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The Signature of All Things
This is a frustrating one, because many of the individual scenes in this novel are just gorgeous. There is a great set piece of the main character (Al ...more
Dec 03, 2013
Dec 03, 2013
This is Where I Leave You
There is essentially nothing redeeming about this novel. Here's a mini-spoiler for you: every encounter between two men ends in a fistfight, and every ...more
Jul 2010
Aug 18, 2010
Super Sad True Love Story
On its merits this probably isn't a one-star book, but it was the least enjoyable reading experience I've had in as long as I can remember, and when a ...more
Aug 13, 2012
Aug 06, 2012
Open City
A quiet, introspective, and yes, boring book that made me feel stupid every time I didn't catch one of its many art history or classical music allusio ...more
Jun 19, 2012
Apr 17, 2012
The Empathy Exams: Essays
Be prepared for punishment, as this is not an easy read. I don't mean that the book is syntactically difficult, or overly dense, or poorly written. I ...more
May 2014
May 14, 2014
The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4)
I understand why this book was revolutionary for its time--eliminating the concept of gender was obviously an enormous and somewhat outrageous idea in ...more
Jan 18, 2014
Mar 19, 2013
The Miracle of Castel di Sangro: A Tale of Passion and Folly in the Heart of Italy
2.5 stars.

This book should've been called Joe McGinniss Goes to Italy So That Joe McGinniss Can Talk to Italians and Report on how They React to Joe M
Apr 2013
Apr 30, 2013
A Fan's Notes
The scenes early in the book where "Exley" is watching the Giants games, are pitch perfect and hysterical. I've never read a more realistic and relata ...more
Mar 25, 2012
Mar 11, 2012
Florence Gordon
Compulsively readable, and endearing without being sentimental, Florence Gordon is a fantastic character study of an aging intellectual powerhouse who ...more
Sep 27, 2014
Sep 08, 2014
The Leftovers
This book had a great premise, but unfortunately there isn't much more to it than the premise. The Leftovers commits the cardinal sin of boredom, focu ...more
Sep 02, 2014
Sep 08, 2014
Is Just a Movie
While I usually go for character-focused narratives that favor depth over breadth, it was obvious early on in this novel that Lovelace wanted to give ...more
Mar 2014
Apr 02, 2014
Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy
There are plenty of solid laughs to be found in this book. I wish there had been a few more, but it's gotta be pretty damn hard to stay funny for 200+ ...more
Apr 2013
Apr 30, 2013
The Patron Saint of Liars
The writing is astonishingly good--this kind of skill is not supposed to be available to a debut novelist. On a sentence, paragraph, and chapter level ...more
Dec 28, 2014
Dec 27, 2014
Night Film
I'm docking this book a star because it was easily two hundred pages too long. Ultimately, I found this novel quite disappointing. I was riveted by Pe ...more
Dec 23, 2013
Oct 27, 2013
Intelligent, original, and hilarious, Ben Lerner's work is a joy to read. I could say that I don't usually go in for fact-as-fiction, or plotless narr ...more
Sep 24, 2014
Sep 25, 2014
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Much as I felt that the portrait of mental illness in The Marriage Plot rang truer than any I'd ever read, so too is Billy Lynn the most true-to-life ...more
Jan 15, 2013
Jan 15, 2013
Someone needs to go back in time and punch my twenty-something (and early thirty-something, for that matter) self in the face for "knowing" that I did ...more
Mar 2014
Apr 07, 2013
A highly entertaining read, and the perfect marriage of plot and characterization. It's hard to discuss exactly how du Maurier pulls this off without ...more
Jul 02, 2014
Jun 24, 2014
Anna Karenina
I've been irrationally angry at this novel for a long time (without having read it), because everyone always quotes its first line--its poetic, smart- ...more
Mar 2015
Apr 08, 2015
The Lola Quartet
This book came together nicely in the final few scenes, but it struck me as too one-note and superficial throughout. All major characters are saddened ...more
Jul 24, 2014
Jul 23, 2014
Shards of Honour  (Vorkosigan Saga, #1)
I'm trying to get back into sci-fi (at least a little), and I've been told that Bujold is an underappreciated master. I started with Shards of Honour, ...more
Jan 2015
Mar 29, 2015
2.5 stars.

While the author is obviously skilled at her craft, this novel should've stayed in the oven a while longer to bake. As it is, it's sadly und
May 14, 2014
May 14, 2014
The Liars' Club
This is a well-written memoir that succeeds in dramatizing each of its individual scenes so that every chapter has a distinct, lived-in feel to it. We ...more
Oct 2013
Oct 27, 2013
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
I promise I'm not one of those people who scoffs at any book that gets good publicity. I loved the last National Book Award winner, and from a practic ...more
Feb 27, 2013
Feb 27, 2013
The House on Mango Street
One of those books I missed out on when I was younger, but I'm so glad to have found it as an adult. This book reminded me of how moving it is to see ...more
Nov 2012
Nov 15, 2012
This book is an incredible accomplishment, even if it's not the smoothest of reads. The prose is dense (when it is prose--much of the novel consists o ...more
Sep 24, 2013
Sep 24, 2013
The Round House
A near perfect combination of a swift-moving plot and an expertly drawn, highly nuanced central character, The Round House was the most enjoyable read ...more
Dec 09, 2012
Dec 09, 2012
I read this for book club, otherwise I never would've picked it up as middle grade isn't really my thing. That said, my initial impression was that th ...more
Dec 05, 2013
Dec 06, 2013
The New York Trilogy
What in the world to make of The New York Trilogy? It's technically set in my home city, but its real setting is the brain of any reader brave enough ...more
Dec 31, 2012
Dec 31, 2012
The title novella is a fantastically clever indictment of our Work Ourselves Sick So That Our Kids Can Get Healthy society. But the real brilliance is ...more
Feb 05, 2013
Feb 03, 2013
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