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I accept that I'll probably get flamed for this, but enough is enough: this maddening, rapacious, and occasionally compelling book is making my life m ...more
Jan 29, 2009
Dec 27, 2008
Washington Square
I love this book so much I can't bear it. As someone who adores just about every last word that Henry James (over-) wrote, it has never gotten any mor ...more
May 05, 2008
Feb 09, 2008
The Man Who Loved Children
It's a travesty that this novel isn't one of those twentieth-century classics that everyone's heard of and has either read or knows they must read, li ...more
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Feb 04, 2008
Fatal Vision
A true-crime classic. Definitely read it in tandem with Janet Malcolm's brilliant, brilliant, brilliant "The Journalist and the Murderer," which analy ...more
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Feb 20, 2008
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
Reading this book is like hanging on to the back of someone on roller skates racing top-speed down a steep hill, with no brakes. There are few books t ...more
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Feb 04, 2008
My Story
Her unfinished memoir, and a spare, no-nonsense one. It by no means aims for thoroughness, and in fact simply offers a series of brief, haunting accou ...more
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Mar 01, 2008
My Secret Life: An Erotic Diary of Victorian London
You will read few books as bizarre as this one. It's the multi-volume memoir of an anonymous "Victorian gentleman," recounting his prodigious sexual e ...more
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Feb 19, 2008
Empire of the Sun
Don't let the Spielberg connection turn you off. This is a devastating slow burn of a book, one that I picked up fairly randomly, and have been reelin ...more
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Feb 16, 2008
The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic
This is a transfixing and deeply sad book, and its genesis is breathtaking: the discovery of hundreds of suitcases in an attic of the abandoned Willar ...more
Jun 28, 2008
Jun 27, 2008
The Killing of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten, 1960-1980
A bizarre, unclassifiable book. Peter Bogdanovich wrote it after his lover/leading lady Dorothy Stratten -- 1980's Playmate of the Year -- died at the ...more
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Mar 23, 2008
It was inevitable, I suppose, that Cheever write a prison novel (a compelling prospect, theoretically), but aside from some moments of wonderful prose ...more
Feb 20, 2008
Feb 14, 2008
Home is Where We Start From
Winnicott's brilliance is matched only by his humility, and for an avowed Freudian, he's strikingly original -- you'll find little real received wisdo ...more
Jan 31, 2010
Jan 19, 2010
La Bête humaine (Les Rougon-Macquart, #17)
A huge disappointment, given my high hopes that it would live up to its reputation as a sort of French "Crime and Punishment." Zola's work is aways pr ...more
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Feb 20, 2008
The Waterfall
This is novel of hers that I've re-read the most, but I have to say, I love pretty much all of Margaret Drabble's early books. Style-wise, she's a ver ...more
Jul 21, 2009
Feb 18, 2008
Joni Mitchell: The Complete Poems and Lyrics
I don't care if the later albums (except for "Turbulent Indigo") are crap. Bob Dylan -- the most overrated songwriter of all time -- has stolen her ti ...more
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Feb 22, 2008
I was not prepared for the impact of this unassuming book. Some people might think of Charlotte Bronte as a mere gateway-to-literature author for youn ...more
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Feb 04, 2008
The Prince of Tides
This book has the special distinction of being the very worst I have ever read. However, it holds a dear place in my heart for its ludicrous descripti ...more
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Feb 22, 2008
More, Now, Again: A Memoir of Addiction
Why do I bother? Even as trash-lit, this is horrible. Clinical narcissists are really, really boring.
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Mar 16, 2008
It's Not about the Truth: The Untold Story of the Duke Lacrosse Case and the Lives It Shattered
The main problem with this book is that Don Yaeger wrote it with Mike Pressler, who was the coach of the Duke lacrosse team at the time, so the book's ...more
Mar 18, 2008
Mar 17, 2008
Bored, I checked this out of the library one day, and I have to say, I found it surprisingly affecting. It's easy to sneer at Steve Martin for being a ...more
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Feb 22, 2008
The Furies
It's considered a novel, but "The Furies" is barely-veiled autobiography, published after the author's death. Janet Hobhouse is a beautiful writer -- ...more
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Apr 16, 2008
Cruel Sacrifice
Aphrodite Jones is a pretty hit-or-miss true crime writer, but with this one she scored a home run. It's not well-written in the slightest; it's pulpy ...more
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Apr 17, 2008
The Cases That Haunt Us: From Jack the Ripper to Jonbenet Ramsey, the FBI's Legendary Mindhunter Unravels the Mysteries That Won't Go Away
I've read a lot of true crime, and this is one of the best. FBI guru John Douglas analyzes the case files of a series of famous unsolved murder cases, ...more
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Feb 22, 2008
What Falls Away: A Memoir
I read this because I never turn up my nose at a good trash-talkin' celeb-biog, but this is actually a good book. Yes, it dishes the dirt on Frank Sin ...more
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Mar 01, 2008
The Book of the City of Ladies
I'm no 15th-century philologist, but I'm not feeling this as a fundamental "feminist" work -- and an early masterwork of "women's literature" -- when ...more
Jun 19, 2009
Jun 17, 2009
Anna To The Infinite Power
**spoiler alert** Oh, my God, this book. I re-read it last year and it was just as amazing as it was the first time I read it, a hundred years ago. Un ...more
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Feb 22, 2008
My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem
Written by his infamous mother -- who once released a rap CD called "Dear Marshall" -- this should have been a train wreck of sublime proportions. How ...more
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Apr 24, 2008
You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again
I felt like I had to fight through a thicket of coke-addled dithering to get to the dirt, and even then I wasn't sure what was going on -- was that a ...more
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Feb 22, 2008
The Misfits
Yes, I guess "The Misfits" is a decent story (the movie is terrific) but the only reason I can think of to read this book is for his short story, "Ple ...more
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Feb 23, 2008
It pleases me none to give this such a low rating, as Barbara Gowdy is one of my favorite writers. The only explanation is that this must be a case of ...more
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Feb 08, 2008
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