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True History of the Kelly Gang
3.79
This is written as an memoir (difference between an autobiography & a memoir; memoirs don't have indexes) Ned Kelly is setting down for an infant ...more
Feb 15, 2008
Jan 30, 2008
 
Thirst for Love
3.80
"sexual torment and corrosive jealousy"... should be fun.

Wasn't as much fun as advertised. This is the first Mishima novel I've read and he was 25 whe
...more
Jun 06, 2008
May 06, 2008
 
Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election That Changed Everything for American Women
4.09
Pretty good. Merits more like 3 1/2 stars, but as the writing is stellar I'll round up. Reminded me of a net savvy Barbara Ehrenreich. More of a polem ...more
Jan 20, 2011
Jan 19, 2011
 
The Optimist's Daughter
3.47
Yet another Southern novel about death, community, and how individuals discover how stifling death makes a community (and vice versa). Welty takes the ...more
Feb 20, 2014
Feb 20, 2014
 
The Unvarnished Gospels
3.17
Really tried to like it as the bible in general is crying out for a good vernacular translation. Sadly, this isn't it. Only got as far as Matthew 6 wh ...more
Mar 02, 2012
Mar 01, 2012
 
The Court of the Air
3.30
Reads like a commission Charles Dickens and Jules Verne accepted after the Communards killed everyone they loved. Plus Aztec monsters. Interesting wri ...more
Dec 26, 2008
Dec 11, 2008
 
Stick Out Your Tongue
3.72
Lessions learned: Tibet has a host of problems that bumper sticker and 'enlightened' celebrities aren't going to solve.

This is a slight book (five ver
...more
Sep 2007
Sep 10, 2007
 
Byzantium: The Bridge from Antiquity to the Middle Ages
3.15
How can you fuck up a simple primer on the history of Byzantium from the establishment of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade? Well, focusing primari ...more
Mar 23, 2009
Mar 23, 2009
 
The Annotated Peter Pan
4.10
Kind of a hard one to rate. If I had read another edition I'd probably give two stars. But I really liked the footnotes & illustrations. The story ...more
not set
May 30, 2013
 
The Story of a Nobody
3.75
Liked this so much up until the scene shifted to France. Then the story collapsed like a house of cards over the last 10-15 pages. C'mon Tony! You're ...more
Nov 21, 2013
Aug 14, 2013
 
The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan, #3)
3.93
Another cheese-ball title from my adolescence. In 1986 it was five stars all the way. Being very generous in part because the military techo-porn fiel ...more
Jan 1986
Mar 18, 2009
 
White Man's Grave
3.92
This is the Great PCV novel. Funnier than any novel on the suffering of western Africa has any right to be, and a corrosive commentary on dominate tri ...more
Apr 1994
Jan 22, 2008
 
Baltasar and Blimunda
3.89
My Air New Zealand reading.

Varies from really good to rather dry, but the interesting bits far out number the boring. Not something I'd recommend as a
...more
Jun 25, 2009
Jun 14, 2009
 
God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible
3.74
Lessions learned - the people who put together the King James bible were nuts and had questionable moral judgement to boot.

I liked this account of wha
...more
Nov 2006
Aug 27, 2007
 
I, Coriander
3.79
It was better than ok, but kind of derivative of Gaiman and Susanna Clarke. Good for kids who in their owns minds think they're secretly from a much m ...more
Dec 06, 2007
Nov 11, 2007
 
Shame
3.85
This was a quite a good book and introduction to his writing style. His command of language and prose makes him one of the better living writers in En ...more
Oct 2003
Oct 04, 2007
 
The Finkler Question
2.74
Really liked this despite the first 90 pages moving at a glacial pace, not lest because the characters are not individuals, but stand-ins for archtype ...more
Apr 26, 2011
Apr 26, 2011
 
Pontius Pilate
3.55
This is more of a history of an idea of what is Pilate than a biblical study ala Pagels or Armstrong. Interesting stuff, but not groundshaking.
May 2002
Sep 07, 2007
 
Sweet Invisible Body: Reflections on a Life with Diabetes
3.84
Didn't like the writer that much. Often came across as narcissistic and self-pitying. And for something writing a memoir, she seems to have very littl ...more
Feb 10, 2011
Feb 09, 2011
 
First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest
3.63
Not near as good as Bombardiers, still I think it's well worth reading, esp if you are from northern California.
not set
Jan 22, 2008
 
The Remains of the Day
4.09
A meditation concerning the tension between the demands of loyalty and the standards of dignity. Which makes this book sound a lot more pompous than i ...more
Jan 30, 2009
Jan 31, 2009
 
The Secret History of Wonder Woman
3.66
Meticulous research, poor presentation. Lepore is one of my favorite non-fiction writers, but this is not a well crafted book. Reads more like one of ...more
Dec 16, 2014
Dec 16, 2014
 
Ajax Penumbra 1969
3.57
Well, I gave the main event 4 stars & this one is really no different, just set 45 years earlier. As an appendix to Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Booksto ...more
Nov 20, 2014
Nov 26, 2014
 
Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Changed America
3.76
It was alright. Not a particularly deep in the details and Standiford really didn't connect the dots between the Homestead strike and the falling out ...more
May 15, 2011
May 11, 2011
 
The Heroes
4.22
Loved this book. Abercrombie is clever, witty, and is writing fantasy like no writer I've come across (Martin is more than dead to me). The Achilles h ...more
Mar 26, 2011
Jan 03, 2011
 
Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle, #1)
3.79
Ok, by and large I wouldn't slag off on kids books as I don't need to see a 12 year old hate on Wind-Up Bird Chronicles as 'slow, stupid, and boring'. ...more
May 2004
Sep 07, 2007
 
Spoiled Brats
3.92
Probably better than three stars, but not much more than that. Rich has a sharp sense of humor; a sort of hybrid of David Sedaris & Dorothy Parker ...more
Nov 25, 2014
Nov 26, 2014
 
The Death of King Arthur
3.19
Ackroyd clearly is not a fan of Sir Thomas Malory nor "Le Morte d'Arthur". The story stands exposed as an incoherent mess that is constantly contradic ...more
Feb 26, 2012
Feb 21, 2012
 
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
3.77
This is a hard one to rate. Think Foucault's Pendulum as written by Douglas Coupland. The seamless happenstance comes off as lazy at points. What save ...more
Nov 13, 2014
Nov 26, 2014
 
Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome
3.76
I really liked the subject and it's been a while since I've read about the Romans aside from the fall of the Republic and the Civil War. The book itse ...more
Dec 2011
Nov 28, 2011
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