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The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self
4.09
it was ok
This book is both brilliant and full of schlock. I know people with the problems she described, people who were never going to be loved for who they w ...more
Dec 28, 2009
Dec 28, 2009
 
Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life
3.88
really liked it
I loved Deresiewicz's book on Jane Austen. It felt like drinking tea with a friend, talking about what really matters in life. This book is different. ...more
Sep 06, 2014
Sep 08, 2014
 
The Year of Living Danishly: My Twelve Months Unearthing the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country
3.94
really liked it
I picked this book up in Britain, where it seems rather popular. I have not seen it over here in the US. The author starts out as the stressed-out edi ...more
Sep 24, 2015
Sep 24, 2015
 
Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe
3.78
liked it
I never really thought much about Central Europe. It seemed fusty; it was where much of the Holocaust occurred; and my parents were interested in it. ...more
Jan 25, 2015
Jan 26, 2015
 
Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto
3.60
really liked it
Ever since I read this book, I have wanted to eat a kaiseki meal. That desire is still unfulfilled. There was a kaiseki restaurant in Vancouver when I ...more
Jan 2005
Apr 16, 2010
 
Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden
3.96
liked it
When I was a teenager, I loved Diane Ackerman. When I was older, I was a little embarrassed about my earlier passion for her purple prose. Her appeal ...more
Feb 2013
Feb 01, 2013
 
Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic
3.82
did not like it
Ever written an amazing review and then lost it? Argh!

My senior year of college, I babysat a sweet infant with a lovely family. Ryan and I got along,
...more
Jan 2001
Mar 08, 2011
 
The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography from the Revolution to the First World War
4.01
it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books ever. It changed the way I viewed history and the way I viewed France. Every page was surprising and exhausting. Did ...more
Feb 08, 2008
Jan 08, 2010
 
The Economy of Prestige: Prizes, Awards, and the Circulation of Cultural Value
3.62
did not like it
I have been trying to read lately while on the elliptical trainer. While some books take more effort (I had to reread certain passages of "Sweet Inven ...more
Sep 28, 2012
Sep 28, 2012
 
S.P.Q.R: A History of Ancient Rome
4.10
really liked it
This is a really well-done book, but for whatever reason, it didn't get me emotionally in the beginning, so I give it a 3.5.

This is not what I expecte
...more
Mar 18, 2017
Mar 19, 2017
 
Darjeeling: The Colorful History and Precarious Fate of the World's Greatest Tea
3.91
really liked it
I finished this book while I was actually in Darjeeling. Personally, I found it hard to find good travel literature on the region. This book gives a g ...more
Dec 2015
Dec 27, 2015
 
Capital: The Eruption of Delhi
3.94
it was amazing
Rana Dasgupta brings a novelist's eye to his portrait of Delhi. He sets the stage by referring to Delhi's past under the Mughals and under the British ...more
Sep 16, 2015
Sep 18, 2015
 
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
4.01
it was amazing
I wish this were a genre of book. Charles Mann tries to summarize what we now know of the history of the Americas before contact. It is hard, however, ...more
Nov 04, 2010
Sep 03, 2010
 
La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World's Most Enchanting Language
3.71
really liked it
This book claims to be a memoir of learning Italian, but it ends up being a light-hearted tour of the literature and history of Italy. I picked up thi ...more
Nov 24, 2016
Nov 24, 2016
 
Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting
3.95
really liked it
I really enjoy Darya's webpage, "Summer Tomato," so I decided to pick up her book. It is an examination of how we eat, and why we eat the ways we do. ...more
Jun 07, 2014
Jun 14, 2014
 
Art and Life in Renaissance Venice: Library Edition
3.70
liked it
2.5, rounded up to 3

A solid book with beautiful illustrations. Art history jargon (how many times can you use the word "pastiche?") infects the prose,
...more
Feb 21, 2017
Feb 21, 2017
 
A Goddess in the Stones: Travels in India
3.88
really liked it
Charles Dee Mitchell's review says almost everything I want to, but more eloquently. My future sister-in-law is Bengali, so I am reading everything I ...more
Nov 13, 2015
Nov 13, 2015
 
Outlaw Marriages: The Hidden Histories of Fifteen Extraordinary Same-Sex Couples
3.57
really liked it
This is such a good concept for a book! These are bite-sized biographies, perfect for reading on the metro, that focus just as much on the subjects' e ...more
Jun 12, 2014
Jun 13, 2014
 
The Woman Warrior
3.72
really liked it
This book was too fierce for me to fully enjoy reading it, but when I put it down, I understood why it is considered such an important book.

One of th
...more
Mar 10, 2014
Mar 14, 2014
 
Dressed to Impress, 1840-1914
2.00
it was ok
I would not say this book is a romp like "Unseen Academicals," but I think people interested in the Victorian era and the turn of the century would en ...more
Jul 07, 2010
Jul 06, 2010
 
Gutbliss: A 10-Day Plan to Ban Bloat, Flush Toxins, and Dump Your Digestive Baggage
3.97
liked it
This book is the oddest mixture of interesting science and quackery. I found her discussion of female intestinal anatomy fascinating--even though wome ...more
Nov 06, 2013
Nov 25, 2013
 
Rossetti's Wombat: Pre-Raphaelites and Australian Animals in Victorian London
3.79
liked it
Rossetti bought a super-cute wombat and it died (see cover).

Simons tried to write an entire history of the wombat. The first section, where he placed
...more
Aug 03, 2013
Aug 06, 2013
 
The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of the Three Great Cities of Spice
3.64
liked it
This is a far-reaching book that touches on food, history, cultures around the world, and sources of current tension between countries. The three grea ...more
Mar 06, 2011
Mar 06, 2011
 
What's Math Got to Do with It?: Helping Children Learn to Love Their Least Favorite Subject--and Why It's Important for America
4.11
it was ok
I should have known I would have problems with this book when I saw the subtitle "Helping children learn to love their least favorite subject." While ...more
Mar 29, 2010
Mar 29, 2010
 
The Boy on the Back of the Turtle: Seeking God, Quince Marmelade, and the Fabled Albatross
3.56
it was ok
While this book is technically about the Galapagos, Paul Quarrington devotes a fair amount of space to Toronto. It is an irreverent take on the island ...more
Oct 25, 2010
Oct 25, 2010
 
Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods (P.S.)
3.55
really liked it
This is a demanding but very funny read that is unlike any other book I have ever read. It gives an over view of Yiddish (mainly its idioms), structur ...more
Dec 21, 2012
Dec 21, 2012
 
Shelf Life
3.80
liked it
While this is a serious sounding history of modern package design, 1920 -1945, it is a collection of incredibly fun images. While modern design could ...more
Nov 24, 2011
Nov 24, 2011
 
Remembrance of Things Paris: Sixty Years of Writing from Gourmet (Modern Library Food)
3.71
liked it
This book seems like it should be right up my alley. I love food and I love Paris. The essays, though, focus on a rarified slice of Paris that I just ...more
Oct 30, 2011
Oct 31, 2011
 
Kosher Chinese: Living, Teaching, and Eating with China's Other Billion
3.85
really liked it
This was a fun book with heart-breaking moments. The author is a soft hearted, easy going goofball who loves basketball and beer pong. He seems modest ...more
Feb 27, 2012
Feb 27, 2012
 
Italy: Jewish Travel Guide
3.67
liked it
This is a reference book, so unless I unexpectedly find myself travelling throughout Italy, I will probably never read all of it. There are lots of to ...more
Mar 08, 2017
Mar 08, 2017
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