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Men in the Sun and Other Palestinian Stories
Men in the Sun is the most interesting of the stories - there's structure in the three refugees from three generations, a stream-of-consciousness styl ...more
Aug 28, 2008
Jun 30, 2008
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
I couldn't make it through the entire book - just not a fan of the memoir/self-help/pop psychology/popular science genres, particularly the lack of ri ...more
Jan 13, 2013
Jan 13, 2013
Kafka on the Shore
Murakami said that the secret to understanding this novel lies in reading it multiple times. After my second reading, I couldn't agree more. It's a st ...more
Jun 29, 2008
May 06, 2007
The Portrait of a Lady
Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady is a great novel about a great heroine. I don’t mean “great” in the usual sense, as it is (over)used. I mean "grea ...more
Jan 06, 2013
Oct 04, 2012
The Manual of Detection
Forget the comparisons to Borges and Kafka. I liked this book the same way I liked the movie Inception: I sort of get what happened and I enjoyed it e ...more
Jun 21, 2011
Jun 22, 2011
Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany
part restaurant expose (a la kitchen confidential), part mario batali fanboying, part memoir, part food history and philosophy, and all hea(r)t. it dr ...more
Mar 2007
Apr 04, 2007
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Good old fashioned Victorian gothic and cautionary tale. Would've benefited from an editor with Dorian's lethal instincts to trim down some of the mor ...more
May 29, 2010
May 29, 2010
After Dark
At its strongest, Murakami's brand of surrealism is elusive, imaginative, dreamlike; at its weakest, incomplete and frustrating. For me, After Dark fi ...more
Mar 28, 2008
Jan 18, 2008
The Razor's Edge
Very readable story with the loose and episodic feel of a vignette. A great study in character: the novel feels populated by real people, as maddening ...more
Jul 27, 2010
Jul 21, 2010
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
A Capote-like retelling of a grisly double murder becomes a window into the history of Mormon fundamentalism in the United States. I think the author' ...more
Jun 15, 2008
May 06, 2007
Wide Sargasso Sea
One of the strangest books I've ever read, like being thrust into the small dark crawl space of a madwoman's mind. The language almost vibrates with m ...more
Feb 16, 2009
Feb 16, 2009
A Year in Provence
Funny, warm, and colorful account of a British transplant who packs up and makes house in Provence. It may indulge in all the Provencal stereotypes, b ...more
May 26, 2009
May 26, 2009
Super Sad True Love Story
True, check; love story, check; super sad, ehhh...two out of three's not bad. The satire is spot-on, and Shteyngart's sincere affection for New York C ...more
Nov 16, 2010
Jul 18, 2010
Rabbit, Run (Rabbit Angstrom, #1)
A guy book, through and through, and one I think I will like better ten years from now. The trick to this one is that Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom is as un ...more
Jun 08, 2008
Jun 03, 2008
Great Expectations
His characters are flat and his coincidences are multitudinous, yet Dickens oftentimes manages to be readable. This is not one of those times. Pip is ...more
Mar 04, 2011
Jan 06, 2011
Special Topics in Calamity Physics
Too clever by half but 100% enjoyable, especially thanks to a sucker-punch ending that made my eyes suspiciously misty. Some may find the references t ...more
Jan 28, 2008
Dec 18, 2007
Brideshead Revisited
It's not hard to understand why they made this into a movie (again). Beyond the appeal of the period piece, Waugh is a master of the montage and of ch ...more
Jan 19, 2009
Jul 26, 2008
The Raw Shark Texts
This book has the unique status of being both derivative and highly original at the same time, what you'd get if you threw together Moby Dick, Jaws, P ...more
Oct 31, 2008
Oct 29, 2008
my patience only took me through the first two-thirds, after which V. broke me with its relentlessly non-linear post-modern narrative. still, i liked ...more
Aug 2006
Apr 09, 2007
If on a winter's night a traveler
It's ironic that I hated reading so much of a novel that is principally about, and for, those who love to read. But the parts I loved, I loved fiercel ...more
Dec 23, 2008
Dec 14, 2008
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
A necessary notch in the belt for all limousine liberals and a fantastic read on the politics and economics of eating. Deserves every star except the ...more
Feb 19, 2008
May 07, 2007
Out Stealing Horses
There's a lot going on underneath what feels at first like the very simple story of a man in the twilight of his life who has exiled himself in the lo ...more
Mar 14, 2008
Nov 29, 2007
Never Let Me Go
Less really is more. Ishiguro's prose, so careful and so controlled to the point of blandness, is the perfect delivery mechanism for the sensationalis ...more
Oct 2010
Jul 11, 2010
The Cement Garden
I find it hard to believe that McEwan wrote both this and Atonement, but the hints are there. This coarse, pornographic first novel(la) is only intere ...more
May 15, 2008
May 19, 2008
The Road
Dammit, Oprah.

This is language at the end-of-the-world, sparse and violent and brutal and urgent, that demands to be read. Tells a simple story but as
Jan 17, 2008
Jan 13, 2008
How Fiction Works
I can't help but love a book about how the novel - that most ambitious of literary pursuits - works, by an author who clearly loves so much to read, a ...more
Nov 30, 2013
Nov 15, 2008
The Ruby in the Smoke (Sally Lockhart, #1)
You can't help but make comparisons to His Dark Materials - the material here is thinner, flatter, and (if you want to be uncharitable) lazier - but d ...more
Oct 09, 2008
Oct 08, 2008
California: A History
A survey of California history that sacrifices depth for reach, and so about halfway through it becomes a bit of a mind-numbing recital of facts.
Jun 30, 2010
Jun 18, 2010
The Cave
the only book i ever read whose last page changed my mind about it. it's mind-blowingly dull and interesting, a painfully transparent allegory on the ...more
May 2006
Apr 09, 2007
Salmonella Men on Planet Porno: Stories
Uneven collection of short stories that, when successful, imaginatively combines satire, farce, slapstick, and the absurd - and, when not, feels like ...more
Jul 12, 2009
Jun 02, 2009
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