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The Boys of Summer
I tried to read this book when I was much younger (maybe 8th grade?) and couldn't get through it. Now I know why -- it's not a book for a 13-year-old. ...more
Sep 14, 2009
Aug 28, 2009
A pretty amazing climax is the high point of this Conrad novel, which explores love and identity on a remote island.
There's a lot to dislike about th
Oct 27, 2013
Sep 15, 2013
Les Misérables
Brilliant. Epic and wonderful and complicated and full of everything, I loved this one.
It's crazy long -- took me more than 60 hours to listen to it -
Dec 31, 2012
Nov 01, 2012
Hope Against Hope: Three Schools, One City, and the Struggle to Educate America's Children
Fascinating to read about a world you're working in -- and to know some of the characters in the book.
Carr's reporting is terrific -- all the scenes
Apr 30, 2013
May 05, 2013
Lila (Gilead, #3)
Robinson remains my favorite living author.
I found this book fascinating but challenging. The impressionistic prose was sometimes difficult for me to
Nov 2014
Nov 11, 2014
Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town
This book is a fascinating look inside both the history of a small Texas town and the current state of American criminal justice. It shows how messed ...more
Nov 30, 2008
Nov 03, 2008
One Summer: America, 1927
I am firmly in the target audience for this book. I like Bill Bryson, am very interested in the 1920s, and also find both Charles Lindbergh and baseba ...more
Dec 18, 2013
Dec 07, 2013
Tuning the Rig: A Journey to the Arctic
Story of the author, who decided to sail on a tall ship that was doing arctic research and whale watching/research.
I learned a lot about life at sea a
May 2014
Apr 29, 2014
The Lowland
Lahiri is tremendous.
This book traces the stories of Subhash and Udayan, brothers who grow up in India, and their families.
Lahiri is able to create su
Aug 07, 2014
Jul 18, 2014
The Goldfinch
Completely engrossing all the way through. This story of a boy, a painting, and just about everything else you could possibly think of is full of twis ...more
Jan 26, 2014
Dec 18, 2013
Ended up thinking this one was terrific. It starts with a very dense section where it is difficult (for me, at least) to figure out the nuts and bolts ...more
Apr 2014
Apr 06, 2014
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Really excellent. There's a lot to think about here -- one of many books that makes me wish I could sit around with a group of people and discuss it ( ...more
Nov 03, 2012
Oct 21, 2012
The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
I really didn't like this book. Ravitch is a gifted writer and makes several interesting points, but the overall tone is really negative and repetitiv ...more
Oct 23, 2010
Oct 23, 2010
Don Juan
I've been reading this book for over a year and finally finished it over this break. I was often entertained, often a little bored, and at times aston ...more
Dec 2007
Aug 27, 2007
Runner Of The Mountain Tops: The Life Of Louis Agassiz
This book, even though I am only giving it 2 stars, was actually charming. Robinson clearly loves Agassiz, flaws and all. She can't help knowing that ...more
Jan 20, 2013
Jan 01, 2013
The Fault in Our Stars
Tremendous. As the AV Club's review said, a book about two teenagers meeting each other at a cancer support group could be maudlin or feel manipulativ ...more
Mar 31, 2013
Apr 08, 2013
This is How You Die: Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death (Machine of Death #2)
Highly entertaining and superior to the previous (also good) collection.
From the shared premise, the stories spin out in really interesting directions
Sep 08, 2014
Dec 26, 2013
A Selection of Poems
This one's tricky, because I actually love some of the poems in here. Yeah, the punctuation and capitalization
ent and a little
Oct 05, 2009
Sep 09, 2009
The Fire Next Time
Powerful and vivid. Baldwin is, as I'd been promised, a confident, searing writer. I can't hope to improve on his insights as he describes America's f ...more
May 26, 2014
May 24, 2014
The Matchlock Gun
So I was talking to Courtney about this one, a short story about a young boy (spoilers, I guess) killing three American Indians who were attacking his ...more
Apr 06, 2012
Apr 08, 2012
The Children in Room E4: American Education on Trial
This book read smoothly, and Eaton's a strong writer and reporter. It held special interest to me since it's about Connecticut, and it's quite relevan ...more
Aug 24, 2009
Aug 23, 2009
Criss Cross
I loved this book. It says something about an author's ability to create character when my favorite chapter was about the 8th-or-so most important cha ...more
Jan 2008
Jan 09, 2008
Hope and Despair in the American City: Why There Are No Bad Schools in Raleigh
This book read really smoothly (I was impressed with the quality of Grant's prose) and had lots of interesting ideas. I didn't know much at all about ...more
Oct 02, 2009
Sep 27, 2009
Prague Winter
I really knew very little about the involvement of Czechoslovakia in the run-up to WWII and during WWII, so I found this book fascinating. Albright do ...more
Dec 25, 2012
Dec 20, 2012
The Age of Innocence
Courtney described Wharton as like a blacksmith, using heat and pressure to forge the characters. I think that's apt, and Wharton does an exceptional ...more
Feb 12, 2012
Feb 07, 2012
Liar's Poker
This book sure is a doozy of a read against the current financial backdrop of our country! I like Michael Lewis a lot, and enjoyed this book, but ther ...more
Feb 25, 2009
Feb 18, 2009
Brideshead Revisited
For some reason, I'm thinking of this book as something of a detective story. Who is the culprit responsible for the unraveling of the clan at Bridesh ...more
May 25, 2014
May 17, 2014
Here's where I have to say something about the star ratings. Because they're relative to expectations, or type of book, or something like that. I real ...more
Jan 22, 2012
Jan 16, 2012
Death and the King's Horseman: A Play
A thought-provoking, exciting, and multi-layered play -- it was definitely challenging, though, and I know it would be well worth re-reading; I enjoye ...more
Mar 11, 2009
Mar 13, 2009
The End of War
Really fascinating stuff. Horgan's an engaging and warm guide through a lot of thought-provoking material (studies of tribes and warfare, chimps, mode ...more
Feb 23, 2012
Feb 19, 2012
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