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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
One of the more frustrating books I have ever read. Some good writing, but with terrible characters and dodgy plotting--an infuriating combination.

Jun 07, 2011
May 28, 2011
Just One Evil Act (Inspector Lynley, #18)
What an infuriating book. By miles, it's the worst in the series--which I really liked very much (up to this point).

I'm getting a really strong feelin
Dec 2013
Sep 16, 2013
Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens
Reading this book was like having a conversation with an insanely well-read, well-traveled, and well-spoken friend. Some of the essays I'd already rea ...more
Jan 03, 2012
Dec 19, 2011
The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam (Good Thief's Guide, #1)
A decent story, with a great setting (I love the Netherlands), all totally obscured by the absolute worst copy editing/proofreading I have ever seen. ...more
Jul 21, 2013
Feb 17, 2013
The Singer's Gun
I liked the structure of this book a lot, but I found myself not particularly involved. It left me feeling rather unmoved.

It was odd, really; it star
Jul 06, 2014
May 29, 2014
Out of Character: Surprising Truths About the Liar, Cheat, Sinner (and Saint) Lurking in All of Us
Overall, this was a frustrating book. It gave a lot of interesting information, but it failed to answer the specific question it raises in the title p ...more
Jun 23, 2011
May 03, 2011
The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, Etc.
Uneven, but worthwhile. Some of this is excellent, and there are some marvelous phrases. When he's talking about books, bookstores, movies...he's grea ...more
Dec 18, 2011
Nov 29, 2011
Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
An interesting, thought-provoking, and in some ways quite sad book. It's rare that I feel sorry for an author, but I do for this one.

This book was wel
Aug 18, 2012
Jun 13, 2012
The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time
Ooh, I hate books like this: Nuggets of good ideas lie buried under swathes of pure idiocy.

Premise: Modern technology offers so many exciting distract
Jan 08, 2012
Oct 16, 2011
The Blind Giant
An interesting book. The beginning is a bit slow (at least for someone like me who lives with a serious tech guy, and who is old enough to remember th ...more
Sep 17, 2012
Jun 04, 2012
Four New Messages
Wow, I can't believe I finished this--what a bore.

The first story (hapless drug dealer is screwed by story on Internet) had a good idea as a kernel,
Feb 25, 2013
Jul 31, 2012
Bough Down
Too cryptic for me. There were some strong moments, but I kept feeling as though I just didn't know enough about what was going on to really understan ...more
Dec 20, 2013
Dec 01, 2013
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Really rather delightful. On one level, it's an affectionate, rather sweet look at the collision between the old-media world of used bookstores and th ...more
Nov 15, 2012
Sep 30, 2012
Caught Stealing (Hank Thompson, #1)
This had all the elements of a book I would love; a thriller set in NYC, baseball, and even a cat. And while I did like the story, and some of the phr ...more
Aug 27, 2013
Jul 15, 2013
The Secret Life of Words: How English Became English
Hitchings had my heart the moment he quoted John Lanchester's The Debt to Pleasure.

It's excellent fun, but it is slow going. Not because it's dull, bu
Apr 12, 2014
Mar 24, 2014
Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change
Most interesting. The author's emphasis on testing ("Does a given intervention actually help, or do we just think that it should? Wait, it's counterpr ...more
Oct 30, 2011
Aug 24, 2011
You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You
Not bad. It didn't teach me any specific style points I didn't already know (how to dress my age, why it's better to spend on quality, a few good piec ...more
Nov 25, 2012
Nov 17, 2012
Learning from Las Vegas: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form
I was disappointed. Some of this disappointment is practical; in trying to save money on this edition, they went too far, and shrank the illustrations ...more
Jun 14, 2014
Jun 07, 2013
Brother Of The More Famous Jack
I enjoyed it, but I admit it started a bit slowly for my taste. For a while I kept thinking, "Now why did I want to read this again?"

But then I relaxe
Oct 2013
May 23, 2013
Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design
Some good examples, buried amidst infuriating piles of repetition. Design faces constraints; I know. I get it. Stop telling me. Seriously, move on. En ...more
Jun 28, 2011
Jun 08, 2011
Never Mind (The Patrick Melrose Novels, #1)
Shockingly good. Bitter and dark, yes, but endlessly quotable--I had half a dozen slips of paper in just the first fifty pages, marking phrases and li ...more
Nov 20, 2014
Nov 27, 2014
Life After Life
I wanted to read this because I'd heard such great things about the sequel, so clearly I needed to catch up. I liked it, but I can't say I loved it. O ...more
Jun 09, 2015
Jul 09, 2015
Bad News (The Patrick Melrose Novels, #2)
A crashing disappointment, especially after the marvelous first volume.

This book stands as vivid proof that drug addiction is one of the most lethally
Nov 23, 2014
Nov 27, 2014
The Hunger Games Trilogy Classic
It took me a while to get past the similarity between the premise of this and Battle Royale. I can't quite make up my mind which is weirder: The basic ...more
Apr 15, 2015
May 12, 2015
The Family Trade (The Merchant Princes, #1)
This was an experiment for me. I don't generally like fantasy, but I do like science fiction, and I really like several of Charles Stross's books/seri ...more
Apr 23, 2015
May 12, 2015
A Blunt Instrument
Another lightweight, yet surprisingly solid upper-class English mystery. Heyer is charmingly consistent (or, if one is feeling less charitable, one mi ...more
Aug 11, 2014
Aug 10, 2014
Rule 34
Wow--Charlie is really coming into his own. Most excellent (obvious disclaimer: I do know the author socially).

The book works as a straight-up thrille
Sep 02, 2011
Aug 30, 2011
The Last Detective (Peter Diamond, #1)
It was all right; nothing out of the ordinary. The plot wasn't bad, wasn't great; ditto the characters. I like Bath as a setting, because it is a hand ...more
Jan 25, 2013
Jan 22, 2013
The Orphan Master's Son
Certainly the most original setting I've seen in a while, that's for sure.

I liked it, overall. The main character was a bit of cipher for a long while
May 18, 2013
May 13, 2013
Pattern Recognition (Bigend Trilogy, #1)
I liked it. It didn't knock me over the way Gibson did when I first read his early work (Neuromancer, say), but I think that may be because he's moved ...more
Mar 24, 2013
Mar 21, 2013
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