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The Mauritius Command (Aubrey Maturin Book 4)
I do enter upon my rereadings of Patrick O'Brian books with an open mind. I am willing to give fewer than five stars to each book before I read it. Ho ...more
Dec 2004
Jun 16, 2007
The Blind Assassin
I've already been an Atwood admirer for a few years, but The Blind Assassin is too gorgeous to merely admire. I love it. Where it isn't exquisite, it ...more
Sep 26, 2008
May 06, 2008
Desolation Island (Aubrey/Maturin, #5)
Though a second reading is less uncomfortable than the first (the edge of the seat is so sharp, and bad for circulation!) this is still an exciting, d ...more
Jan 2005
Mar 13, 2007
Lord of Light
Zelazny drops you right into the middle of this story, but if you refuse to be intimidated by the unknown names and tech/magic confusion, you'll be ri ...more
May 14, 2008
Oct 29, 2007
Post Captain (Aubrey/Maturin, #2)
The second installment of the Aubrey-Maturin chronicles is long, and has the unpredictable, organic rhythm one comes to expect of the books: the small ...more
Jul 19, 2008
Mar 13, 2007
Four Quartets
Four Quartets is one of the most astounding pieces of writing I've ever encountered. It may start off strange and esoteric, but it becomes more and mo ...more
Oct 2006
Apr 30, 2007
Death Of An Expert Witness (Adam Dalgliesh, #6)
(notes while reading:) One of the reasons P.D. James is so great is utterly simple. She writes a murder mystery like it's a novel. This sounds facile, ...more
Jun 11, 2008
May 28, 2008
Waltzing the Cat
What to say about this "shnovel" by the woman who, if my sources are accurate, coined that most excellent term? It's somewhat of an oddity. I'm sure t ...more
May 07, 2008
Jan 16, 2008
Defend and Betray (William Monk, #3)
This book suffered a little from rereading: there were clues in people's behavior on the night of the murder that were inexplicably not followed up fo ...more
Jun 21, 2010
Jun 03, 2010
The Penelopiad
A very quick read; the inverse of an epic. Atwood writes a rueful and human Penelope, undercutting here and there the heroism of The Odyssey, and und ...more
May 03, 2008
Jan 01, 2008
The Hearts of Horses
Well, it's been proven: you can still write a novel with an omniscient narrator. I don't pretend that setting it in the historical past (the U.S. home ...more
May 05, 2008
Jan 11, 2008
Black Swan Green
I have a hard time saying why this book is so charming. Perhaps it's Jason's naked honesty as a narrator, the way he lays bare his own insecurity. Per ...more
May 30, 2008
Jan 06, 2008
The Sparrow (The Sparrow, #1)
2.5 stars

This is a difficult book to review. I wanted to like it because I loved the idea (!) but as I read it, I found mys
Jul 20, 2010
Jan 01, 2008
Seven Day Magic
I loved Edward Eager books as a child, and they're still fun. Seven Day Magic is charming because it's about the magic of books and a bookish sort of ...more
Aug 16, 2008
Aug 10, 2008
Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin, #1)
Last time I wrote a review of Master and Commander, it ran, well, long. It's hard not to lavish the love one has for the whole series upon its first ...more
Dec 2004
Mar 13, 2007
In the Garden of the North American Martyrs
This is a great collection of short stories. They vary in length, topic and tone, but all of them have an almost pungent insight into a character's ex ...more
Mar 2007
Mar 13, 2007
Winter Range: A Novel
I don't give star ratings to books by faculty members of my MFA program.

Claire Davis's first novel builds from the small to the epic, an engaging read
Jul 13, 2008
Jul 01, 2007
Death Comes As Epiphany (Catherine LeVendeur, #1)
An engrossing plot, charming heroine and intriguing historical details. The main characters were well-drawn and likeable, and the use of Heloise and A ...more
Jun 13, 2009
Jun 10, 2009
Crazy Love
A "slim volume," Kate Wilhelm calls this in the introduction, but you could have fooled me. Its 195 pages are packed with stories that range from touc ...more
Jul 2008
Jun 09, 2008
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Core Rulebook
You'll never see a roleplaying rulebook that is easier to read. It made me laugh out loud (on public transit, no less!) and kept me buzzing along, tho ...more
Mar 2003
Aug 10, 2008
How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe
3.5 stars

This is an entertaining and informative book, and the audiobook is winsome and sparkling, courtesy of 'performer' (not credited merely as 'na
May 18, 2008
May 06, 2008
The Interpretation of Fairy Tales
Von Franz was apparently Jung's chief disciple, and her work on fairy tales and folklore was central to her continuation of his work. This volume is, ...more
Mar 09, 2008
Jul 20, 2007
We Shall Not Sleep (World War I, #5)
This series has been disappointing for me in general. We Shall Not Sleep shares some of the small, consistent flaws of the whole -- overuse of the sam ...more
Oct 11, 2009
Oct 01, 2009
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
This is perhaps the most epistolary novel I've ever read. It consists almost entirely of letters between a young writer living in London, her friends, ...more
Apr 2010
Feb 01, 2009
Any novel in the form of short stories about the life of a small American town probably invites comparison to Winesburg, Ohio. In Stygo's case, the ...more
May 02, 2008
Jan 16, 2008
I had every intention of finishing listening to the audiobook so I could write this review, but on realizing there are six more discs...ugh. I cannot ...more
Aug 30, 2007
Jun 12, 2008
The Midnight Folk
I'm being a little silly in characterizing this book as magical realism, but it does seem to fit it best. Like Alice in Wonderland, it depicts fluid ...more
Jan 1989
Nov 03, 2007
Young Justice: Sins of Youth
This is a confection in the form of a massive comic crossover. As with all crossovers, art varies, and background for some sections must be inferred, ...more
not set
Aug 10, 2008
Little Black Book of Stories
A good story makes me want to read the next one; a great one makes me close the book, almost involuntarily. I want to read the next one, but not yet, ...more
Jan 2008
Dec 29, 2007
Things Fall Apart
Understated, evocative and elegant. A beautiful model of how to write a 'simple' story that has impact and resonance.

The simplicity is deceptive -- i
Aug 2007
Aug 05, 2007
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