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Continental Drift
When I saw Russell Banks speak at the Brooklyn Book Festival a few years ago, he read a couple of passages from Continental Drift. He prefaced his rea ...more
Mar 2010
Mar 01, 2010
Stone Arabia
My take on this book: meh. But I'm having an incredibly hard time articulating why I was so wearied and largely unimpressed by what should have, by al ...more
May 31, 2011
May 18, 2011
The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion
Daum explores a lot of dark places in her own mind and heart but the essays always seem to end on an optimistic note. It's so subtle you don't feel li ...more
Nov 11, 2014
Nov 11, 2014
Armenian Golgotha

On April 24, 1915, some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders were arrested in Constantinople. Grig
Nov 10, 2009
Oct 07, 2009
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
I understand why this book has a cult following: McDougall manages to elevate the perfectly boring, utterly commonplace modern-day pastime of recreati ...more
Mar 18, 2012
May 02, 2010
Praying Drunk
Repetition—of words, phrases, and entire thoughts—is what gives prayer its force, so it’s only fitting that in Praying Drunk, preacher-turned-novelist ...more
Feb 17, 2014
Mar 02, 2014
Michelle: A Biography
Early in this biography of Michelle Obama by Washington Post reporter Liza Mundy, the author confesses a significant impediment to her project: "the c ...more
Oct 20, 2008
Nov 15, 2008
Drink, Play, F@#k: One Man's Search for Anything Across Ireland, Las Vegas, and Thailand
This book is nothing if not a conversation starter -- especially if (like me) you're happy for an excuse to rant about the horrors of the Eat Pray Lov ...more
not set
Mar 17, 2009
One Last Thing Before I Go
Yes, this is a made-for-Hollywood dramedy (in May, Paramount closed a seven-figure deal for screen rights to the novel), but it’s hardly canned. Tropp ...more
Aug 03, 2012
Aug 05, 2012
The Legacy of Lost Things
There's a lot of good stuff here, though the writing is missing a level of polish necessary to tackle all the heavy stuff these characters go through. ...more
Feb 25, 2015
Feb 25, 2015
Stylized: A Slightly Obsessive History of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style
Stylized is a fan’s meticulously researched, big-hearted tribute to a sturdy old book—one also “thin as a buttermilk pancake” but for generations of r ...more
Oct 29, 2009
Oct 07, 2009
The first 300 pages of this book irritated me to no end. I couldn't get into any of the characters. It annoyed me that Patty was billed as a star athl ...more
Jan 2011
Jan 21, 2011
The Valley of Masks
This book completely cast a spell on me. Tarun Tejpal creates an entire mini-civilization hidden away somewhere on the Indian subcontinent; the novel ...more
Dec 23, 2011
Dec 23, 2011
A Pimp's Notes: A Novel
Faletti’s cunningly plotted story of power and corruption among Italy’s elite unfolds in late 1970s Milan. “I don’t gamble or play cards, so I don’t w ...more
Jul 05, 2012
Aug 05, 2012
I stumbled upon this at the Brooklyn Festival of the Book and was so intrigued by the Norman Mailer blurb (which I present to you below in full) that ...more
Jan 02, 2009
Sep 27, 2008
Memories of a Marriage
Why do marriages fail? When Philip, the aging protagonist of Louis Begley’s new novella, runs into Lucy de Bourgh at the New York Ballet, he is surpri ...more
Jul 02, 2013
Sep 14, 2013
The Girl in the  Photograph
Despite its title, Lygia Fagundes Telles’s The Girl in The Photograph is really about three young women. They are Lia, Ana Clara, and Lorena—college ...more
Nov 29, 2012
Dec 01, 2012
Public Produce: The New Urban Agriculture
Public Produce argues for a systematic overhaul to the way in which Americans grow and process their food. City planner Darrin Nordahl is concerned ab ...more
not set
Oct 07, 2009
The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons: Selected Stories
Born in Tehran in 1939, Goli Taraghi was a teenager during Iran’s 1953 coup and a grown woman during the 1979 revolution. Both upheavals feature promi ...more
Oct 23, 2013
Oct 28, 2013
Dragon Fighter: One Woman's Epic Struggle for Peace with China
"What China is deceitfully not revealing to the outside world is that it is so successful financially only because it does not play by the rules of j ...more
Apr 21, 2009
Apr 10, 2009
The White Album
I had circled around this book for the last couple of years, starting it, putting it down, discussing it without having actually finished reading it, ...more
not set
Mar 17, 2009
Satin Island: A Novel
I really loved Remainder when it read it a number of years ago-- I haven't picked up any of other of McCarthy's novels since, but this one's shiny cov ...more
Mar 18, 2015
Mar 18, 2015
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
An incredibly eye-opening and frequently depressing account of six "ordinary lives" of North Koreans who have defected in the last 10 years. Barbara D ...more
Jun 23, 2011
Jun 23, 2011
You Are Not Forgotten: The Story of a Lost World War II Pilot and a Twenty-First-Century Soldier's Mission to Bring Him Home
Boston Globe national security reporter Bryan Bender takes readers through multiple generations of military history in this proud story about honoring ...more
Oct 26, 2013
Oct 31, 2013
The Buy Side: A Wall Street Trader's Tale of Spectacular Excess
Short review:

The one about the Wall Street coke-head with a heart of gold.

Long review:

Turney Duff is not the first ex-Wall Streeter to pen a tell-all
Jun 03, 2013
Sep 14, 2013
Lightning Field
There's something very sad and grubby about this smartly observed, funny and dark novel. Mina, the novel's main character, and her old friend Lorene p ...more
May 16, 2011
May 18, 2011
How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain's Most Ineligible Bachelor and His Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate
Thomas Day liked to quote a line from a poem titled “Advice to the Ladies”: “Wit like wine intoxicates the brain/Too strong for feeble women to sustai ...more
Apr 15, 2013
May 08, 2013
The Girl Who Loved Camellias: The Life and Legend of Marie Duplessis
Marie Duplessis arrived in Paris a penniless, unschooled young teenager. But by the time she was 19, she had conquered the city. A natural beauty with ...more
Jun 02, 2013
Sep 14, 2013
Between Man and Beast: An Unlikely Explorer, the Evolution Debates, and the African Adventure That Took the Victorian World by Storm

Before there was Jane Goodall, or even Tarzan and King Kong, the gorilla was a creature of mystery. The beast’
Mar 03, 2013
Mar 12, 2013
Hidden America: From Coal Miners to Cowboys, an Extraordinary Exploration of the Unseen People Who Make This Country Work
How do air-traffic controllers remember what instructions they’ve given each flight? How do cattle ranchers produce a signature steak? Who picks the b ...more
Aug 28, 2012
Sep 06, 2012
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