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The Beast in the Garden: A Modern Parable of Man and Nature
4.01
Very few authors can take a real event, announce at the beginning what happens (a cougar kills a human near Boulder, Colorado), and then recount a ser ...more
not set
Mar 14, 2009
 
The Autobiography of Michel de Montaigne
4.13
Lowenthal has constructed an interesting pseudo-autobiography of Montaigne by picking snippets of his essays/travel writings and organizing them into ...more
not set
Nov 15, 2009
 
Quiet, Please: Dispatches From A Public Librarian
3.16
I almost gave up after a few pages because, hey, I work in a public library, and much of what Douglas was saying was not how things really worked in m ...more
not set
May 20, 2009
 
Danger's Hour: The Story of the USS Bunker Hill and the Kamikaze Pilot Who Crippled Her
4.07
Even if the author often slips into moments where he jumps between paragraphs without any transition, the amount of research he put into this work is ...more
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Mar 26, 2009
 
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
3.71
Barbery's portrayal of the frumpy/intellectual concierge is unforgettable. Some excellent observations on French class differences and its society (co ...more
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Jul 21, 2009
 
Everything Bad is Good for You
3.48
I wish I had read this book earlier so that I could have been prepared to understand better both sides of this argument (I have read so many more othe ...more
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Jan 25, 2009
 
Punching In: The Unauthorized Adventures of a Front-Line Employee
3.25
You will never look at a UPS delivery driver, Gap salesperson, or Starbucks barista again after reading this insightful book about various service job ...more
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May 20, 2009
 
Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief
4.03
For those interested in anything associated with Lincoln, this book will not disappoint; it demonstrates once again Lincoln's courage, humility, and w ...more
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Feb 05, 2009
 
River-Horse: A Voyage Across America
3.84
Even if Heat-Moon's retelling of his cross-country voyage via rivers does tend to be a bit longer than necessary, his tale is never really dull. Besid ...more
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Jul 02, 2009
 
Strides: Running Through History With an Unlikely Athlete
3.45
Ben Cheever just is not that good of an author (and he does feel the pressure of having a famous father): his paragraphs are choppy, they lack transit ...more
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Oct 06, 2009
 
Paris: The Secret History
3.80
This story of Paris will best be enjoyed by readers who already know a lot about the city and the lives it touched. The anecdotes are fascinating, but ...more
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Feb 23, 2009
 
A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveller
3.54
Don't read this book if you want an interesting "story" because it is more a collection of incidents and reflections. You may even get annoyed at Fran ...more
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Feb 05, 2009
 
Dante's Inferno
3.97
It takes time to find a good translation of Dante, one that does not make the poem incomprehensible trying to imitate its 14th-century Tuscan-dialect ...more
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Feb 23, 2009
 
An Area of Darkness
3.69
I chose this work from a list of the "10 Best Travel Books of All Time," and perhaps the heightened anticipation ruined my enjoyment. I found Naipaul ...more
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Apr 26, 2009
 
Titanic's Last Secrets: The Further Adventures of Shadow Divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler
3.81
Don't expect this book to be anything like the excellent Shadow Divers. And don't expect anything much from Chatterton and Kohler because they almost ...more
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Mar 26, 2009
 
The War of the Worlds
3.76
Wells again impresses me with both his ability to understand mankind and his capacity to "observe" our behavior in projected situations (i.e., attack ...more
not set
Aug 15, 2009
 
Head Cases: Stories of Brain Injury and Its Aftermath
3.88
If the author did not so often seem so self-conscious of his writing style (he attempts to be more lyrical than many situations deserve), I would have ...more
not set
Jan 17, 2009
 
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
3.97
A true tale of greatness and evil co-existing in this world. The stories of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and the first famous serial killer in U.S. h ...more
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Jan 17, 2009
 
Moveable Feasts: From Ancient Rome to the 21st Century, the Incredible Journeys of the Food We Eat
3.40
I assumed this book was going to be mainly about how our food is transported from farm or field to market -- but it is actually a series of food-centr ...more
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Mar 14, 2009
 
Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings
4.23
The more one looks at Mark Twain, the more one appreciates his entire contribution to literature. The great modern observers of humanity (e.g., Vonneg ...more
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Apr 26, 2009
 
The Customer Is Always Wrong: The Retail Chronicles
2.96
Some 21 short essays by different authors who loosely write on their interesting (often bad) experiences in retail sales. The quality varies widely, a ...more
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Mar 14, 2009
 
The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom
4.17
An enthralling tale of seven prisoners who escape from a Siberian labor camp and attempt to walk thousands of miles to freedom -- recounted many years ...more
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Mar 06, 2009
 
Mark Twain
4.15
This biography of a great author does exactly what is should: it inspires the reader to want to know even more about the author, and it especially ins ...more
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Apr 26, 2009
 
The Journal of Hélène Berr
4.01
A journal kept by a young French woman living in Paris during WWII who, as a Jew, slowly became aware of where the increasingly restrictive policies w ...more
not set
Jan 25, 2009
 
We'll Always Have Paris: Sex & Love in the City of Light
3.33
Is it a book on the author's charming experiences with his own French love or is it an interesting excursion into the sex and love (mainly sex) trivia ...more
not set
Nov 24, 2009
 
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World
3.81
Once I became used to the author's often forced attempts to be funny (which were rather embarrassing), I enjoyed the rest of his character that comes ...more
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Apr 26, 2009
 
A Bell for Adano
3.96
A quaint book that intersperses the comic with the tragic well enough to make you believe that the author was an excellent observer of all things huma ...more
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Sep 04, 2009
 
Gulliver's Travels
3.53
Sanitized versions, abridged editions, and children's cartoons have certainly given most modern readers an incorrect idea of what Swift was trying to ...more
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Nov 15, 2009
 
Stylized: A Slightly Obsessive History of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style
3.76
I expected to like this more. The story behind the creation of "The Elements of Style" is interesting for any fan of the work. Worth the read, perhaps ...more
not set
Dec 06, 2009
 
Wind, Sand and Stars
4.20
I don't think I have ever read this in English before, but the translation (Lewis Galantiere) was excellent, and Saint-Exupery's unique prose does see ...more
not set
Jul 02, 2009
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