cover title author rating rating my rating review Down arrow read added
The Best American Essays 2010
it was amazing
I wandered through the library pulling books off the shelves with no design, no intent, just letting the universe guide my first round of winter break ...more
Dec 2011
Dec 15, 2010
really liked it
Oh, Walden. Such a pretty, problematic book. He grumbles and preaches and is hypocritical and prejudiced, then he has these flashes of brilliance in t ...more
not set
Feb 03, 2008
The Portable Veblen
really liked it
I would have jettisoned this at the first talking squirrel, but we were stuck together on Amtrak and weirder conversations were unfolding around me. T ...more
May 30, 2016
May 23, 2016
A God in Ruins
it was amazing
Devastating book, the best parts of which are the intimate moments between Teddy and his crew, his sisters, his grandkids, and his dogs (seriously). A ...more
Feb 03, 2016
Feb 04, 2016
Bel Ami
liked it
A sinister romp about a foppish womanizer climbing social ranks using his wiles and the corrupt press. Very relevant to 2016.
May 06, 2016
May 18, 2016
The White Tiger
really liked it
There's a passage in The White Tiger where the main character, Balram, flees seamlessly from a red-light district in New Dehli to a black market in li ...more
Aug 2009
Jul 19, 2009
A Little Life
it was ok
Overwritten, overwrought. "Subvert" is thrown around too much in literary criticism. A Little Life starts out as a post-grad path-seeking ensemble, bu ...more
Aug 16, 2016
May 23, 2016
The Buried Giant
it was amazing
The questing spirit of The Once and Future King with the unstable identities of Italo Calvino's Our Ancestors: The Cloven Viscount, The Baron in the T ...more
Apr 05, 2017
Dec 15, 2014
The Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today
really liked it
'"And what would you go there to see, exactly?" asked one culture-minded friend. She has a point. Lagos has few museums, not too many antiquities, onl ...more
Jan 2010
Feb 26, 2010
Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures
it was ok
I feel like I'm especially critical this year. There was a lot of hype about this book, but I don't think I had unduly high expectations. After all, I ...more
Sep 21, 2012
Sep 10, 2012
The Wangs vs. the World
liked it
Chang captures the physical joy of being a decade-older sister in a way that made me miss my own pile of siblings. Chang is the strongest when delving ...more
Jul 08, 2017
Jul 09, 2017
liked it
I don't know why I liked this book so much. The sly disconnect? It felt like one of those dissonant French new wave movies with characters who compuls ...more
Aug 10, 2013
Aug 07, 2013
The Marriage Plot
it was ok
With sharper female characters and fewer contrived college scenes, this bloated novel could have been a decent novella. Read it for the last fifty pag ...more
Sep 12, 2015
Sep 12, 2015
The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
liked it
I remembered a lot of minutia thanks to this book! You'll get a kick out of the early 2000s vibe, and AJ Jacobs will remind you of someone you know.
May 12, 2016
May 18, 2016
Present Company
it was ok
There are W. S. Merwin poems that I love, but none of them are in this volume.

I don't like the 'To...' structure.
Jan 2013
Aug 30, 2013
it was amazing
The most ridiculous (perfect) book to take on a Valentine's day road trip.
Feb 14, 2015
Feb 17, 2015
About Grace
really liked it
Heavy handed and slow to start, but beautiful by the end.
Nov 21, 2015
Nov 21, 2015
The Quiet American
liked it
Hmmmm Graham Greene....
Mar 03, 2014
Mar 06, 2014
Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)
it was amazing
I shy away from Booker prizewinners, historical fiction, and any novel that starts with a family tree. Wolf Hall flies all three red flags, so when a ...more
Apr 05, 2015
Mar 27, 2015
Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking
Another un-rateable book
Nov 20, 2010
Nov 20, 2010
Whistling: And Other Stories
did not like it
I bought this collection at a $1 bookstore because I mistook the author for Myla Goldberg, who is on my to-read list. I am happy to report that this b ...more
Nov 06, 2014
Nov 03, 2014
The Norton Book of Personal Essays
really liked it
Solid anthology.
Jan 2012
Sep 10, 2012
The Vintage Book of Contemporary Chinese Fiction
liked it
Mixed bag! Some were excellent, some were okay.
Dec 10, 2012
Dec 06, 2012
The Strangler Vine (The Blake and Avery Mystery Series, #1)
liked it
I think you're most likely to enjoy this if you spent your childhood reading the Redwall series. I over-rated this for nostalgia. For most of the book ...more
Dec 07, 2015
Nov 18, 2015
Tenth of December
it was amazing
George Saunders is diluted in nothing but George Saunders. These stories should be read in the wild as they are written or parceled out at bedtime, de ...more
Aug 11, 2013
Feb 04, 2013
Super Sad True Love Story
liked it
I read this while home with a cold for a week, which probably exacerbated how alienating/bleak/muggy the book felt. Funny moments, thunderous portents ...more
Mar 14, 2015
Mar 27, 2015
The Keep
really liked it
Four stars up until part three - it really should have ended before the writing teacher's segment, which took a lot of the mystery away and didn't end ...more
Jan 2010
Oct 23, 2010
My Brilliant Friend
liked it
I think I would have loved this in my A Tree Grows in Brooklyn days.
Aug 08, 2016
Jan 24, 2016
liked it
Next time you see me, let's have a conversation about the awful way Franzen writes women.
Jul 2013
Jun 30, 2013
Monstrous Regiment (Discworld, #31)
Saluting Terry Pratchett, author and arbiter of my thirteen-year-old self.
Mar 12, 2015
Mar 27, 2015
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