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Memoirs of an Anti-Semite
there's something i almost never trust about "redemptive" narratives of race and identity. they almost always congratulate the superficial benevolence ...more
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Sep 14, 2010
Brown Girl in the Ring
i think i responded to this more on account of what i learned from it than on the merits of its prose... which isn't to say it's not an enjoyable nove ...more
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Feb 15, 2009
Shoplifting from American Apparel
as i see it, there are a few slightly contradictory ways to interpret this book...

one way would be to see it as some kind of updated, facebook-era ex
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Feb 11, 2012
pretty much a masterpiece on every possible level.

first off, because sacco wisely lets the people he encounters do the talking. it's a warts-and-all
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Jul 17, 2011
The Walking Dead, Compendium 1
Q: why did i read this? A: because i can't resist zombies. in any form. i've watched the dumb tv show too. and i'll probably continue watching it. i'm ...more
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Apr 20, 2012
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
not solnit's best book, but still pretty remarkable. it's tough not to think of naomi klein's the shock doctrine while reading it. in a sense, it's a ...more
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Jan 26, 2010
Gone Girl
while i'll admit that this is a pretty addictive page-turner, it's also a major disappointment. i'm not exactly sure what i expected from gone girl, b ...more
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Apr 23, 2013
The Hour of the Star
an absolute pleasure from beginning to end, and an excellent lesson for any writer attempting to give voice to an "unreliable" narrator.

the story is o
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Jan 04, 2012
Green Girl
i wanted to like this. i've read several interviews with zambreno, and i'm sad to say that i like the way she talks about her writing more than i like ...more
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Oct 28, 2012
Mildred Pierce
before i get started, let me say that i picked this up after reading an awesome interview with todd haynes, whose tv mini-series version of this book ...more
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Mar 15, 2011
Nazi Literature in the Americas
this is my first stop on the roberto bolano bandwagon, and it probably wasn't the best place to jump on board. reading it, i got the sense that it mig ...more
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Mar 15, 2011
An American Childhood
i like to think i'm old enough to no longer require brooding, existential "grittiness" from every object on my bookshelf. that said, i have real troub ...more
Nov 18, 2012
Oct 28, 2012
Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America
before griftopia, i used to think of matt taibbi as something of a guilty pleasure. he's always been better than the average left/progressive pundit a ...more
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Dec 03, 2011
Right as Rain
this is a real-deal page turner. i can't remember the last time i read a book this quickly. i flew through all of its 360-ish pages in a day and a hal ...more
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Sep 25, 2008
i finally picked this up after years of enjoying the various film-adaptations of elmore leonard stories, but having never read one of his novels.

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Feb 13, 2012
A Visit from the Goon Squad
because i am a 35 year old man, i often find myself involved in a kind of conversation that i refer to as the "lameness olympics." it usually begins w ...more
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Jan 06, 2012
S. (A Novel About the Balkans)
this novel concerns the systematized rape and torture of civilian bosnian women during the conflicts in the balkans during the early nineties. it's de ...more
Apr 10, 2008
Mar 31, 2008
The City & the City
this was a pleasant surprise. my first mieville book. i figured i'd like him, but not this much. the phrase "kafka-esque" gets dished out a bit too of ...more
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May 30, 2010
Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
this is depressing stuff, people.

especially the first (and most convincing) chapter, in which mckibben adds an extra "A" to the planet we inhabit. "ea
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Oct 28, 2011
On Immunity: An Inoculation
Totally engrossing, and very carefully written.

Vaccines are the litmus-test of the week on cable news right now. Christie is for "parental choice," th
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Feb 07, 2015
i figured i'd get through this prior to the sure-to-be-rotten movie version. it's worth its hype. in fact, the first 2/3rds are downright visionary - ...more
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Jan 18, 2009
this is an awful lot of fun for a book about things that aren't fun in the slightest. kind of a cross between roland barthes and john waters, veering ...more
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Mar 03, 2013
Globalization and Its Discontents
so... last year i decided i was gonna get my feet wet in the world of economics - and specifically development economics. i read some stuff by theory ...more
Jan 19, 2009
Jan 01, 2009
this short, deceptively simple novel is full of great ideas. the story concerns a conflicted friendship between two light-skinned african-american wom ...more
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Mar 07, 2009
What Would Lynne Tillman Do?
Great collection of essays that bridge the gap between alt-lit and the fine arts. In addition to being insightful and thoughtful, Tillman is also a gr ...more
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Feb 07, 2015
War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
though heartfelt, inspiring and disturbing, i can't say i wholeheartedly loved this book. it deals with some HEAVY topics - genocide, rape, xenophobia ...more
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Nov 18, 2012
Out of Sight
another fun elmore leonard novel, my second this year. it doesn't quite have the depth of the first one i read (killshot), but it's still an awful lot ...more
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Dec 09, 2012
Hard Revolution
my favorite of the derek strange novels by far, and the one where pelecanos pulls everything together into something really rich and surprising. truth ...more
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Aug 16, 2009
Red Mars (Mars Trilogy, #1)
i've finally FINALLY finished red mars! it took MONTHS. this is my first foray into "hard" sci-fi, and as masterful as robinson is with it, it's proba ...more
Aug 14, 2009
Jun 08, 2009
Weep Not, Child
this was my third novel by ngugi, and possibly my least favorite? don't get me wrong, it's a worthwhile read, but i vastly prefer his later a grain of ...more
Oct 07, 2008
Sep 25, 2008
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