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The Transcriptionist: A Novel
3.38
This is an interesting book but also not entirely satisfying. It's almost like an extended poem embedded in a novel. The premise, and some of the stor...more
Aug 06, 2014
Aug 06, 2014
 
Heart of Darkness
3.41
The lushness of the language, and the rich descriptions are very powerful. I was not entirely satisfied with the story, because I couldn't quite under...more
Jun 17, 2014
Jun 21, 2014
 
Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
3.57
This is an amazing book! I only picked it up (at the library) because someone had recommended it to me, and I happened to see it on the shelf. I didn'...more
Jun 16, 2011
Jun 03, 2011
 
Away
3.33
**spoiler alert** Jewish immigrant, Lillian Leyb, arrives in NYC early 1900s, from tragedy - the massacre of the rest of her family. But she's a survi...more
May 2008
May 22, 2011
 
The Brilliant Disaster: JFK, Castro, and America's Doomed Invasion of Cuba's Bay of Pigs
4.14
Fascinating. Very well written, and even-handed. Highly recommended
Aug 08, 2011
Aug 09, 2011
 
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
4.02
**spoiler alert** Set in mid 1800s China, the story of a poor girl who marries well and becomes prominent, and well-off. One chapter details her foot-...more
Apr 2008
Jun 02, 2011
 
Allies of the Earth: Railroads and the Soul of Preservation
3.71
Lyrical ode to railroads and emphatic call to bring them back. While I think he misses making some arguments, allowing that trains might NOT be cheape...more
Sep 2008
May 21, 2011
 
Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
4.09
Amazing, fascinating book about the end of the "horse tribes", esp. the Commanche in the west. An unromanticized, brutally honest view of the Indians...more
May 20, 2011
May 21, 2011
 
The Dive From Clausen's Pier
3.38
**spoiler alert** Heart-rending. Young woman's boyfriend is paralyzed. She moves to NY and has love affair with older man, but then returns home to vi...more
Jan 2005
May 21, 2011
 
Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)
3.80
Mantel imagines the inner and outer life of Thomas Cromwell, close advisor to Henry VIII in great detail. Novel ends when Anne Boelyn still married to...more
Apr 2010
May 22, 2011
 
The Missing
3.81
Beautiful story of missing family members that opens in Europe just after WWI has ended. Main character is supposed to help clean up unexploded weapon...more
Jan 2010
May 22, 2011
 
The Husband's Secret
3.89
I couldn't put it down. A little frustrating in the beginning as the first three chapters introduce 3 different sets of people, but they do all become...more
Sep 05, 2013
Sep 05, 2013
 
Gone Girl
3.93
Impossible to put down. This was a study of people and relationships (husband/wife, parent/child, siblings) in the form of a murder mystery. Very comp...more
Jan 26, 2014
Jan 26, 2014
 
When the Emperor Was Divine
3.65
Japanese family in Berkeley is sent to Japanese camp in desert. Told from 4 pts of view-Mother, Daughter, Son, and finally, briefly, the father. No on...more
Oct 2007
Jun 02, 2011
 
The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream
4.03
Excellent, wide-ranging history of the CA gold rush with details about the trips people took to get to CA, John Fremont, William Sherman, the first ra...more
Feb 2011
May 21, 2011
 
Conquering Gotham: A Gilded Age Epic: The Construction of Penn Station and Its Tunnels
3.82
Fascinating story and beautifully written. Thinking of the men who dug those tunnels, working under the river 8 hrs per day, 6 days per week, the "mud...more
Apr 2008
May 21, 2011
 
Still Standing: A Century of Urban Train Station Design
4.00
Great subject, and good overview with inspiring photos. Demonstrates the sad decline of the railroad in America, and how many of the great stations he...more
Dec 31, 2012
Dec 31, 2012
 
The Painted Girls
3.61
I picked up this book because the concept was so interesting-writing about a ballet girl painted by Degas. The story was intriguing and gripping (hard...more
Mar 31, 2013
Mar 31, 2013
 
When She Woke
3.68
This book is extraordinary, exploring a vision of a harsh, and too believable future that yet manages to provide great beauty and blessing. Thank you,...more
Jan 06, 2013
Jan 06, 2013
 
Cleopatra: A Life
3.60
Excellent book. Acknowledges how much we don't really know about Cleopatra while still drawing a rich and lively portrait of Cleopatra and her times....more
Jul 12, 2011
Jul 12, 2011
 
From the Ground Up: The Business of Building in the Age of Money
4.29
About building of Rincon Center in S.F. Very interesting - addresses issues of historic preservation, financing, and how a project like this really ge...more
Jan 2013
Jan 18, 2014
 
Awake in the Dark
3.96
Stories about children of Holocaust victims and how their lives intersect with the Nazi's/Germans. Four short stories and one very long. Three of the...more
May 2007
May 22, 2011
 
The Inn at Lake Devine
3.76
Another winner by Elinor Lipman - I love her humor and her appreciation of and respect for her characters. Can't wait to read more by this author.
Jul 13, 2013
Jul 13, 2013
 
The Aig Story
3.33
Very interesting history of the company, and eye-opening review of Spitzer's and later the Feds inappropriate treatment of the company. Is the book bi...more
Mar 14, 2014
Mar 17, 2014
 
Frank Lloyd Wright's Stained Glass: Stained Glass & Lightscreens
3.50
Puts Frank Lloyd Wright's window designs in the context of historical windows, and other windows of his times. Very interesting.
Feb 2014
Feb 05, 2014
 
The Invisible Bridge
4.19
Very moving and powerful. A few false notes, but overall very strong in a very long book. A story of romance and strong family ties.
Nov 2010
Jun 02, 2011
 
Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis
4.12
Fascinating and very moving story; excellent writing by Timothy Egan. My husband and I both loved it. Highly recommend this one.
Apr 25, 2013
Apr 25, 2013
 
Zone One
3.25
Interesting and horrifying vision of a future, but could have been shortened as it got a little tedious and repetitive at times.
Jun 15, 2013
Jun 17, 2013
 
The View from Penthouse B
3.53
Clever, entertaining, heart-warming - Loved this book and loved (most) of the characters - Wish I could go to NY and meet them.
May 20, 2013
May 20, 2013
 
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
3.92
fascinating, funny, and horrifying, all in one book. Cures me of any remaining childhood wish to be an astronaut!
Apr 20, 2012
Apr 20, 2012
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