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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures
This is the heartbreaking story of Lia, a Hmong girl with epilepsy in Merced. It is intended to be an ethnography, describing two different cultural a ...more
Sep 2007
Aug 03, 2007
The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-sufficient Living in the Heart of the City (Process Self-Reliance Series)
I really enjoyed this little book, despite the huge number of typos (even for an independent press, it was a bit extreme). Great information to get yo ...more
Mar 24, 2009
Mar 19, 2009
The Woman Warrior
Another amazing memoir! One third poem, one third fable, and one third memoir. Terrifyingly dark, Maxine Hong Kingston spares no one, least of all her ...more
Apr 12, 2009
Apr 25, 2008
Where I Was From
One of the most interesting things about the book is its unique form: alternating historical and personal essays centering around California and its h ...more
Apr 28, 2009
Mar 19, 2009
On the Road
I liked many aspects of this book, but found myself repeatedly distracted by the intense male-focus. Although the book is post-first-wave-feminism, wo ...more
Jan 1996
Apr 29, 2008
The Maltese Falcon
I expected this to be offensively misogynist (and homophobic), and it was, and more. Hammett is the perfect example of mid-20th century violence and a ...more
Jan 17, 2012
Dec 15, 2011
Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer
Initially, I think I was most interested in this book because it takes place in my backyard, and not because I expected any kind of greatness from it. ...more
Aug 02, 2010
Nov 28, 2009
Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion
I am always excited to read a leftist embrace/critique of religion these days. So I was very excited to read this memoir of a leftist lesbian turned E ...more
Oct 2007
Aug 03, 2007
Of Mice and Men
Well, I just finished this. The descriptions of the Salinas Valley are, perhaps unsurprisingly, spot-on and lovely. It's a short book, and perhaps a b ...more
Jun 04, 2008
May 01, 2008
I've rarely been simultanously completely creeped out and astounded by a book. Almost everyone knows the incredibly offensive plotline of this book, b ...more
Jan 2003
Apr 29, 2008
The Octopus: A Story of California
Joan Didion's description of this book in Where I Was From is so fascinating, I may have to read the original at some point!
not set
Apr 18, 2009
The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution
This is not a conventional cookbook. At all. It's really inspiring, however. Lots of great ideas and a few simple recipes with suggested variations ma ...more
May 05, 2008
Apr 03, 2008
Bound for Glory
Awesome. A little harder work than I expected, but well, well, worth it. Woody's as funny, raw, lovable, and battered as this ancient copy of Bound fo ...more
Jul 23, 2008
Apr 04, 2008
Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water
This is the book on water politics in the West. It is one of my all-time favorites, and rarely a week goes by that I don't think of some aspect of it ...more
Jan 2003
Jun 25, 2008
The Year of Magical Thinking
Wooooeee, life is hard! This is a book written from inside of a deep grief and depression, and you can feel it like a leaden weight enveloping you whi ...more
Oct 2005
Aug 04, 2007
Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year
I read this a couple of years ago, but I still think of it often. Funny, touching, and honest. Classic Anne Lamott. I highly recommend it for parents ...more
Oct 2006
Feb 27, 2008
The Provisional City: Los Angeles Stories of Architecture and Urbanism
Difficult reading but amazing old pictures of redevelopment areas in Los Angeles. A must look-at for anyone who has spent any time in Southern Califor ...more
Oct 2005
Sep 04, 2007
Angle of Repose
I saw Marilynne Robinson speak recently, and she cited Faulkner and Stegner as two of her favorites. Well, you don't have to tell me twice.
not set
Nov 10, 2008
The Grapes of Wrath
Ma Joad is awesome.

(I may have more of a review soon - this is such a big, ambitious book!)
Jul 02, 2011
Sep 10, 2010
Parable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1)
Aug 10, 2012
Nov 11, 2009
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Jun 2001
Sep 04, 2007
Two Years Before the Mast
not set
Jun 25, 2008
The Big Sleep (Philip Marlowe #1)
not set
Aug 16, 2011
Play It as It Lays
not set
Jul 28, 2008
Red Harvest
not set
Feb 02, 2012
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