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Thérèse Raquin
This was my first e-book -- the dealer gave me an iPad when I leased my car, and since I was heading out of town I decided to try it out by downloadin ...more
Aug 02, 2014
Jul 30, 2014
Waiting for the Barbarians
And then there're those days when you're like, "Who gives a shit about distance running, and why would I want to watch anyone run a fucking marathon?" ...more
not set
Dec 17, 2008
Don Quixote
I really regret leaving my edition of this book on the curb when I moved out of that Brooklyn apartment. I was like, "Oh, super translation and lovely ...more
Jan 2004
Oct 08, 2007
A Book of Common Prayer
This starts out feeling like one of those Deborah Eisenberg stories set in a made-up Central American country, but pretty soon you orient yourself and ...more
not set
May 05, 2014
Infinite Jest
I'm adding this on here as a sort of cautionary tale, because I've been thinking a lot about endings.

Note to aspiring authors: If you're planning to w
Jan 1997
Oct 02, 2007
Shah of Shahs
In a brief exchange with Elizabeth just now about King Leopold's Ghost, I admitted that books like that one make me feel I need a novel afterwards, to ...more
Apr 18, 2012
Apr 10, 2012
Wanted Women: Faith, Lies, and the War on Terror: The Lives of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Aafia Siddiqui
This was really interesting, and at some point I'd like to read her other book Emma's War, which looks like a similar approach but with a more limited ...more
Jan 02, 2014
Dec 16, 2013
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
I'm still not sure if this was a great book or a terrible book to read while 38-weeks pregnant. I didn't go looking for Far from the Tree, but I came ...more
Sep 22, 2014
Sep 20, 2014
Motherless Brooklyn
I'd always planned on really loving this book, not sure why or how that started but it was probably when Fortress of Solitude came out and I really lo ...more
not set
Dec 07, 2007
The Year of Magical Thinking
For me this book was all about the tension between my hateful, all-consuming envy of Joan Didion for being a rich, brilliant, famous, cool, successful ...more
Dec 2007
Sep 26, 2007
Kristy's Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club, #1)
I can't rate these books, because giving a bad rating would be a lie -- I was crazy about them when I read them -- but giving them a good rating would ...more
Jan 1989
Nov 13, 2007
Venus in Furs
If I remember correctly, this book was stupid. It also seems to have contributed to a lot of ridiculous behavior, and has led indirectly to many horre ...more
Jan 1993
Dec 13, 2007
How to Breathe Underwater
Thick, THICK description, very tangible scenes that she puts you in and really makes you see and feel and smell, etc. Great writing. Subject matter of ...more
not set
Sep 11, 2010
The Federalist Papers
I don't know who's a bigger jackass: me, for never having so much as peeped at these, or the grownps at all the various schools I've attended, for not ...more
not set
Nov 27, 2008
Birds of America
One of my main strategies for dealing with life is, "If I don't laugh, I'll cry."

I think Lorrie Moore's strategy is to make me do both.
not set
Sep 30, 2007
The Crisis: The President, the Prophet & the Shah-1979 & the Coming of Militant Islam
I was born in 1979, and the Iranian Revolution and hostage crisis occupy a blind spot between the history I learned in school and what I remember happ ...more
Apr 16, 2012
Mar 11, 2012
The New Basics: A-to-Z Baby & Child Care for the Modern Parent
Michel Cohen is a trendy New York celebrity pediatrician after my own heart! Basically, this book is just the common sense set of answers I want to he ...more
Nov 28, 2014
Nov 26, 2014
Garner's Modern American Usage
Thanks, Dan! Receiving this book justified my having dragged myself out last night, and made the long G-to-the-A trek home totally bearable, even the ...more
Jun 28, 2008
Jun 22, 2008
The Buddha in the Attic
Today was Julie Otsuka day at Jessica's house. This morning I read her amazing short story "Diem Perdidi" and cried my eyes out; I just hadn't been th ...more
not set
Nov 17, 2013
Willful Creatures
I'm not sure I can star-rate books of short fiction. Some of these stories (e.g., "Off") I loved so much that I nearly cried when I read them, while o ...more
Sep 21, 2010
Sep 17, 2010
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
This is an essential read if you're pregnant and filled not just with fetus but with a fundamental doubt, as I was, that you're physically or mentally ...more
Jun 2014
Sep 26, 2014
The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues
This is a sophisticated mystery that takes little readers seriously. I read about a trillion Agatha Christies when I was a child, and those are writte ...more
Jan 1991
Nov 16, 2007
Healing Anger: The Power of Patience from a Buddhist Perspective
Back in social work school, my buddy Anthony recommended this book to help me deal with my subway rage; he said it'd really helped him, and Anthony al ...more
not set
Oct 02, 2007
Lovely Me: The Life of Jacqueline Susann
This was not a proper biography; it was a collection of information and anecdotes about Jacqueline Susann, fabulous authoress of the literary classic ...more
not set
Apr 04, 2008
In Persuasion Nation
I'm sure this has been said before, but Madison Avenue suffered a grave loss when this guy decided to go into fiction.

I really enjoyed all the stories
not set
Dec 14, 2010
So remember that time I encouraged all the other kids to jump off a bridge, and they did, and actually a lot of them wound up really enjoying it, and ...more
not set
Apr 15, 2009
The Return of the Soldier
In many ways this book is old-fashioned, romantic nearly to the point of being sentimental. It's also great and I breathed it all in in one sitting (i ...more
not set
Oct 07, 2013
A Cup of Water Under My Bed: A Memoir
I always was (and remain) deeply envious of kids who grew up bilingual, who had parents at home who spoke something more interesting than English. Tho ...more
Nov 28, 2014
Nov 26, 2014
At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well
I find this book unbelievably irritating, but the fact that I love it anyway shows how good it is.

I was in a major cooking rut and really wanted a coo
not set
Mar 15, 2015
Not a Chance: Fictions
I feel shockingly fortunate to have read this book right after the Susan Minot, because the contrast between them helped me clarify some of my thought ...more
Apr 2008
Apr 01, 2008