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Love and Shame and Love
3.35
Generational stories are rife in literature, from "One Hundred Years of Solitude" up to "Middlesex" and Oscar Wao. So ho-hum, you could say, here are ...more
Dec 05, 2011
Nov 28, 2011
 
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter
3.76
Most of the negative reviews of this book point out that Cahill never says anything particularly original about why the Greeks matter, but be that as ...more
Jan 14, 2011
Jan 08, 2011
 
A Natural History of the Senses
4.16
Here's what Barbara Kingsolver has to say about Diane Ackerman: "[She:] begins each summer day 'by choosing and arranging flowers for a Zenlike hour o ...more
May 19, 2010
May 05, 2010
 
Batman: The Long Halloween
4.25
I've been going through a completely unprecedented Batman phase lately. I've watched all the movies, I can't wait for the new one to come out, blah bl ...more
May 23, 2008
May 24, 2008
 
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
4.03
Oh man. I've been hearing about this for a year and I was worried it wouldn't live up to its own hype, but whoa. It's the story of how cancer cells ta ...more
Mar 15, 2012
Mar 15, 2012
 
Bastard Out of Carolina
4.06
GodDAMN. I saw Dorothy Allison read recently, and she shed a little light on her own writing. She said she edits out about sixty percent of the violen ...more
Nov 09, 2011
Nov 06, 2011
 
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
3.85
I really enjoyed this book, but it didn't blow me out of the water in quite the way I had hoped for. There were some beautiful moments, and I think I' ...more
Mar 14, 2009
Mar 16, 2009
 
Second Nature: A Gardener's Education
3.93
There are so many books I want to give four and a half stars to, books that are way better than a four--my fallback rating--but not quite as mind-blow ...more
not set
May 05, 2011
 
Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey--The Sweet Liquid Gold that Seduced the World
3.92
I have a not-so-secret love for the sort of books that explain the amazingness of science to us everyday folk, books like "The Botany of Desire" and " ...more
not set
Feb 28, 2010
 
The Queen of Whale Cay: The Eccentric Story of 'Joe' Carstairs, Fastest Woman on Water
3.63
I started reading this because of the jacket blurb. At first it was just a description of an interesting memoir, the life story of a person who was th ...more
Apr 06, 2010
Apr 06, 2010
 
A Field Guide to Getting Lost
4.03
One of those "indefinable genre" books. The loose premise--that getting lost can be, in different times and places, a worthwhile experience, a way to ...more
Jul 19, 2011
Jul 17, 2011
 
Mrs. Dalloway
3.76
Having done so, now it astonishes me that I'd never read this before. I'd had it alternately described to me as "boring" and "awesome", and when I tri ...more
Nov 05, 2011
Nov 03, 2011
 
Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology
3.59
I loved how this started out, because I identified with the general stance taken: instead of being an out-and-out Luddite, Brende posits himself as so ...more
Nov 08, 2010
Nov 09, 2010
 
Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God: Retracing the Ramayana Through India
4.19
I'm always skeptical when I read books about India, because I feel like there's so much that can be said about the country, the history, and the futur ...more
Mar 02, 2010
Feb 28, 2010
 
Dotter of Her Father's Eyes
3.54
**spoiler alert** The linked coming-of-age stories of Lucia Joyce (daughter of James Joyce) and author Mary Talbot (daughter of a famed Joycean schola ...more
Jan 10, 2013
Jan 09, 2013
 
By Nightfall
3.39
This is one of those books where I felt like the back cover didn't do justice to the actual story, or rather didn't accurately portray what the book y ...more
Aug 28, 2012
Aug 25, 2012
 
Daughters of the North
3.33
It's hard to read this without initially comparing it to "The Handmaid's Tale", given that it begins as an anti-utopian tale with an emphasis on contr ...more
Sep 07, 2012
Sep 02, 2012
 
Play It as It Lays
3.87
I'm not sure what to say about this, except that it started slow and became very entrancing and it made me feel sort of numb and vacant but also nervo ...more
Sep 28, 2012
Sep 23, 2012
 
The Muse Is Always Half-Dressed in New Orleans and Other Essays
3.74
Well. At first I was amazed by the sheer speed of Andrei Codrescu's prose; I felt like I was on a bus in a foreign city, hurtling through narrow and u ...more
Mar 25, 2010
Mar 18, 2010
 
Written on the Body
4.09
I'm not sure why I'm re-reading this; I don't remember liking it any sort of insane amount the first time. (Also, I'm pretty sure at least two people ...more
Aug 11, 2011
Aug 10, 2011
 
Wide Sargasso Sea
3.52
I woke up this morning to a storm outside, which I'm attributing to finishing this book last night well after midnight. I read it before, some time ag ...more
Nov 02, 2011
Nov 03, 2011
 
Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us
3.96
This book changed the way my brain was organized, for real. Granted, I have been a total gender theory nerd in a really obsessive way during parts of ...more
Oct 2004
Mar 23, 2008
 
A Prayer for the City
4.12
I decided to read this because I don't know much about city-level politics, even less than I know about other types of politics. The author, Buzz Biss ...more
Feb 09, 2011
Jan 28, 2011
 
Speak, Memory
4.19
So "Lolita" is one of my favorite books, and I've long wanted to read Nabokov's memoirs; perhaps I wanted to read them so much that they couldn't quit ...more
Dec 10, 2010
Nov 27, 2010
 
What Is the What
4.14
Alternately amazing and a little unsatisfying, although certainly more of the latter. Dave Eggers has been doing these books where he essentially writ ...more
Jul 31, 2011
Jul 19, 2011
 
The Devil's Details: A History of Footnotes
3.38
Here's the thing. This isn't a book--it's a well-concealed rant about how freaking awesome footnotes are. I have a friend who has a fifteen-minute lon ...more
Aug 26, 2011
Aug 12, 2011
 
The Myth of Solid Ground: Earthquakes, Prediction, and the Fault Line Between Reason and Faith
3.30
I think the premise behind this book was almost better than the book itself: in seismologically active areas, how do science and myth, fact and faith, ...more
Apr 21, 2010
Apr 08, 2010
 
Slaughterhouse-Five
4.01
It occurred to me yesterday that I hadn't read this in a long time, and so then I did. It was interesting, what happens to a book when you don't read ...more
Oct 17, 2010
Oct 18, 2010
 
Winter World
4.08
I was worried when I started this for two reasons: in the first chapter or two there was a lot of needless italicizing of key words (something I detes ...more
Nov 27, 2010
Nov 11, 2010
 
kabloona (Time reading program special edition)
4.18
Well... I dunno. A book from the late 1930's, written by a French minor aristocrat, about going to live with the Inuit in Canada for a year? I was exp ...more
Mar 09, 2011
Feb 21, 2011
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