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One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd
This is somewhat erroneously in my "read" shelf. I did not finish reading it, so keep that in mind as far as this review goes. I applaud the author's ...more
Dec 2007
Dec 07, 2007
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
As usual, Phillip K. Dick has left me with spirally eyes and a whirring brain. I'd like to give a plot summary, but I'll let someone else do that and ...more
May 21, 2008
Jan 08, 2008
The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana tells of an antiquarian book dealer who has suffered a stroke and lost all memory of the people in and events of h ...more
Aug 16, 2008
Jul 16, 2008
A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange is not a morality play, but it bears enough of a resemblance to one that it seems worthwhile to consider it, provisionally, in thos ...more
Dec 03, 2008
Dec 02, 2008
VALIS (VALIS Trilogy, #1)
I hesitate to say this book disappointed me because it actually delighted me in a number of ways - its inventive first person/third person narrative v ...more
Aug 06, 2008
Jul 24, 2008
The Puppet Masters
I have no problem with dated things. I do not hold against a past time its inability to miraculously speak to my present. I enjoy trying to crawl into ...more
Jan 04, 2009
Dec 30, 2008
Ancient Evenings
In a recent post on my blog, I spent a good deal of time discussing how ancient Egypt receives a disproportionate amount of popular attention as far a ...more
Dec 25, 2011
Aug 25, 2008
The Forge of God (Forge of God, #1)
With its pacing and readability, The Forge of God reminded me of a Michael Crichton novel - the kind of science fiction story where scientific plausib ...more
Sep 14, 2008
Aug 28, 2008
Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings
I made it about 270 pages through this 400+-page book before calling it quits, and I experienced a bit of guilt at dropping out when I did. I like thi ...more
Sep 09, 2008
Aug 26, 2008
When They Severed Earth from Sky: How the Human Mind Shapes Myth
This is an enthralling exploration of mythmaking and how pre-literate human minds made sense of their world. As an avid history nerd, I have had innum ...more
Oct 12, 2008
Sep 24, 2008
The Canterbury Tales
Entire literary journals are dedicated to the works of Chaucer, so it's hard to know how to say anything worthwhile about his most famous book. I'll s ...more
Nov 09, 2014
Dec 18, 2008
The Night Land
Critics have repeatedly pointed out the imperfections of this novel. Curiously, The Night Land's critics are frequently its fans as well. That ought t ...more
Oct 06, 2008
Feb 04, 2008
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Jared Diamond offers a lot of really credible, interesting data in Guns, Germs and Steel concerning the development of sedentary lifestyles, of plant ...more
Dec 2012
Nov 30, 2007
Art and Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light
The full title of this book is Art and Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time and Light and it was written by a surgeon. I point out this last detai ...more
Oct 06, 2009
Sep 16, 2009
The Didascalicon of Hugh of Saint Victor: A Medieval Guide to the Arts
This book absolutely blew my mind. It is a didactic manual written for medieval scholars by a monk on the topic of memory. Medieval scholars lived in ...more
Jan 2004
Dec 07, 2007
The Postcolonial Middle Ages
I think this book is so grand, here's an essay I wrote about it:

A persistent conundrum of historical inquiry lies in whether a pattern or trend inhere
Apr 03, 2011
Jan 10, 2011
Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages
Umberto Eco wrote this short treatise 50-some years ago. It was re-released in the 80s (after the success of Name of the Rose, I hazard the guess?) in ...more
Sep 25, 2013
Sep 24, 2013
Living with the Dead in the Middle Ages
Patrick Geary, as a historian, focuses on the Carolingian period in what would become France and Germany, though he’s obviously conversant with mediev ...more
Jan 15, 2015
Jan 03, 2015
The Cave Painters: Probing the Mysteries of the World's First Artists
If, like myself, you are a neophyte at thinking about prehistory, then I have a proposition for you: Try to imagine 30,000 years of human history. And ...more
Nov 21, 2008
Nov 20, 2008
Ansichten eines Clowns: Roman
Heinrich Böll is one of the first German-language authors who really spoke to me as a college German student. Certainly, he writes in straightforward ...more
Sep 06, 2009
Oct 17, 2008
Letters from the East: Crusaders, Pilgrims and Settlers in the 12th-13th Centuries
Collected in this volume are 82 letters dating from the years 1097 to 1306 that pertain to the European experience in the Levant during the Crusades. ...more
Apr 29, 2014
Apr 28, 2011
Gone Girl
**spoiler alert** This novel has been so well read and reviewed, I won't worry about a plot synopsis. I do offer a few comments regarding my encounter ...more
Jun 2013
Jun 24, 2013
The Letters of the Younger Pliny
This collection offers a rare, personal take on life in the late classical world. Pliny the Younger writes on everything from political issues to etiq ...more
Jan 2001
Dec 07, 2007
Carthage: Uncovering the Mysteries and Splendors of Ancient Tunisia
Carthage is not a bad general introduction to the history of this ancient civilization. It is from the late 20th century, however, and it feels even o ...more
Feb 17, 2015
Feb 03, 2015
The Comanche Empire
This is a really thorough, fascinating look at a much neglected part of American history. Tracing the rise and fall of Comanche power in the southern ...more
May 16, 2015
Apr 09, 2015
The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2)
I began with book 2 of Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories because I was given it as a gift. Jumping into the middle of the saga did not dampen my experi ...more
Feb 06, 2014
Jan 13, 2014
Martha Washington: An American Life
I'm stashing this book on my "unfinished" shelf for now. It's really rather enjoyable, fleshed out with lots of anecdotes and period cultural stuff (c ...more
Jul 18, 2008
Jul 16, 2008
The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity
The Name of War is a thematically-structured meditation on the violent and significant conflict known as King Philip's War, fought between English col ...more
Jun 27, 2013
Jun 24, 2013
The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1)
In order to really dissect my reaction to The Gunslinger, or really to any Stephen King book, I find it useful to distinguish a writer from a storytel ...more
Jan 2009
Jan 07, 2009
The Mummies of Ürümchi
The Mummies of Ürümchi is (a) an intricate discourse on textile production of the first few millennia b.c. (I will never take cloth for granted again! ...more
Sep 19, 2008
Sep 18, 2008
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