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In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect
I can't believe this author has more than one published book. It reads like a first draft, with only a very loose organization to tie together random...more
Oct 05, 2010
Jul 22, 2009
The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914
Okay, seriously, my husband and I started reading this book in February. We just finished it. Seeing as the building of the Panama Canal took somethin...more
Sep 04, 2008
Feb 18, 2008
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Read in sixth grade or so, I remember originally being taken with this book because of the title. I enjoyed the story very much (I don't remember any...more
Jan 1996
Nov 22, 2008
The Optimist's Daughter
I had to give the ineffable Ms. Welty a try. Since she won the Pulitzer for this, I figured it was a good place to start.
This might expose my ignoranc...more
Aug 08, 2009
Jan 15, 2008
Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?
This is my complaint with this book: while the writing was great and the characters "real" and the stories compelling and meaningful, every time I fin...more
Oct 19, 2012
Feb 25, 2011
The Complete Fairy Tales of Brothers Grimm, Volume 1
I did not read even close to all of the fairy tales in this book, but what I did read, I liked. Especially with the popularity of the Grimm Brothers'...more
Jan 2012
Nov 06, 2012
The Brothers Karamazov
Wow. I hated this book so much. In fact, it's been almost 18 months since I read it, and only now has the bitterness at all that wasted time subsided...more
Aug 2006
Jan 15, 2008
Meet Your Match
A compelling argument for why writers should throw out their first novel. This was a vast improvement over "Rules of Engagement," her first book. Over...more
Jul 13, 2008
Jun 07, 2008
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
I found this book inconsistent, with many noticeable foibles of a first-time author. At its best it was engaging and endearing without being overbeari...more
Apr 16, 2010
Dec 27, 2009
What Your Childhood Memories Say about You: And What You Can Do about It
One and a half stars. It had a lot of potential, and from what I was able to glean in my drifting-in-and-out-of-consciousness and half-hearted skimmin...more
May 02, 2009
Dec 30, 2008
The Wisdom of Crowds
So, this book was interesting, but I thought I could probably stop reading after the introduction, since it explained the whole premise of the book pr...more
Dec 18, 2010
Dec 01, 2008
Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts
Four stars for the book itself, five stars for its impact on my life. I can't think of any other secular book that I have found so broadly applicable...more
Aug 12, 2009
Feb 19, 2009
The Other Boleyn Girl (The Tudor Court, #2)
Spoiler alert: Anne Boleyn dies at the end. So, until then, I really liked this book. It does take a decidedly dark turn at the end, what with the hin...more
Oct 24, 2012
Aug 16, 2012
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less
I would have stopped reading this book if I hadn't been listening on CD. It was good, but after the first chapter, I couldn't imagine how the author w...more
Jun 04, 2009
Nov 20, 2008
The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives
Really interesting. I really enjoyed it. Here is my favorite quote from the book, which summarizes the entire theme:
"It is easy to believe that ideas...more
Apr 22, 2009
Feb 19, 2009
The Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed Set (Anne of Green Gables, #1-8)
Forgive my taking the lazy way out in reviewing this entire series as one. It's not really fair since the quality of the books (in my opinion) varies...more
Jan 2006
Aug 29, 2008
Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)
Okay, five stars is being generous, but that rating reflects how much I, personally, loved this book. Objectively it's probably more like four stars;...more
Nov 22, 2008
Jul 28, 2008
Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West
I actually checked this out from the library for my husband, thinking it would be the kind of (lame) thing he would like. But, I ended up reading it m...more
Apr 03, 2013
Nov 03, 2012
The Friday Night Knitting Club (Friday Night Knitting Club, #1)
If I hadn't been listening to this on CD, I definitely would have given up on it. It wasn't terrible, but it was far from great. Some specific things...more
Oct 2010
Sep 27, 2010
The Kitchen God's Wife
So, I read the Joy Luck Club I'm pretty sure in elementary school. I obviously didn't appreciate it as much as I would currently, but from what I reme...more
Jun 07, 2008
May 26, 2008
O Rugged Land of Gold
I really loved this book. It's out of print, but you may be able to find it online, and I think it would be worth it. It was an excellent read.
This bo...more
Jun 28, 2009
Jun 03, 2009
Alphabet Juice: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, Tinctures, Tonics, and Essences; With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory
I don't know who Roy Blount Jr. is, but he obviously thinks a lot of himself. Apparently his publisher does too, considering the incredible leeway he...more
Feb 15, 2009
Dec 04, 2008
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
If Anthony Bourdain's stated goal in writing this book had been to convince the world that he is a vile, low-life, (hard-working!) scum bag, he couldn...more
Nov 2013
Dec 18, 2013
A Red Herring Without Mustard (Flavia de Luce, #3)
I think my husband and I were reading this book together for almost a year. That is a ridiculous amount of time for something that is supposed to be a...more
Jul 19, 2012
Nov 22, 2011
Anguished English: An Anthology of Accidental Assaults Upon Our Language
It really isn't this book's fault that I didn't like it. If I had read it when it was first released I'm sure I would have appreciated it more. Howeve...more
Nov 18, 2008
Aug 29, 2008
A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World
This book is the best kind of non-fiction: it tells a story, entertains you, takes you on a journey, teaches you a thing or two, and all through the v...more
Feb 2011
Feb 03, 2011
The Great Gatsby
I really love this book. I think my favorite part about it is the POV, being told from a minor character's perspective. It really makes you feel like...more
Jan 2001
Jul 14, 2008
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
After reading Stiff I had high hopes for this one. It was very interesting, but not so much that I want to grab people and say, "You've GOT to read th...more
Jul 19, 2011
Feb 25, 2011
How We Decide
Disclaimer: my review will not do this book justice, so just take my word for it that you should read it.
This book ran along the same lines as Predict...more
Nov 17, 2009
Jul 08, 2009
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
I find this book extremely difficult to review. Perhaps it will help me order my thoughts about it to use bullet points. Here's what earned it five st...more
Nov 18, 2011
Nov 16, 2008