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Cold Mountain
You've probably seen the movie made from this book.

It was a fine movie. It won Oscars.

But it cannot begin to capture the truly spectacular parts of th
Mar 2001
Aug 28, 2007
Water for Elephants
I read this book in one day. It pulls you in.

I learned a lot about the old traveling circuses and life with them. That was really interesting.

But the
Jul 2007
Aug 28, 2007
Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
In Overdressed Elizabeth Cline details the problems with what she terms "fast fashion:" the cheap clothing that has permeated nearly the entire market ...more
Aug 30, 2012
Aug 15, 2012
Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer
I believe the book's tagline says it all: "The horror, the horror."

I hated this book. HATED. I remember one day when I had done my reading section for
Oct 1998
Sep 04, 2007
Small Wonder
I love Barbara Kingsolver with an enthusiasm I have rarely felt for a person I don't actually know. Partly that's because I feel I do know her, becaus ...more
Sep 12, 2012
Aug 05, 2012
Sophie's World
At least towards the end Gaarder straight up admitted that this is a philosophy textbook that is disguised as a novel. If one is going to disguise a p ...more
Dec 18, 2014
Nov 07, 2014
The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation
As a constitutional scholar, I picked up this book with some trepidation about how it was going to portray the history and content of the Constitution ...more
Jun 19, 2013
Jun 18, 2013
Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World
I definitely love the idea of this book, but I found many of the projects a little too off-the-grid for what I'm willing or able to try at this point. ...more
Apr 2012
Apr 15, 2012
Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays
I can't tell whether to give more credit to Biss or to her editor, but this set of essays is some of the best crafted language I have ever read. Biss ...more
Dec 29, 2014
Dec 18, 2014
Batman: The Killing Joke
Although I have read a fair few graphic novels now, I am not a comic book reader. This, in fact, was my first superhero graphic novel read (though of ...more
Oct 12, 2013
Oct 18, 2013
The Lottery and Other Stories
3.5 stars, more precisely. Oh, hell, let's go crazy. 3.75.

Since it seemed that everyone knew the story of "The Lottery," I wondered if I had read it
Oct 16, 2014
Oct 16, 2014
My take-away impression of this set of graphic vignettes that mostly revolve around fairly mundane glimpses into her life and motherhood, is that this ...more
Apr 09, 2014
Apr 09, 2014
How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint Of Everything
I had several worries going into this book. The first was that it was going to be a dull litany of statistics that I would soon glaze over (mind you, ...more
Dec 05, 2012
Dec 04, 2012
The Red Diary/The Re[a]d Diary
3.5 stars.
I read The Red Diary first, and then The Re[a]d Diary, which meant that I did not come to Steven Seagle's explanation of the stories' juxtap
Jun 21, 2013
Jun 18, 2013
A Little Princess
I have a vague recollection of being handed this book to read as a child and loving it. But I don't think I got to finish it before having to give it ...more
May 21, 2015
May 17, 2015
The Complete Maus (Maus, #1-2)
3.5 stars.
I liked this book. I thought the juxtaposition of Vladek Spiegelman's story of the Holocaust and Arthur Spiegelman's experiences with his a
Jun 27, 2013
Jun 18, 2013
You're Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations
Michael Ian Black is VERY frank about his life and its very normal, even banal problems in this memoir. Oh, you and your wife fight about chores? Your ...more
Feb 17, 2014
Feb 17, 2014
Various Thoughts On Americanah.

This novel is a sort of primer to Americans, perhaps especially to white Americans, on some of the experiences and thou
Jan 22, 2015
Jan 08, 2015
Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter
Whatever Kahn's intended purpose was with this book, it did not mesh with what I was looking for. I am just beginning to explore the idea that I may p ...more
Mar 06, 2014
Feb 20, 2014
The 100 Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul
I am a huge proponent of simple living and buying only what I really need. I was excited to read this book because it seemed to fit my philosophy perf ...more
Aug 08, 2012
Aug 14, 2012
This is both a 5-star and a 3-star book in my mind, so I guess I'll call it a 4, even though that's not really what I mean.

I wish I had first read it
Feb 20, 2015
Sep 11, 2012
The Turn of the Screw
I just finished reading this book, but I had to go read the Wikipedia entry about it to make sure I hadn't missed some crucial plot element somewhere ...more
Oct 19, 2014
Sep 06, 2014
The Handmaid's Tale
4.5 stars.

A terrifying dystopia second only to 1984 in the level of horror and control its author imagines. It is also the only dystopia I know of tha
Mar 06, 2015
Feb 26, 2015
A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1)
Confession: I never read this book, or any Madeleine L'Engle, as a child. My brother loved it, which I took as a clear sign that it was obviously horr ...more
Jul 2013
Jul 01, 2013
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
I wanted to give this book five stars. I really did, because I really enjoyed reading it. Michael Pollan is an engaging writer who makes me want to ge ...more
Sep 08, 2012
May 01, 2012
Notes from a Small Island
This is the sixth book by Bill Bryson that I've read, and it is easily my least favorite. I normally find his combination of gruffness and wonderment ...more
Mar 13, 2014
Sep 12, 2012
Heidi (Heidi, #1)
I loved this book! Despite being its namesake, I had never read the real story. I had a picture book version as a kid that I vaguely remembered a girl ...more
Jan 22, 2013
Jan 01, 2013
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
"I love Harry Potter!"

Really, could there be any less original review out there about any more ridiculously over-read book? I'll answer my own questio
Jul 2007
Aug 28, 2007
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
General methods--good. Anthropomorphizing all your stuff, talking to it, making sure you don't hurt its feelings, and being sure not to leave it at th ...more
Mar 22, 2015
Mar 22, 2015
Unaccustomed Earth
Jhumpa Lahiri sure does know how to express the dilemmas of the human condition. Each story in her collection focuses on a Bengali-American family, an ...more
Nov 03, 2013
Oct 28, 2013
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