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I wrote the book, so I'll forego rating it, just thought it should show up my list so you would find me. (But I'm new to goodreads, so tell me if I'm ...more
not set
May 31, 2009
She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall
There is one big problem with this book: the event that caused it to be written turned out to have been a misunderstanding. Cassie never had the chanc ...more
Sep 1999
Jun 01, 2009
The Last Magazine
Best book I've read all year--by a country mile.

I blurbed this book, so I'll start with that, then expand:

That voice. That witty, subversive voice we
May 12, 2014
Mar 28, 2014
House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East
So much about this book to love.

It's only the third book I've ever agreed to blurb. That tells you how much I loved it.

My blurb (and I wrote it myself
not set
Oct 30, 2011
The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan
Wow. I plunged into this book now, and it's electrifying.

The writing is so crisp, candid and insightful. He rips back the curtain and takes us inside
not set
Jan 05, 2012
All Quiet on the Western Front
I'm rereading this after nearly 30 years (so I put it back in "currently.") It's just as good the second time.

This book had a huge impact on me in my
Jun 1984
May 31, 2009
A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories
My foundation as a writer was shaped by these stories. I first read most of them stories in 1984, when I went to grad school in writing at U of Colora ...more
not set
Jan 31, 2015
Foundation: The History of England from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors (The History of England, #1)
I'm 100 pages in and mesmerized. This answers so many questions I've had for decades about who the English actually were, what tribes they were compos ...more
Feb 15, 2015
Feb 08, 2015
King Henry IV, Part 1 (Wars of the Roses, #2)
I love this play, and this edition. It's captivating and insightful, and I'm reading right after finishing "The Plantagenets," which I also recommend, ...more
Apr 29, 2015
Apr 22, 2015
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
Brilliant. This is a new classic of the narrative nonfiction genre.

The prose is vivid and intoxicating, and he weaves together 2+ threads, seamlessly-
Jun 09, 2015
May 07, 2015
Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator
This was only the second book I've ever blurbed. I was very impressed. My review:

This was such a rewarding book. I've always been fascinated by that v
Jun 2010
Sep 27, 2010
Look at Me
I didn't fall in love as quickly or rapturously as "A visit from the goon squad," but the writing is quite good, and it's drawing me in.

I finished it.
Oct 13, 2014
Sep 27, 2014
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
I was frustrated by the ending, but there is so much brilliance here, it still deserves five stars.
Jan 2004
Jun 09, 2009
What to do with this book? The most beloved book by my favorite author, and I just can't bear it. It's not what you're probably thinking. It's the nar ...more
Jan 1995
May 31, 2009
The Catcher in the Rye
This is tied with Nabokov's "Speak, Memory" (aka, "Conclusive Evidence") as my all-time favorite book.
not set
May 31, 2009
The Choke Artist: Confessions of a Chronic Underachiever
What a pleasure to read this. It's been a long time since I laughed this hard. Remember the first time you saw Colbert, and laughed your ass off and m ...more
Feb 2012
Jun 12, 2012
Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell, #2)
Oh nooooo! I got ahead of the author on a trilogy. Ravenous for another installment.

I loved Wolf Hall, but decided to pace myself: read several other
Oct 22, 2014
Sep 27, 2014
Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives
This was my favorite book I read in 2009.

Here's what I wrote in a piece for Salon:

I loved the idea of "Sum: 4
Dec 2009
Jan 06, 2010
The Plot Against America
I didn't finish this book, so I can't rate it. I pushed through about 100 pages and felt nothing compelling about it--writing, characters and story al ...more
Nov 2014
Nov 11, 2013
The Forest for the Trees
The best book I've come across on for writers getting serious about a career.

(Disclaimer: Betsy is my agent. But she is my agent BECAUSE I read this b
Jan 2000
Jun 09, 2009
Black Hawk Down
Expertly done in so many ways.

The chief drawback: so many of the characters were interchangeable, it became very hard to keep them straight each time
Jan 2004
Apr 20, 2010
One Hundred Years of Solitude
I love this book. It has one of my favorite first sentences, which I quote often.

The last few sentences are even better.

(Pretty good in between, too
Jan 1990
May 31, 2009
Wearing Dad's Head
What an imagination. (The title is literal, not figurative.) A delightful read. There is nothing like this.

And it really develops as it goes, too.
not set
Jun 01, 2009
The Architect of Flowers
An amazing book. Startling imagery and insights, too.

It brought me to tears may times, but not a difficult read, by any means.
Mar 2011
Oct 30, 2011
Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture
I loved this when I read it, but not sure how well it stands up. Maybe. I ought to go back and see.
not set
Jun 01, 2009
Homesick: New and Selected Stories
This is the best book by one of my favorite authors. (And full disclosure, my mentor, while she was alive. I fell in love with her work first, then he ...more
not set
May 31, 2009
Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism
Extraordinary book on nationalism, and how we create these images of who we are.

(I took a graduate course in Cultural Anthropology on ethnicity and na
Jan 1995
Jun 01, 2009
Manifestoes of Surrealism
This greatly colored my perception of art. The best art manifesto I've ever read.

(Oddly, the surrealist concept seems to work in many of the visual fi
Jan 1993
Jun 01, 2009
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern
As I read, my love/hate relationship evolved: more loving by the middle, but then really despising the last 100 pages.

All I really found interesting w
Jul 27, 2014
Nov 11, 2013
In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
I just finished, and what an awful taste in my mouth. I am perplexed by his conclusions about both his protagonists, though that perhaps explains the ...more
Jun 07, 2011
Jun 03, 2011
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