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The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism
Bacevich, West Pointer, Vietnam veteran, conservative, rips Congress and all our recent presidents (especially George the Lesser) and we, the people, ...more
Sep 28, 2008
Aug 18, 2008
Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power
Zbig is a coherent foreign policy thinker, and this was a coherent, short update on foreign policy
Mar 05, 2012
Jan 23, 2012
Speeches and Writings, 1859-1865
Lincoln couldn't write a bad letter. I kept my Ipad handy throughout this book so I could look up people and events I knew a little about but wanted t ...more
Jan 15, 2014
Jan 06, 2014
The Sense of an Ending
I thought that Nothing to Be Frightened Of, Barnes's meditation on death, was excellent. I thought, as I was reading, that this short book was excelle ...more
Mar 29, 2013
Mar 25, 2013
Lists of Note
My kind of book. Ben Franklin's list of words for drunkenness (dozens). Charles Dickens's list of fake titles for fake books in his Barbary. A list of ...more
Jul 03, 2015
Jul 04, 2015
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)
In 2000, Nora and I drove to LA. On the way we read each other the first Harry Potter book. In the airport on the way home, I bought the second one. I ...more
Jun 09, 2012
Jun 11, 2012
Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China
Recently, Foreign Affairs asked James Fallows, Fareed Zakaria and a dozen others what books we should be reading to understand the world. Fallows sugg ...more
Feb 2011
Jan 29, 2011
My Early Life, 1874-1904
I had never read anything by Churchill, although I heard a recording of his stirring "We shall never surrender" speech. He is a great writer, and this ...more
Aug 2011
Jul 18, 2011
Abraham Lincoln, Defendant: Lincoln's Most Interesting Lawsuit
Lincoln's deceased father in law's ex-partners sued Lincoln for alleged debts possibly instigated by Lincoln's brother in law, who felt that Mr Todd h ...more
Jul 06, 2014
Jul 06, 2014
Nate in Venice
This is an epublished novella. I hadn't heard of it until I read a Russo interview in which he mentioned it. There's no father figure, there is a moth ...more
Nov 30, 2013
Nov 29, 2013
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
Nora and I read Alice, or part of it, when she was young, but I don't think I've ever read it all. It certainly isn't the Disney version, although you ...more
Feb 17, 2011
Feb 16, 2011
American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic
It's hard not to like Joseph Ellis, even though he did lie for years about being in Vietnam. Maybe that's what makes him so good on Thomas Jefferson, ...more
Sep 08, 2011
Aug 15, 2011
The Rise & Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change & Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000
I've been reading this book off and on for five years. The situation has changed since the book was written - the USSR is gone, 9/11, Afghanistan and ...more
Oct 20, 2013
Oct 21, 2013
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold
i read this decades ago, and saw the movie with Richard Burton. The Tinker Tailor movie made me want to read this again. It's written so cleanly, effi ...more
Apr 30, 2013
Apr 28, 2013
Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues (Jesse Stone, #10)
Surprised me, Robert B Parker died in 2010, this Jesse Stone novel was written by a long time collaborator. I like the jesse Stone TV shows, although ...more
Aug 24, 2012
Aug 23, 2012
America Goes to War
This is the first of a handful of very short books I took out of the library for casual reading over the 4th of July weekend. Catton's theme here is t ...more
Jul 04, 2014
Jul 04, 2014
The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild
I thought this book would be about wild animals living in suburbs and cities, and it was, in part, but way way too much of it was a sermon about appre ...more
Dec 13, 2014
Dec 13, 2014
Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen: Reflections on Sixty and Beyond
This is a lot of memoir in a few pages, about McMurtry's pioneer grandparents and parents, his slow introduction to the world of reading and book coll ...more
Nov 05, 2011
Oct 24, 2011
My Ideal Bookshelf
What an excellent idea. On New Year's Day I checked out every participant to see who read the most books that I like a lot. The answer: Drew Gilpin Fa ...more
Jan 2013
Jan 03, 2013
The Night of the Iguana (Acting Edition)
I love this play, probably because I see Richard Burton as Shannon and Ava Gardner as Maxine, and you can't get more obscenely wrecked than Burton or ...more
Nov 18, 2009
Nov 19, 2009
The Abstinence Teacher
Hard tp know whether this book should be a 3 or 4, or whether I'll read another by Perrotta. I chose the book because I read that he was like Richard ...more
Feb 17, 2014
Jan 20, 2014
Dead or Alive (Kevin Kerney, #12)
McGarrity added depth to his usual pretty good Hiliermanesque mystery. Lots of murders, all by an escaped prisoner, but in this book you follow not on ...more
Jul 06, 2009
Jul 06, 2009
The first 2/3 of this book I thought I'd found a new Bruce Chatwin. The ending was just fair, but it's still a fine book. I'm going to order his earli ...more
Feb 25, 2009
Feb 26, 2009
Drive (Drive, #1)
A Lee Child/Jack Reacher kind of novel in 150 pages and big print. OK, even good, but I'm just not a fan of drifters with super powers who kill 15 or ...more
Oct 22, 2012
Oct 20, 2012
One Drop: My Father's Hidden Life--A Story of Race and Family Secrets
This is a wonderful look at the history of creole New Orleans, about a famous creole who passed as white, about his daughter who didn't know it until ...more
May 2009
Apr 29, 2009
This Craft of Verse
A new ( to me ) book by Borges, lectures at Harvard in 1967, given within a few months of when Lucy and I heard him speak at the University of Virgini ...more
Feb 03, 2013
Feb 04, 2013
Practical Gods
This may be the first complete book of poetry I have ever read. When Madelyn Morey and Bud Frankenberger visited a couple months ago, they talked abou ...more
Jun 24, 2014
May 12, 2014
A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1)
Katie is reading this book to Eloise. Saturday, Katie and Nora said I had to read it, it's my kind of book - time travel. So I did, and it's great.
Feb 23, 2014
Feb 23, 2014
The Pantheon
It's hard to find a book on the Pantheon, one of my favorite buildings. This young adult book has as much information in one place as I've seen.
Aug 06, 2009
Aug 06, 2009
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
Amy Chua hides a brutal book under a light touch. I'm not saying she's crazy, but close. Still, I was fascinated to see how the so-called Chinese moth ...more
Jan 22, 2011
Jan 19, 2011
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