 1980s of the Paris arts scene from the end of the Second Empire to 1925. It...more
Jun 03, 2009
Apr 17, 2009
Damnation Alley
The novella this novel is based on is one of the best action-adventure stories ever written. I had always resisted reading the book because expanding...more
Jun 18, 2009
Apr 16, 2009
Sword-Dancer (Tiger and Del, #1)
I somehow acquired this years ago and it has been taking up space in my apartment. I never got around to reading it because every time I read a mainst...more
Jun 22, 2009
Jun 19, 2009
After the Arab Spring: How Islamists Hijacked The Middle East Revolts
The premise of After the Arab Spring is that the West has, overall, grieviously misunderstood the meaning of the movement. Because of language barrier...more
Feb 22, 2012
Feb 22, 2012
Mafia Son: The Scarpa Mob Family, the FBI, and a Story of Betrayal
I'm sorry to have to give this one star, but it just doesn't deserve any more. Like Gaspipe: Confessions of a Mafia Boss, it is not really a book. The...more
Feb 2011
Jan 29, 2011
Takedown: The True Story Of The Undercover Detective Who Brought DownA Billion-Dollar Car
I really liked this book by NYPD detective Rick Cowan, about Operation Wasteland, the undercover investigation that crippled the garbage hauling racke...more
Jul 26, 2010
Jul 26, 2010
The Star Mill (The Cosmic Kalevala, #2)
I really wanted to like this book because Emil Petaja seems like a way cool dude -- a friend of luminaries like Ray Bradbury and Clark Ashton Smith, a...more
Jul 10, 2009
Jul 10, 2009
Dragon's Egg
This is a surprisingly good novel of hard science fiction. VERY hard science fiction. The author described it as "a textbook on neutron star physics d...more
Feb 06, 2014
Jan 26, 2014
Dr. Eckener's Dream Machine: The Great Zeppelin and the Dawn of Air Travel
An almost terrifyingly good piece of cultural history, built around the figure of Dr. Hugo Eckener, captain of the Graf Zeppelin and a champion of lig...more
Dec 2009
Sep 16, 2009
From Beirut to Jerusalem
Thomas Friedman has become a blowhard, but this early book bears reading. His style is annoyingly idiosyncratic and at times pretty amateurish; I thin...more
Jan 20, 2014
Jan 20, 2014
Moorcock's Book of Martyrs
I ran across a UK edition of this weird kinda thrown-together paperback collection in a huge remainder pile at Books Inc when I was about 12 or someth...more
Jan 1980
Jul 19, 2009
The Golden Barge
The Golden Barge was written in 1958 but only published in the mid-to-late '70s. The book is the 19-year-old Michael Moorcock's attempt to write an ex...more
Jun 14, 2009
Jun 14, 2009
Three Empires on the Nile: The Victorian Jihad, 1869-1899
In keeping with a piece of advice from Ray Bradbury that has been making the rounds, in which he suggests that writers must have a slightly creepy lov...more
Jun 06, 2012
Jun 06, 2012
Tenderloin Rose
I remember knowing this chick a little bit years ago when I was first coming to San Francisco to go to poetry readings and groove on the drug fiends....more
Jan 1987
Jul 25, 2010
Screenplay Workbook: The Writing Before The Writing
These two authors, screenwriters who also do graphic design, have created some wonderful forms to help you conceive of and flesh out a story idea and...more
Jun 22, 2009
Jun 22, 2009
Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy
I love this disarming, straightforward memoir of what it's like to be young, female, and working for the CIA. At times the author seems sort of frivol...more
Aug 14, 2009
Aug 15, 2009
White Hunters: The Golden Age of African Safaris
I was actually really annoyed by this book. It gets three stars only because it is a reasonable road map to further studies on the subject. But this i...more
Jun 14, 2012
Jun 14, 2012
Dead Earth: The Green Dawn
**spoiler alert** As with one other recent zombie book I've read, this zombie contagion has to do with some kind of particle physics experiment gone w...more
Apr 10, 2012
Apr 10, 2012
Fairies: Real Encounters With Little People
This is a curious little book. After reading it, I am not sure what the author believes. I found that her speculations taken on the tone of belief whe...more
May 21, 2009
May 21, 2009
An Edge in My Voice
This thing doesn't get five stars because it's so astonishingly brilliant or because I agree with Ellison's ideas; sometimes they're half-baked and of...more
Jan 1986
Jul 25, 2010
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