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The Grand Design
It's a funny thing being a cosmologist in the greater Los Angeles area. Back when I was a partying single graduate student, I'd frequently hit the tow...more
Oct 11, 2010
Jul 30, 2010
Gone with the Wind
Wherein I attempt to write a review using all the new words I learned whilst reading the book. My made-up-on-the-spot rule is one per sentence, to mak...more
Feb 18, 2011
Jun 30, 2010
War and Peace
A Review in Three Parts:

I. The Analytical Analysis

II. The Review

Here's the thing that surprised me the most about War & Peace: it's extremely re...more
Mar 16, 2011
Dec 09, 2010
Two weird things happened while I was reading this book. I had been having some bad insomnia, so I took a little something-something to help get to sl...more
Dec 16, 2012
Nov 06, 2012
Infinite Jest

C.v. Note 123 supra

IJ Fantods

I should mention up-front that I drank copious quantities of wine in celebration of finishing this door-stopper/tome/opus/pain-in-m...more
Oct 02, 2010
Jun 25, 2010
Perdido Street Station (Bas-Lag, #1)
This book has Killer Robot Chimpanzees. (I'm not sure how I forgot to mention them the first time around.) If that's not enough for you, read on...

I h...more
Mar 29, 2010
Dec 11, 2009
The Nose
Some people take Gogol too seriously. Me? I just apply duct tape to the edges of my nose to make sure it won't get up and walk away. It seems to be a...more
May 28, 2011
May 28, 2011
The Complete Kāma-Sūtra: The First Unabridged Modern Translation of the Classic Indian Text
"Get a bigger flute!" "Increase ur Size! 6" "Don’t walk with tail between your legs." "V|agr.a, C|a.li5, and Phen.term.|ne CHeep!!"

Was the Kama Sutra...more
Oct 25, 2011
Jun 30, 2011
The Windup Girl
I feel really guilty about giving The Windup Girl only 3 stars. In a perfect world I'd give her 3.5 glasses of ice water and a kink spring, but this i...more
Mar 15, 2010
Mar 08, 2010
Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1)

I've spent a few days hoping that my thoughts and feelings about Dune will solidify into one coherent and brilliant essay. There's a lot going on in t...more
Jan 27, 2011
Dec 11, 2010
The Monk
O Father Ambrosio, stop Monking around!

This book was quite a surprise. Yes, there are all sorts of hypocritical Monk-y debauchery and lustful, euphemi...more
Feb 05, 2011
Jan 12, 2011
A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle, #1)
I dropped one star because of one major flaw, discussed after my nostalgia trip discovering this book…

Two weeks ago it was a beautiful warm afternoon,...more
Oct 21, 2009
Oct 19, 2009
The Call of Cthulhu
First rule of Cthulhu: No one knows about Cthulhu.

Except, of course, all fans of SF/F should read the original Cthulu short story that is still inspir...more
Jul 26, 2010
Jul 24, 2010
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
(I thought it would make sense to start this while I'm still reading Gone With the Wind.)

This isn't a straight-up biography of Lincoln. And it's certa...more
Mar 04, 2011
Jan 03, 2010
The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness
So many concepts in Price of Altruism just blew me away. Did you know that fMRI images of people being generous light up the same area of the brain as...more
Aug 03, 2010
Jul 11, 2010
Ethan Frome
I read this last night in an insomniac fit. It was cold and dark and rainy, and I was alone. I can't think of a more fitting setting for reading this,...more
Mar 03, 2011
Mar 03, 2011
The Boneshaker
A fun, fantastical YA story about standing your ground especially when you are at a crossroads, and a strong analytical girl who needs to be brave eno...more
Apr 2010
Mar 15, 2010
Novels and Stories
A moral thread through Jackson's tales: She who sees evil in everyone around her should look in a mirror. Especially if she lives in a village.

A few n...more
Feb 2011
Jan 20, 2011
The Quiet American

Normally I get really, really pissed off when previous "patrons" (a.k.a. selfish scumbags) have marked up my library books. Disrespect to the book, di...more
Mar 07, 2011
Mar 04, 2011
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
***Goodreads swap from 10/09 at Vroman's. Thank you anonymous swapper!***

What an achievement to write a book that steps into the mind of an autistic t...more
Nov 03, 2009
Oct 17, 2009
I can't say this enough: I love stories that start with a simple premise (e.g. in Eifelheim aliens crash-land near a small 14th century German village...more
Apr 06, 2010
Mar 22, 2010
To Say Nothing of the Dog (Oxford Time Travel, #2)
Part of my March 2010 Hugo Award winner bonanza.

Wow that was really a fun mash-up of historical fiction, time travel and humor! All lo...more
Mar 21, 2010
Feb 26, 2010
Beggars in Spain (Sleepless, #1)
In a near-future world, where genetic engineering of embryos is as possible as choosing the color and features of your new Prius, scientists create pe...more
Oct 13, 2009
Oct 04, 2009
Lucky Jim
Jim Dixon is like a cross between Holden Caulfield and Adrian Mole. Maybe just ever so slightly smarter than either, but just as cynical, aloof, and f...more
Sep 11, 2009
Sep 08, 2009
The Machine Stops
It's Ur-steampunk! Can you still call a story steampunk when it was written in 1909?

I just about fell over backwards when I found out this morning th...more
Jul 19, 2010
Jul 19, 2010
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
Packing for Mars is like Bonk, Stiff and Spook (her three previous books) but in space. Awesome! Everything is better in space. And hilariously entert...more
Aug 25, 2010
Jun 17, 2010
Russka: The Novel of Russia
I read this in 1992 when I was a very bored, unchallenged high school student. I got lost in the epic, sweeping tale and the history of the region. Th...more
Jan 1992
Oct 15, 2009
The Picture of Dorian Gray
"What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose... his own soul?"

Honestly, I knew very little about the story of The Picture of Dorian...more
Mar 03, 2010
Feb 28, 2010
I just don't know.

So, picture Lost meets Burning Man. Seriously. Imagine a bunch of bohemian hippie types having lots of sex in a weirdly cut-off plac...more
Mar 20, 2011
Jan 20, 2011
Narrative of Sojourner Truth (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Sojourner Truth had to be one of the most charismatic people ever to walk the Earth.* Charisma is hard to convey in any mode that's not face-to-face....more
Aug 04, 2011
Jul 11, 2011
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