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The Making of a Writer: Journals, 1961-1963
The journal covers Godwin's early years in England, when she was working for the U.S. Travel Bureau and struggling to find a balance between her write ...more
Mar 21, 2009
Mar 21, 2009
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home
I powered through this book so I could pass it on to my MIL, who comes from a Mennonite family. I only finished it because I paid full price for it at ...more
Dec 28, 2009
Dec 28, 2009
On a Dollar a Day: One Couple's Unlikely Adventures in Eating in America
I thought of Dina when I was reading this. The book started as a blog experiment, eating on a dollar a day, which is what many people in the world do. ...more
May 25, 2010
May 26, 2010
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (The Wolves Chronicles, #1)
For a while, I re-read this book once every summer, during the hottest, most humid months. I'm not sure how to categorize it, beyond children's book. ...more
Jan 1969
Aug 23, 2007
The Devil's Feather
Actually, listening. Which is weird, given how many emails go back and forth, but the book is well read, so I'm not having a problem following. I'm ju ...more
Sep 2008
Sep 24, 2008
Silence of the Grave (Inspector Erlendur #4)
This is the second in what I presume will be a series centered on the Icelandic detective Erlendur. The story begins with the discovery of bones in a ...more
May 2008
Apr 26, 2008
The Sonnet Lover
Why indeed. Well, I've read her other books, which fall under the category of "light reading" for me. The last one I read was when I was in the ER a c ...more
not set
Aug 03, 2008
My Salinger Year
This was a quick, pleasurable read. Nothing memorable though there were some lovely sentences. I just enjoyed her evocation of a particular time in Ne ...more
Aug 30, 2014
Sep 01, 2014
Strange as This Weather Has Been
I have to admit--I didn't quite finish this; I had to return it to the library and they wouldn't let me renew it.

Strange's a written oral
Jan 24, 2008
Nov 30, 2007
501 Minutes to Christ: Personal Essays
The essays were not as uniformly good in this one as they were in the first collection I read, but it still merits four stars. Ballantine is a precise ...more
Jun 26, 2009
Jun 30, 2009
Generation Loss
Cass Neary, a has-been photographer and drug user, goes to an island in Maine hoping to interview the reclusive Aphrodite Kamestos, another former pho ...more
Feb 14, 2009
Feb 15, 2009
Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story
What I learned from this book:
1) Editors really don't edit books anymore. Or apparently read them.
2) Scribner's appears to have fired all its copy edi
Apr 30, 2009
May 06, 2009
The Missing World
I didn't love this book the way I loved THE HOUSE ON FORTUNE STREET, which I felt was tighter and more emotionally satisfying. THE MISSING WORLD has t ...more
Sep 17, 2012
Sep 17, 2012
Cartwheels in a Sari: A Memoir of Growing Up Cult
When I was growing up, I always wondered about the white women in saris who worked at the UN and why my mother didn't seem to know any of them (after ...more
Jul 06, 2009
Jul 18, 2009
Really 4.5 stars because the beginning was a slog for me, since I am not a fan of kids' voices in stories. I'm just not.

So I wasn't charmed by Jack's
Dec 16, 2010
Dec 16, 2010
Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict
I found this book incredibly tedious, though for some reason, I kept plowing through. I've realized I simply don't like memoirs that avoid retrospecti ...more
Jun 04, 2010
Jun 08, 2010
The City & the City
A combination of political thriller with a noir-ish feel and something else--sci fi or fantasy, I'm not sure, since those are genres I don't usually r ...more
Jul 28, 2009
Jul 30, 2009
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
Didn't quite finish this before the library started slapping fines on me, but it is sensible and well written. Pollan takes nutritionists and the food ...more
Mar 15, 2009
Mar 21, 2009
The publisher calls this a psychological thriller (or maybe one of the other reviews I read, I can't quite remember), but the book doesn't satisfy on ...more
Aug 10, 2012
Aug 18, 2012
Blind Submission
Satire about publishing set in a small literary agency in California. Every night, the narrator, Angel, works for a famous agent who is inconsistent a ...more
Dec 2008
Dec 04, 2008
The Tenderness of Wolves
I did not love this book. I should have--wolves, Canada, snow. All my favorite things. But I did not like the present tense, and I thought the mystery ...more
Jan 2007
Aug 19, 2007
What Happened to Sophie Wilder
I was halfway through this when I realized I didn't care about the ponderous first person narrator, a young writer living the writerly life in New Yor ...more
Sep 2012
Sep 05, 2012
Things I Like About America: Personal Narratives
Things I like about this book:

1. It's well written. The writing is deceptively simple. No tricks, nothing fancy (except the list in the title story).

Jun 11, 2009
Jun 17, 2009
The Ticking is the Bomb
This is really four and a half stars. I took off a half for the dreams, which got to be tiresome after a while. But I appreciate what Flynn is doing h ...more
Aug 17, 2010
Aug 18, 2010
The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals
This seems a fitting book to read at the end of Bush years. I finished it the day before Obama announced he was closing Guantanamo.

My father used to c
Jan 20, 2009
Jan 04, 2009
Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, #1)
Tough guy detective fiction set in Georgia. If I can get past the fact that the hero does not have a clean change of clothes (including underwear--eww ...more
Dec 13, 2008
Dec 13, 2008
Finding Iris Chang: Friendship, Amibition, and the Loss of an Extraordinary Mind
Interesting investigation into the story behind Iris Chang's suicide at the age of 36. Chang, the author of The Rape of Nanking was a gifted young w ...more
Jul 06, 2009
Jul 06, 2009
The Girl from Foreign: A Search for Shipwrecked Ancestors, Forgotten Histories, and a Sense of Home
Shepard is raised in a multi faith home, Christian and Muslim. But Shepard's Pakistani grandmother, who lives with her in Boston, began life as a Jew, ...more
May 20, 2010
May 26, 2010
Hotels, Hospitals, and Jails: A Memoir
The single star says it all. I did try, and I was halfway through a fifty-page dissection of a letter Swofford's father sent to him when I finally gav ...more
Sep 2012
Sep 05, 2012
The Calligrapher
Clever, well-written, and fun to read. Jasper Jackson is the calligrapher, working on a sequence of thirty love poems by John Donne for a wealthy clie ...more
Apr 2009
Apr 14, 2009
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